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Old 04-08-2008, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Corpus Christi
905 posts, read 1,426,924 times
Reputation: 739
Default I need help making a descision

Next month I am walking the stage from Calallen High School in Corpus Christi and I dont know what I want to do afterwards. The only thing I know I am going to do is I am going to Del Mar College and I am going to be working at Jack in the Box while doing so. I don't know if I want to be a police officer like my dad for a bit higher of a salary, or if I wanna sacrifice a few thousand dollars a year and do what I really want to do. Be a firefighter. I need to figure it out so I know if I should study Fire Science or Criminal Justice in college.

One thing I know for sure is that I want to leave Corpus when I graduate college. I would really love to get a job in Austin or Dallas. But is the cost of living in these cities a lot higher than in Corpus? Also, can firefighters make a good living in these cities? Same question as with being a police officer.

I really need to know, I only have a few months to decide! I would really love to be either one of these, but the only problem with being a police officer is that I would have to wait until I am 21. I am only 17. I will be 19, almost 20 when I graduate college. I have a son and a girlfriend I need to support after college so I really wouldnt want to wait another year for being elligable to become a police officer. You only have to be 18 to be a firefighter, but the salary is a bit less.

What are your opinions on the subject!

I really appreciate the help!
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
6,581 posts, read 10,472,397 times
Reputation: 3648
If you're interested in Criminal Justice or Fire Science, why not join the military and let Uncle Sam pay for your college? Army, Navy and Air Force have both of these professions, and you'll get tons of good experience. Plus, you will get college credit for your career training, so you'll be ahead of the game when/if you get out of the service. You'll also have a veteran's preference which will allow you to go to the head of the line in civil service exams and for federal employment! And unless you join the Navy, you will definitely get out of Corpus!!
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:31 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,700 posts, read 11,100,117 times
Reputation: 1886
If you want to be smart about it and be qualified to move up the ranks, you might think about majoring in Fire Science but also taking enough criminal justice to get your peace officer's license. Start thinking toward the goal of being a Fire Marshall. Also take some classes related to code inspection. In the meantime, join your local VFD and get some practical experience.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Corpus Christi
905 posts, read 1,426,924 times
Reputation: 739
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristieP View Post
If you're interested in Criminal Justice or Fire Science, why not join the military and let Uncle Sam pay for your college? Army, Navy and Air Force have both of these professions, and you'll get tons of good experience. Plus, you will get college credit for your career training, so you'll be ahead of the game when/if you get out of the service. You'll also have a veteran's preference which will allow you to go to the head of the line in civil service exams and for federal employment! And unless you join the Navy, you will definitely get out of Corpus!!
I already thought about the military. The Air Force told me I would have to get married before I can join. I have no clue what that has to even do with anything. My dad was in the Army and he told me not to join it, it'l ********* over. I wouldn't really want to be in the Navy. And the military will seperate me from my son and girlfriend for lord knows how long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poltracker View Post
If you want to be smart about it and be qualified to move up the ranks, you might think about majoring in Fire Science but also taking enough criminal justice to get your peace officer's license. Start thinking toward the goal of being a Fire Marshall. Also take some classes related to code inspection. In the meantime, join your local VFD and get some practical experience.
Ya, I went to the local VFD and they said it is a lot of hours. That worries me since I already go to school until noon and then I work 3-11 five days a week. I would never have time to spend with family. And I never thought of the fire marshall. That is a great idea. I should look more into that. Also, my dad is a police officer and I am sure he can tell me what I would need to do to have a good shot at being one. And can you take both courses at the same time in college?
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,063 posts, read 11,350,003 times
Reputation: 3539
West Texas is begging for more police and firefighters! Lubbock, especially! My son goes to Texas Tech and he was saying that they've been doing a huge campaign to attract folks for the PD. I believe the starting salary is above $30K. Abilene's looking, too, but I don't think they pay as much as Lubbock.

Incidentally, the prison system is really in need of corrections officers. Here in Taylor County, they've been extending their overtime budget every month because they can't find enough employees. That's an option, too.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,063 posts, read 11,350,003 times
Reputation: 3539
Ooops, forgot to mention something. Geez, you really don't want to consider the military! You'll get out of Corpus, for sure, but find yourself in Iraq or Afghanistan!
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
6,581 posts, read 10,472,397 times
Reputation: 3648
Firefighters and MPs are not deployed as often as many other MOS's such as infantry, etc. Yes, you may go, but you won't be doing patrols of neighborhoods, etc. My husband has been in the Army for 18 years, and has been to Bosnia, Iraq and is now in Afghanistan. He's done very well by it!

