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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

I am currently a LEO in Florida and am considering a move up to Mass. While researching this possibility I have been reading a lot on how difficult it is to get on with Mass police depts., especially the Civil service ones.

With that being said I have a few questions about the whole process I hope someone can answer for me.

1. I've been reading that in-state applicants already have an increased chance of getting on vs. out of state, though I can't seem to find out how exactly that calculation works? It seems there are literally thousands of test takers every time the civil test is administered. Even with a high score, how would someone from out of state compare given the benefit that in-state applicants have? Is there really a significant difference?

2. Would you say the depts NOT using the civil exam are harder/easier to get onto with regards to in-state vs out-of-state applicants? Do non-civil depts still give preference to in-state applicants?

3. Is the lateral procedure for out-of-state LEO's more of a hassle for depts than a benefit when hiring?

4. It appears there is a Civil Exam coming up in April 2009 ----> http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=hrdterm...ontent&f=cs_posters_2009_po_trooper&csid=Ehrd Once this exam is taken, in general how long do departments take before starting the application procedure with potential hires?

5. I have 4 years of patrol experience and a B.A. degree in CJ though no military experience. I am planning to make this move somewhere in the 2010 time-frame, and am trying to determine if it's worth the move to Mass and settle there in the LE career field. Will there likely be any increase / decrease in the hiring % in a few years? I am not picky on where I work or what size dept I am on, or whether it's a civil exam dept or not, just whichever type offers me the opportunity (including Universities or counties).

6. I have also considered other states in the area (NY: not NYC, NH, RI, VT, etc) but my main focus is on Massachusetts. Would anyone with some knowledge of this, know whether the other surrounding states are just as difficult to get into LE as Massachusetts is, or are they likely easier?

Thanks ahead of time for any suggestions or advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just realized I posted this in the wrong forum, meant to go to "Getting a Job" forum. Hopefully my message to the Admins will get it moved.

I did some searching and wasn't able to find solid answers to my questions. More generalizations or indirect answers, but I will definitely search some more.

Staying in Florida is not an option unfortunately. If i have to change career fields I will, but I refuse to stay in this state for a variety of reasons.


thread moved
 

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FLtoMA, I dont want to discourage you from attempting to get a LEO job in Mass, but since you mentioned the other states in the area, that may be your first look. I can only speak from the State Police side, but states such as NH,VT,ME tend to have tests and classes more frequently. I know ME (someone correct me if Im wrong), will accept lateral transfers from other states on a case by case basis. There is an add on academy.

Again, hate to discourage you, but just being reasonably honest. Best of luck, and stay safe in sunny FL:)
 

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Some Departments, such as Amherst and Northampton, give their own tests as they left civil circus. They can hire off of these tests instead of CS. Check those departments for an opportunity. Best of luck!
 

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1. I've been reading that in-state applicants already have an increased chance of getting on vs. out of state, though I can't seem to find out how exactly that calculation works? It seems there are literally thousands of test takers every time the civil test is administered. Even with a high score, how would someone from out of state compare given the benefit that in-state applicants have? Is there really a significant difference?
The residency preferance in MA civil service exams does not refer to MA residency, but to residency in certain (civil service) cities and towns, and is an absolute preferance. This means that a person who has taken the exam and claimed that preferance will be placed ahead of anyone who does not have preferance. In other words, if they get a 70 (pass), and you get a 100, they are placed ahead of you on that city or town's employment list.

In order to claim residency preferance, you must live in a civil service municipality for at least 12 months before the date of the exam (April 25, 2009). If you did get residency preferance for some future exam, any veteran or disabled veteran (with the same residency)would still be placed on the list ahead of you.

So, if you travel from FL to take April's exam, know that as you pick your four cities or towns you will accept employment in, you will be placed on the list below everyone in that city or town. You will also be behind any vet who is also not a resident.

Here is the link to the order of persons on eligible lists-- http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/31-26.htm

Good luck.
 

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I would look into any of the surrounding states if I were you. I think this state is more hassle than its worth. Not to mention the weather sucks too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everyone for your input and sound advice.

If i were to take the Civil exam in April, assuming I have no REAL preference on one police department over another, what are the 3-4 best dept choices I can make in terms of obtaining a position? It is best to apply to larger depts as they generally have more positions available, or perhaps smaller departments as I may be slightly more qualified with a B.A, police experience, and possible lateral ability, over other applicants applying who may NOT have any of those (keeping in mind the residency issue)?

Does anyone have an idea on how many Dvet/Vets are hired each year vs non-vets? From what I've heard on the forums and considering how difficult it is to obtain a LE position in Mass, you would think 75% of all positions filled were veterans? With all due respect and I mean that, to all our veterans, does experience in this field not count for anything? If i were looking to hire a new officer, I'd take the guy with 5-6 years of patrol experience and a good record vs the guy who just left the military and has no experience in this field (though maybe i'm biased too).

It would seem to reason that a department would rather hire someone with a) experience and b) someone who has already been through an academy vs necessarily hiring someone who is a veteran (assuming no experience in police work), who they will have to invest in and pay to attend an academy they could potentially not succeed in?

Lastly, do towns and depts have the chance to SEE the scores on the Civil Exam prior to offering interviews and positions? Using the example given by clancy-dawg, If out-of-state applicant A) scores a 100 and in-state applicant B) scores a 70, even though in-state may show up on a town list before the out-of-state applicant, can the depts see the difference in scores prior to hiring (hope that made sense)? Or are they simply provided a list of applicants in order of dvet/vet/resident/non-res without any scores or other information?

