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  • Police Officer

    Hello guys, I am turning 19 in august and ive made the decision to join the Miramar Police Department which is located in my area. I am attending college right now but when im done my semester in May, I will take my CJBAT, Basic Motor Skills(AGILITY) test, and the swimming test.

    1. After you have done all the tests, do you fill out a police app. and then go to the police academy?

    2. After you are done the academy and become a officer, while you are on probation with your senior officer, will you be able to choose which shifts to work to be able to continue education?

    3. What physical preparation is necessary to excel in the academy and in the field?

    4. Does the police have a alternative to the GI -Bill which pays for schooling?

    5. Do you have any links to where I can find good CJBAT study guides?

    Resources:
    http://agency.governmentjobs.com/mir...FwddxPacket%3E

    http://www.ci.miramar.fl.us/hr/posit...licePacket.pdf

    http://www.broward.edu/ips/IPS/Polic.../page5964.html

  • #2
    Re: Police Officer

    Magnum50 is Law Enforcement in Florida. I can't give you any tips of Florida LE ..sorry
    |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
    ..now where did I put my keys?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Police Officer

      Since I'm pursuing the same career, I can answer some questions. I was thinking of moving back to my hometown (Ft. Lauderdale) and seeking employment with their PD, so it seems as if you're on the right track with the CJBAT and all those other weird tests Florida makes you take.

      First things first, though, Duncan: contact the Miramar PD and get the number to their recruiter(s). They'll be able to answer specific questions about the departmental policies and such (and will definitely have answers to your questions 1, 3, 4, and 5). In a lot of cases, the recruiters are willing to bring you to the academy and show you around. They can answers questions about the application process, the physical requirements, and other such details (police departments usually differ from one another in their applications requirements and procedures).

      Choice of shift goes by seniority. As a rookie, you'll pull whatever shift your supervisor assigns you to, basically.

      Physical requirements differ. I want to stress that you should be in great shape. That being said, some departments have physical prerequisites that are so low that you'd have to be clinically-dead not to pass them. Other departments have very demanding physical requirements (the Colorado State Patrol has some demanding prerequisites, just as an example).

      The PDs I've talked to (and Sheriff's Offices) accept the GI Bill. Once you're in the academy, you'll be on the department's payroll so you'll be getting a check every week, bi-weekly, monthly, whatever. If you have the GI Bill, you'll also be getting money from that. Essentially, it'd be a bonus to your paycheck.

      Good luck with the process. Be patient, it takes months to get accepted. Don't be afraid to get hired on with a different department in Florida. You can laterally transfer to Miramar a little later in your career.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Police Officer

        Oh, almost forgot. When you talk to one of their recruiters, ask about the ride-along program. If they have one (I haven't talked with a PD that DOESN'T have a ride-along program, although I'm sure some do not) get signed up as soon as is convenient.

        There's no better way to see if you actually want to be a police officer than to ride along with one during their shift.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Police Officer

          Originally posted by Duncan View Post
          Hello guys, I am turning 19 in august and ive made the decision to join the Miramar Police Department which is located in my area. I am attending college right now but when im done my semester in May, I will take my CJBAT, Basic Motor Skills(AGILITY) test, and the swimming test.

          1. After you have done all the tests, do you fill out a police app. and then go to the police academy?

          2. After you are done the academy and become a officer, while you are on probation with your senior officer, will you be able to choose which shifts to work to be able to continue education?

          3. What physical preparation is necessary to excel in the academy and in the field?

          4. Does the police have a alternative to the GI -Bill which pays for schooling?

          5. Do you have any links to where I can find good CJBAT study guides?

          Resources:
          http://agency.governmentjobs.com/mir...FwddxPacket%3E

          http://www.ci.miramar.fl.us/hr/posit...licePacket.pdf

          http://www.broward.edu/ips/IPS/Polic.../page5964.html

          I'll try and answer your questions based on my experience:

          1. Most departments have you take an initial test to gauge your general knowledge (math, english, etc) then you proceed to some type of psychological exam and polygraph. If the department you want to join doesn't do that... they will soon. Due to some unstable Officers getting jobs, they've begun to make these types of procedures mandatory in most states. After all of that you attend an academy. Some departments here in Colorado have their own academies while some send you to one to get certified then return to them. Here in Colorado you need to be P.O.S.T. certified before being employed. Contact the Department and inquire as to whether they have one or will send you to one.

