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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    SOUTH OF THE BORDER!
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    102

    Question 1811 vs NYS Trooper

    Hi, new to the board. Currently I have been an ICE (Customs) 1811 for the past 4 years and have no plans on leaving. I love the job but have always thought about a decision I made a few years back to turn down a gig with the NY State Police as a Trooper, while I was in my junior year in college. I always wonder if I would have been happier running down speeders on the parkways. Any input would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    70
    The benefits and retirement are better w/ NYSP...depending on where you are now you may have a lower cost of living (upstate). I hear they are working on becoming the highest paid LEOs in the state..who knows if that will happen.


    On the other side you are in a unif. w/ a purple tie , work holidays and do shift work.

    I am pondering the same thing now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    5,320
    Brother - unless you got into the investigative ranks of the NYSP, there is no comparison.

    Your first few years and maybe longer if you can't get into an investigative unit, would mean putting on that uniform everyday. Would mean standing roll call everyday. Would mean working the roads on a day like today where it's 15 degrees around the city and below zero north in the state and coming on 20 inches of snow. Is writing tickets in your blood? Traffic duty? Or do you prefer working cases? That's the question.

    I liked my time in uniform, but it's out of my system. I now feel bad for the chaps that have to put it on and stand roll call and live by that radio and the 911 calls in their sectors. The freedom that comes with investigative work can't be beat.

  4. #4
    dan721 Guest
    I wouldn't say no comparison. NYSP make pretty good money and work a much better schedule than most 1811s. I believe most work 5 12s 2 off followed by 2 12s and 5 off. Another advantage to NYSP is that after your shift you can forget about work where most 1811s are never really off duty as per LEAP. Both positions are excellent career choices and both have thier advantages, I just don't think it is cut and dry.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    128

    re

    Dan- That is a awsome question-
    I would be interetsed to hear a little more about you, your position (where you located) and the such.
    I just finished the NYSP process and am waiting for my time to come. It is what i always wanted to do. Never wanted to work for any LEA.
    But now that I have been out of my undergrad for a couple of years and have been working 9-5, I kinda like it.
    On top of that I am working on my MBA and w/ that and a friend of mine recently became a SA for DSS (tells me how great it is)- I keep thinking that I should look for a 1811 position.
    As for the 12 hours shifts- you are correct I just went to a final family orientation for NYSP and all troops have moved to the 12 hours day. 60 hours one week- 24 the next. It shounds really nice, as you actually ened up working very few days-

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    New York City
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    5,320
    Man, I don't know if in my old age I'm expressing myslef clearly anymore.

    When I say no comparison, I mean no comparison in the sense of there is a HUGE difference between working as a uniformed state police officer and working as a plainclothed federal criminal investigator. Your day to day duties are VERY different. Actually everything about the two careers are VERY different--again not referring to NYSP investigators, just the uniformed officers.

    Let me list just a few of the things uniformed NYS Troopers do on a daily basis - based on my experience working with them and observing them (about 15 years).

    1. Here in the NYC area. Troopers are assigned to the NYC Convention Center (State operated). They patrol the convention center floors by foot and by monitoring closed circuit monitors. Any arrests, if any, usually involve people stealing laptops, wallets, pocketbooks, etc.. from patrons or conventioneers. And during any convention let's say there are 20 Troopers assigned to the center, the city assigns about 200 NYPD cops to the center also. All of the NYC roadways are patrolled by regular NYPD units and NYPD highway patrol units.

    2. Out on Long Island, they patrol some roadways. They are running radar - looking for speeders. They work vehicular accidents on the portions of roadway they patrol. Doing accident reports. Most of the roadways are patrolled by county highway unit cops.

    3. In Rockland County and Westchester county they patrol certain roadways and run radar and work accidents.

    4. Now, the further north you go you'll work in areas that don't have a local police force and you'll serve in the "traditional" role of a local cop, responding to "regular" 911 calls.

    5. If you make it into an investigative unit, you'll be back in plainclothes doing your thing. I've worked on the ole Violent Predator Task Force years ago - It was NYPD and NYSP -- we worked violent felony warrants (fugitives) - sometimes taking us out of state, etc... I had a buddy who worked with NYSP investigators on our Drug Enforcement Task Force with the DEA and NYPD. In that capacity you could be an undercover or an investigator.

    * Regarding salary, NYSP use to be the low paid. Pataki has helped boost their pay over the years and they have now surpassed NYPD, when historically they were paid less than us (can't go much lower than our salary - lol).

