My intro, my story and my rant :)

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.
dujow
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My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby dujow » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:34 pm

Hi there,
I am a long time lurker of the board but a new "member". I want to introduce myself and see if anyone can offer me some advice. This might be a long read.

My name is Dustin and live about 1.5 hours from Toronto in a small town. I'm 24. When I was 18 I took Police Foundations :mrgreen: For as long as I can remember I thought being a police officer would be a fantastic job, and didn't want to take anything else. Instead of commuting to the neighbouring city for school I went and lived on-campus. This turned out to be a big mistake as it was my first time away from home and I did what many college kids do, and got bad grades. I failed a few courses here and there, and lived in 3-4 different places as I was discovering life outside my parents house. But I persisted and kept going to school to re-do the failed courses and did graduate. I went through a few part time jobs in these years. For 3 years now I have been working as a carpenters helper, so to speak, building houses. For all 3 years I have been yearning to do what is necessary to be eligible for a police service.

Now I have recently been married and am in desperate need of new work for several reasons.

#1 My boss refuses to offer an apprenticeship program so I can become a licensed carpenter
#2 I have no chance of increasing much in salary
#3 The work is very physical and often I find I am too drained to go to the gym
#4 I don't often get to work alongside my boss and learn more technical aspects of my job. I am forced to work with his stepson, who although is sort of a "friend", I find to be the most ignorant and disrespectful person I know. I need to separate myself from this person for my sanity.
#5 I want to pursue a career in policing, and know I must do something else to prepare myself, as this job limits me so much that I feel depressed with my life so far.
#6 The most important reason. My wife is living in Toronto for her work, and we only see each other on weekends which is painfully difficult. We will get an apartment together when I find work closer to the city. She is locked into her work so to speak and needs to be there.

I have made attempts but not in the right direction I feel. I got an interview for a Toronto security company. I attended, and was dismayed by the location and state of their main office. Another man attended for the same time slot and forced to wait an hour while I was interviewed. The entire thing felt horribly wrong to me. She did not want to check my references, she seemed only interested in knowing I can walk around and memorize codes. The back of my head the entire time was shouting "Something is not right here!". I was hired on the spot and told my training would not be paid. I accepted, but then the next day contacted her to decline. Even though I did not work as a security guard, the state of their office building and the caliber of the people inside it seemed to open my eyes. Also the job paid minimum wage which is a big decrease.

I am seeking advice on jobs/careers that can benefit me with experience that can relate to policing. I have done searches and many of you claim that any job will do as long as you have life experience. Well I am fairly inexperienced in the job world except for fast food/part time jobs, and carpentry. I wish to grow while working towards my goal. The only post secondary education I have is Police Foundations. I have no interested in continuing a career in carpentry.

Personally I know I am not ready and would not get considered for an interview from any police department. I may be physically ready but not mentally or in terms of experience. I am currently renting a room, have only owned a car for a short while, and my credit is not perfect as I have large debt from OSAP from college and missed a Visa payment.

Anyways I could rant for a long long time but will stop at this. I plan on going to my local dept's and seeing if there is any volunteer work I can start doing. Not just so it looks good on my resume, but so I get involved and can get valuable experience in the community. I will also inquire about a ride-along. My situation is quite strange as I am a newly-wed that is not living with my partner but that is a story for my next post perhaps.


Cliff notes:

Took Police Foundations in college
Must find new job fast, knowing my job is a dead-end and my co-worker is sucking the life out of me, also to move closer to wife (job related locations of living)
Experience is in carpentry, need something that will help towards my goal of LE
Seeking advice on my situation

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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby Jim Street » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:37 pm

Find a job in some service area, do carpentry work on the side.
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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby dujow » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:31 pm

Jim Street wrote:Find a job in some service area, do carpentry work on the side.


Any kind of service? I may be naive but can you throw me a few examples? I have done a lot of job searching but haven't actively gone searching for a job I haven't seen posted. Jobs I see posted most regularly are for forklift drivers and call centers at minimum wage.

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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby Jim Street » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:00 pm

Sales, something customer service oriented.
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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby KevinH » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:11 pm

dujow wrote:
Jim Street wrote:Find a job in some service area, do carpentry work on the side.


Any kind of service? I may be naive but can you throw me a few examples? I have done a lot of job searching but haven't actively gone searching for a job I haven't seen posted. Jobs I see posted most regularly are for forklift drivers and call centers at minimum wage.


Any sales or service job.

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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby Apollo » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:15 pm

Join the army and the auxiliary police.

The army will give you a quick decent paying job, job security, and something to fall back on. OR join the military police reserves and you'll be stationed in toronto.

The auxiliary police will give you the experience and skills to become a police officer.

That's your safest bet. Doing this will allow you to get your shit together.

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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby dujow » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:32 pm

Thankyou for all your posts! I have been searching all night long and read several quality threads about life/work/volunteer experience. Apologies since my thread is pretty much a repeat of the thousands you see.

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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby MisterEssential » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:05 am

As for a job, you can look at maybe applying to one of the community centres in your area I'm sure there are plenty around in the GTA that pay a decent wage and will help you build up on skills and competencies. I work for a well-known non-profit agency and its definately helping me build up my competencies that the police are looking for. I'm also 24, work customer service at a bank going on 4yrs now, work at the agency, volunteer, and also taking police foundations with a 3.9 GPA honor roll so we're not THAT different. Keep in mind commitment is a big thing with police agencies so prove to them that you're able to stick with a job and that youre not one of those people who jump ship to another company or organization going from parttime job to parttime job isnt a good start IMO.
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Apollo
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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby Apollo » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:49 am

Screw that community centre crap or security guard business. My idea is the best. Join the army and the auxiliary police. Way more fun and way better experience.

