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Hey! Going to be an LEO...

I'm Ashley, a Criminology student in South Florida trying to become a city police officer. Any tips for a girl looking to be a cop? Other than work out like crazy.... lol.


  • Don't give up, it may get hard but stick with it girl!
  • Thanks man! No matter what I definitely won't give up. I'm trying hard to get my foot in the door, City Departments are very picky nowadays.
  • Hey there :) i guess we are kinda in the same boat, I am Jazmin.
  • Hey Jazmin! I only have one other friend that's a girl that wants to be a cop too. Nice to know there are definitely more of us out there. :)

    You want to do city? Highway patrol? Corrections?
  • Hey ladies! Right there with ya! I am the closest I've ever been! Have a psych eval tomorrow and then they should start my background....that's the end of the process! It's a local dept. In VA. Good luck!
  • That's so awesome, I'm totally jealous! :) Background checks take forever. lol.

    I'm interning at the Tampa Police Dept. next semester and then hopefully I'll get picked up once I go to the academy, or if I get sponsored. I guess time will tell. Good luck to you too!
  • She should join this too :) i know right, is very nice to meet you..
    I want to do city, how about you?

    Good Luck tomorrow jclutts32 :)) i cant wait for that day to come :))
  • You are lucky Ashley, i need to wait for 2014 spring to do my internship in Fresno, i just hope time goes fast :)
  • Good luck ladies! Many opportunities these days, not like when I started. No longer do you have to work the office and Juve detail. Oops did I age myself? LOL
  • Thanks! The background shouldn't take too long, single, never married, no kids...a lot less to go through! Their academy starts in January! Good luck to you and learn all you can with your internships!
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  • @jsalgado: You too! and I definitely am ready to be part of a city dept. I don't want to do Highway patrol because your backup is so far away, and there isn't as much to see in my opinion as working in a city with a decent size crime rate. Not that I don't like Troopers! lol

    @sjb: Thanks for the wishes! I laughed when I read that, I want to be chasing down the ba guys too! ;) lol aging yourself... hahaha :)
  • Thanks so much jclutts, I appreciate that. My bg check is taking months. lol.

    Good luck! You'll do great!
  • I have to say that I'm impressed with the new generation of female LEO's joining the forces. Fearless, assertive, and most important sensitive to the community. I've been doing this for 26 years. I have three rules, works in whatever department you are assigned. 1. wear comfortable shoes 2, eat whenever you can (some investigations can take hours with no relief) and always go to the bathroom anytime you leave the building. WIth all three of those taken care of, you can concentrate on your job. :)
  • I hope I fit that description, I know some women don't have the personality for it, but some men don't have it either. It seems that it takes a certain type of individual to become a black and white. I know joining the force wont make me save the world, but even if I make a small difference, it was STILL a difference.

    I like those three rules, lol, I'll remember that once I get into the academy! I've been on ride alongs and we've gotten stuck at the same scene for almost five hours. Thanks for the tips! I really appreciate any and all advice I can get. :)
  • Good luck!. Being a CJ student, I still have a few years to go.
  • Thanks Jason! Yeah, I'm a student too, but I can apply for the academy at 21, then when/if I get hired at the dept. I want, they'll help pay for me to go back to school. I've only got like... 2 semesters left hopefully.

    Good luck to you too! :)
  • Good luck guys....I went through the academy in 2009-2010 in PA. Fun stuff...just 1 bit of advice...if you don't like running...learn to like it now!! :) The rest is a blast!
  • Thank you for the tip Paul, I'm not a big fan of running... not that I'm really out of shape.. lol... guess I better get on it though. haha!
  • Good luck to all of you!
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  • Obviously staying in shape does help, especially if you work for the county and you are out in the middle of nowhere and your backup is 15 mins away. Its knowing how to protect yourself in a situation that might save your life. This applies to men and woman. We have a couple of smaller male officers on our dept. Just being big doesnt always mean everything. It just happens that he is also one of our defensive tactics instructors. We became instructors at the same time and he can throw me around even for his size. Its all about the knowledge and keeping up with your training to make sure you go home at the end of your shift. Your safety is number 1! I have seen woman take down men twice their size before they knew what was going on. You have to make sure to be safe and be prepared for anything. Safety is always number 1! Well thats my 2 cents. Be careful, have fun and good luck!
  • Be persistant, don't give up, and don't limit yourself to one department. GOOD LUCK
  • Thanks so much spd!