    * Pensions -- It seems to be that when you do the math, that is one area where most of us locals and the NYSP do better than the Fed pension (deferred compensation plan where you can pop in up to $12,000 a year + a thrift type plan where you can pop in another $7,000 a year, I think + your pension which is 50% of salary + variable supplement which is a lump sum yearly payment of $12,000 after retirement)

    As a Trooper, you will go through a 6 month or so boot camp style academy - not like ClubFed in Glynco (not knocking FLETC, I love it down there, but it is definitely no like a traditional police academy). As a Trooper you will be expected to work Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, etc.. As a Trooper you will be expected to do patrol alone. As a Trooper you will be expected to write a monthly "goal" amount of tickets. As a Trooper you will be expected to freeze your buttocks off during some truly freezing or other crappy weather, standing outside for hours directing traffic, etc... As a Trooper, you may be expected NOT to go out on patrol and work at the desk or dispatch area. And yes, you will be wearing that Stetson, grey uniform and purple tie (all which I like).

    Now compare that to going to work in plainclothes and not having to worry about a sharp pressed uniform everyday and standing roll call everyday at precisley the same time. Making your hours, somewhat, depending upon the case you're working. Being able to sit in your car or go elsewhere during extreme inclement weather. Working with a partner most of the time. Etc...

    Hey, it just seems to me that both jobs are VERY different.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    128

    re

    intreesting point of view-
    You appear to have a good amount of info o NYSP downstate-
    Though it is well known that NYSP is a rural/buran polce force. Therefore they stay out of NYC as much as possible.

    I know nothing about NYPD- just there starting rate. which is rather low correct.
    from my point of view NYSP pull in good coin.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    95
    Great info Papi!
    DADDY

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    New York City
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    And salaries - yes they are doing good these days.

    A Trooper in the academy makes about $48,000

    after 5 yrs a Trooper makes about $66,000

    an investigator (promotion) makes about $71,000 to start

    a sergeant makes about $78,000 to start

    a lieutenant makes about $93,000 to start

    now compare that to lets say an NYPD detective with 15 yrs on the job and at top pay as a 3rd grade detective making a base pay of about $66,000, which includes longevity and night diff pay.

    --and post 9/11, Troopers from upstate are sent down here to NYC on details alot - for weeks at a time. That means New Years Eve, the anniversary of 9/11, 4th of july, etc....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    CA!
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    2,041

    icon22.gif

    Papi has covered most everything I would have written. I'm a local guy that went fed and then back to local recently... Without going into the reasons why I left (and each persons will vary) here are some things to consider other than the great stuff (all true by the way) that Papi posted.

    *MOBILITY* If you go to work for a local department you *WON'T* be moving... Now NYSP, CHP, or another state agency may make you move around the state a bit, however you'll never get your moving papers to report to CA from NY, or to Puerto Rico from NY. Most (including myself) look at moving as an adventure/fun. If you're a single guy/gal this may be true. Throw a wife and kids into the mix and now you have to think about what they want also. Is it still going to be a good thing to move your kids to several schools during your time with your agency? How bout you 10th grade student or 12th grader who will miss their Senior year (or final years of high school) with all their friends only to be the new kid at another school. Some families this is not an issue, the kids don't care, but more often than not a wife with friends/family in the area, or your kids with the same might not be as willing to give it all up just so you can romp all over the USA for a job. Same thing with a working spouse that has a good job. They give up their dream for yours to move somewhere they know nobody? Tough one.

    *SADNESS* Let me touch on a bit of what Papi said. There is nothing sadder than seeing all your family and friends arrive at your house to visit for Christmas and/or sit down for a large family meal while you're getting your gear together to work the 3pm to 1am shift. It can be quite lonely to be out in the dark cold night by yourself (others are working, but you're often in a car by yourself) while everyone you know and love are enjoying their visits together. This does take a toll after awhile. Same thing with missing some of the family events because you're being kept away from home on overtime for some dredge of society that you now have to book or sit at the hospital with until they can be cleared for booking.

    *HORRORS* I have had the displeasure of seeing things that I wish I could forget. You'll see people at their worst. You'll see the abused/dead kids/elderly/innocents. Seeing some POS gang member shot up isn't really all that "traumatic" to most officers. Although death is never pretty, your mind can at least rationalize that this person decided to live a bad lifestyle, hurt other people, and now it finally caught up with them. The crying parent of the criminal can be tough sometimes as a parents grief is a hard thing to see (especially if your'e a parent yourself). What is worse is seeing the innocent victims. Random violence that kills someone. Seeing the look on a parents face when you tell them their son or daughter is dead (and through no fault of their own, say killed by a drunk driver). Seeing that SIDS baby being held and rocked by his/her mother as the father cries hysterically in front of you. You see a lot of lives come apart right in front of you. You hope (after you leave) that the people pull it together with love and support from family, friends, counseling, church, etc. but often you know in your heart the person or family is so damaged it may not survive. Even things most would consider not so traumatic has had an effect on me. Going to the 80-90 year old womans call at night cause she heard noises in her backyard. She is fine and no one was in her backyard. Now talk with her for 5 mins. She is *ALL ALONE*, husband died a few years ago, all her friends are dead, all her family lives in other states and rarely come out to see her. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I'm not afraid to admit stuff like that tugs my heart. Go to a few hundred of these type of calls a year and it starts to tear small chunks out of your soul (at least to me).