Don't compromise your entire life around working jobs and volunteering places just because you think or people are telling you it'll help you get onto law enforcement.

Live your life the way you want to live it. Do the jobs you want to do, because you may never get onto the police. You need a good solid career to fall back on; not some security company or some community centre.

Stop worrying about what you should do to a better applicant. I've seen loads of people get onto the police and other law enforcement who have only worked at mcdonalds, waitress, security guard, constructions worker, bra sales person. Just do the testing and apply.

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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby Dave Brown » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:32 am

dujow wrote:I went and lived on-campus. This turned out to be a big mistake as it was my first time away from home and I did what many college kids do, and got bad grades.

Yup. Who didn't? Most departments look suspiciously on those consistent 4.0 high-achievers because they have no life skills and have never had to overcome any obstacles.

dujow wrote:I persisted and kept going to school to re-do the failed courses and did graduate.

Good. Persistence is a good thing. You are already miles ahead of most people.

dujow wrote:I got an interview for a Toronto security company. I attended, and was dismayed by the location and state of their main office. Another man attended for the same time slot and forced to wait an hour while I was interviewed. The entire thing felt horribly wrong to me. She did not want to check my references, she seemed only interested in knowing I can walk around and memorize codes. The back of my head the entire time was shouting "Something is not right here!".

We're liking you already.

Welcome to the forums. You are going to fit in JUST fine.

Apollo wrote:Screw that community centre crap or security guard business. My idea is the best. Join the army and the auxiliary police. Way more fun and way better experience.

Don't compromise your entire life around working jobs and volunteering places just because you think or people are telling you it'll help you get onto law enforcement.

Live your life the way you want to live it. Do the jobs you want to do, because you may never get onto the police. You need a good solid career to fall back on; not some security company or some community centre.

Stop worrying about what you should do to a better applicant. I've seen loads of people get onto the police and other law enforcement who have only worked at mcdonalds, waitress, security guard, constructions worker, bra sales person. Just do the testing and apply.

What he said. That is the best and most concise advice anyone has gotten in here in a long time. (See? I told you we were liking you already!)

Find a job you love to do, stay on top of your dreams but don't be dismayed if your life takes another path. Volunteer for the community and for yourself. Don't volunteer to pad the resumé. It is not fair to them or to the police agency. Volunteer on something that you will keep doing even after you get on somewhere.

Good luck!




By the way ... you don't steal any software or movies online do you? Just askin' ... :D :D :D :D

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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby gotchya » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:57 am

Dave Brown wrote:By the way ... you don't steal any software or movies online do you? Just askin' ... :D :D :D :D

Come one now Dave, that's a "grey" area! :P
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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby theguynamedalex » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:03 am

Dave Brown wrote: Most departments look suspiciously on those consistent 4.0 high-achievers because they have no life skills and have never had to overcome any obstacles.



Does that mean that I shouldn't be busting my ass now that I've finally gone to college? I most certainly don't want to be looked on suspiciously. ;)
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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby Rugger » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:45 am

As everyone already hit on. Find a job besides policing and commit yourself to that. You never know what the future holds, you could get injured, or have a hidden medical issue, etc.., and never able to be a officer. So ask yourself what would you want to do besides being a PO?

Hell...look at the crash..imagine those people counting on getting into the RCMP quick, because they are on a hiring spree, only to realize the process is probally now 2-3 years in length. Now they are stuck in jobs that they feel make them a better applicant, but not that they enjoy or would want to do for the rest of their lives.

I am sure someone has the stats of how many applicants actually get hired compared to applied...100-1? 1000-1?

Focus and develop towards a good career as a goal, if policing does not work out then you have a acceptable fall back where you will be quite happy in life.

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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby Cujie » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:29 pm

theguynamedalex wrote:
Dave Brown wrote:Most departments look suspiciously on those consistent 4.0 high-achievers because they have no life skills and have never had to overcome any obstacles.



Does that mean that I shouldn't be busting my ass now that I've finally gone to college? I most certainly don't want to be looked on suspiciously. ;)


None of the goof offs in my class got hired. The top students are all cops today. When my school did the "work experience" program, they didn't even look at people who had GPA's under 3.5. They had enough of a selection that they didn't have to... just like the real recruiting process. The stereotypical super geek with no life skills generally doesn't take things like police foundations, nor do they want to be cops. (They want to be lawyers :mrgreen: )

Obviously school isn't the only thing to take into consideration, but if you can balance school with work, volunteer work, and other activities such as sports.. I think it says a lot about you and you'll be successful in a very demanding career that requires a lot of balance. Out of my class of 42 or so I think 6 got hired.. and they were the ones who had it together and were over-achievers across the board. The goof offs are still working at McDonald's working on their "life skills" of getting hammered every weekend and going clubbing. Hard work pays off. I don't want to work with the guy who spent all weekend smashing beer cans on his forehead instead of doing his work.

At one of our recruiting sessions the recruiter said that if you know that you didn't put your best foot forward in school and that's all you have on your resume, maybe you could go back to school or take another course that interests you that you enjoy (not necessarily police related). That way you can apply yourself, work hard, and show that you've matured and can take things seriously now.
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Re: My intro, my story and my rant :)

Postby dujow » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:28 pm

Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the posts. Downloading movies? Never heard of such a thing! :)

I considered going to the army a couple years ago, but now it is something I won't do, am recently married and want to spend as much time with my wife as possible. I would love to just try winging it and do the testing then apply, but I feel they wouldn't even consider me due to some of the things I listed. This is a very tough time for me, as I would love to go back to college, but am already in debt from PF, and need to be there financially for my wife. Has anybody in this thread done something like this.. gone back to school for something new and made it work while married? My wife doesn't make a large salary.


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