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Old 09-23-2009, 10:41 PM   #11  
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Joined APC: Jun 2005
Posts: 20
Default Interesting

FYI, that seems to be a popular trend! My Background investigator told me that there have been a number of pilots (among other professionals) that have or are going through the hiring process.

I know of former airline pilots who turned in their wings for a badge. They ALL MISS flying, and acknowledge that the police career (take into consideration face time with the family, benefits, esp retirement) is superior to what the airlines will offer.

I for one will say that with law enforcement, comes a huge price tag. The job is FUN, and Exciting (like your rookie years as a pilot), but comes with a tremendous amount of BS, politics, danger, and not to mention the countless contacts and cases that will make you think the world is filled with "winners".

It's very stressful, because your always thinking about liability, and names and faces, and court,'s un like the airlines where the biggest stress from most stems from their commute! (I say that tongue in cheek of course).

The grass always seems to be greener on the other side! On that note there are also a number of cops who have become airline pilots and are doing ok, I think.

It takes a certain personality to be a cop. I'd advise you to do ride with the officers as often as you can.

Go try out, you might really enjoy and be and excellent officer.

I really have alot more to say about this, but I'll keep it general for the sake of everyone else.

PM if you wish.

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Old 09-24-2009, 05:52 AM   #12  
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Position: Corporate Pilot
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Default Pilot Friends to cops

I have had two pilot friends who made the switch to being a cop and they love it.


Last edited by SkyHigh; 09-24-2009 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:29 AM   #13  
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Position: Jet Pilot
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Is it possible for you to do a ride-along with the local police department? This might be a great avenue to get some advice and possibly see first-hand if it is for you.

For what it's worth, one of my best friends is a police officer and has been for several years. He really likes it and says it is the best job out there. It can be very rewarding, but like any other job it has its cons (no pun intended) too. As someone mentioned earlier you will be seeing a part of society that most of us only see on the six o'clock news.

If you are serious about pursuing this, one of the biggest recommendations would be physical fitness. Run, strength train, and become very skilled in martial arts.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:40 AM   #14  
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Joined APC: Feb 2009
Position: FO
Posts: 32

I'm looking at the same career jump.

Read about it before you make the jump, one such book is "101 reasons you should not become a cop"

Seems to be pretty representative of what to expect. But of course the satisfaction of the job is a whole lot better. Seems that those who get the badge a little older (late 20's instead of early) do better and can keep the job in perspective.

I'd also recommend or to get some insights.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:49 AM   #15  
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Pilot who want to be cops and cops who want to be pilots?

This could not have anything to do with some kind of type "a" power hungry personality glitch?
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:56 AM   #16  
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Originally Posted by The Juice View Post
Pilot who want to be cops and cops who want to be pilots?

This could not have anything to do with some kind of type "a" power hungry personality glitch?
More like people who desire to try and control the uncontrolled....

Have you ever met a pilot that wasnt a "type A" personality, I havnt...
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:11 AM   #17  
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Posts: 17

I have been in law enforcement for 27 years and the last 12 as a pilot flying full time. For me it has been the best of both worlds. Sure I am not flying turbines (I fly fixed wing not helos) but my QOL is better than almost any airline pilot. My commute is 20 minutes and home every night. I grew up while my mom worked for the airlines and it is not what it used to be. However, neither is law enforcement.

I think that most dept's would require you to work patrol for several years and that is not for most people. I loved it but it can be difficult due to some of the things that you have to see and deal with. Remember that all of the worst stories you see on TV, some Officer had to respond to and investigate. It can be pretty ugly and that can take a toll on your QOL.

The flying can be very challanging. I normally fly by myself and work all of the radios (we have 7 radios) while maneuvering at 500 agl and low speeds keeping track of units and/or suspects, other aircraft, towers, etc. It's great! Most depts will also want you you have all your ratings before begining training. So count on spending at least another $15K if not rated in helos.

I would recommend it also because if you were to lose your medical your still have a job in law enforcement. If you get serious check several depts. They are all different and some are probably not what you think. The federal agencies generally do not do much law enforcement once in an air unit. This may be more appealing to those that don't like that aspect but for me the law enforcement is the best part. Once you are comfortable/competent in the aircraft the action is happening outide of the cockpit.

I am very happy that I did not go the airline route. Although the aircraft are faster, more complex and carry more prestige (to some) it is boring flying. Don't get me wrong everything becomes a job after awhile but mine is generally different every day. You could not give me an airline job today (or tomorrow).

Good luck.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:41 AM   #18  
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Position: 737 CA
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I did the cop thing during the last recession. Most cops become pilots, not the other way around. But I guess times change. Either way, it's better than a desk job. I could never work in a cubicle.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #19  
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Do you really want to deal with crackheads all day long? I'm willing to bet you got into aviation by only looking at the positive side. Don't forget to take a long look at the negative side. Many people do not like the police, you will be called all kinds of names. People view police as more of a revenue generator now than a help to society, speed camera anyone? Your social interactions will be with people who would perfer you dead outnumbering the people that will thank you. It will get to you over time.

You may be shot at, the shot may miss your bullet proof vest and hit you in the head. Your wife will always wonder if today is the day. Much like a prison guard, this is a dead end job, very little to look forward to. As a firefighter I once saw a twelve year old blow his brains out with a shotgun after shooting his sister. I don't care who you are, it will get to you.

I would stick with 40k a year in the flaps up, shut up seat.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:08 PM   #20  
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Talked to the recruiter today - pretty helpful and not sugar coated. He said he knows of 3 airline pilots joined the force in the last year. I've flown with former cops - Most came from podunk departments in small towns - Not a big city department with the highest pay in the state with killer benies and a nice pension. I know you have to deal with the underbelly of society...Doesn't bother me. People hating you? You think I give a crap what some dbag thinks of me? It's all about feeding my family and being home buddy. I'm gonna go ahead and apply, take the test, and see what happens...Perfect time to take a VLA and explore the options. Thanks for the replys....Good luck swingin gear for 40k.
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