questions...

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by jp3975, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. jp3975

    jp3975

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    I should be taking the civil service exam in March. for Texarkana, TX PD and I have an ap in for Texarkana, AR.

    The study guide seems extremely easy. Any advice for the exam? I assume a physical test will come soon after?

    Any advice on how to impress in the interviews/ academy if I make it?

    I was also wondering how rank generally works and how to advance asap. Is there a test every so often and you advance as others above you do, or what?

    Anything I can do to get ahead/ general advice appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  2. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    Here on CT, be careful of what you ask for. :supergrin:


    Good luck with the process.
     

  3. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    "I was also wondering how rank generally works and how to advance asap."

    Every department I am aware of promotes solely based on competence, leadership ability, police skills, and seniority. :rofl:

    That having been said, first you need to get hired, obviously. My suggestion for the interview process would to be as honest as possible. A few working road cops and investigators develop a bit of an ability to detect deception.

    As far as promotions go, once your hired there may be a few published rules regarding promotion. The process often involves some combination a of a written test and an assessment center or at least one of these. It is almost too rare to bother mentioning, but rumor has it that sometimes politics are also involved. Either way it probably will be a couple months before you might be eligible for the first promotion, so there should be enough time to determine what the process is. Best of luck
     
  4. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Without trying to be snarky, do you want to be a cop or do you want to be promoted? In many agencies, the two are mutually exclusive.

    Your first task is to get hired. Second is to get into and through the academy. Then, there is field training, probation, and many other things before you are ever going to be considered eligible for promotion.

    Focus on buying a decent business suit with proper accessories. Get it tailored. Wear it to everything, except the actual PT test. Look sharp, be sharp.

    Ask yourself why you want to be a cop and then write down all the answers in a bulleted format. Edit for the best answers.

    Analyze your weaknesses. Be brutally honest, because they will when they look at you. Improve whatever you can and remember that even a little bit can make the difference.

    Start a PT regime now. Focus on running and endurance, not weightlifting.

    Look at your academic transcripts and assess for a degree or sufficient breadth of academic exposure. If a simple majority of your class work is one thing other than a non-LE major, start taking classes to broaden your academic knowledge. Do not waste your time getting a LE related degree, too many applicants have them and they are worthless if you do not get hired.

    Pay your bills and keep them current. Being 60, 90, 120 days behind is a sure way to get tossed.

    Remember that you need to consider more than one place to work at. Place A may have snappy uniforms, cool cars, and nice duty pistols; but if they suck at treating their employees decently, how long are you really going to want to stay there?

    Review and rate agencies as potential employers. Make sure they are a good fit for you. Do they have decent equipment? How are they known for treating their employees? Do they have decent healthcare? Do they have an active career development plan or will you find yourself having done nothing more than patrol for your entire career? That is fine if that is what you want, but they should offer every employee an opportunity to experience something else and help them find the right job in the agency.

    These are some of the things you can start on.
     
  5. jp3975

    jp3975

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    Ideally Id like to get into SWAT. Though there's not much of a call for it in Texarkana and with a lot of other people im sure wanting it I dont expect it.

    Also I would like to apply for Federal LE once I finish my bachelors...that's why Im slightly concerned with rank. I assume it looks better on a resume.


    I have one class short of an associates in applied science. I was thinking about taking two years in criminal justice and trying to turn it into a bachelors.

    If I dont do criminal justice Im at a loss as to what type of degree to persue.

    Great advice. Thanks.
     
  6. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Get a degree that works nearly any place. Business admin, management, any of the physical sciences, engineering, accounting, or something that shows analytic thought. Any of those disciplines can easily apply to policing.

    If you apply at the Federal level, rank means nothing. They are more interested in your integrity, case and investigative management skills, legal training, etc. If you are a supervisor or manager and elect to leave for them, they will wonder out loud and often as to why you are leaving.

    SWAT is not a long term career field. It is fun for a time, but it will eventually get old and the body will not hold up over time. Too many look at the fun toys and not at the constant training required and after a while, it just becomes sheer drudgery to practice one more entry, one more evacuation, one more multiple shooter drill, etc. each training evolution.

    Narrow down what you want to do and focus your efforts. It will pay off.
     
  7. jp3975

    jp3975

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    Thanks...I'll have to rethink my college options.

