Law Enforcement Careers

I'm currently 22, in the army NG (11B) doing a masters degree. I've been considering going into LE after I graduate.

The Border Patrol caught my attention. What does /k/ know about them?
I'm aware that the work may be unfulfilling with 'catch-and-release' and all that. I'm hoping they'll become a lot more capable if Trump wins the election. Even if they don't, it's okay, the job still interests me.

Is this a good idea? I know /k/ isn't really the best place to ask, and I'm doing my research elsewhere of course, but I'm hoping that I could get a knowledgeable autist or two to chime in with a no-bullshit answer here.

If not, what's the next best federal job? The US Marshals? I'm also considering the FBI - I'm aware it's more intellectually rigorous and office-based compared to the USBP or USMS, of course.

What does /k/ know about Federal LE careers? I'm also open to joining a City PD, but without intending to sound pretentious, I feel it would be a waste of my mind. Or should I consider an completely different line of work? The thought of becoming a boring fatty rotting at some pointless office job doesn't entirely entice me, but I'm open to changing my mind if LE is really so terrible.

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >The Border Patrol caught my attention. What does /k/ know about them?
    Do you speak Spanish? Learn Spanish.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Duh

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Border patrol is one of the easiest places to get into federal law enforcement. If you have a master's and are a good worker/networker, it's a good place to start even if your ultimate goal is the FBI, or one of the investigative units in other agencies (IRS actually does some really interesting shit). You might also be able to do a lateral transfer within DHS depending on what works for you. However, I know it has had significant growing pains.

    I started with FEMA and in grad school I worked for State. I was told Border Patrol was a good place if other things didn't work out, but I ultimately got a job with a DoD contractor and then DOE's defense related work (yes, Energy has its own intelligence agency, also nuclear weapons related stuff in its shop).

    Downside is no clearance, which is quite valuable depending on what you want to do. Of course, if you're looking for management stuff and are in school, apply for the Presidential Management Fellows. It is hard to get, but great if you can do it. DOE has a scholars program too. It is mostly to bring in people with technical degrees, but they hire for public policy and intelligence too.

    I wouldn't count on Trump changing things. Border crossings hit a 13 year high under him and only came down because of the pandemic. This isn't really his fault, as it's largely shit going down in other parts of the world and how strong the economy is doing that beings in migrants, but it was sort of a shit show under him from what I hear.

    Yes, he talks a big game. Yes, he makes it a priority. But everything I've heard is his administration was 24/7 culture war and not about getting shit done at upper levels.

    Mattis, Tillerson, Espers, etc. all said as much and I don't think they're ALL deep state RINOs. Since their stories are the same, I believe the whole "watches cable news through briefings and frames all foreign policy in terms of the culture war," thing.

    Guy is your average Fox News Boomer, for better or worse.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Thank you for the good answer.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Now if you're after money, definetly do local. Police unions are incredibly powerful and pay is normally quite good while you're also almost impossible to fire and have great job security.

      This isn't always true, but most states police pay can be shockingly high. Massachusetts is a good one, but even some southern ones the unions have ratched up compensation.

      I consulted for a city and their guys had a take home pay of like $60-70k for rank and file. Good but not great, right? Except average take home pay was actually $106,000 for your lowest level guys, and this was before all the inflation. You get all sorts of OT, court time, special duty time. If your NG, you will often be able to double dip, collecting full pay for both. They had a lot of guys doing just that.

      Personally, I couldn't imagine dealing with it. Aside from all the hood rat shit you deal with, there was terrible discipline on the force. Guys with DUI, showing up drunk, sleeping through shifts, getting into bar fights. It was literally impossible to fire them. Just while I worked on this project they had a full 9% of the force under some sort of indictment. The big one was a bar fight brawl where one officer drew a firearm. All of them got their jobs back with full back pay. Also one guy dispatched EMTs away from two young girls who got mauled by his shit bull (he guessed it was his dog because it was across the street), then left his post to go hide his dog. Got his job back, full back pay.

      Some guys are fine there, but the shit heads are there for life because why would they leave.

      Staties make even more. We had a scandal with fake overtime on traffic stops and these guys who were stealing were already making $180-250,000 a year. Stealing $38,000 in OT got them one day in jail and an apology in punishment (and returning the money). They kept their pensions.

      And the pension is the big thing. Retire at 55-60 making 70-80% of your full time salary for life WITH health insurance.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Working with police unions will make you want a constitutional amendment banning public sector unions lol. Imagine if soldiers could tell the President (i.e. mayor/sheriff) "frick you, I ain't doing that, talk to my union president ."

