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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2

    Career Change to Law Enforcement

    Dear Community:

    I am interested in a career change to law enforcement either as a state trooper (the Missouri State Highway Patrol would be my preference, due to my overwhelmingly positive experience with them) or perhaps as a federal agent in one of the agencies. Currently, I work as an attorney with approximately two years of experience in criminal litigation at both the state and federal level. I also have an undergraduate degree in Chinese and at one point in my life spoke the language decently. I also volunteer some of my free time at a local, state run shooting range as well as teaching English as a second language.

    I have two specific questions:

    1) Most of my experience is in criminal defense. Would this be viewed negatively during the recruitment process for the MSHP or with a Federal agency?

    2) The FBI "critical skills" website distinguishes between those people who are highly skilled in languages and those who use it as an "enhancement." Does anyone know what the practical difference between these two characterizations are?

    Thank you all for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    194
    I can't speak with any authority on your first question, but I would be highly surprised if that was viewed negatively by anyone. Especially at the Fed level.

    For your second question, as you already pointed out, an applicant to the FBI has to qualify under a "critical skill". If you are attempting to qualify under the "Language" critical skill, the standards are higher as far as your DLPT scores (I believe it's a 3/3/3, but I could be wrong). If you qualify under a different critical skill (which as an attorney, you do), then the DLPT scores can be lower (2/2/2) but will still get weighed in determining your competitiveness versus other applicants. As I was told, it's "another feather in your hat", so to speak.

    Ideally, if you could score high enough on the Chinese DLPT (3/3/3) and they had met their quota on applicants under the "Law" critical skill and you weren't selected, then they could still consider you as a "Language" applicant. That last part is just me speculating though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Western Hemisphere
    Posts
    537

    career change

    Cool, One question I have regarding your interest in fed LE is are you less than 37y/o {5USC 8336(c) fed LE & FF retirement program}? You must be able to retire w/ 20 years of service by age 57; for an 1811/LEAP/6c position. Second, having the JD & language skill should NOT be wasted. If you're in your late 20's/early30's, go state/local for a couple of years THEN go federal. The best education about fundamentals of policing is achieved at the "street police" level, in my opinion. You can attain that as a Trooper, depending on assignment and purview. MSHP has an outstanding reputation throughout the U.S. They are notorious for their federal task force participation and success. Regardless of what lies ahead for you, I highly recommend you capitalize on your education. It sounds like you have a great deal to offer regarding contribution to national security.
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2
    Thank you for your replies. I appreciate the feedback. I am going to work on my language skills over the next year or so and see if I can improve my abilities.

    Additionally, I had a follow up question regarding the MSHP. Would a JD be viewed as valuable skill or experience for the MSHP? Or more broadly, what is the MSHP (or any state police agency for that matter) looking for in terms of skills and/or experiences? It seems to me that military and/or prior policing experience would be most preferred, but I would just be speculating. Thank you again for your time.


 

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