LA Copper and others here are right about moving to get on the job. Sometimes it is what to do, especially if you want to join one of the premier agencies like LAPD. My own first move was to NH which back then was hiring like crazy. Getting on there was much quicker than it would have been in Massachusetts (where I went to college) or my native New Jersey.
While waiting for your number to come up on a civil service test is one approach, I have seen that officers who have the initiative to seek employment out of state or with a campus PD or in part-time gigs seem more likely to move into good assignments or move up in rank, if they join a city or town department full-time, or join federal agencies.