          2. After completion of the academy you'll most likely enter into an FT program (Field Training). You'll be assigned an FTO (Field Training Officer) or a number of FTO's who will train you on the various tasks (my department mandated that you have 3). Some departments require you to spend a certain time in a Jail facility first... others send you straight to the streets. But before you hit the road in 95% of the departments, you'll spend time in a training program after the academy. You will most likely NOT get to choose a shift (you may get a dream sheet and may get what you want). Speaking to State Patrol and other agency Officers they seem to follow a seniority system much like the force I'm on. It means the lower your badge, the last chance you get to choose. This applies to vacation voting for us too. Education may have to be put on hold when you get onto the force if you can't get the hours off you need. But I assume you'll have a degree of some sort before you apply (which most departments require).

          3. Some departments are a lot more lax than others. You'll want to find out about any initial PFT's they have. In my case it was before I did the other testing. I went in and did an obstacle course for time and my result along with my computer test (of general knowledge) decided my place on the roster. You'll want to practice on cardio (running) and arm and leg lifting at the very least. If you can afford it, you should get in a gym and sign on with a personal trainer to build you up. Surprisingly some of them are/were cops or military and they'll get you on the right path. You should end up doing a lot of cardio for the most part in the academy

          4. I used my GI Bill during the academy to pay me for OTJ (On the Job Training). So that was nice. The department also has a program in place that pays for partial tuition should I want to attend schooling but that's VERY limited and first come first serve. You'd have to ask the career service Officers/Civilians about that for your particular department.

          5. I had to take a P.O.S.T. exam which wouldn't help you out (different test, but I imagine they cover the same basic information... statutes... definitions... etc). Try Amazon for training guides that are relatively cheap or Ebay (maybe you can score a former students book).

          Now all that said... I recommend two things.

          First, you have at the very least a year to prepare. Some departments allow you to sign on at 20 granted you're 21 at graduation. So get started now on getting physically in shape and mentally prepared. This is a SERIOUS career... a new lifestyle. This isn't a 9 to 5 job. No offense to anyone else... but this takes a whole different attitude.

          Second, go seek out Officers in that department and join them on rides (and no, not in the back seat handcuffed). ;) Most departments have a ride-a-long program where you can sign up to join an Officer on his shift. You'll get to see what it's like to hit the streets and what that Department does for/with/to those Officers for the day you ride. This could even change your whole attitude into doing this and you'll realize this is DEFINITELY for, or not for you. This is also a good way for you to ask Officers how to prepare for the academy. There's no stupid questions here... they'll know to expect what you ask them. They shouldn't have any problem answering them and helping you out (much like I'm doing now).

          Just know that the badge you earn "is the ticket to the greatest show on Earth". I couldn't see doing anything better with my life. The military (Marines) prepared me for what was to come in the academy (I knew how to get yelled at, learn material and test for it, and how to get involved physically). So get started now. If you were in Colorado I'd tell you to come ride with me and I'd show you a couple neat things. But you're across the nation. :P Either way... good luck. It's a great profession... a great career... and could be the greatest thing you'll ever do with your life (if you want it to).


          Haha...

          Originally posted by Gillespie View Post
          Oh, almost forgot. When you talk to one of their recruiters, ask about the ride-along program. If they have one (I haven't talked with a PD that DOESN'T have a ride-along program, although I'm sure some do not) get signed up as soon as is convenient.

          There's no better way to see if you actually want to be a police officer than to ride along with one during their shift.
          ... I hadn't read that before posting... but he couldn't be more right. I did ride-a-longs with a local Sheriff's Department in a Cadet program for about 2 years before joining the military. It showed me what I was getting myself into and was a fantastic experience. I always wanted to be a Marine and Cop since I was probably 3 or 4 (that's what my mom tells me... where I actually saw Marines and Cops at that age, I have no idea).

          As for this...

          Originally posted by Gillespie View Post
          Good luck with the process. Be patient, it takes months to get accepted. Don't be afraid to get hired on with a different department in Florida. You can laterally transfer to Miramar a little later in your career.
          ... don't limit yourself necessarily to one Department. The one I'm in takes 6 months to a year to get into the academy if you're put near the top of the list. Now they've closed recruiting so it could take 2 years. I was lucky to have gotten in around 4 months or so because of my military service (it bumped me ahead of other applicants). But I also put in for three other Departments. I figured I had better luck becoming an Officer if I broadened my horizon. Lucky me, I got picked by the department I wanted to get on with. :P

          As for the lateral comment. Most departments require that you spend so many years on Patrol before you can join another department with benefits. The benefits can be a shorter academy training course, higher pay sooner, or other such things. But they'll only grant those to you if you have their minimum standard. Some departments wont even recognize prior service as anything other than experience. They will still make you attend the whole academy and pay you the same. You'll want to ask a department you're joining what the specifics are (if you're already an Officer and not entirely happy with that Department).

