Need a job in FL? Then you're in luck!

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by TBO, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    Dec 21, 2002
    1504 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55454
    Despite the bad economy, Hillsborough Sheriff's Office has over 200 jobs unfilled

    By Jessica Vander Velde, Times Staff Writer
    In Print: Monday, March 29, 2010

    Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office recruits participate in a weapons drill Thursday in Lithia. The department has more than 200 open positions, but its rigorous application process weeds out many who apply.

    TAMPA — Jobs may be scarce, but one local employer can't seem to fill all its open positions.

    The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is hiring for more than 200 spots, some of which have been open for several years despite the lure of health benefits, paid retirement, 24-hour gyms and salaries starting at $44,335.

    Sheriff David Gee said he is surprised there are so many open positions, considering the record unemployment rates, and Col. Jim Previtera, head of the county's jails, agreed.

    "We thought that people who had maybe considered being a cop would come in," Previtera said. "We haven't seen that."

    About half the open positions are in the county's jails and half are in law enforcement. Previtera said he really could use 100 more deputies. He has to constantly shuffle employees and pay overtime, he said.

    "It's a giant chess game," he said. "If you have the flu go through here, you're in trouble."

    Other local law enforcement agencies don't have nearly as many openings.

    Pasco and Pinellas counties are only hiring for a few positions. Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said a budget shortfall has her looking at cutting the size of the police force. And as of mid March, the St. Petersburg Police Department had just 15 spots open and 17 cadets going through the police academy.

    "The bad economy has helped us find new recruits, but the budgets are a bit tight and that creates a problem with maintaining staffing levels," said St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt.

    Part of the reason there are so many openings in the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is simply that it's such a large agency. With about 3,600 employees, it's one of the biggest in the region.

    And it's not that Hillsborough County isn't getting any applicants. About 3,000 people applied to be a deputy last year, said Lt. Kyle Cockream, who trains deputies. But the office's long application process and high standards weed out a lot of people, he said. Most drop out or are rejected.

    "We'll lose about 50 percent of people just in the physical abilities assessment," Cockream said.

    That's the first hurdle potential trainees must pass. They have to do 25 sit-ups in 60 seconds, 20 pushups in a minute and run a mile and a half in 15 minutes.

    Then comes the application, interview, polygraph test and background check. Executive staff consider the best applicants, and those selected go through a psychological and physical evaluation.

    "We lose people along the whole way," Cockream said.

    If they make it through those steps, recruits go to a two-week boot camp called Sheriff's Orientation Training, or S.O.T., which the Sheriff's Office launched several years ago to further weed out applicants.

    Before S.O.T., Cockream said, some applicants would go straight to the academy and in-house training, which takes 22 to 30 weeks, and then drop out. When that happened, the Sheriff's Office would lose even more of its investment. The boot camp has helped cut costs, he said.

    On Thursday, the latest group of S.O.T. recruits trained at a Brandon pool, practicing water rescues. Twenty-three recruits stood at attention in yellow shirts, black cargo pants and boots. "Aye, sir!" they barked when necessary.

    The program models military training and emphasizes teamwork. It's part of Sheriff's Gee's bottom-up approach to changing the culture of the office. He wants dedicated employees who keep each other accountable, he said.

    The latest group of recruits includes Benjamin Williams, 23, a former University of South Florida running back, as well as several men who served in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Williams said he hopes to work with the special weapons and tactics team and eventually become a major. And even though he's still toned from football, he said the physical training at the boot camp has been difficult. In just the first four days, two recruits dropped out.

    "It's a tough program," Williams said. "You have to come in here physically and mentally prepared."


    Former University of South Florida running back Benjamin Williams helps set up for a gun training session Thursday. Williams says the training at the Sheriff’s Office’s boot camp is difficult.
    Looks like there's some outstanding opportunities to land a decent paying job with benefits.

    Hope someone benefits. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  2. Sandbag

    Sandbag Chief-Rocker

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    Apr 29, 2005
    TampaBay Florida
    NO NO NO NO! This story is a complete lie!!! :steamed:

    Plus, Florida sucks. Especially hillsborough county.

    Move along, nothing to see here.

  3. Chuck TX

    Chuck TX CLM

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Republic of Texas
    That's got to be a tough job, though. I mean going your whole career without talking to your co-workers. Not everyone has that kind of discipline. :tbo:
  4. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    Dec 28, 2006
    Green Country

    Seems not everyone has those sorts of qualifications either.

    Dang the bad luck.:crying:
  5. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    Mar 26, 2003
    ok who let the lefty in?????
  6. G31

    G31 Millennium Member

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    Jun 27, 1999
    NE FL
    When David Gee took over the SO, they started making drastic changes to the hiring process, which I think are overall good. No smokers, no visible tattoos, tightened up background investigations, etc.

    I don't feel it's really just the HCSO having these issues. No matter what agency in the area is hiring, they will lose quite a few applicants to the PAT, polygraph, and background. In the academy, they will lose a few as well. Even though St. Pete PD hires 15-25 people and puts them through the academy (maybe losing 20%), they have a terrible turnover, even after graduation. Most will stick it out and fulfill the 3-year contract SPPD makes you sign, and then go to TPD or one of the SOs in the area...that's why they always fill up half the academy class or more.
  7. U-phorik407

    U-phorik407 'Night Michelle

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    Jul 10, 2009
    The Gunshine state
    44K a year isn't a bad start, without a degree IMO, hell my friend took the NYPD exam a few years ago and was accepted into the academy program only to rescind his acceptance because the money wasn't right, IIRC it was like 10k less than HCSO. If my Wife was working, I'd think about applying and move down that way, but it'd be a big pay-cut for me and with one income right now it's hard enough making ends meet.