Switching to Police

Nightmare

The FNG
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Hello all, so I have come to kind of a fork in the road right now, I am finishing up my college education (by finishing I mean I am part way through my masters and I am not going to finish it) I have been an EMT for 2 1/2 years and worked with the company I am with now for almost a year now. A few weeks ago I had somebody plant the idea of switching from EMS to LEO once I am done with school. I have decided I am not going to continue to be an Athletic Trainer, which is what I originally went to school for because the pay is about as good (bad) as an EMT and I enjoy being an EMT more. But I started looking at local police departments and it got me interested (not to mention the pay is better) but what I am looking for is some guidance, has anybody made that switch before? What should I expect? etc.

Gracias
 

cprted

Forum Captain
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I know 3-4 people that left being paramedics to become police officers. All of them have said it was the best decision they've ever made.
 

RedAirplane

Forum Asst. Chief
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There are some jobs that combine both. I believe Maryland State Troopers look for paramedics to go through their police program in order to become the medic on the MEDEVAC helecopters.
 

chaz90

Community Leader
Community Leader
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Delaware State Police as well. I believe there's a place in Utah? with sheriff paramedics. Also, I think Pasadena CA and Kalamazoo MI both have public safety departments with public safety officers certified and working as EMS/Police/fire. I know very little about them, but I believe that was true last I heard.
 

rescue1

Forum Asst. Chief
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Where I am, leaving EMS to go to the police means getting a raise, not working two jobs, a union position, pay raises, and a pension. But if you don't like being a cop, you're not gonna be happy. I'd do some ride alongs with a local department if that's possible, and see how you feel about the job.
 

Jim37F

Forum Deputy Chief
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Pasadena CA.....have public safety departments with public safety officers certified and working as EMS/Police/fire.
I work next door in Glendale and we use the same dispatch agency for Fire/EMS and I've never heard PPD being a primary EMS responder....however for special events (such as the Rose Parade) they may have some medically trained officers in support, but certainly not in a primary response role. Not unless there's PPD officers working on the PFD RAs (which would definitely be interesting but if so I haven't heard of it).

I do believe the L.A. Co Sheriffs helicopters can operate as an air ambulance if need be, not sure what sort of staffing they have considering both LAFD and LACoFD have nearly a dozen air ambulance capable helicopters between the two of them, though the Sheriffs are a primary SAR resource.
 

okiemedic

BLS Healthcare Provider Instructor
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When I lived in Iowa city Iowa fifteen years ago. The Coralville police department cross trained their officers as emts .. their units had the star of life on the rear panels...
 

Gurby

Forum Asst. Chief
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I know 3-4 people that left being paramedics to become police officers. All of them have said it was the best decision they've ever made.
I know someone who went the other direction: LEO to paramedic after 10+ years of police work. He seems happy with the switch.

Something to consider is that as a medical person, you're almost always the good guy - people like you and are often appreciative. As an LEO you're often seen as the bad guy, often under-appreciated, and you spend more of your time dealing with the actual bad guys. Personally, I think that would drag me down.

I'd second the advice above to do some ride-alongs to get a better sense of what the job is like.
 

Anonymous

Forum Captain
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What got you interested?

If it is the money I don't think the pay difference is going to change the way you live so don't let that be the base of your decision.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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If you can get a full time LEO job, you will have a pension, career ladder, better pay, more opportunities, and you will typically be treated better by the higher ups. the biggest downside? you have to become a cop (not something that really appeals to me at all, but if you would enjoy it, go for it).

I know many people that went from EMS to LEO.... the only LEOs who went to EMS did it either after they retired, or did it part time on their days off from their full time LEO job.
 

Fire51

Forum Lieutenant
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I've thought about becoming a police officer but just never gone through with it. I really enjoy EMS right now and want to get my paramedic soon, but who knows maybe in the future. If I ever get the chance to do paramedic/police I probably will.

EMS/medical is just more interesting to me and what I want to do at this point.
 

teedubbyaw

Forum Deputy Chief
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Have a backup plan. Go to school and get a useful degree.

I had plans to get into LE, and ems was going to be my backup. I liked the work so stayed. Getting into a department is no easy task...so again, have a backup plan.
 

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