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Texas LEO's, I need some info please.

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I am active duty Marine Corps approaching my EAS in 06. At that time I will have completed 8 years. I have always wanted to serve in the Corps then become a LEO. After much research I see that most departments in TX require 20-30 hours of college. What departments waive this requirement for military? Thanks for your help.
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Houston Police Department.. Just checked it myself.

You have to either have 60 credit hours with at least a 2.0 GPA OR have 2 years of military service with honorable discharge. Age is 21-44 but can't be 45 prior to oath of office or certification.

That was taken from their website.. :cool:

Rumor has it that there will be at least 5 cadet classes in 2006.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Chuck S said:
Nothing like being a Marine Corps staff sergeant and going thru police basic training with a bunch of civilians! :p

-- Chuck
I think the hard part will be being at the bottom after being a SSGT. All of the hard work I have put into getting up the chain and I will have to start all over again.
 

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start applying now. i would suggest applying with departments that will send you to the academy, rather than going yourself. it will take 6 months or so to get through the hiring process. most departments have lowered their standards significantly in the last 5 years or so. qualified recruits are getting harder to find, since the applicant pools are drying up. when i first started, you'd see 100 people testing. now, you might see 30.

what part of Texas you looking into?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ColtDieHard said:
start applying now. i would suggest applying with departments that will send you to the academy, rather than going yourself. it will take 6 months or so to get through the hiring process. most departments have lowered their standards significantly in the last 5 years or so. qualified recruits are getting harder to find, since the applicant pools are drying up. when i first started, you'd see 100 people testing. now, you might see 30.

what part of Texas you looking into?
I lived in Ft Worth when I joined the Corps. Now most of my family lives in Abilene and my brother lives in Houston. But to answer your question, I figure any big city would pay better than a small one (I do have a family to support) I even thought about being a trooper. So anywhere I guess except El Paso, I hate the desert now.
 

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I am biased but try the Austin Police Department.
Any good large city would be a good gig. Try Round Rock,Irving and some medium cities too.
Keep track of pay because some agencies pay twice what others do and it is way better to do the job making decent scratch.
In the academy you may qualify for GI Bill reibursement. Best of luck.
 

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Marine1911 said:
I lived in Ft Worth when I joined the Corps. Now most of my family lives in Abilene and my brother lives in Houston. But to answer your question, I figure any big city would pay better than a small one (I do have a family to support) I even thought about being a trooper. So anywhere I guess except El Paso, I hate the desert now.
big cities do NOT pay as good. many plano/garland/mesquite cops are ex-dallas PD. the bigger cities can't compete with these suburbs and the higher tax bases. dallas is mostly ghetto. the suburbs have all the money. a 3 year hurst officer pays over $50K. grand prairie pays well and they have probably the lowest turnover of any agency their size.

today's TXDPS is a shadow of its former self. i don't have a lot of respect for many of these latest troopers. when i see a trooper banging on the laser gun because it won't pick up very good through his windshield, i tend to question their training. for traffic cops, i've seen some of their accident reports and there is much to be desired. they gave me a conditional offer back in 2000, but after talking to some older troopers, i turned it down. i was testing in region 1 and it was nothing more than arrogant military rejects. a real testament to DPS' ability to pick quality recruits. i don't know how i slipped through the cracks if that's the kind of people they're looking for.

if you're looking in DFW, i would suggest cities like flower mound, grapevine, farmer's branch, carrollton, mesquite, garland, plano, lewisville, grand prairie, north richland hills, irving, hurst, or even fort worth. dallas PD has a serious morale, equipment, and pay issue going on right now. stay away from bedford too. all their officers are jumping ship. and as long as pay is an issue, i'd look for a city that has a population of 40,000 or more, but less than 150,000. the only big agency around here that pays well is arlington, but a 4 year degree is a requirement.

good luck. i know cops sporadically across Texas, but some of these other places i'm not familiar with. i know ex-houston cops who liked it. i know an ex-abilene cop who liked his job. funny thing is they work in DFW now.
 

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APD said:
I am biased but try the Austin Police Department.
Any good large city would be a good gig. Try Round Rock,Irving and some medium cities too.
Keep track of pay because some agencies pay twice what others do and it is way better to do the job making decent scratch.
In the academy you may qualify for GI Bill reibursement. Best of luck.
i wouldn't touch that liberal city. how's scott doing? he got railroaded big time by them.

round rock would be good. they have take home cars and a long list of recruits. only bad thing is your name is plastered on your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the info guys. How far out will most departments let me start the process without a DD-214. I dont offically EAS untill Aug 11 but should be on about 45-60 days terminal leave so I could be out in july but wont have a DD-214 untill after Aug. I would be nice to know if I got hired on before then so I know my family isnt starving while I wait for a job. Again thanks for all your help.
 

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Marine1911 said:
Thanks for all the info guys. How far out will most departments let me start the process without a DD-214. I dont offically EAS untill Aug 11 but should be on about 45-60 days terminal leave so I could be out in july but wont have a DD-214 untill after Aug. I would be nice to know if I got hired on before then so I know my family isnt starving while I wait for a job. Again thanks for all your help.
It depends on the department and how their process is set up. I wouldn't worry too much about not having the DD-214 in hand yet. Most of these hiring processes are rather long. If you're getting out in Aug, I'd start applying pretty soon. You can be given a conditional job offer while the department waits for your seperation. We do that in our agency. But, every department has different rules and thinking so nothing is set in stone with any advice you've been given here. Good luck in your job search.

