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 Some questions from a disenchanted social psychology student

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HeatherM



Posts : 2
Join date : 2010-01-29

PostSubject: Some questions from a disenchanted social psychology student   Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:48 am

Hi,

I was very excited to find this forum! Thanks so much to those who answer posts!

I am currently a social psychology PhD student. However, over the last few years I have realized academia (and my previous goal to teach and research at a university) are not satisfying my strong desire to help people. I now hope to pursue a law enforcement career. Because I am naturally drawn toward investigation of social phenomena, I think detective work would be a great option. I have very little knowledge of how things work outside the university and would greatly appreciate some help about this next step.

Here are a couple things:
I will have a Masters in social psychology by June
I have no criminal record (one speeding ticket)
I am currently on antidepressants (depression is stable/treated)
I do have a lot of debt because I have been in school so long. But I think my credit is ok. (I have heard that debt can be a negative?)

My fiance lives in Atlanta, GA so I am hoping to apply to the department there. It looks as though they have their own police academy.

Ok, so here are my questions:

1.) What obstacles should I expect during the application process? How long does the process take? When should I apply if I won't receive my degree until June (should I apply before or after graduation)?
2.) Am I correct that I must first become a police officer before applying for a promotion to detective?
3.) Is it common for people to move from a police department to a governmental position (e.g., with the FBI)? How could I go about this? How hard would it be to do this?
4.) Will the academy teach me everything I need to know to start? Or will I need to take some tests that expect me to have prior knowledge during the application process? I know a lot about human behavior, not a lot about the law...


So sorry for the long post and so many questions! Thanks again for any responses to any of the above!
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Roy
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PostSubject: Re: Some questions from a disenchanted social psychology student   Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:58 pm

Hi Heather! I'm not an expert in police officer hiring. I am an officer, and will give you my thoughts.

1.) I think that being on antidepressants might cause you problems (could be an obstacle to getting hired). From the time you submit your application, it could probably take up to six months before you are hired.
2.) You could apply before you graduate if you have time. If you are not from the Atlanta area, the Atlanta Police Department has recruitment trips sometimes. The Atlanta Police Department only requires a diploma or G.E.D. So as far as education goes, you are way ahead.
3.) You would definitely have to be a police officer before becoming a detective. With many departments, you have to be an officer for at least two years before being eligible for promotion to detective.
3.) Surely it is possible, and many officers have decided to work for the federal government after becoming police officers. Regardless of whether or not you were a police officer, you would still have to meet whatever qualifications and requirements another agency such as the FBI demanded. It surely wouldn't hurt if you already have law enforcement (police) experience.
4.) The police academy and then your FTO (Field Training Program) combined are designed to teach you everything you need to know to start out on your own as a police officer. You do not need prior police knowledge to be hired by the Atlanta Police Department.

Your debt shouldn't be a problem if it is from student loans, and you are late on payments or anything. The Atlanta Police Department does have its own academy. The academy is 760 hours of training, and then you receive 240 hours of field training. You will start out at a higher salary for having four years or more of college. Good luck!
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LJ
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PostSubject: Re: Some questions from a disenchanted social psychology student   Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:30 pm

There are some good federal investigator jobs you might qualify for with a masters degree Exclamation
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HeatherM



Posts : 2
Join date : 2010-01-29

PostSubject: Re:   Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:40 pm

Thanks so much for the replies! I am very excited to start in the field! Next step is the application!
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TYoung
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PostSubject: Re: Some questions from a disenchanted social psychology student   Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:26 pm

Good luck Exclamation Wish I had as much education as you Exclamation
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Peanut
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PostSubject: Re: Some questions from a disenchanted social psychology student   Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:52 am

Go for it!
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Some questions from a disenchanted social psychology student

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