    Thats good advice, and yeah, I'll definitely need to go through some more basic defense stuff. I'm not tiny, but I'm not a huge person. But you're right, size isn't everything. Some really good short boxers out there. lol.
    My dad taught me from a young age how to grapple (since I'm his only child and a daughter). He wanted me to know how to fight, but I'm no where good enough to take down a huge guy. Guess I'll see how I do in the academy. :) Thank you for the input!
  • You are very welcome! We have some female officers on our dept and i wish they would take the self defense part a little more seriously, but you cant make people do someting they dont want. You just have to make sure you go home at the end of your shift! And always start out treating someone like you would want to be treated, its up to them as to how far it goes lol. Sometimes its the little things you learn that can save your life. My Lt always says.."In a crisis situation, people do not rise to the occasion. We revert to the level of our training." Ok im really done now lol. Be safe!

  • Well Charger, I passed...even with 4 years in EMS they don't think i'm completely crazy yet! I always said you have to be crazy to work in public service, and dad says if you aren't crazy when you start, you will be by the time you get out! ;) lol But in all seriousness, I am one step closer, with just my background investigation left! Thanks for your well wishes and for everyone for their advice for us gals!
  • Good luck! Just hit it running and never stop learning.....
  • Thanks Cpltrahan! I really will never give up, and I'll go with the first dept. that'll take me, then I'll go for the one I always wanted to work at.

    Jclutts: I'm so happy to hear that! Congrats! You are a step ahead of the game, I'm just working on being an intern while I'm still in college. I'm hoping to get sponsored to go into the academy by the dept. I want. I can't wait to be in that part of the process. You'll make it! :)

    @lawman: Thanks man, I'll definitely work hard, I want this more than anything. :)
  • Thanks! and the waiting game continues! lol
  • first don't give up it can take a while and a lot of applying. you may want to look at any social media sites you belong to as well, go through your pics and get rid of any that may be considered out of line for someone who will be in the publics eye. Depts. are looking at these more and more. once you are in the testing process make sure to do a ride a long or two and ask the officer you are riding with questions about the dept. and city, that will help in the oral boards and interviews. finally make sure you study the city you are applying for, nothing looks worse than being asked "what do you know about our city/dept?" and not have an educated answer. Believe me I've been there. Finally BE HONEST, this is an area that I have seen a lot of people DQ'ed. Hope that helped....good luck its a great career.
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  • Good luck to you guys, a little over 12 years ago I was in the same boat. The background checks will be thorough (I know I do them), whatever you do, do NOT try to lie to your investigator or try to hide anything you are not proud of. Quickest way to ruin your career before it starts.

    If you want to study self defense stuff, try ju jitsu, a lot of police combatives programs are centered around this art. Don't do the point fighting or MMA stuff, study the art in it's purest form. The other stuff is for show, no real value on the street.

    Internships are good, as are joining their reserve force, a lot of departments hire from within their reserve ranks for full time officers, anything to get your head in the door.

  • @Stoli: I definitely agree, as far as I can tell I don't have anything embarrassing or inappropriate on my pages. My parents always taught me never to do that. lol. I'll definitely be honest, I had to be given a polygraph just to be an intern... I've done a ton of ride alongs and made friends with lots of cops in the department I want to be a part of. It's the best way to learn about the dept. in my opinion. I actually got lucky and have a sergeant and a corporal writing me recommendations, hopefully that helps a little as well.

