Originally Posted by symonjester
After a fairly lengthy career as in technology, I am finally realizing life is about being happy. I have always wanted to enter law enforcement. Whether it's making a difference or carrying all the neat toys I'm not sure (kidding, most of my family is in law enforcement) I want to give it a try. The issue, of course, is who little the guys who keep us safe actually make (financially). How do you advance through the ranks quickly? How do you make a difference, career-wise, quickly? Thoughts from the guys who do it everyday?
Are you married? If you do, do you have kids? If you are married talk to your SO, because it will be tough on them.
During Academy you will be stressed out and work long hours. After academy you will be even more stressed out, in FTO and work weird hours and switching hours every month or so.
After you get on the street, depending on the city, county or state that employees you, you will most likely end up with some shitty shift.
Here's an example for you. My city hires new officers at 41,250 a year to start. The cost of living in Arizona is pretty good and you can survive on it. Officers, Detectives and Sgt.s get paid hourly. LTs and above are on salary. I'm make alot more then that, heck I make more then some of our LTs, but you'll have to PM me to find out how much.
Raising through the ranks quickly depends on the individual and department. I personally like being an K-9 Officer and will never promote out of it. I like being in the trenches and fighting crime! Once you get in you'll find that the higher in rank you get, the more political it is.
I feel I have made a difference to a few peoples lives. Every once and a while you get to do something very special for someone and it feels like all the **** you have to put up with on this job is worth it.
Feel free to PM with any questions you have.