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A question for police officers:

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Anyone who is an officer or a retired officer, or someone who has relatives or friends that are officers:  Would you recommend it as a career?  I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and would be interested in hearing from some people who know what they're talking about.

Thanks in advance.

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I have friends and two generations of relatives in law enforcement.

This is a great field for men of principal, but requires discipline and

commitment. Opportunities abound and it is unlikely that the demand

for officers will decline in the foreseeable future!

The pay is relatively high, at least in the bigger cities, and benefits

are good. Retirement is generally an option after twenty years of

service. The downside for some is that you always represent your

profession, on the clock or off. If you are not a solid citizen already,

this is not the right occupation to choose.

Duty, Honor, Country or in a word, Character.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Duty,_honor,_country

8-)

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Agree with RW, but I would add, and I think RoadWarrior hinted at this, that a person needs to take a hard look at their self.  It's not whether or not that you can do the job, it's how the job is done.  Tact and demeanor mean everything.  My neighbor has a phrase he uses to describe people with tact.  "They can tell someone to go to the devil in such a fashion, that they actually look forward to the trip".  If you can have that kind of effect on people, I'd say you have a good head start.

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Can you become involved in conflictual or potentially dangerous situations without becoming personally involved? Can you regularly deal with conflict and/or unpleasant people without internalizing it and taking it home with you at the end of a shift? Can you distinguish or separate the responsibilities of law enforcement from the responsibilities of the courts? Do you consider yourself of higher-than-average character/integrity and do you view laws and rules a necessary part of society? Is your perception of law enforcement accurate (Don't use CSI or miami vice as your example)?

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See if your local police dept has a program for riders. I am a reserve sheriff deputy, and I love it. I go out once a week, or whenever I get called to do extra things. I have been able to assist with special assignments too. It is not for everyone. You must be an above ordinary citizen. People watch and scrutinize the things you do on and off duty. No one can tell you it is a job for you, it is something that you have to decide for yourself, after looking at yourself.

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Thanks for all the feedback guys.  I think that I have the disposition and temperament.  I'm a landlord, after all, so on a daily basis I deal with very angry, argumentative people, and haven't let it get to me yet.  I'm still, for the most part, a cheery person who sees people and the world for what it can be, not what it sometimes is.

I think once I move I'll go talk to someone at the local station and get a little more information.  It just to has to feel good to actually make a difference in a community, as opposed to reading the newspaper and complaining about it.

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ever think about being a natural resource police ??  just think of all them hiding places u will find to go fishing and hunting 8-)

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ever think about being a natural resource police ?? just think of all them hiding places u will find to go fishing and hunting 8-)

That's a major advantage, isn't it?

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The pay is relatively high, at least in the bigger cities, and benefits

are good.

Interesting....  Must be better in TN.  I think the pay is weak in Tx.  And when you factor in having to duck bullets here and there I think it's downright low!

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The salary depends on the city.  In Austin, starting salary is around 45K, and in Chicago it's almost 60K after the probabtionary year.

That is a lot higher than I always assumed police got paid, and high enough to live well.

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I just picked this off the internet, but starting around $40k is fairly representative:

http://www.talgov.com/hr/police-fire.cfm

As far as firefights go, that is always a very real possibility

and officers must be on high alert in a variety of situations.

However, it's not like you see on TV. My cousin is a Detective

(20+ years) with Arapahoe County, CO and has never fired a

shot at a perp or in defense. Surprisingly, that is more common

than you might think.

8-)

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The pay is relatively high, at least in the bigger cities, and benefits

are good.

Interesting.... Must be better in TN. I think the pay is weak in Tx. And when you factor in having to duck bullets here and there I think it's downright low!

I make more at UPS than any teacher or cop in RI.  Sad

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I make more at UPS than any teacher or cop in RI. Sad

Can you retire after 20 years at UPS with a pension and full benefits?  How do your benefits stack up with the cops and teachers?

Not trying to call you out, but just wanted to point out that the comparison in pay needs to take into account ALL forms of compensation and not just take home pay.

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I make more at UPS than any teacher or cop in RI. Sad

C'mon, what's more important, shuffling paper, babysitting brats or...

delivering my Christmas presents?

:D

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I make more at UPS than any teacher or cop in RI. Sad

Can you retire after 20 years at UPS with a pension and full benefits? How do your benefits stack up with the cops and teachers?

Not trying to call you out, but just wanted to point out that the comparison in pay needs to take into account ALL forms of compensation and not just take home pay.

