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MassCops Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all I'm new to this forum.

I'm currently 19, almost 20. I live in Sterling, MA and I've wanted to either be in the military or a Police officer since as young as I can remember.


Here's my situation... I am currently going to Worcester State College, (a 4 year college, same CJ program as Westfield State) My problem is that I went in as a business major and I'm having an almost impossible time transfering my Major to CJ.

My gameplan as of now is to switch down to a 2 year college and get an associates degree in Criminal Justice, and sign up for the Boylston Police Academy. I can't take the civil service until I am 21. As of right now I'm trying to build my resume up to become a LEO. Sometimes I think I should have done military like all my friends...but I chose college instead. I am currently working as Loss Prevention Security for a store that carries very expensive products (Best Buy). I should also have an interview lined up soon for District Crime Prevention in either Worcester or Boston.

What is some good advice you guys could give me? I've been fascinated by LEO my whole life and there is nothing I want more then wearing the uniform.

Thank you.
 

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Chapter 90 Enforcer
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Well, well, well... I see a young RPD in this post.
(grab a coffee folks..)
I too went to College for Business. I was (still am) very business minded, but it wasn't for me. Although I did get an "A" for my paper on NAFTA. So in the spring I left... didn't know what I wanted to do. Then I took a job doing Mall security... OOOH the good stuff. Shortly after that I got into Loss Prevention and loved it. While working LP, a guy I know that worked at a nearby store doing LP told me about Police Auxiliary which he did. Viola!, I joined an auxiliary, went to the reserve academy, learned alot and just tried to learn the LE ropes. Meanwhile I worked full-time doing LP and like you I ended up at Best Buy. At Best Buy I was the LP Manager, A position that they no longer have, I believe they just have Supervisors now, AKA: Product Security Sup.

I've been out of Best Buy for more than 5 years now. I joined MGH Police & Security which is a great experience and stepping stone and above average politcal kiss ass BS, but the guys I work with are awesome, like family. Any of my fellow MGH'ers feel free to chime on this LOL. I also went to a town PD as a Special, then to Campus Police (part-time because the pay was piss), and then a couple years ago I got appointed in my home town as a regular Part-time PO. The department has the best bunch of guys I EVER worked with, many I call friends. A few are members here. The Chief is the best, he remembers one vital thing - He's a COP! He lets us do our jobs and is not into touchy feely BS.

FORDMUSTANG,

Major in CJ. Perhaps complete EMT training. You might be able to get a dispatch job which you could do part-time while in school. And when you do turn 21 sign up for Auxiliary somewhere or become a special. You'll gain great field experience. But remember, just because you take the test doesn't mean you'll get a job. You'll automatically be on the list below Vets -- and in a few years theres gonna be alot of them from Iraq and Afghanistan, so sit in the back of the bus. And if you don't score well on your first test, forget about it. You need to be ranked in the single digits these days to get a card. And alot of cities and towns only take laterals now. If you do manage to get self-sponsored to the FT academy you'll need cash to pay the cost, your gear, and your bills while you're out of work for 5-6 months. And it still could be a couple years until you land a job. I'm sure there are a few guys here that it took a long time to get a FT job even with FT cert.

The best advice anyone can offer to you will be another state. You're young enough (even at 21) to be able to pack it up and move to another state to become a Police Officer in a bigger city/agency that will offer more opportunities than Mass ever could. There are many more Police jobs available in just about ever other state than there are here in Mass. And most pay while you attend the academy. Some states pay nice $$$ for Police.
I'm not trying to discourage you, just trying to let you know what you may face. I wish I knew that I wanted to be a Cop at your age, I would've had a head start. I didn't really know until I was 22/23 or so and already Married, so my options were more limited than yours. If you keep your head in the game, you'll make it. Just make sure whatever path/job you take that its a stepping stone to establish your resume to achieve your goal.
 

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Well, education is always a plus.:rd: Having academy training is good too. I really hate to do this to you but, it's worth NOTHING trying to get on a civil service department. You can have all the degree's, all the training, meanwhile spending thousands of dollars. Its not going to get you to the top of the list! Join the military while your still young. Veteran status is the ONLY way your gonna get on.
 
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I second that Wryman. I grew up in Sterling (Nice Town). If your desire is to work CS, then you need to gain residency in a town. If you want to guarantee a shot at the top 5 on the list, then join the military. In between all of that, you should do the R/I academy. Then pray 5 hail marys, and 10 our fathers... If you want to work for a non CS town, then get yourself in the R/I academy, find an Auxiliary department in Central Mass to work for (there are several) and get some experience. Go after part-time positions that may open up, and then repeat the above prayers (to see if the town will eventually hire you F/T) or ask the town to sign off on the application, and put yourself through the F/T academy. At this point, you don't have to be 21 to do the R/I academy. Good Luck.
 

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Sounds like you're on the right track..........................

However, You might want to stay away from District Crime Prevention, theres a few colorful comments about them floating around on this site.
:rofl:
 

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Chapter 90 Enforcer
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mpd61 said:
Sounds like you're on the right track..........................

