Calling all LEO's
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:01 PM   #1
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Default Calling all LEO's

Im wondering what it takes to become a LEO. How hard is it? What would help me out getting started? To be completely honest I wanna be swat, but I heard you can't be swat until you have 2+ years as some form of LEO. What would be the best field for me to try to enter into to get the best chance to become swat? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

My uncle (LEO for 15+ years in many diff fields) comes back from the middle east in March (Dad (us army 21 years, CW4) is looking at deploying out to that **** hole again in Feb @_a, will make the 7th time between 2 wars hes been over there). and is currently over there helping to train and set up their local police forces. When he comes home he will be my best and biggest help im sure. Just looking for info until then.

Anyways, sorry for the usual way-to-long post and thanks ahead of time for any helpful info you can throw my way.

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Old 12-01-2009, 12:18 AM   #2
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How old are you? What have you done with your life to prep to be a law enforcement officer or for SWAT? College? Military?

A degree in Administration of Justice would be a good start. Experience as an MP may also be another route into law enforcement. What kind of physical conditioning do you do, regularly?

More information is required to adequately mentor your future.

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Old 12-01-2009, 02:02 AM   #3
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Talkin' to SPs (Air Force MPs) and some LEOs I know military service can help, but being an SP can possibly be detrimental unless you go in willing to learn and forget a lot of what you did learn.

There are a few differences between military justice and civilian justice and a lot of the time for the people just doing their 4-6 year enlistments won't involve a whole lot of LEO work, just security stuff.

There are of course exceptions to every rule so don't jump my **** with examples of your second cousin's girl friend's brother who was an SP and did LEO work right out of tech school.

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Old 12-01-2009, 02:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ubergopher View Post
Talkin' to SPs (Air Force MPs) and some LEOs I know military service can help, but being an SP can possibly be detrimental unless you go in willing to learn and forget a lot of what you did learn.

There are a few differences between military justice and civilian justice and a lot of the time for the people just doing their 4-6 year enlistments won't involve a whole lot of LEO work, just security stuff.

There are of course exceptions to every rule so don't jump my **** with examples of your second cousin's girl friend's brother who was an SP and did LEO work right out of tech school.

OH MY GWAD, have you been looking at my military record???? I graduated from Security Police Academy in 1974 as a Law Enforcement sky cop and went off to my first base (No Hope Pope) in Fayet-nam, North Carolina. Showed up for work after a week in training and .. WOW.. my Flight Chief took one look at me and sent my A__ to the flight line where I humped C-130's for the next 2 years. They actually gave me a 3 level (entry level for you non AF guys) in Security (read Ramp Rat). I ended up getting my 5 level (journeyman level) before I ever actually pulled a Law Enforcement patrol for the first time. I even was a civilian sheriffs deputy before I went in the AF and they still sent my A__ to the flight line.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:46 AM   #5
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I'm actually in pretty good shape (i train part time as a mixed martial arts fighter and do tree work for a living) but i have no LEO training or experience or related degrees. Im really looking to get started without going and getting a degree or anything, just entry level standard stuff. How do I go about becoming a normal PD or Sheriff? What should I expect (academy, etc.)? What kind of income should I expect? i live in western NC if that helps at all. Just looking for any useful info.

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Old 12-01-2009, 05:05 AM   #6
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Hey Wings,

Your best bet is to call the local Sheriffs Department or local PD's and find out what they require to apply for a job, then you have to find a department that is currently hiring, then you apply, interview, polygraph, background investigation, criminal check, drug test (read, hey! pee in this cup) and then pass the academy. It is all worth it in the end. And as for the SWAT thing, bide your time and get experience on the street first.... besides, SWAT is really over rated a lot of hours and hours of boredom for a few moments of stark terror, and actually working the streets is pretty exciting a lot of the time too. Remember, you have to walk before you can run.

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Old 12-01-2009, 05:10 AM   #7
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Remember, you have to walk before you can run.
Oh i totally understand, just looking to find the right walking shoes ;-).
How long is the standard academy and what is it in comparison to army BT?
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and we ain't never comin' back!"
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:27 AM   #8
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Oh i totally understand, just looking to find the right walking shoes ;-).
How long is the standard academy and what is it in comparison to army BT?
LOL, Army BT is for breaking down individual thought (they constant “why do I have to do that”) and to teach you to accept and act on orders immediately and without question (this is my opinion and only my opinion and is not meant to disparage or belittle anyone that has served, is serving, or will serve in the U.S. Army) a police academy (IMO) is designed to teach you to rely on your individual responsibility and thought and at the same time look out for your fellow officers and work as a team. There is still structure that is similar to Army training while at the same time completely different. My federal academy was 16 weeks long, but in 1974 my sheriff’s department academy was 6 weeks. You will have to ask the individual departments how long their academy’s are.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:53 PM   #9
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Different departments have different requirements for transfer. Basically, everyone starts out as a beat cop, working a patrol car on the night shift. That is where you learn the job.

Someone said a college degree is a good idea and I completely agree. Some departments require a degree, but smaller ones not so much. I got mine going to school part time, working the streets and raising a family.

There is a lot to learn before going into a specialty unit such as SWAT. You will have to demonstrate a certain level of street-smarts and the ability to make sound judgment calls. Get on the streets, build up your street creds, and you will be noticed.

With the possible exception of LA & NYPD, most SWAT troops work regular assignments and get called out when needed. No sitting around waiting for something to happen. That only happens on TV and the movies.

Good luck.

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Old 12-02-2009, 11:57 PM   #10
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Just go and apply for LA county Sheriff. They are so tough they have their own tv show.

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