Florida cops - Questions about moving to FL and getting into LE

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by RF7126, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Hello all,
    I'm really interested in making the move to Florida, but I could use some advice from the guys there.

    First and foremost, every department that I check into appears to require academy certification prior to even applying. Are there any that pay for you to go to the academy?

    I'm a reserve officer here in Indiana. So although I'm fully sworn and legally the same as a full-time officer, all of my training was done locally. As a result, I don't have the full academy certification that's transferable and I will have to attend an academy in Florida to become certified. This doesn't bother me, but it makes it difficult to move and stay/get into law enforcement. My full time job is security management, but none of that transfers without classes either it seems...

    Also, I would love to hear any recommendations of places to go (or stay away from). Ideally I'd like to be near either coast, in a place with a population between 40,000 and 500,000. I wouldn't mind working in a high-crime area but my girlfriend will likely be going with me so I'd like for us to at least be able to live and for her to work in a fairly safe place if possible. Having said that I'll just be thrilled to find a place to work!

    The two areas I'm looking at right now are the Charlotte/Lee County areas and the Melbourne/Brevard County area.

    If anyone has any advice on where/how to make the move and get hired in Florida from out of state I would greatly appreciate it!

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
    #1 RF7126, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
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  3. IGotIt

    IGotIt No Demlibtards

    You might look a bit further north on one coast, Hillsborough County Sheriff Dept, and further south on the other coast, Miami PD. Both are hiring but I don't know if they will help with the academy costs. St Petersburg used to but they shut the dept down and the Pinellas County sheriff dept took over.

    Further north, Gainesville might still pay for the academy too. I had a website for Fl LEO jobs, if I can locate it I'll send it your way.


    #2 IGotIt, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  4. Bruce M

    Entry law enforcement jobs are still scarce enough here such that my guess is that you will need to look for a job and then find some place close by that is acceptable to live. More and more agencies are requiring people to be certified; too many have been burned by paying to send someone through the academy only to have them leave. Many agencies that still pay for an academy require the employee to sign a contract agreeing to stay for a time period.


  5. When I first started looking at Tampa PD. They said they'd pay something like $400 gross a week if they decided to pay for your academy. I asked the recruiter and she said that most people had a second income or stayed with their parents and that it was a major issue with hiring some people who couldn't afford that low an income.

    Needless to say, I went elsewhere.
  6. cwr


    Daytona Beach Shores is a good agency in Volusia County and they are triple certified - police/fire/EMT - as they combined all three into a public safety agency years ago (and figured out how to make it work). Typically they hire individuals with one of the certificates and pay them full salary to obtain the other two. The only other agency I would recommend in Volusia County is the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. They usually put a few individuals through each academy but many of their hires were ones who put themselves through it. The LEO academy at Daytona State College, who both these agencies use, is:

    In-state tuition: $2925 (requires one year previous state residency)
    Out of state tuition $9750
    Uniforms, books, TABE test and BAT test about $790.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

  7. Although a lot of departments are starting to hire people again, there are a LOT of already certified people out there competing for the jobs, so the reality of it is that you have a tough road ahead of you.....

    As someone else said, check around the state and figure out where you would like to live; Florida is a HUGE state, covering 2 time zones and a number a vastly different areas in terms of the culture, living expenses, and to a limited extent, geography; do some homework, and figure out what area appeals to you;

    Once you do that, start your job search.
  8. Good to know about Hillsborough; I just took a look at it and it looks as though they may have their own academy. I appreciate the info.

    Unfortunately I understand that, but at this point I'd be thrilled to sign a contract for a FL agency! In fact my current agency (small town) is having the same problem. They'll hire a reserve full-time, send them to the academy, and then a year later they're off to a bigger department. So they're doing contracts now as well.

    I hate to admit it but that's not a lot less than I make right now. Although it doesn't make it easy! Was that recent?

    Thanks, I'll have to check into that as well. I appreciate the numbers on the academy, I hadn't contacted one yet. I might have to just find a job for a year first, 10000 is a bit much for me!

    That's my hope, we went down this past summer and checked out the two areas I listed in my post and we'll probably do the same the next time we get a vacation.
    #7 RF7126, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  9. Charlotte and Lee counties have the Sheriff's office of each county (Lee has about 1500 people, Charlotte about 350) , as well as several municipal police depts; Fort Myers PD, Cape Coral PD, Punta Gorda PD, and a few others; If you are living in Charlotte , then it's also a pretty short hop to the Sarasota area, with NorthPort PD and the Sarasota S.O......