However, You might want to stay away from District Crime Prevention, theres a few colorful comments about them floating around on this site.
:rofl:
Yeah, I second that. 2 of my friends formally worked for DCP and they said the 2 guys that own the company are pretty good, but there are alot of whack-jobs working there.
 

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I believe Sterling PD is looking for part time dispatchers, might not hurt to check this out. I know a few officers who started out a as part time dispatchers and are now FT. You are 1 in thousand who want to pursue a career, if you get a job for in a police dept you odds increase greatly.
 

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FordMustang said:
What is some good advice you guys could give me? I've been fascinated by LEO my whole life and there is nothing I want more then wearing the uniform.
I know how you feel, but you have almost 2 years to find another reason to get into LE then that. The uniform is more headaches then they're worth.

Good luck, I don't want to discourage you, but many knock on the LE door, few make it in. Keep the business degree. If you do get an LE job the business degree can help you if you want to become a brass.Most senior officers seem to run the department like a business anyway
 

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A College advisor should help you switch your major to CJ (a friend of mine switched his major years ago DURING senior year), finishing school would look good on a resume (In 49 States anyway). When that is done I would do job searches Nationally for Big Police Departments all over the country (as well as the Fed Govt.) with the current state of CS and being a non-vet it would be like hitting the lottery to get on somewhere in MA. It has been said here before but you are young enough to go anywhere, follow these simple rules... 1. STAY SINGLE 2. NO KIDS 3. DON'T buy any property. 4. BY ALL MEANS DO NOT FORGET 1 and 2! Your ability to move anywhere for a job is HUGE and expands your options 50 fold.
 

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5-0 said:
ask the town to sign off on the application, and put yourself through the F/T academy. At this point, you don't have to be 21 to do the R/I academy. Good Luck.
Is it possible to self sponser for the full time academy?
or can a dept sponser for the F/T Acadamy?
i know they can for the R/I

:handcuff:
 
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I am going to give you some advice nicely, before someone says it not-so-nice. Learn to do research. You want to be an officer? Take the initiative to find this stuff on your own. It is a skill that will pay off in the long-run, as well as demonstrate the ambition that you will need to set yourself apart from the masses. 99% of your questions have been answered by someone on this site in the past, and it's out there waiting for you.
I will give you a head start: http://www.mass.gov/mptc/boylston.htm
You are now empowered by the United Members of MASSCOPS to boldly conduct Google Searches and MASSCOPS searches (Don't use the shoutbox) to secure employment in the great Commonwealth. Good luck. Have patience. Network, Network, Network...
 

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Your young so that helps you alot. I'd go the root of dispatching somewhere, maybe a non civil service department. Then get the part time academy maybe start as part time and owrk you way to full time. Civil service is a pain in the ass, so go non civil. sounds like your on a pretty good track and you have plenty of time.
 

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I know what you are facing. It is hard to get a job as a PO. My best advice, not the military.... everyone says they think that is the best way. I have one friend over there now in the worst part praying he even makes it home, and a boyfriend who has the military and #1 on a lot of lists and still can't get a job, so that doens't matter. Being a full time dispatcher, I believe that starting there is good. The department that I work for, which isn't too far from Sterling.. couple towns away, has hired almost all of their cops (full time and part time) from within. If you want to know more let me know and I will try to help, but that is my best advice to you... Good Luck...
 

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I'm not going to reiterate what everyone else has said I'll only leave you with this. If you really want to get on the job in Mass, join the Army, get deployed (It'll happen) and when you get home you'll definitely be 21 so you can take the civil service test. But before you do that move into the biggest city near sterling (not even sure where that is) or get an address there. That will hopefully ensure you get a card from that test. If you're a vet in a small town you may have to wait years for them to hire, but the cities hire much more often and with the vets status you'll get in.

Oh yeah and I forgot you also get the satisfaction of serving the greatest country in the world.
 

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Hey pal, you and i are kind of in the same boat. I would agree that being a dispatcher is a good way to get in or the aux. Most here seem to think joining the military is the only way in. Its not and its not for everyone. Most dispatcher jobs are union and pay decent. I wokr with a kid who is dispatching for natick PD and he gets decent pay etc. He is also still in school so if i were you it is something i would def look into. Remember a degree in CJ is good for only one thing. Criminal Justice careers. A CJ degree shows your committed to the field however, it really doesnt qualify you for the job. So its something to think about before you decide to switch majors. Law enforcement is kind of an all or nothing field. Either you want it so bad and you pretty much revolve your life around attaining that goal or you just kind of half ass it and get nothing.

Another thing would be to if you grad with a degree in CJ is to try getting on in RI or CT and doing a lateral into MA once you get hired. NYC is always looking and so is Miami and LA.
 

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FordMustang and HelpMe, agreed with all but don't ever, EVER, let anyone convince you that a college degree is worthless. It doesn't give you preference but that is the only thing.


Do the aux way and go through the R/I anyway you can. Look into working for your college PD doing something and let it be known that you are interested in dispatching. You're on campus anyways and know it and get the basics down. Only thing left out is E-911 to learn.


Good luck to both of you and welcome to Masscops



PS: Mustang... a vette will win:t:
 
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