I worked eleven years full time municipal LE with one agency from 1999 until early 2010. Had some issues with the boss, and showed myself to the door. I took a job working as a university officer in mid-2010. University LE can be fun, it certainly had it's moments, and I still got to do a bit of "real" cop work backing up the municipality that the university is in. But... it's not municipal LE, and I missed the hell outta it. Then, in early 2011, I took a part time job with the state as a police officer for the Department of Mental Health, 16 hours a week. For the past seven months I've been running back and forth between both jobs, typically working 60+ hours a week. The DMH Police job also offered some entertainment, but sure as hell wasn't where I wanted to be. Over the 18 months between February 2010 and now, I've continued to apply at various municipal agencies, trying to get back into it. For several reasons, not the least of which is the turbulent economy and the glut of applicants in Ohio, I had a hard time making progress. I did keep pretty detailed notes of my applications and status at various agencies (over the span of 18 months): Miles driven for applications, testing, interviews: 4,000+ Applications filed: 150 Tests taken: 26 Interviews: 21 This means I was averaging 1 application every 4 days, a test every 20 days, and an interview every 25 days for the last 540 days. Needless to say, I got pretty good at cranking out apps and answering interviewers. My test taking skills have reached the point where I am almost always in the top 3 candidates for every position now. I've gotten real close to several positions, but they always fell through. At any rate, I finally, finally, secured a full time municipal job with a small city in eastern Ohio. They were looking to hire pretty quickly since their previous civil service test had expired and they had an opening. I tested, scored in the upper level (they wouldn't release the exact rankings), interviewed, got a conditional offer, passed the poly and psych, and have been hired. The entire process, from application to conditional offer, took twenty days. It went so fast I really didn't have time to think about it. Tenative start date is September 11, 2011 - interestingly, on the ten year anniversary of 9/11. I'm pretty excited. This is a gritty, decaying industrial city of 6000, and they have serious criminal issues there. Over 7000 criminal-based calls (not civil in nature) a year. The chief is awesome, the kind of guy you'd be lucky to work for. Money is good, benefits are decent, and there is a uniform allowance (what's that?), and full pension pickup by the city. FOP protection (I have to eat my anti-union posts now). Patrol rifles, patrol carbines (Beretta Storm, I think), tasers. Lots of toys. Relaxed uniform policy allows normal uniforms and external vest carriers / BDUs. K9 on duty when I am. FTO is projected to be just 6 weeks given my previous experience. Should be a good time! I've given notice to both the state and the university, and am looking forward to getting back into municipal LE in what promises to be one busy little place. I am staying on part time at the university, just to keep a continuity of employment, since I was there just under a year. For those of you still looking... keep the faith, brothers. Keep applying and testing, something will come along. If you are dedicated to being a cop, it's hard to keep you down forever.