        Wear a body cam? Frick you, 12% raise.
        GPS in the vehicles to help dispatch and to make sure guys aren't sleeping? Frick you, another 10%
        Discipline and obesity penalties? Frick you, it's an election year and we are not going out for calls.

        It's incredibly corrosive, and the good cops get brought down by it too because even if you're a good guy the lack of discipline is going to start to gnaw at you.

        /rant

        I haven't done that work in two years and it still pisses me off, and I even liked a good deal of the guys

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Working with police unions will make you want a constitutional amendment banning public sector unions lol. Imagine if soldiers could tell the President (i.e. mayor/sheriff) "frick you, I ain't doing that, talk to my union president ."

        Wear a body cam? Frick you, 12% raise.
        GPS in the vehicles to help dispatch and to make sure guys aren't sleeping? Frick you, another 10%
        Discipline and obesity penalties? Frick you, it's an election year and we are not going out for calls.

        It's incredibly corrosive, and the good cops get brought down by it too because even if you're a good guy the lack of discipline is going to start to gnaw at you.

        /rant

        I haven't done that work in two years and it still pisses me off, and I even liked a good deal of the guys

        Local does appeal to me in many ways, but I also agree with how you described the people there.

        I've spoken to feds and they all left an incredibly good impression on me. I didn't even have any interest in going into their line of work until I met an FBI agent by complete happenstance on campus.
        Very solid people, came off as quite smart too, and competent - unless I just got lucky with them.

        On the other hand, local/city PD people (not sure what the correct term to describe them is lol) usually seem like dicks on a power trip who also treat their police force like some sort of a cool high school clique. Very off-putting. Troopers/Highway Patrol seemed a lot better, but I don't want to sit on a highway all day.
        I have noticed that city/local cops get paid very impressively though. I was almost shocked when I saw how much some of them make in certain areas/states. I guess it's necessary to fatten their wallets up in order to prevent them from becoming even more corrupt than they already are and to draw in higher quality people

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          kind of off topic, but I'm also an 1811 hopeful here. Did the people you talked to mention anything specific about what type of vet they want? Am choosing a job for the Airforce soon and want to givr myself the best chance I got.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            No, he didn't tell me anything about that.

            Main guy I spoke to, an FBI agent, was a USMC combat vet who saw serious action in Iraq way back when.
            But I'd assume they'd prefer someone like a linguist (foreign language, top secret clearance, etc)

            I think it's overall more important to have a JD or accounting degree or something

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >IRS actually does some really interesting shit
      Would you care to elaborate?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        They do investigations that can be quite interesting. Recall that Al Capone was bagged on tax evasion. A lot of corruption and organized crime is hard to prove, but it is easier to prove someone has income/shit they didn't pay taxes on, and that lets you put them away.

        They also have their own tactical teams for raids. A guy who ran a municipal golf course was stealing from the city for years with a gift card scam, a few hundred thousand dollars. He bought a ton of stuff cash, including property, and that got the IRS suspicious and got him.

        That's not so interesting, but they also get crime bosses in similar ways.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >IRS actually does some really interesting shit
          Would you care to elaborate?

          But also, these jobs as scarce because one of the things the GOP has been into lately is cutting funding for the IRS. Recall the rage over all the new agents not long ago.

          Now at first glance, this looks sensible. Who hasn't heard a sob story about some poor small business owner losing everything because they messed up and didn't pay their taxes for ten years?

          But the thing is, there are $11 trillion in owed taxes outstanding. That is, we could erase a third of the debt in a year if we just collected the actual taxes due. And the thing is, who owes these isn't evenly distributed, it's overwhelmingly richgays, like 90+%. This isn't that surprising when you consider the pay most of the taxes, but the share of people avoiding taxes is even more unequal than the payments.

          Which is sort of frustrating because SOMEONE is going to end up paying that debt. It will be our kids, or us in not getting Social Security after the Boomers suck it dry. But somehow richgays convinced everyone that the IRS agents were going to be going after Bob Jones and his $400 he should have paid and not Cayman Island accounts.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            The other jobs that got shit on recently was State. In 2017 they did this massive cut back at State, up to the point where people on Rangle Fellowships who had just had their entire school paid for, sometimes a full price undergrad and grad degree, like a $250,000 investment were told "thanks but no thanks, we don't want anyone, enjoy the free rise, sorry you became fluent in Urdu and Pashtun for no reason lol." I know people from Ivies who didn't get through the FSOT in the 2017-18 stretch. And then at the same time a whole bunch of middle management types left in a exodus from Foggy Bottom during that same period.

            State is still fricked up from that, which is a real loss because they have one of the best intelligence shops and you do need diplomats for effective military use, even hard power stuff.