    Of the two areas, I would look at the Punta Gorda/Charlotte County are to live; it's a bit nicer in most places than Lee, and the nicer areas there cheaper than the nicer areas of Lee; it also puts you in a good spot to go either North or South looking for work.

    In the Brevard area, you have Coco PD, Melbourne PD, Titusville PD, the Brevard SO, and some other municiplaites; All of the areas I mentioned have good and ba d spots to live, so check them all out;

    Take any job you can get , but if you have a choice, the Sheriff's Offices tend to be better in terms of overall pay and benefits; addtionally, they tend to be larger agenices, so you have more career opportunites.....but take whatt you can get right now, times are tough.

    Generally, the West Coast is a little cheaper to live on, but not that much cheaper.....

    I would do a blanket search of the areas online, get all the department info, and then write letters or emails to them all, followed up with phone calls to the right person with specific questions....

    Also, so you know, basic recruit acadmey here is 900ish hours, with a number of exams; when you sucessfully complete the academy traning, you may apply to take your state board exam; (400 or soo questions!) once you pass that , you are certified, and eliglble for service; most departments have a 12-14 week FTO program ( or a minimum number of DOR's) as well as a year's probationary period....

    I hope this helps, and Good luck!
  10. It was about 6 years ago.
  11. wolf19r

    wolf19r Problem Solved!

    Im still looking for a leo job here 6 months later. The problem is their are few places that are hiring and there are thousands of recruits every year getting added to the pool. Pick areas you want to move to and spread from there I've called all the places near me and have apps in to all of them. You have prior le so I would look and see if you could take the state exam and call the fdle to see if your certs can transfer to Florida and save a few thousand while your at it. Just a thought.
  12. I greatly appreciate all the info, I know much less about how Florida works than I should so I appreciate it!

    Ah okay thanks, I'll have to check into that.

    Oh that's not good! My first thought was for a transfer as well but unfortunately so much of my training is/was at the local level that it won't transfer.

    Is the academy something that can be done while holding a full-time job? Or is it a full-day five day a week type of schedule?
  13. I'm not an LEO yet, but I live in Brevard County. The largest agency here is the Sheriff's Office followed by several municipalities, along with the state agencies, FHP and FWC. As far as I know, none of the agencies will sponsor you through the academy. The academy here is through Brevard Community College.


    This gentleman works for one of the agencies in Brevard and I'm sure would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.


    Good luck with your move!
  14. if you choose Miami-Dade you will have to be proficient in Spanish or Creole in addition to any Academy training.
  15. I believe Hillsborough County Sheriff is still hiring. Good location on Tampa Bay.
  16. A lot of academies in FL do full time day and part-time (evenings and weekends).
    Two in Orlando are:

    Seminole State College

    Valencia College

    As has been already stated, almost no department will sponsor you through the academy unless you are of a particular type of candidate that the department needs.
    #15 krathis, Jan 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  17. wolf19r

    wolf19r Problem Solved!

    You can do days full time or nights part time. The GTers are an awesome source of info. I went to St. Johns river state college academy and loved it.

    posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  18. The majority of the 13 or so agencies in broward county will pay for you to get certified as the broward police academy only accepts people sponsored with an agency. When I was there 3 years ago we were ranked one of the top in the state because it was treated as a private academy so to speak. There are a few agencies in broward that are hiring now and we are paid in the upper most of the state. My agency is opening up non certified positions again starting next month but you can find many other open spots by checking out all the websites. PM me if you want to know more but I love working here as we have high crime areas, decent areas, the beach, and just any type of police work you'd be interested in doing. Good luck in your search.

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  19. That's good to hear, I might work on the cert while doing another job as well.

    I'm into that as well, thanks. Looks like they do their own academy anyway, which is a plus for me.

    I appreciate it! Yes I emailed a couple of Brevard agencies and received the same response unfortunately.

    I heard Miami was an experience all its own...:shocked:

    Absolutely. I hate to admit but I surfed GT my freshman year of college and learned more from GT than in all of my classes combined.

    I actually hadn't looked into Broward until you posted that, I'm glad you did. I didn't realize there were some sponsored spots there, I'm definitely checking into that as well.
  20. AngryBassets

    AngryBassets Jagenden Übel

    I looked into Collier County a few years ago (2008?) for consideration of moving there after I retire (which will be in 2015, when I'll be just 43). Seemed like a decent department from what I could find out. I'd only have to attend a 2 week academy.

    Probably won't be going anywhere; family and all that.
  21. IGotIt

    IGotIt No Demlibtards

    Look into here for your Fl. cert if you are going in a few years,; http://www.swfpsa.org/

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