    As for SWAT...I still want to do it:tongueout: But I can see what you're saying and it makes since. I'll just learn the hard way if they accept me.
     
  8. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    Should you go feds, I know in our fed agency there are a lot of positions that favor having a social sciences degree, or admin; accountant; business, as well as a few others. Look at USA Jobs and look for all federal positions, as well as agency web sites.
     
  9. Mhiett

    Mhiett God is Love.

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    I, also, am not trying to be snarky. However, I have never seen a cop with good credit. I'm not trying to hijack here, I'm just commenting on this particular aspect, and closing with a question or two. Is this a fairly new stipulation? And if so, are any of your departments offering any sort of credit counseling?

    Again, please do not take offense to my comment. It's completely understandable, the derogatory credit issue cops face. The odd hours make it difficult to get around and pay bills. Couple that with an exceedingly high divorce rate among LEO, and that equals some dingies on the old beacon score.
     
  10. pgg00

    pgg00

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    I've seen alot of people up here DQed for lousy credit.
     
  11. Mhiett

    Mhiett God is Love.

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    That's unfortunate. Probably turning away some very good people for a very bad reason. Past drug use, theft, other felony convictions, sure. These are all controllables. While credit may not be. That's all. Back to your regularly scheduled thread.
     
  12. Narc1911

    Narc1911 Anchora Salutis

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    Seriously?

    It is a major part of backgrounds at every agency around here.

    Bad credit shows a lack of responsibility, integrity, and maturity.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
  13. silverado_mick

    silverado_mick

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    <-----Is a cop with good credit, now you can say you've seen one.



    We run credit checks during backgrounds. More a test of organizational skills and integrity than anything else I think.
     
  14. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Hmmm...

    I have an American Express Platinum charge card and have had it for years.

    You must not know many cops.
     
  15. Bushido5150

    Bushido5150

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    I had great credit until I lost my job and took a 25K a year pay cut.....it is not always about have a lack of responsibility, integrity, and maturity. Sometimes life doesn't only throw a curveball at you.... it hits you with the pitch..

    Now I have a no late bills in 2 years but a house foreclosure on my record. In times like these are agencies going to bust my balls over that?
     
  16. trifecta

    trifecta

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    Check the agency requirements. It may not nuke your chances. They will likely ask you about it at some point during an interview or background. They will be interested in how you handled the adverse situation. That's the whole responsibility, integrity, maturity thing-yes it really is about that. Bad things happen beyond your control, but sounds like you responded to them by adapting and regaining control of the situation.
     
  17. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Bad things happen. If you make a sincere effort to pay on time and live within your means, it won't count against you. People lose jobs or have catastrophic medical problems. It is far different from someone trying to live well above their income on credit.
     
  18. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    I have excellent credit. It helps putting your car and house payments on automatic so they are never late.

    As for the OP, how about you passing every single step of the way before you even worry about SWAT? You're in the application stage, you didn't even take one test yet and you are thinking SWAT, promotion, going federal, etc.?

    Why not just get your B.A. first so you can get into Officer Candidate School and graduate as a lieutenant while you are at it?

    If you don't slow down and take it easy, you won't make it past the oral interviews. Be humble, be prepared to be a good patrolman for a few years. Then you can talk promotion to detective or patrol sergeant. If you want to go fed, start now. Don't waste your time being local. There are great feds who started local and decided later they wanted to switch, but if going fed is your goal, don't take up space in a local agency that can be filled by someone who wants to do real police work.

    You open your mouth in the oral interview and say anything that you asked in your post and I would DQ you as being a pompous know-it-all punk who has no idea what local police work is all about. Be humble. Be ready to work. Be ready to put in your dues as a patrolman before you even think about getting into SWAT.

    SWAT is cool and all but it is not a career, it is an occupational specialty. Unless you are prepared to retire out of SWAT as a platoon sergeant, you'll never promote to where you want to be. Do some research. Keep humble.

    Oh, and go get a dress uniform with Texarkana patches with 3-stars if you want to impress them at the interview. Tell them you want to become deputy chief within 2 years of hiring on. That'll show initiative and ambition. They love that.
     
  19. 4949shooter

    4949shooter

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    <-------------Good credit.

    Bad reputation.

    :supergrin:
     
  20. txleapd

    txleapd Hook 'Em Up

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    Por Que?