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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    218

    Anyone make a major career change/salary cut to become an LE?

    I have an opportunity to possibly join a local LE agency. It's something that always interested me, but for various reasons did not pursue it. I did go for two federal agencies, made it past some of their hurdles, but did not get in.

    So, now I am a bit older, have been in the private sector for some time and make much more than a young cop staring out. I have always kept myself in shape and easily passed multiple PT police tests. While there is some concern that the tempo will ramp up at the academy and I may therefore struggle against the 20s, I am certain I can tough it out.

    However, any here made such a drastic change to an LE gig after having a totally different career and making more money than your standard LE position. If so, was the transition too difficult or did it work out in the end after some adjustment.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    737
    Yep. Did it in my 30's and took a 20% pay cut for the FBI. Most of my classmates took a cut for the job, some more than others.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    218
    Thanks, IG. I have a feeling that with the FBI and other federal agencies, your situation is typical.

    However, I assume it's slightly different, to say the least, with local agencies.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    159

    Anyone Make A Major Career Change/Salary Cut To Become An LE?

    You might want to consider joining the local police or sheriff volunteer reserve unit. That will give you some additional first h and experience on what police work is all about. It could go either way for you. You might see what people on patrol do responding to calls and decide you definitely want to do that. Or, you might see 10 or 12 hour shifts on midnights, including holidays and weekends, and decide that it is not for you.

    You also don't mention a significant other. Do you have a spouse or serious partner. If so, talk to them about it. It is a real eye opener for some, especially when kids come along, when your son or daughter have an event and you have to work. Some families are quite used to it and work through it. For others, this becomes a major contention in their relationship.

    The more that you can find out now, ahead of time, the better. That way you are less likely to be surprised later.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    218
    Thanks, Jim. There is an auxiliary unit in my city. That may be an option for me.

    I am single and have no children. Certainly if I had a family, the choice would be that much more difficult.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    The big blue marble
    Posts
    513
    I was faced with a similar dilemma. I did not want to take a major cut in pay to become a full time LEO. Here's what worked for me. As suggested above, I became a reserve. In my area Reserves go to the academy, become fully sworn, etc. I also transitioned my career to one where most of the work I did was providing support services to courts and police departments. I kept my salary where it needed to be, had tremendous exposure to all kinds of LEO training and conferences; plus did street work once or twice a week (as a Reserve).

    Fast forwarding a little here, I eventually left the full time job market, and became a paid P/T LEO as I entered a sort of 'semi-retirement'. Do I miss not having spent the last 30 as a full time LEO? Yeah a little, but the compromise of the career choices mentioned above took the edge off of that. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    218
    Thanks...appreciate the insight.


 

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