          EDIT

          To refrain from posting multiple times, I'll just add here until someone comments. But I'm looking over your departments site. I saw this:

          MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

          All applicants must:


          * be nineteen (19) years of age at time of application.
          * be a Citizen of the United States at the time of application.
          * be a high school graduate from an accredited high school or have a GED.
          * have the ability to possess a valid Florida Driver's License by time of employment.
          * be of good moral character.
          * have no felony convictions.
          * not have committed any acts of violence.
          * not have been dishonorably discharged from the military.
          * pass a background investigation
          * pass a physical examination and drug screening
          * pass a psychological screening
          * possess an FDLE certificate or proof of comparative compliance (if certified)
          * complete and submit personal history questionnaire
          * pass a B-PAD (Behavioral Personal Assessment Device) video assessment
          * achieve a score of 80% on the C.J.B.A.T (Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test). The score on the C.J.B.A.T will determine your rank on the eligibility list.
          So looks good for applying now in terms of age. The CJBAT looks like it's that general test I talked about. For us it was a computer test you answered math, english, and other questions for and then had a series scenarios you needed to respond to (with A, B, C, or D answers). Someone else who's been through Florida's testing can say exactly what that means. As far as getting certified in Florida (FDLE certification)... I would imagine that you either need to attend a Police Academy first (like an independent certifying facility) or that this department will send you (I saw mention of "Certified Officers Only" in some places so that must mean non-certified personnel can apply still to get certification). Ask their career service people about that. As I said before some departments here will pay for you to attend a POST academy then hire you as long as you complete the program.

          I saw this too:

          POLICE OFFICER BENEFITS:

          * Competitive Salary Package ($44,710.92-$71,544.60)
          * 12 Paid Holidays including 2 Floating Holidays
          * Education Incentives (up to a maximum of $210/mth)
          * Clothing Allowance ($300/yr Uniform Officer, $600/yr Plain Clothes)
          * Take Home Vehicle
          * Tuition Reimbursement for approved college courses
          * Additional 2% Shift Differential for Nights
          * No State or Local Income Tax
          * Specialized Assignment Pay (e.g. K-9, Detective,Training)
          * Eligibility for retirement at 20 years with 65% (average of the best 3 years salary); 23 years with 80% (average of the best 3 years salary)
          * 4/11.5 work week (i.e. 4 days on 4 days off)
          * 5-Year D.R.O.P. (Deferred Retirement Option Plan)
          * Deferred Compensation Plan (457)
          * Monthly stipend towards health insurance expenses upon retirement (up to a maximum of $400/mth)
          * Police Pension (City currently contributes 29% of the employees salary)
          I wont say how much I make (I think that's crude)... but that's a comparative salary and fairly good starting and max. I'm assuming they have levels of Officers like PO-4/PO-3/etc. The highest Patrol Officer paying that 71k. That's pretty good. That'll of course go up too if you guys get raises. Looks like 10 hour shifts... by the on/off day schedule. Must be nice to get 4 days off in a row. :P I really liked the "Take home car" benefit. That's unheard of in a lot of departments. Usually only the brass or detectives get that. I also like that no state tax incentive. :P I pay my taxes through the damn roof!

          I saw mention in there of a swim test... so you'll want to practice on that too. :P I guess being Florida that probably is something important to them. Not so much of a problem here.

          That site also mentions that you need to be a city resident (living there). That may hamper your ability in applying elsewhere. I didn't need to live in the cities I applied for. Though they did have that as a requirement just before I applied (that all active Officers live within the city. They instead changed that to living within an hour away at most so you can get to court if on call). You might inquire further about that as a requirement in the department(s) you apply for.