THanks again for any help you provide, I'm starting to get a clearer picture of how this works. Stay safe!
 

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I'm tempted to tell you to not even bother and save your $100 with regards to civil service. I would personally advise you to go north to Maine or NH; while the pay isn't as high the cost of living is also a lot less, as are taxes.

If you insist on pursuing MA, remember how the civil service preference works:
1. Disabled Vets -Residents (All passing scores)
2. Vets -Residents (All passing scores)
3. Residents (All passing scores)
4. Disabled Vets -Non Residents (All passing scores)
5. Vets -Non Residents (All passing scores)
6. Everyone Else (All passing scores) i.e. You

If you really want to play the civil service game without any veteran or residency, my personal advice is to put in for towns that are usually more wealthy and well-off. Reason? In general, rich kids go to college and are more likely get white collor jobs, and stay out of the military. Some towns that I know of on the south shore such as Cohasset, Norwell, and Duxbury may be options. Also, the MBTA (Transit Police -- Boston area subway, suburban communter rail, city buses) is part of a state agency (different from MSP) so residency is not a factor. Note this is the best option; you're still facing an uphill battle all the way.

One big catch: Be aware that some of civil service towns hire only part time positions off the civil service list, and you have to "do your time" until a full time position opens up, where they then pull from their part-timers.
Sheriffs departments are also known for hiring out-of-state LEO's; most administer their own tests, or have an application process like any other job. However, these positions can very politicial and be aware that the role of Sheriffs in MA is very different and much more limited than the role of Sheriffs in most other states.

Hope this helps some.
 
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OK, confused here - but how does a disabled vet become a police officer if they're disabled?

I must be missing something.
There's different levels of disability; you could have been injured while in the military, and while it doesn't interfere with your general ability to do the job, the government compensates you for having sustained the injury.

A 100% DAV isn't getting on a police department, but a 10% is certainly eligible.

To answer the coming question; I'm just a regular veteran, not a DAV. :cool:
 

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To answer the coming question; I'm just a regular veteran, not a DAV. :cool:
Now thats how you do it....answer the question and the one that hasnt even been asked yet.....by the way Delta ....Thanks for you service....
 

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Thank you everyone for your input and sound advice.

If i were to take the Civil exam in April, assuming I have no REAL preference on one police department over another, what are the 3-4 best dept choices I can make in terms of obtaining a position? It is best to apply to larger depts as they generally have more positions available, or perhaps smaller departments as I may be slightly more qualified with a B.A, police experience, and possible lateral ability, over other applicants applying who may NOT have any of those (keeping in mind the residency issue)?

Does anyone have an idea on how many Dvet/Vets are hired each year vs non-vets? From what I've heard on the forums and considering how difficult it is to obtain a LE position in Mass, you would think 75% of all positions filled were veterans? With all due respect and I mean that, to all our veterans, does experience in this field not count for anything? If i were looking to hire a new officer, I'd take the guy with 5-6 years of patrol experience and a good record vs the guy who just left the military and has no experience in this field (though maybe i'm biased too).

It would seem to reason that a department would rather hire someone with a) experience and b) someone who has already been through an academy vs necessarily hiring someone who is a veteran (assuming no experience in police work), who they will have to invest in and pay to attend an academy they could potentially not succeed in?

Lastly, do towns and depts have the chance to SEE the scores on the Civil Exam prior to offering interviews and positions? Using the example given by clancy-dawg, If out-of-state applicant A) scores a 100 and in-state applicant B) scores a 70, even though in-state may show up on a town list before the out-of-state applicant, can the depts see the difference in scores prior to hiring (hope that made sense)? Or are they simply provided a list of applicants in order of dvet/vet/resident/non-res without any scores or other information?

THanks again for any help you provide, I'm starting to get a clearer picture of how this works. Stay safe!
Don't spend any time trying to figure out how Civil Circus works up here. Just realize this: with no veteran's points and no residency, you're at the bottom of the list. LEOs with 20 years of experience in MA, still must take the CS exam every 2 years if they want to transfer to another CS town.

The reasons that this place is so competitive boil down to this: it can be very rewarding financially. You'll have a few political favors to get people hired, but you'll also see law suits issued by people who were passed over for a variety of reasons. Police unions also are more proactive here to protect their work and their members' rights.

Police work in this state is very different than down south, sometimes better, sometimes worse. Sans a few pockets of war zones here, generally speaking LE keeps the violent crime down, which makes the majority of the state a desireable place to work and raise a family with a decent income.
 

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Mass doesn't suck. Once you are in a depatrment it's a great place to work. Granted, the laws are very liberal but the pay is great and Massachusetts Law Enforcement in general has a very good reputation.
 

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I would think getting on a larger sheriff's department in FL would have more opportunities, (air wing, bomb squad, swat, marine patrol, beach patrol, etc.) The best you get up here is the SP, which is another difficult agency to get on. Broward County is always looking....

Good Luck.
 

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Non civil-service departments are going to be your best bet. Before you do anything, contact MPTC and get the process going to get the academy transfer from Florida to Mass. Then once you get that squared away, apply to every Non CS town that has an opening. Keep in mind that with the state of budgets and local aid cuts, many towns will not be hiring anyone until the situation stabilizes more.
 
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