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Thread: At a Crossroad

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    At a Crossroad

    Gonna do my best to avoid making this a crystal ball question.

    Quick background, I'm 25 years old. I just received my master's and I'm currently working in the cyber security scene. I've also been working as an EMT and firefighter part-time since I was in high school.

    Anyways, I was just accepted into the next academy for a major metropolitan PD. As a member of this forum, I have an obvious interest in law enforcement, specifically going federal at some point in my career. The problem is, I'm pretty happy with where I am in my current job and the opportunities it holds for my future. A nice bonus is that the work is investigative, and much of it gets turned over to law enforcement, so I firmly believe that the experience I'm getting can be adequately articulated to make me competitive for an 1811 job in the future.

    The other problem is, I know many who are cops with the aforementioned PD, and to call them disgruntled employees would be a severe understatement. They all came on with high hopes, but now they feel they cannot adequately do their jobs due to a number of factors that you can probably figure out by visiting the homepage of any mainstream media website today. As such, they are encouraging me to stay where I am.

    So, I'm at a bit of a crossroad. Do I stay where I am in the cyber world, or take a leap of faith with PD? I think both options could get me to desirable places, and the idea of doing local LE is very interesting to me, but the opinions of my peers have me second guessing my interest in becoming a cop. I know there are a lot of guys (and gals) here with a wealth of local, federal, and private sector experience who can hopefully weigh in and suggest some tips.

    I apologize if this post is in violation of the forum rules. Please delete the thread if this is the case.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Henderson, NV
    Sounds like you've got a job you like (major bonus) and you're developing great and needed skills for future LE. At 25, you've got some major experience time still available to you for fed LE. Any chances of your work getting some federal referrals? Great time to do some fed LE networking. Good chance for an future invitation into an agency.

    As for the major PD, you're going to be swimming with the tadpoles for awhile. I'm not seeing any major upsides if you're wanting to go federal. Those cyber skills will be just fine IMO. Good luck!
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!
    Hunter S. Thompson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    My FLEA experience was all of 13 months, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    The grass isn't always greener on the other (federal) side, depending on your goals of course.

    I came across enough folks who had been previously with my agency and gone back to the state level and never looked back to raise an eyebrow. Also, lots of folks who had been with my agency decades and were almost like parents to me. I was very happy where I was, but I don't have really any experience at the state level outside of my conversations with those people.

    Bureaucracy will an ever-present reality wherever you go. Folks in my office used to joke that the further you were from HQ, the happier the office was. So will burned-out whiners. Everywhere you go, there will be people whose own lives are so screwed up that they will never be satisfied. At the same time, it should also serve as a red flag for you that if a sizable number of people are bitter, it could be an indicator of the culture there.

    There are things that the private sector can do really well that the gov can't. The gov is the lumbering, 800 lb gorilla--slow moving but powerful. Private sector is usually more nimble but can in some instances lack power.

    Good luck with your search.



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