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†Deferred Prosecution - go to grad school or apply? HELP!

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sea1
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PostSubject: Deferred Prosecution - go to grad school or apply? HELP!† †Wed May 27, 2009 5:24 pm

Greetings,

Iím in the midst of a crucial decision: Apply to a law enforcement agency now or go back to school to earn my Masters in Public Administration. The reason Iím leaning towards school is that I was arrested for DUI 14 months ago, but was admitted into the deferred prosecution program which placed me into a probationary status pending 2 years of outpatient alcohol treatment and another 3 years of background monitoring (should I get another DUI charge or any similar charge). In essence, after another 4 years all charges will be dropped and my record wiped clean (other than the initial arrest).
Iíve spoken to Captains at a few agencies and described my dilemma. I have an excellent background with 6 years as a reserve military officer and I continue to work as a merchant marine officer. In my youth I spent 4 years in a sheriffís explorer program and reached the rank of Captain (hey, every little bit helps, right?) In all cases, agencies have responded with enthusiasm at my employability with their respective agency pending some more time between applying and the incident. Just how long I should wait? No oneís real clear. One agency even said that I could apply now, but might face fierce competition due to the slumping economy and abundance of qualified job seekers.
Any input from current police officers would be greatly appreciated.

As a second question, Iíve been trying to weigh the applicability of a masters degree in public administration vs. criminal justice. Since my undergraduate is in Marine Transportation, I could see the value of criminal justice, but also think public administration is great for promotion. Which do you think is better for law enforcement?

Thanks again for reading this lengthy post and I appreciate your comments!
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J77
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PostSubject: Re: Deferred Prosecution - go to grad school or apply? HELP!† †Wed May 27, 2009 9:52 pm

Apply now, and start working toward your Masters Degree in Criminal Justice. If you don't get hired, you'll already be working toward your degree. If you do get hired, you could try to complete your degree if possible, or finish it later. I would choose criminal justice as opposed to public administration. I think three years from your DUI would be enough time to be considered by many departments. Good luck Exclamation
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Sarge
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PostSubject: Re: Deferred Prosecution - go to grad school or apply? HELP!† †Wed May 27, 2009 10:40 pm

I would be patient, and wait two to four years before applying with a law enforcement agency. Although it might not hurt to apply now, I would focus on earning your degree. I would choose public administration. Other than your DUI, you seem like an excellent candidate.
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sea1
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PostSubject: Thanks!† †Thu May 28, 2009 12:31 am

To Sarge and J77,
Thank you both for your promt and considerate replies. While I would love to apply now and make the leap, I can certainly understand how more time would help. I'm also worried about applying, getting turned down (for the DUI) and later having to check "YES" on the "have you ever applied for a position in law enforcement and been declined" column. Your imput has certainly helped!
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Sarge
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PostSubject: Re: Deferred Prosecution - go to grad school or apply? HELP!† †Thu May 28, 2009 2:07 am

You are correct. Although it likely wouldn't cause you to not be hired, having to check "YES" on the "have you ever applied for a position in law enforcement and been declined" often raises a red flag. Keep us posted.
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Jenn
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PostSubject: Re: Deferred Prosecution - go to grad school or apply? HELP!† †Sat May 30, 2009 9:51 am

A masters degree could open a lot of doors for you! Either major would be good!
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