You'd have to get married to your girlfriend in order to have her live on base with you and for her and your son to be considered a dependent. The military doesn't recognize domestic partnerships, only legal marriages.

You could definitely work for the Texas Department of Corrections or the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a Correctons Officer. Both will take just about anyone who is willing to try it because they need people so badly.
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Texas
3,494 posts, read 9,517,792 times
Reputation: 1265
ChristieP...i agree with her answer.
I would DEFINITELY enlist in the USAF, USMC, or Army (in that order). USAF deployments are nowhere near as long as Army's. When I was married to a soldier, his best friend enlisted in the USAF, and my husband was fixin to deploy for the second time to Iraq and his friend was still stateside at his AF base with no word of going anywhere!
I was also a Marine wife and REALLY loved that "culture.
Regardless of which branch you choose, military life offers so much you cant beat it in the civilian world. Think about the fact that you and your wife and son would get free medical care, housing and food allowances, and an already established support system.
If you dont consider enlisting, I would recommend working as a CO (Corrections Officer) for TDCJ until you can work at Dallas PD or something. There are TDCJ units all over just go check their website. The closest one to you is McConnell Unit and Garza in Beeville, and Connolly Unit in Kenedy. Many law enforcement officers started as CO's or work as CO's after retirement. It would at least give you a good insight on the criminal justice system, and how to deal with convicts.
In terms of PD...last i heard Dallas PD was offering a 10K sign on bonus.
Some PD's offer a very good starting salary. But I guarantee that after you add your cost of housing and food out of your own pocket, childcare etc....you probably would make more in the military (IF YOU TOTAL ALL THE FREEBIES).
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:42 AM
 
Location: West Texas
2,440 posts, read 3,613,708 times
Reputation: 2999
There is some inaccuracies in some of the things said, and I would like to pose an alternate view to some of the other military (or military dependents) who have replied.

First falsehood is that you do NOT have to be married to your girlfriend for your son to get medical and dental benefits as your dependent. Of course, it would be rude to do that and not take care of your girlfriend too, but it's not a requirement. You would just need the birth certificate proving you're the father.

The other thing that people who have not been in the Navy or closely associate with the Navy think is that we are underway ALL the time. I was in the Navy for almost 21 years and retired only 5 years ago. The Navy has deployments, but most deployments are only 180 days (6 months), and some stretch farther. But, they are not consecutive days at sea. I have never done more than 60 days at sea. And, when at sea you aren't getting shot at, or danger of roadside bombs. And while people are in Iraq for 1 year or 18 months, you have done a deployment and returned home in 6-7 months. Ships are updated too: calls can be made daily, there's internet access for emails, etc. I participated in campaigns from the strikes against Libya (1985), to Desert Storm (1990-91), Desert Fox (1995), and Iraqi Freedom (2002). In all that time, no ship I was on ever took a single bullet round or hit a bomb or mine.

Each service has pros and cons, but make sure you talk to a representative from each service (preferrably not a recruiter) to get their different perspectives.

Good luck in whatever you choose... I hope it works out for you!!!

~ Rath
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:31 PM
 
Location: ...in the desert...
36 posts, read 114,818 times
Reputation: 32
Do not limit yourself to just police officer or firefighter.

This is a mom talking! My son can tell you I was right.

Get yourself a credential in the allied health field FIRST. I am talking either a lab tech (the kind that do the lab work for blood work, cultures, etc not those who take the samples), sonography, or nursing degree. Yes, for males, too. It will not take you long. At most 2 years pre-reqs, then from 18 months to 2 years. You are young. THEN you can make HIGH MONEY while pursuing your criminal justice or firefighting degree, just by a weekend job or 1 or 2 shifts a week.

My son wanted to get a philosophy degree. A doctorate. I said sure, I will be behind you 100 percent in this if you first get one of those allied health degrees. He chose the sonography ("easiest" and shortest). He makes $50K a year just working weekends. And he is pursuing his doctorate comfortably.

I'm telling you, have something like that to fall back on, especially since it's so easy to hurt your back as a firefighter.

There are hard times ahead! Be ready!

Good luck!!!
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