    @Warden: I'm a full time student, so I have no job, never been arrested, only had a few traffic tickets, never in the military. So I hope my background isn't too bad because there isn't really much I've done. I've volunteered at a bunch of places, but never been in any real trouble, nor have I done drugs. I'll keep that in mind about the ju jitsu, the cop I ride with used to be a ju jitsu trainer at a University, so I might try and convince him to teach me some stuff! Thanks for all the tips!
  • Hey Ashley.. it took me 10a months of appications and phone calls, working overnights in a county jail becore I got my blue suit.. Officer safety is golden rule number 1. So prep yourself by taking hand to hand take down classes plus working out.. I retired from the Army in January 11 and had a 5' nothing 108 lb female MP cuff and stuff two intoxicated males before back up could arrive.. ( we were 7-10 min away) artitude is key.. best of luck and never back diwn
  • @Jwright: It is definitely like pulling teeth, trying to get a hold of anybody at the department. I know it'll all be worth it though. I'm going to go for this, this is what my dream is to be, a cop. I appreciate the tips, I'm in pretty good shape; I just need to get stronger.
  • edited 22 Nov 2012
    Charger, don't forget. you can never be too strong, or limber. Focus on strecthing and flexability. I use my flexability more than brute strength in the prison. Keep up the good work.
  • @Stormtruck2 I'll remember that! I'm about to start a little work out program just to develop some strength in my arms (since I have at around a year until the academy, depending on if I get sponsored). Props for working in corrections, I couldn't do it I don't think.
  • I guess im in a similar boat too. My name is Brian and I am a current Criminal Justice student and a Law Enforcement Explorer with The United States Customs and Border Protection. My advice to all of my fellow future LEO's is to find the agency you want to work for and see if they have an Explorers program. This will get your foot in the door and not only that, it will most likely get you hiring preference. By the time I reach my 21st birthday, I will be trained and will be performing all of the duties of an Officer with CBP. So I will have all of the experience before entering the academy plus I will already be in shape going in. You guys wont regret it! It is one of the best things you can possibly do!
  • I wish you ladies well. I have worked with and know female officers. They did their job just as good as the males. Just remember, be safe, don't try to be a hero. Would like to see more of you in the work force.
  • @brosephlcbp: I wanted to do the explorer program sooo bad! I'm so jealous! :) I really would have done that, but it takes a long time to get approved the department I want to work for, and I turn 21 in just a couple months. So it didn't seem like a reasonable thing for me to do, I am doing an internship instead; then I'll apply. Thanks for all the tips! I really wish you the best, and I hope you stay safe!

    @Pete: Thanks man! I appreciate that! I hope more people support female leo's in the department I want to work in. I plan on being an efficient worker, just if I can get hired! lol
  • Good luck ladies! Work hard, be persistent, set your goals high and don't give up. Believe me all the hard work pays off!
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  • I really hope so! I just got my internship (selected one of 10 selected from over 60 applicants), and I'm totally stoked about it! I can't believe I got picked! :)
  • edited 5 Jan 2013
    Congrats!!!!!! Keep up the good work! Keep us updated :)
  • Thanks! :) I appreciate it, will do!
  • My advice is to polish your people skills and report writing. You can't type a report the way you talk on the street. You have to figure out your strength and weaknesses. I am not the strongest, but with my "mom" voice, I usually (not always) gain control of situations pretty quick.
  • @j63: I hear ya! Good ideas!

    I'm not too concerned about the people skills, because I'm a tour guide at an exotic animal rescue center, and I'm used to speaking to crowds of people and enforcing the rules of the sanctuary. I'm a decent writer, but I think the actual 'way' of writing a report will be something I really need to take note of. The officer I ride along with in TPD gives me tidbits of tips about report writing. I think getting the hang of the entire computer system will be tough too. :(
  • edited 4 Feb 2013
    Don't be arrogant. Don't kiss anyones backside. Go into each incidentwith the attitude that you will leave safely and unharmed. Never flirt. It can come back to haunt you. Fellow officers can't always explain exactly what they mean and may say something you don't like. Digest it first and revisit it only if you feel it's truly necessary. Listen to the old guys. They didn't get to be "old guys" for no reason. Don't let that badge go to your head (and it will at least once) Remember, that badge only makes you special to your family and other cops. Notice I didn't say friends. You're going to lose some. But what you gain in return is worth it. Be prepared to live on a vey small salary and to pay very high insurance premiums. Put a little extra into your retirement fund. Don't let a parent use you as the monster that's going to get their children. Make sure the parents understand that someday they might need us and they will be too scared to ask for help because they told their child that we were "gonna get you", or that you'd have us put cuffs on them. Bad parent! Always speak to kids and hug them sometimes. Be professional and stand your ground, even with your chief and fellow officers. Respect everyone until they don't deserve it any more. When you leave the house, kiss your spouse and your children even if you've just had the worst argument ever. Last words are what folks remember most. If you can help another officer and that help is not illegal, unethical or a policy violation, help them. Learn patience and temper justice with mercy. And never, ever lie, no matter what the cost. Have a great career and good luck.
  • @Oldschoolpolice: That is wonderful advice! A few other cops have told me to never kiss anyone's backside too and to keep my head in the job and not on flirting. I'm not looking to get a badge just to meet cops, I actually want to go out and help people. I love police work, and wouldn't do anything intentionally to screw it up.

    I especially like the part about children, I completely agree. I will always remember to go out of my way to remind kids that we are there to help and not cart everyone off to jail. :) Thanks so much for your tips! I promise I'll be sure to remember it.
  • edited 10 Feb 2013
    My name is Ashley also. Lol I'm Also a female who's going to be a police officer too, I will be putting my application in Wednesday for Raleigh, NC Police Department! :)
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