Pension and full benefits........HA HA HA HA........sorry, that's a joke around here........Yes, we can retire at 20 years of service.....BUT

Pension is a measley 50% of your last years salary (so basically that will be around $20,000 A YEAR for our dept members)

NO BENEFITS UPON RETIREMENT, in other words, medical coverage goes out the window when I retire.

Retirement plans vary GREATLY from State to State, Agency to Agency...

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I am a Deputy Sheriff in Florida.  Here are the figures.  

I have been with the agency 21 yrs.

I will make just over 100k this year which includes about 75 hours of over time, maybe 100 at tops.  

I have 340 hours of saved vacation hours and can carry up to 500 w/out losing any at the end of the year.

I have 68 hours comp and 120 hours holiday comp saved.  Any comp over 120 hours at end of the year is converted into cash.

I have 700+ hours of saved sick time, I have given away approx 200 hours over the years to fellow officers.

We have a 25 yrs and out which means you can retire after 25 yrs of service and collect retirement even though you haven't reached normal retirement age.  

You will collect 3% for every year you work. So if you work 25 yrs then you will collect 75% of your top 5 highest paid years.

Example:  If I had 25 yrs in as of today and making 100k, then I would retire with 75k a year.

I plan on doing 30 yrs and retiring with 90% of my pay.  I will be 52 yrs old. (only 9 more yrs to go, yahoooo)

When I retiree I will get a check for all my comp, holiday comp, vacation up to 500 hrs and sick up to I think 1000 hours paid at my hourly rate.  Anything over 1000 hrs is paid at 50% your hourly rate.

That means a New Ranger with my comp, vacation and sick time payout. Or truck. Or invest it. Not bad either way.

Not all agencies have the same retirement plans or benefits so do your homework before applying.

But I have been shot at, had 3 concussions, 13 accidents (not at fault),  1 divorce, hospitalized, spit on (and yes they went to jail), countless fights and a host of other BS too.

There are much more benefits (money wise) that I haven't covered but these are the basics.

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Holy crap, that's a retirement plan.......

If only ours could and would get just a little better, we fight and fight but seem to make very little headway.

I've got 14 years in, could retire at 46 years old, but that probbaly won't happen unless our pension changes dramatically over the next 6 years, and I don't see that happening........

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Holy crap, that's a retirement plan.......

If only ours could and would get just a little better, we fight and fight but seem to make very little headway.

I've got 14 years in, could retire at 46 years old, but that probably won't happen unless our pension changes dramatically over the next 6 years, and I don't see that happening........

You know that your last year you will be dished all the OT you can work, 1/2 pay beats most jobs in America which is goodbye and we hope your 401 K is doing alright

 I have personally seen guys making 70 g's a year work 100 g's the last year on the force and retie at 50 a year, not bad. The money paid to police officers is never enough and I do not begrudge this at all. I just think we should keep things honestly in perspective

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MY best friends are twins and they are cops. There older brother is a cop and there Dad is a cop. There quit possibly the best people in the world. Would do anything for me or anyone in a drop of a hat. I go on a float trip with them and about 12 other cops every year. The comradery and stories they tell makes you want to join the police force right away. The pay is ok, not nearly what they deserve, and as one BR member pointed out, you have to learn to leave the work at work when you come home. I think police have one of if not the highest divorce rates. But IMHO, dont be the MAN.

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Hey: The police officers in NY, in Brooklyn in particular are some of the most dedicated and compassionate people I have ever met

 They are incredible co workers, and the pay is not always top shelf. I do not even know what would be a fair amount to these men and women who put their lives on line for all of our safety on a daily basis

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I am a Deputy Sheriff in Florida. Here are the figures.

I have been with the agency 21 yrs.

I will make just over 100k this year which includes about 75 hours of over time, maybe 100 at tops.

I have 340 hours of saved vacation hours and can carry up to 500 w/out losing any at the end of the year.

I have 68 hours comp and 120 hours holiday comp saved. Any comp over 120 hours at end of the year is converted into cash.

I have 700+ hours of saved sick time, I have given away approx 200 hours over the years to fellow officers.

We have a 25 yrs and out which means you can retire after 25 yrs of service and collect retirement even though you haven't reached normal retirement age.

You will collect 3% for every year you work. So if you work 25 yrs then you will collect 75% of your top 5 highest paid years.

Example: If I had 25 yrs in as of today and making 100k, then I would retire with 75k a year.

