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Discussion Starter #1
It looks like I found a dept. to sponsor me for the FT academy, but I'm still very nervous.

This is a big decision and I was hoping to get some opinions from you guys maybe personal experience or stories that you have heard of people self sponsoring.

Do you guys think it's worth it?
What would you do in this situation?

I know ultimately my decision depends on how bad I want to be a cop, but I just wanted to get other peoples opinions.

Thanks guys
 

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It can't hurt, it definitely makes you a better candidate. The only draw back is that just because you have a FT academy, it' still very difficult to get a job with a noncivil service department. They usually want FT academy, FT experience and college degrees(some do). It's also very expensive, $2300 plus all the equipment and uniforms. That plus no money because most academies don't let you work, it really adds up. If you are young and maybe live at home with very few bills, go for it. 21 weeks go by quick, I remebered when I went, it flew by. It's gonna suck though, it's not fun, exceptfor EVOC and graduations(firearms too).
 

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If that is what you want then go for it, Once you have that under your belt I think you will be able to find work in a small town non civil service dept. that does not have the money to spend sending new hires to the academy.

I'm sure there are allot of success stories out there about putting yourself through the academy and getting on the job, I only know three guys who did this.

One never got hired by a dept. (underlying reasons) the second found employment with a town after four years (maybe he was picky about the town he worked for) and the third was working part time for the dept. that sponsored him, when he graduated he was still part time and they had no plans on putting him on full time (politics, needed to hire a family member or two)

It's costly, it's time consuming and your family (if applicable) needs to be behind you 100%

All three guys I knew worked weekends (secretly) to get by either for there dept or at security jobs on the weekends, they were dead tired come Monday and it showed.

Best of luck in your decision.
 

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Good luck at the Academy. Self sponsered myself and enjoyed the whole process. As yet, those of us who did self sponser, only one has gone on fulltime. That's one of five. Don't be discouraged, some department out there will recognize your commitment down the line and give you a shot. Keep in mind that times are tough and it may be quite awhile before you get on. i'm still plugging away and optomistic. Just be sure you have your family support and it's what you want to do.
 

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I sponsored myself to M.P.O.C, it sucked but it was well worth it. There were 6 of us and we all worked on the weekends, I also worked during the week for the p.d 6-11 2 or 3 week nights and weekends, about 25 to 35 hrs a week I even did a few 12a to 5a, that was not fun when I had to be at the academy 2 hrs later. we all had jobs within months of graduation. It took me 7 months cause I was being very picky and ultimatly was not getting by on just my p/t job so I took a f/t slot until I find a dept I want to spend my career with. In short, go for it man and good luck.
 

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This is a big desicion

I put myself through the academy along with I think 18 other people in my academy class. At the present time because of lay offs and other people who put themselves through there are no jobs. The other way to lo0k at this is there is alot of people out there that have the academy so why would a town hire you with no academy if they have 30 other aplicants that have been to the academy.

I recomend going, and going as soon as you can, you never know they might stop alowing people to put themselves through.

I was out of the academy for two months when I got a job offer down the cape, I ended up holding off and got another offer in central mass about 6 months after the academy. I know 10 people who were in my class that still do not have jobs. most dept's are looking for a degree these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Guys,

I am gonna put myself through it. I'm just waiting to hear back from the chief, but I'm 99% sure he will sponsor me.

THis is probably the worst time to self sponsor with all the layoffs and everything, but the job situation has to get better eventually. Even if I dont get hired for 6 months to a year, thats ok. It will still be worth it. I can always find a job to occupy my time. I'm still young.
 

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One other thing you are going to need for the academy is health insurance. I know in my academy we were allowed to work from 6:00 pm on friday until 11:00 pm on sunday. I had three part time jobs and worked about 32 hours a week. if you have any questions e-mail me [email protected]
 

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If your not allowed to work or your part time employer does not offer health insuarance what other options for self insurance are there? Im sure that cost alone (never mind the cash for the academy, clothing, equipment) is significant.
 

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I sent myself throught the academy. I didn't know what to expect at the time, it was definately a sacrafice all around, but it paid off in the long run. I worked part time for a town, and I worked full time at a college (campus police). I got the ok to get sponsored, I sent myself through, quit my job, payed my own health ins.. Fortunately I had some money saved for it, and was living at home at the time. Perfect opportunity! But the drawback was I had no income and had to pay for everything myself... not knowing 100% if I would get a job. Once I graduated the academy I looked and looked. Its still tough to find a job w/ an academy b/c so many people get sponsored now. I ended up going back to my old job at the college and working there for about a year. Luckily for me the dept I worked part time for was just going Civil Circus and I was first on the list of PTs to be hired. So for me, it did pay off b/c now have seniority over 3 others after working 1 year. The dept took into consideration the fact that I was already academy trained, and my previous work experience at the college, I started off at 90% pay and after six mos. I was making the top pay scale for patrolman. For me it definately paid off. Right now I think its tought b/c of the budget and layoffs, and the fact that so many people do sponsor themselves. But it doesn't hurt to get that academy under your belt, its one step above someone else. Even if you don't get hired in a town/city full time. You can always try and get work as a part time cop or work at a college. Just as long as you maintain your inservice and work once you get out. Hope that helps.
 

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In regards to health insurance. I got on the COBRA plan from my previous employer which i think is good for about 18 mos. But its not cheap. I paid about $300 a month. But you got to do what you gotta do. In the end it all paid off, for me anyways
 

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For health insurance there are a few things you can do, I got lucky I went through the academy when I was 23 so I could go under my parents health insurance. Most insurance companies allow children under 25 to be covered as long as they are in school, or an acreddited program.

There were many people in my academy that got health insurance then dropped the coverage after the academy started, just pray you do not get hurt.
 

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We had a couple guys get hurt during the last couple weeks of the academy... Fortuantely for them they were working for a dept. and had health ins. I kept mine up all the way through, only b/c I knew it would suck if I dropped it and broke something. I had a few guys who dropped it after like the first month.
 

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Yes it is worth it, I did it and I am glad I did. Also you can work I did, dam near 30Hrs a week. Some academies have limitations, Boylston says fri until sun night, Agagwam, where I went is unlimited with a letter from the chief. Good luck
 

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I'm glad i ran into this question, I was going to post it myself! I've been working on the cape for three years part time work, and I was wondering if it made sense to send myself with the conditions being what they are. Another rumor I've been hearing from the regulars at my department is that the full time academy is only good for two years, and if in two years you still don't have a job, you would have to repeat the academy before you could start working. Is this true?
 

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I am not sure but I believe you must complete the required 40 hours in-service training each year / if not then academy is only good for a two year span.
 

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I went to the Boylston academy and you can work. You just have to have it in writing where and when you are working and the director has to sing off on it.
 

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First, you need to be related to the Chief of police in a municipality....

Seriously, you need to get a Chief of police to sign off on you going to the academy on your own dime, but under his signature. You will have to sign waivers up the wazoo releiving the Chief, town, their parents, your parent, and anyone but yourself, of liability. You need to have health insurance and you provide all of your own equipment, including a cruiser. Then, if the academy has space, they may give you a slot in an MPOC class. You will be bumped, however, if a municipal recruit officer needs your space.

ANy questions?
 
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