Bryan W
 

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round rock would be good. they have take home cars and a long list of recruits. only bad thing is your name is plastered on your car.[/QUOTE]

if that's the only bad thing we have going, then I'd say we are doing okay :biglaugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great info guys. Sorry for asking so many questions but this is something that could affect my decision to stay in or get out. How hard would the application process be to complete from out of state? (I know I need to be there to do most of this) Rather how much time would I need to be in the location to do testing ect? Like I said I am active duty so getting a bunch of time off might not happen. Plus it could get rather expensive to travel back and forth from CA to TX if I had to be there 10 times in a 3-6 month period. Anyone done this before? Advise?
 

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Marine1911 said:
Plus it could get rather expensive to travel back and forth from CA to TX if I had to be there 10 times in a 3-6 month period. Anyone done this before? Advise?

I don't know about Texas specifically, but many departments will set up special testing arrangements for applicants that live out of town.
 

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RRPD1 said:
round rock would be good. they have take home cars and a long list of recruits. only bad thing is your name is plastered on your car.
if that's the only bad thing we have going, then I'd say we are doing okay :biglaugh:[/QUOTE]

yea, i saw the article in law and order where a lot of guys don't like it. i wouldn't. if i had a take home car period, i'd park it down the street. i ran into several of your guys in waco last november. they had a lot of good things to say. said there was no shortage of applicants.
 

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Other considerations

I agree that you need to be contacting agencies now or soon, and initiating the process. Check their websites for contact information, FAQs, etc. You have a good chance of having some dead time, regardless, and should not count on being able to get out of the Corps and start immediately, or even quickly, with an agency.
Consider being able to use that dead time to do a semester or quarter, as the case may be, at a local college. I did my first 2 years of undergrad at a community college - best value out there. Darned cheap, and broadening. You'll meet a lot of people that you will not meet in the Corps or a 4 year elite university (such as where I finished by BS Ed.) Single moms, retirees, messed up kids, folks changing careers because their employer went TU after 15 years. The variety will be good for your people skills, which will be a critical part of transitioning to LE from the military. The mission and population are vary different, and I have seen people and agencies which have had serious problems with this transition.
Other thoughts: get a feel for how the agency treats its people. Watch for shift rotation. If it is done more than once a year after the training car, go somewhere else. Forced shift rotation sucks; it's hell on the body and mind, and morale suffers. If you can bid as needed, that's ok. 4-10s, for my money, are the best shifts; 5-8s cut your personal time, and the 12 hour schedules are real butt kickers. (YMMV; I'm old.) Be aware of the benefits. A take home car is not taxable for LE, at least under federal law, and means you don't need to have a car to go to work. It's probably worth most of $10K/year, at least $5K. See how good the family health coverage is; it is not hard to spend $500/month out of your pocket if you have kids. From what I hear, it could be more (I don't have kids, and the dogs don't get coverage).:biglaugh: $1K a month more in income is easily eaten by taxes and health coverage; pay alone is not the end of the calculation
Look for tuition assistance, and other similar programs. Be wary of agencies with rigid uniform rules based on appearance - mandatory hats are a real gripe to me; hats should generally be prohibited except for foul weather and helmets. A command officer who can't tell the difference between a parade ground and police work is a real menace.
Good luck with your endeavors.
 

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Other considerations

I agree that you need to be contacting agencies now or soon, and initiating the process. Check their websites for contact information, FAQs, etc. You have a good chance of having some dead time, regardless, and should not count on being able to get out of the Corps and start immediately, or even quickly, with an agency.
Consider being able to use that dead time to do a semester or quarter, as the case may be, at a local college. I did my first 2 years of undergrad at a community college - best value out there. Darned cheap, and broadening. You'll meet a lot of people that you will not meet in the Corps or a 4 year elite university (such as where I finished my BS Ed.) Single moms, retirees, messed up kids, folks changing careers because their employer went TU after 15 years. The variety will be good for your people skills, which will be a critical part of transitioning to LE from the military. The mission and population are vary different, and I have seen people and agencies which have had serious problems with this transition.
Other thoughts: get a feel for how the agency treats its people. Watch for shift rotation. If it is done more than once a year after the training car, go somewhere else. Forced shift rotation sucks; it's hell on the body and mind, and morale suffers. If you can bid as needed, that's ok. 4-10s, for my money, are the best shifts; 5-8s cut your personal time, and the 12 hour schedules are real butt kickers. (YMMV; I'm old.) Be aware of the benefits. A take home car is not taxable for LE, at least under federal law, and means you don't need to have a car to go to work. It's probably worth most of $10K/year, at least $5K. See how good the family health coverage is; it is not hard to spend $500/month out of your pocket if you have kids. From what I hear, it could be more (I don't have kids, and the dogs don't get coverage).:biglaugh: $1K a month more in income is easily eaten by taxes and health coverage; pay alone is not the end of the calculation
Look for tuition assistance, and other similar programs. Be wary of agencies with rigid uniform rules based on appearance - mandatory hats are a real gripe to me; hats should generally be prohibited except for foul weather and helmets. A command officer who can't tell the difference between a parade ground and police work is a real menace.
Good luck with your endeavors.
 

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ColtDieHard said:
yea, i saw the article in law and order where a lot of guys don't like it. i wouldn't. if i had a take home car period, i'd park it down the street. i ran into several of your guys in waco last november. they had a lot of good things to say. said there was no shortage of applicants.

I think the attitude has changed some since the L&O piece was written, but I can understand your concern.

Did you run into our guys at the Waco IPSC match?
 
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