    Overall being a uniformed law enforcement officer has a lot of positives. These are *USUALLY* found in terms of benefits and retirement. Here in CA most agencies have the 3% @ 50 retirement benefit. No fed retirement for 1811's can compete. after 30 years and at 50 a person can retire at 90% of their salary for life. You can also put money into a 401k (like TSP) and have that as well. You don't get social security in most cases, but some agencies even pay into social security so you can have all 3 benefits. Work hours are usually better as a fed, however you have to define "better". Is it better to work shift work and have 3 or 4 days off in a row every week, or do you prefer working bankers hours, but 5 days a week?

    Don't get me wrong there are many 1811's that have had to see horrible things. Call outs, and after hours work is a reality in many 1811 jobs. Talk to the NCIS, DSS, AFOSI, or other 1811 that has been sent to Iraq. They can tell horror stories. Talk about stress. This is not to say everyone will exp. the same things. Just from my own personal frame of reference. When I'm off for 4 days in a row and think about retirement at 50 instead of 57 (mandatory for feds right now) I'm happy. When I go to work graveyard, get in a fight at a bar, get shot at, or have to deal with the *HORRORS* I miss being an 1811. Just depends on what you dislike/like more. No 1811 spot could lure me away during my days off. Often *ANY* 1811 spot would lure me away in a heartbeat to work as a GS-1 step -12 just to be away from what I'm having to do at the time. Tough call... Only *YOU* can decide what is best for *YOU*. I would also suggest being flexible. If it's not what you want/need/like/love, don't be afraid to change. Don't keep that FBI, DSS, USMS, etc job just because it took you so long to get it. If it isn't for you or is harmful to you or your family, *GET OUT*. *****NOTHING***** in this world is worth your health, family, friends... No matter how cool the toys, (M-4's grenades, carry a gun anywhere in the world, travel all the time, bitching agency, everyone knows us and wants to be us, etc) in the end it's just a job. I would personally rather be remembered for the great friend, husband, father, etc I was than the job I held...

    All the above are my opinions only, your own results may vary...

    Kahuna

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    52
    Well said Kahuna. As a former local officer, I can confirm the experiences as you stated above which local officers face daily. Most importantly, you emphasized something that is priceless in our lives (FAMILY). No FLE or 1811 job in the world is more important than family. None.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Around the way
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    713
    Quote Originally Posted by dan721
    I wouldn't say no comparison. NYSP make pretty good money and work a much better schedule than most 1811s.
    I would say that there is no comparison. I would also say that nysp working a "better" schedule than "most" 1811's is an arbitrary comment, at best.

    NYSP does make some great cash, but papimike is headed in the right direction without clarifying his first post!

    - BigLew

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    5,320
    I'd also chime in with what Kahuna said. I learned a few years ago what is important to me. Not my status, etc.. It's your family, your kids, your friends, etc... In my book that is what this big game called life is about. I don't want to look back when I'm old and grey knowing I missed all my kids events (isn't that part of the whole point of having kids - to watch them grow, etc), all of the family holidays, etc... It's tough in this field of work, but seniority does help with getting those days off.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    623

    I agree

    Kahuna,

    I agree with you completely. I am a street cop, have been for nearly 10 years. I have worked local, county and state. I heard someone in a movie say something that I agree with. You see things that you can't get out of your head. I have seen horror, death, destruction, devistation, etc. of all age groups. It weighs on you heavily. I am planning a family and I am trying to find a 1811 job, or a state gig in investigations. I would rather have the 9 to 5 hours, so that I can be a husband and father who is around more and can attend baseball games, etc. Unfortunately I am too old for NYSP. I missed their exam by turning 31 in Feb. You had to be no older than 30 at the test date, which was december. So i missed it by 2 months. THey money is good, but they aren't well liked by most locals, at least up here. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of good troopers, but there are also many that give them a bad name. I try not to judge the whole organization on some of them, but rather on the good cops in the agency I know. I am really wanting to get off the streets and into a little more normal life. i have really missed out on a lot of good times with my wife and family because of this job, I want to stay in LE, but want to enjoy my life more than I have over the past 10 years. i would be curious if you could PM me and maybe give me a little insight into why you went back?
    God made cops so firefighters could have heros!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    52
    There is a comparison. It all depends on what the individual values and what is most important. I left local law enforcement strictly to have a more "normal" life with my wife and children. Everything in life has its advantages and disadvantages. Local LE is better for one while FLE is better for the other. As I said earlier, neither should come before family. While FLE is a very good thing (at least to me), it is not perfect and has it's drawbacks. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.


 

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