          Ok... last thing I swear. :P I saw mention in the guidelines for that department that a former military applicant can not have more than 2 Captain's Mast's. I find that odd because the Marines defined that as seeking an audience with your commander in private. It meant you had a concern that applied to a lower ranking Officer/NCO. I did that once myself. I'm guessing the term they use is the one that applies to discipline hearings (as in the Navy). Being so close to Marine units (some in Florida, some in North Carolina, and some in Georgia), I would have assumed they'd be careful to define what they were referring to. Anyway... sorry... I just saw something odd I wanted to comment on.
          Last edited by Punisher; 03-24-2009, 09:32 AM.
          "They laugh at the law... but they don't laugh at me."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Police Officer

            Ive called the recruiting office and they told me that I have to submit my scores with my application, and then If I get accepted will I be sent into the police academy.

            I was going to go into the marines but I think it is better for me to start my police career when I turn 19 so whenever I get my bachelor degree I will have experience already opposed to coming out the USMC with a bachelors degree and no field experience. You can correct me if im wrong but I'm pretty sure thats how it goes

            I also asked about the ride along program and they do have one. The form is not online so they said I have to come in and pick it up. I live about 5 minutes from the police department because we just moved almost a year after the Miramar PD station relocated.

            My community where I live has a pool for residents so thats a plus (Although i wish they had a gym like every other gated community LOL)

            I also have dumbbells in my house which I can use to make my own fitness program
            Last edited by Duncan; 03-24-2009, 11:57 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Police Officer

              Looks as if you're on your way, then.

              As for the military (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force, even Coast Guard)... well, it certainly isn't necessary. Not to discourage you if you were toying with the idea of enlisting with the Corps, but anyone signing up in the current climate (rotations overseas) should expect to fulfill the entire 8 year commitment (even if you serve only a short time on active you have a fair chance of being recalled from the IRR). I'm not saying it would happen like that, but expecting to be in the military world for at least 8 years before doing anything else is a fair assessment (at least with the Army).

              My point? If you want to jump straight into law enforcement - and you think you're ready - then go for it. Military experience is a plus for any job you pursue later in life (in my opinion), but it certainly isn't a necessity. At least you won't be like me. If I get hired on, the departments I'm looking at only pay pension after 30 years. So I'm looking at working until I'm about 60. ;P

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Police Officer

                Just wanted to stop in and say congrats on having goals and visions in life. Many people don't have an effing clue what they are going to do. Being motivated about a career and working hard for it is fantastic! Especially one in Public Safety.

                Keep up the good work!


                P.S. Good luck to Gillespie too!
                |TG-X|Turkish

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Police Officer

                  Originally posted by Duncan View Post
                  Ive called the recruiting office and they told me that I have to submit my scores with my application, and then If I get accepted will I be sent into the police academy.

                  I was going to go into the marines but I think it is better for me to start my police career when I turn 19 so whenever I get my bachelor degree I will have experience already opposed to coming out the USMC with a bachelors degree and no field experience. You can correct me if im wrong but I'm pretty sure thats how it goes

                  I also asked about the ride along program and they do have one. The form is not online so they said I have to come in and pick it up. I live about 5 minutes from the police department because we just moved almost a year after the Miramar PD station relocated.

                  My community where I live has a pool for residents so thats a plus (Although i wish they had a gym like every other gated community LOL)

                  I also have dumbbells in my house which I can use to make my own fitness program
                  Well here's the thing to consider. Let's say worst case scenario and we hope it doesn't happen... that you go into Law Enforcement and get hurt (or you get laid off). You end up needing to quit from it before you really get any time in. What do you do now?

                  Now, let's say you join the military and get into a skills job. You get your degree and when you get out you can work in the P.D. Now, should you get hurt/quit, you could always pick up something else in the area you trained.

                  I was an Infantryman when I was in. I don't necessarily have too many skills other than shooting a weapon. So, if I lose my job I can be a security guard, or bodyguard and that's about it. Had I done say a communications job in the military I could work for AT&T, QWEST, or whatever else is out there in telecommunications if I were laid off or hurt.

                  Jumping straight into a career out of High School sounds fantastic at the time. But what will you have to fall back on?

                  I'm not saying you should join the military. I think only those that TRULY want to serve should ever go in. If they're just going in to get benefits, money, etc then they need not enlist. But I do think that people look at my record and think more highly of me when I apply for a job (how I got so lucky with this current one). Of course... come 5 years everyone 19+ will basically have served by the way they seem to push them through. But, I think most people who are looking to hire someone will pick the guy who's served over the kid who graduated from school.

