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Thinking about Florida Highway Patrol...anyone got advice?

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Eurodriver, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Eurodriver


    Sep 11, 2010
    I just finished up 4 years in the Marine Corps, honorable discharge. No felonies, crazy tattoos, misdemeanors. I'm in good shape. (Basically I am saying I am qualified)

    I'm currently going to college, but I'm feeling out careers as well. Starting pay isn't too hot at $33,000...but I didn't join the Corps for the money either.

    Anyone wanna chime in with what they would do? I know FHP can put me anywhere in Florida, but what do they do? Just run tickets on the freeways? What is their jurisdiction?
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  2. jdh31313


    Dec 31, 2006
    S.E. Georgia

  3. rhikdavis

    rhikdavis U.S. Veteran

    Jul 22, 2002
    In Remembrance
    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A new study by the National Motorists Association suggests drivers are more likely to receive a speeding ticket in Florida than in any other state.

  4. GLK38

    GLK38 ImRonBurgundy?

    Apr 6, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Most of the troopers I know seem pretty happy with their job. FHP's Jurisdiction is statewide. They respond to mostly traffic calls i.e. crashes, DAV's, traffic control. They can and will respond to any type of calls for service but its mostly what I described above.

    Im not saying its better or worse than being a DS or Officer its just a little different.

    Some guys use becoming a Trooper as a stepping stone to a county or city job.

    Also, FHP can put you anywhere in the state they need you for the first couple of years. After that you should have some seniority and be able go where you want.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  5. countycop


    Jan 26, 2004
    its pretty lame if you wanna be a cop and do cop stuff. if you wanna just write traffic tickets, work dav's and crashes its great.
  6. if you want to try it go for it. if it doesnt work well then go with a county sheriff or a llarge city or something like thata. however dont quit school till you graduate. use that gi bill either full time or part time. my vietnam bill poaid for both of my masters. asn i was a police for 40 years. you only live onced go for it if you want
  7. trdvet


    Oct 2, 2004

    I received an application packet years ago for FHP, when I opened it I saw the starting pay and immediately put the packet back in the envelope and threw it away. I didn't join the Army for the pay but this is a career we are talking about here. If it were me I would reserve somewhere, finish a bachelors degree and go Fed or another state agency that paid better.

    Texas DPS Highway Patrol is hiring
  8. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    You have the government funding your degree. Take advantage of it, finish up, then go. If you want to do something and make a little money at it, go with federal corrections. I have known more than one person doing that full time, and earning their degrees.
  9. If the government is funding it (and even if it were not), I'd definitely get at least a bachelor's degree before bailing out of school. From all I've heard, FHP is pretty much a traffic enforcement organization. Traffic enforcement is important, but you may want to go other directions in your career.

    Good luck and be safe.
  10. johnluger


    Aug 26, 2008
    Boynton Beach FL
    If FHP hires you, you must work for them for 2 years or you have to pay them back for the academy cost, then they could put you anywhere in the state, but not all areas pay the same. The troopers down here don't seem to happy. Best of luck to ya.
  11. EMTCOP


    Jun 30, 2008
    I started my LE career in Florida. I put myself through a community college based law enforcement academy, graduated, took the state exam, then applied where I wanted to apply, and got hired.

    FHP is ok if you want to work traffic enforcement, but you don't do much else. I know some troopers who like doing drug interdiction, and there is plenty of that to be done on Florida's highways, especially on I-95. Traffic was never what I wanted to do full time as a cop, but God knows I got my best arrests from traffic stops.

    If the idea of traffic all the time doesn't suit you, try the route I took and go apply where you want to. I suspect you will be happier getting a variety of calls as opposed to MVA's, DAV's, and run of the mill traffic enforcement for a whole shift.

    LE likes to hire military veterans, so you do have an advantage there. Good luck with your future endeavors!!!
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  12. +1 on the drug interdiction. The state of Florida is a huge corridor for drugs moving north. Drug interdiction is sort of like hunting. ;)

    It all depends in what type of police work you are interested in.

    Good luck in your decision!
  13. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004
    Why be satisfied with meeting the minimums and getting $33k a year? Get into school someplace and start into a degree program that will take you through the next 30+ years of your life.

    A degree in something useful will benefit you whether you get hired in LE or not. You have to have a back up plan in case you don't get hired, get injured in the academy and released [remember the people in boot who got injured?], don't make probation, or otherwise get fired, injured, or leave. Keep in mind that only those who die on the job are the ones that never leave, so you will need that other plan at some point.

    Stay away from University of Phoenix and other questionable "degree" granting programs and make certain that your school and degree are academically certified by a respected accrediting agency.

    Stay away from criminal justice/administration of justice, psychology, sociology, ethnic/gender studies, history, music, art, political science, etc. Go for accounting, business admin, physical sciences, management, engineering of any type, computer science, disciplines in medicine, etc.

    You WILL get tired of uniform patrol after anywhere from 3 to 6 years. Some go into investigations and some go into supervision. You need an education to go into either in most places.
  14. vanilla_gorilla


    May 31, 2005
    That's not what troopers are starting at. It's what they're staying at.

    I'm not an FHP trooper, but I do have some knowledge about it. IM me if you have any specific questions, but I'll throw this out publicly. State LE jobs in Florida are not a comfortable place to be right now, and probably won't be for a little while.
  15. Panzergrenadier1979

    Panzergrenadier1979 Keystone Cop

    Jan 16, 2009
    Central Pennsylvania
    If LE is what you want to do as a career then go with whoever hires you. Getting your foot in the LE door should have priority over holding out for your "dream" agency.
  16. jwhite75

    jwhite75 Gubmint Worker

    Jan 6, 2009
    Dub V
    Finish your degree and go reitrement and usually pay. Lots of real cop stuff.
  17. scottydl


    May 31, 2005
    The Middle
    All of those factors can vary, especially the "lots of real cop stuff" depending on your agency and assignment ... and in IL for instance, state employees have better retirement benefits than fed agencies. That's probably all going to change based on IL's crappy financial situation, but I would imagine about every other state in the union has a similar predicament at the moment.

    But yeah, FINISH SCHOOL NOW as others have said... otherwise you'll never had a chance to go back and will regret it later.

    Study what you want to study, although Criminal Justice won't necessarily get you hired any faster. Most agencies just like to see you have a degree.
  18. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

    Mar 13, 2001
    Not a chance
    Good agency if you want tio be limited to traffic enforcement and accident investigation..FHP is FL highway Patrol and thats it.

    You will not get to really delve into general police work or follow up investigation (with the exception of traffic crashes)..
    If catching vehicle Scofflaws and DUI's is what you want to do FHP would be a good choice.

    If General Police work is what you desire many large Sheriff's offices in FL havet the same or better pension and benefits
  19. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

    Mar 13, 2001
    Not a chance
    Fed retirements are not what they used to be FYI...
  20. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    +1 make sure that working traffic and investigating accidents is what you want to do because that is pretty much it with FHP.

    My old partner who joined the PD at the same time I did left the PD after severalyears to go to FHP and he just retired from there 3 years ago. But he loved working traffic and investigating accidents. Me, I'd have quit if that was all there was to LE.

    But different people have different interests.

    My old partner had an un descended testicle he had to have surgically removed before FH would hire him. I still kid him about it, telling him he must really have wanted to be a meter maid bad since he was willing to have his nuts removed to get the job.