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Getting ready to enter an open enrollment academy..

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Ohioan, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Ohioan

    Ohioan Unior Memer

    Apr 25, 2007
    I've been lurking a while, so I thought I'd introduce myself.

    This September I'll be entering an open enrollment academy here in Ohio. I know, I know, I'm crazy for entering the LE field in this economy. But my current area of expertise isn't much better. I'm 29 years old and I have a Bachelors of Science in Education from Ohio University. My concentration is in Secondary Social Studies and I have a minor in Political Science.

    The past 6 years I've sent out 20-30 resumes, called numerous principals harassed secretaries, etc. and I've had 3 interviews. From what information I've been able to gather, there are about 200 applicants for each Social Studies position posted. That's a tough market. Out of state jobs aren't much better.

    So, the time has come for more education. I've had strong interest in Law Enforcement since I took a Criminal Procedure class in college. And in the past few years I've made friends with several LEOs. I've done a few ride a longs. So in discussing my education with my wife, and doing some serious praying I've decided to enter the academy.

    After I graduate and pass the exam I will be joining the county sheriff's office as a reserve. This county is so poor that there are days when no one is on duty. My land lord is a UC reserve officer and I've talked to him in depth about it. So I figure until I can land a job on a dept. I can gain experience this way and get an advantage over other new grads. But as a reserve officer i have to buy all my own gear. (anyone want to buy a Rock Island Compact 1911?)

    All I really need right now is a belt, holster, mag holster, firearm, magazines and a pair of boots. I will be purchasing a G 22 LE from Vances. I'll probably buy a pair of Rocky boots from the outlet store. That just leaves belt, holster and mag carrier. Those things I'll probably have to wait and see what the academy requires. I really have no clue about those items either. There is a lot to consider that I'm just not aware of yet.

    I'm really excited. I've been working on getting back in shape all summer. I'm looking forward to learning how to protect and serve! (write reports..)
  2. txleapd

    txleapd Hook 'Em Up

    Aug 27, 2004

    Get Safariland for your duty gear and holster.

  3. msu_grad_121

    msu_grad_121 BOOSH

    Sep 16, 2009
    NW Burbs
    While you can't go wrong with Safariland, I'm personally a fan of Blackhawk Serpa holsters, and have used a Level 3 for the last 4+ years to good effect.

    Granted, they're not for everyone, but I found mine for about 2/3 what a similiar Safariland holster would cost, and it's super fast, but really secure. DO NOT believe the hype that they're garbage. They're a damn good holster, and easily as secure as anything on the market, if not moreso.

    Again, those are just my opinions. On a positive note, congratulations on your decision to enter the academy! Having said that, are you friggin NUTS?! It's ROUGH out here, dude. Trust me, I know from whence I speak.

    Good luck! :wavey:
  4. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

    Sep 26, 2007
    Try ebay, there are many duty rigs for sale there that are far cheaper than purchasing them separately.

    Now, for the Ohio warning. LE jobs, both paying and reserve are hard to come by now. Much of this has to do with Ohio's open enrollment academies producing far more candidates than there are jobs. Before you shell out any money, take all things into consideration.

    Good luck, I also went open enrollment many years ago, and found a career I love.
  5. boomhower


    Feb 14, 2010
    North Carolina
    Good luck OP, from a fellow Bobcat. I graduated in 2004 with a degree in COMT, as you can see I certainly put it to good use as a cop. Worthless degree but it was a fun four years!
  6. Ah the Academy. I did my time (10 weeks) at FLETC but it was still a boatload of pushups, situps, and running until I blew a knee. I still graduated, and while some things about the Academy sucked I still think it was the very best training I ever had. Good luck and stay safe out there.
  7. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

    Jan 2, 2008
    Lost Coast, Cali
    Ohio is a ****ty job market.

    I'm going to be honest, I really would not encourage anyone to take an open enrollment academy in Ohio right now. You are doing yourself a dis-service and diluting the pool for other qualified applicants.

    For every posted position, there are scads of applicants; and a lot of those are highly qualified, recently displaced officers who have been laid off.

    As an example, I recently took University of Akron PD's test, there were over 270 who showed up to take it, for 3 - 5 positions.

    Apparently (I wasn't there), over 2000 applied for Dayton PD's last test.

    After I left my last full time job, and before I took my current full time job, I applied at - are you ready - 148 agencies in Ohio. I went through the processes and got job offers at 3... that's not great odds... and I have 14+ years LE experience, a degree, over 100 OPOTA advanced training courses. and EMS and fire certifications to bolster my resume.

    Now, you may luck into a job; or might be able to source one through back channels (nepotism and such), but other than that, I would not expect to be working full time as an Ohio peace officer anytime real soon.

    The good news is you can probably pick up an auxilary gig within a year of graduating to keep your certification current.

    So... good luck...?
  8. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

    Jan 2, 2008
    Lost Coast, Cali
    Just re-ranked number one party school in the nation!
  9. Goldendog Redux

    Goldendog Redux Shut your mouth

    Aug 22, 2003
    The world is flooded with Glock 22/17 sized holsters/mag pouches of all brands. Pay a little as possible or get it free. I think I sold a pristine Safariland BW 6280 for like twenty bucks once. Purchase as little as you possibly can. If PT requires black shorts and you have dark navy shorts, wear 'em. What will they do? Kick you out? Take away you birthday?

    Sounds like you are on the right track. You ever thought about being a firefighter?

  10. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    Although you are going in to an open enrolment academy, if you have a hard time finding employment afterwards I would recommend looking at USA Jobs. You may find something that is suitable for you through there. There are BOP facilities where it may be possible to be hired directly as a teacher, if they open the position to public status applications.
  11. Sounds like good advice. If the LE job market is as tough as MeefZah said it is in the Buckeye State, going federal might be the right answer. Unless you have some deep, unabiding attachment to where you are now, it sounds like you need to broaden your horizons a bit.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  12. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

    Jan 2, 2008
    Lost Coast, Cali
    To be fair, some of those, maybe about 10-15, I failed to follow through with all the testing, interviews, etc., because with that many apps out there some test dates will overlap and so you have to pick and choose which department would most likely want to hire you and follow through with that one. I also applied for several jobs, again around 10-15, that I was technically qualified for but in all reality I was not really qualified for, so there was no real surprise there. Still, that's over a hundred jobs I was legitimately qualified for over about a 10 month period that I didn't get. I can fill out a 10+ page app completely from memory in about five minutes now, and I can take the OH-Select test (fairly common "corporate" test used here) in about twenty (they allow 2 hours for it).

    I have a few buddies in similar positions who just gave up and went out of state; both found jobs very quickly.

    Even though I'm working full time as a cop, I'm making a pittance and I really miss municpal law enforcement. I'm possibly going to follow them out of state; I'm just exhausting all my current possibilities here before I do.

    My assessment of Ohio agencies is they are always looking for a reason not to hire someone; whereas at least some of these out of state agencies seem to always be looking for reasons to hire someone.

    Kind of like, you start at 0% with Ohio agencies and have to earn every little step to finally get hired; but you start at 100% with other places and have to screw up in the process to get eliminated.