Career change. Photographer to LEO?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by myesque, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. myesque


    Likes Received:
    Dec 4, 2009
    West, TN
    I am a professional photographer, and have been for 10+ years. My wife and I have recently moved from MI down to TN. This killed my photography business, I work mainly in portrait. There does not seem to be that high of a demand for my type of work here in this surrounding area. I am having a bit of an early mid-life crisis. :faint:
    I have been thinking of making a career change, and considering becoming a LEO. I have always had interest in this profession, but I am wondering if this is poor move? :dunno: One of our local PD's is having a Civil Service Exam next week, and I am going to go and take it.

    Can anyone give me some sound advise here? How and what to study (content and what is included in the tests), difficulty levels, physical test and what it involves....
  2. Panzergrenadier1979

    Panzergrenadier1979 Keystone Cop

    Likes Received:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Central Pennsylvania
    Every LEO written test I took was general knowledge material; basic math, language, spelling, deduction....etc. No studying was required; you either new the material or you didn't. The one exception was one PD that hosted an orientation and gave out a study guide to the attendees. The next week we were to come back and be tested on the material we'd studied. Most PDs seem to follow the same basic testing formula, with slight variations here and there.

    Start putting together a list of every residence you've ever lived in, every neighbor you can remember, every school you've ever attended (with certified transcripts), every traffic ticket you've ever received and every job you've ever had. You'll need names, addresses and phone number for your former supervisors and teachers. You'll need references, both personal and professional. I'd also put together any certifications and/or awards (Eagle Scout etc) you may have received as a civilian - anything to make you stand out from the hordes of other candidates.

    For the physical fitness assessments I'd work on running (1.5 mile timed runs is the norm, as well as sprints.), push-ups, bench press, and sit-ups. I highly recommend getting into shape before attending the try-outs. The physical assessments weed out ALOT of candidates. Also, you'll want to continue training after testing so that you are ready once you go to the academy.

    I'd also recommend testing at EVERY SINGLE agency that is hiring. Don't stick with just the one or two PDs that are local to your area. Look at departments in other towns, cities counties and even out-of-state.

    Get a suit/tie for oral interviews. Cut your hair and look professional. Practice your interview skills with your spouse or friends etc. Don't get flustered and DON"T change any of your answers. You'll be competing hundreds of other candidates - look and act sharp.

    Don't get discouraged, you WILL be rejected by a PD or two (or nine) at some point in your journey. It's all worth it when a Chief calls and says "you're hired".

    Good luck!

  3. JASV.17

    JASV.17 Prime Example

    Likes Received:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Not a LEO, but my brother is and I'm familiar with all he's been through.

    Aside from what has already been said...

    Get your paper "affairs" in order. You'll need every address of every place you've lived.

    Your credit history will be checked.

    A fairly extensive background check will be done. Get names of neighbors etc. together.

    Polygraph will be intrusive, offensive and comical ("Have you ever had relations with an animal?").
  4. ray9898


    Likes Received:
    May 29, 2001
    Not much studying for the test. It usually goes over basic math, reading comprehension and maybe a short essay. Some also include basic street map reading and memorization.

    Physical test is always a mile+ run, sit ups, and push ups. Some also add a flexibility or some sort of obstacle type stuff.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010