I plan on doing 30 yrs and retiring with 90% of my pay. I will be 52 yrs old. (only 9 more yrs to go, yahoooo)

When I retiree I will get a check for all my comp, holiday comp, vacation up to 500 hrs and sick up to I think 1000 hours paid at my hourly rate. Anything over 1000 hrs is paid at 50% your hourly rate.

That means a New Ranger with my comp, vacation and sick time payout. Or truck. Or invest it. Not bad either way.

Not all agencies have the same retirement plans or benefits so do your homework before applying.

But I have been shot at, had 3 concussions, 13 accidents (not at fault), 1 divorce, hospitalized, spit on (and yes they went to jail), countless fights and a host of other BS too.

There are much more benefits (money wise) that I haven't covered but these are the basics.

that explains your "behavior" at the ramp that night.  

as a teacher for 10 years, if i could do it all over again i would have been a fire fighter. those cats got it made!

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that explains your "behavior" at the ramp that night.

as a teacher for 10 years, if i could do it all over again i would have been a fire fighter. those cats got it made!

LOL, Ok, I confess...  Believe it or not but that Deputy used to be a reserve Deputy and come out and ride with me.  His regular job was with the IRS.  He retired from the IRS and went to the police academy and just recently finished his training.  He's 63 years old I believe.

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Holy crap, that's a retirement plan.......

If only ours could and would get just a little better, we fight and fight but seem to make very little headway.

I've got 14 years in, could retire at 46 years old, but that probably won't happen unless our pension changes dramatically over the next 6 years, and I don't see that happening........

You know that your last year you will be dished all the OT you can work, 1/2 pay beats most jobs in America which is goodbye and we hope your 401 K is doing alright

I have personally seen guys making 70 g's a year work 100 g's the last year on the force and retie at 50 a year, not bad. The money paid to police officers is never enough and I do not begrudge this at all. I just think we should keep things honestly in perspective

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?......HONESTLY???........in PERSPECTIVE? Dished out overtime, that's a joke......besides, our pension is based off of BASE pay, overtime is NOT included.

Keep what in perspective???? What you have "seen" is absolutely NOT representative of what happens here nor is it representative of most Police jobs.. I have heard stories of places where guys somehow work extra their last year to gain a bump in their pensions, can't name one place in this area that allows that, and I've spoken to alot of cops at labor seminars and places where I learn about contractual and labor issues, I'm one of 4 barganing unit representatives for our dept. WE DO NOT HAVE THAT ABILITY NOR WOULD OUR CITY ALLOW SUCH AN ACT.

Here's PERSPECTIVE............Like I already said, if I retire at 20 years of service, I will make about $20,000 a year on Pension. If I stay till around 30 years of service I will make maybe $30,000/yr.

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It happens all the time in NY. I do not see this as a crime.This is not that unusual as you would think, I am not an officer , but I have seen this. I believe for NYC, Rochester and a few of NY's larger forces the formula is based on the highest 3 Years salary of your last five OT included,correct me if I am wrong. Since Seniority is involved with OT, it goes to a lot of the officers within this frame, so the formula works in their favor as well as the OT being awarded on a Seniority value. Correct me if I am wrong or this has changed.

City Administrative Code. Section 13-254 limits earnings to the difference between the pension portion and the current salary plus overtime, night shift differential and vacation work .

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I didn't understand Muddy's post until you replied BassnLeo. If I understand what is being said then let me add something. A topped out Deputy (no rank) is 86k a year but it takes I believe 16-18 yrs to get there. And that's only if he's in the Career Deputy path. Our retirement system is 25 yrs of service before you can retire and collect below the normal retirement age. However, you would be vested after six yrs. You just wouldn't be able to collect retirement if you quit after 6 yrs unless you're the right age.

Our retirement is based on 3% each year you work. So 25 yrs would be 75% of your salary.

That 75% is from your 5 highest paid years. So if you made 100k, 90k 120k, 95k and 100k in your 5 highest paid years then you would take that average which would be 101k. 75% of 101k is just over 75k a year retirement.

We CAN work overtime and have that money added into out top 5 highest years.

Health insurance is what's going to hurt after retirement unless you retire as a Captain or above. They get full medical benefits after retirement. Right now I pay $190 a month for family PPO medical insurance and $38 for family dental. I expect to pay about 1k a month for the same when I retire unless our bargaining unit works something out.

We also continue to get COLA (cost of living) after retirement. Our average COLA is 3% a year.

I could never in a 100 years complain about my benefits compared to most people in todays work force and for this I am extremely grateful.

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