                  Oh, and just having some dumbbells at home wont help. :P You'll want to get seriously active with a program (that has some intense cardio and lifting). Bench press, squats, crunches, pull ups (these are sometimes necessary for some department fitness tests and not easy unless you stay in shape), etc etc etc. Again, I'd look into joining a gym and getting a personal trainer if you're serious about it and may have concerns. I hired a guy who was in the Marines before I joined up in the military. I had to cut down on some weight and I ended up dropping 20+ pounds with this guy before I shipped out. It probably saved me.

                  Food for thought I suppose. Everyone is different and everyone will tell you different. I can't see anyone telling you not to go out on some rides so be sure to do that (preferably on a busy day for them so you can see how crazy it might get).
                  "They laugh at the law... but they don't laugh at me."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Police Officer

                    Originally posted by Punisher View Post
                    Well here's the thing to consider. Let's say worst case scenario and we hope it doesn't happen... that you go into Law Enforcement and get hurt (or you get laid off). You end up needing to quit from it before you really get any time in. What do you do now?
                    Oh....I never really thought that lay offs effected goverment jobs :row__628:

                    By the way do you have xifre or msn messenger Punisher ?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Police Officer

                      Originally posted by Punisher View Post
                      Well here's the thing to consider. Let's say worst case scenario and we hope it doesn't happen... that you go into Law Enforcement and get hurt (or you get laid off). You end up needing to quit from it before you really get any time in. What do you do now?
                      He did say he was going to pursue a bachelors degree while serving with the PD.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Police Officer

                        Originally posted by Duncan View Post
                        Oh....I never really thought that lay offs effected goverment jobs :row__628:

                        By the way do you have xifre or msn messenger Punisher ?
                        Yeah it can happen. They laid off a dozen Deputies here in Colorado just last month because of the economic struggles. It can happen to any department across the globe (though some will claim their contracts they "sign" can prevent that. Me, I'm not entirely confident in anything written down).

                        I have an X-Fire... the username is "tacticalpunisher". You can contact me there if you'd like. I'll leave it up tonight.

                        As for...

                        Originally posted by Hambergler View Post
                        He did say he was going to pursue a bachelors degree while serving with the PD.
                        He did say that yes. So long as it's something that will benefit him in the event of something unfortunate like described above (not something general like "Criminal Justice". Which, isn't necessarily a bad degree mind you). But having military experience in a specialty like admin, communications, transportation, etc. gives him extra qualifications and a few years of experience in the field as well. It's as if he held that career prior to applying to whatever job he goes after.

                        There's still a veil over jobs like Special Forces, Infantry, Military Police... that makes having that experience almost seem "mysterious" to the employer. They think highly of people who have done that, but I think they can often appreciate the experience gained in non-infantry roles more. Either way though, military service is still desired around the nation. Some departments in Law Enforcement still waive college degrees in favor of a term in the military.

                        Again, I'm not saying what he should or shouldn't do. I thought about the larger picture before I went straight into Law Enforcement. My original two choices for MOS's fell through and I ended up as an Infantryman. So... I knew what it was I was trying to accomplish by joining the Marines first. :P It just so worked out for me in the end anyway.
                        "They laugh at the law... but they don't laugh at me."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Police Officer

                          Well, I also thought about the Corp too, I like the discipline and customs, they are very different and better in my opinion than the rest of the branches, joining the military would really be a plus for me cause it will give me a better chance at being a police officer. I am gonna do my research and see the different MOS's that the corps offer to me, then I would make my final decision, I can always do my schooling in ROTC or while deployed. I have signed up for the ride-along program at my local police station, which is right around the corner from where I live, im just waiting to get contacted. This will be good for me cause I really want to be a police officer and the marine corp will definitely help me to have a better chance at becoming a officer.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Police Officer

                            Marine Corps. Corps is a French word derived from Latin corpus. Basically a large formation. Marines Corps, Corps of Royal Marines, Army Corps of Engineers, etc.

                            Also, if you're set on a particular MOS then it may be better to join a branch such as the Army, which guarantees that you'll get what you signed up for. The Marines Corps will do its best to match you with your selected MOS, but doesn't offer that guarantee.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Police Officer

                              Oh really? if I joined the corp I would go infantry anyway, then hopefully move my way up to a recon battalion (not force recon). This is the closest MOS to a police officer. Not sure what billet I will do yet
                              Last edited by Duncan; 03-29-2009, 05:47 PM.

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