            That said, I hear they have been expanding quite a bit to get back to where they were so now might be a good time.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    FBI HRT

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Hey OP, I can give you direct, first hand knowledge from my experiences with fed LEO work. I actually worked for CBP for just over two years; it was the first agency that got back to me once I finished grad school. It wasn't my first choice, but I really needed a job and it was during covid, so I took what I could get. I also heard (and is partially true) DHS as a whole is a good place to start with fed work as you basically work and meet every other agency. However, I truly believe DHS should be a temporary, few year stepping stone at best. It is an agency with no leadership, no pride, no standards, they step on everyone's toes, and basically shit on the constitution and act like local piggies in terms of how broad their job objectives are. The only exception to that is the Secret Service (high standards, professional, good opportunities, rewarding work) and Border Patrol (tough, thankless job, but you see tons of shit and BORTAC is exceptional, if you are in long enough). I was a CBPO because I didn't wanna work SWB and just needed a temp job while I figured out what agency is a best fit (kind of like high school sports, all of them have their own culture and prestige). I hated it everyday; fat coworkers, stupid, uneducated, all tacticool larping mall cops for the most part. Truly like being a starting QB for varsity football but you have a team composed of downies and coaches are mongs; the letterman jacket and badge/gun seems cool but you know deep down you are surrounded by morons and it is a façade.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      However, I did get good experience and took the little benefit I could from it; I also used it as a way to stay motivated so I could get into a good agency. Currently finishing up background for diplomatic security and much, much more excited for that. To be clear, I have no prior military or LEO experience, just in shape, genuinely not moronic, and reliable. Those three things put you ahead of 99% of people. I got so fed up with CBP I quit and moved to Montana to work part time/odd jobs after I got the offer from state because frick being that miserable. Here are my thoughts on the agencies:
      >FBI
      literally eagle scout, pretentious accountants who grew up in the suburbs. They coast off the prestige of the name and the agency currently has a massive issue with morale and leadership; this isn't unique to FBI though. They think they are better than everyone when they are kind of just soft nerds. Sicario did a pretty good job of showing how idealistic and far removed they are from the real world. However, they get tons of money, training, funding, and they are the premier LEO agency (for better and worse) so they get dibs on all the good stuff. If you only view things as black and white, good and bad, could be a good fit.
      >DHS HSI and ICE
      ICE EROs aren't 1811s, but man if you wanna kick in doors and wrestle fat dangerous minorities all day go for it. Genuinely fun to work with them. HSI seems to be the place everyone in DHS wants to work for, and their mission statement basically is the same as the FBI, except the agents are generally a cut lower than FBI. They also have this weird superiority complex to CBP and other agencies, especially EROs, when they really wouldn't exist if CBP didn't give them 90% of their cases. HSI also like to act like the ATF and shit on the Constitution a good amount. You will work SWB a ton.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      However, I did get good experience and took the little benefit I could from it; I also used it as a way to stay motivated so I could get into a good agency. Currently finishing up background for diplomatic security and much, much more excited for that. To be clear, I have no prior military or LEO experience, just in shape, genuinely not moronic, and reliable. Those three things put you ahead of 99% of people. I got so fed up with CBP I quit and moved to Montana to work part time/odd jobs after I got the offer from state because frick being that miserable. Here are my thoughts on the agencies:
      >FBI
      literally eagle scout, pretentious accountants who grew up in the suburbs. They coast off the prestige of the name and the agency currently has a massive issue with morale and leadership; this isn't unique to FBI though. They think they are better than everyone when they are kind of just soft nerds. Sicario did a pretty good job of showing how idealistic and far removed they are from the real world. However, they get tons of money, training, funding, and they are the premier LEO agency (for better and worse) so they get dibs on all the good stuff. If you only view things as black and white, good and bad, could be a good fit.
      >DHS HSI and ICE
      ICE EROs aren't 1811s, but man if you wanna kick in doors and wrestle fat dangerous minorities all day go for it. Genuinely fun to work with them. HSI seems to be the place everyone in DHS wants to work for, and their mission statement basically is the same as the FBI, except the agents are generally a cut lower than FBI. They also have this weird superiority complex to CBP and other agencies, especially EROs, when they really wouldn't exist if CBP didn't give them 90% of their cases. HSI also like to act like the ATF and shit on the Constitution a good amount. You will work SWB a ton.

      >TSA SENPAITACHI/Federal Air Marshals
      lol, TSA. have fun working SWB and following around "suspected terrorists" which are just Americans on lists.
      >ATF
      >lulz. outside of the memes, generally poor quality. they know other agencies hate them and how useless they are
      >DEA
      Pretty legit from the few times I met them. Tough to get into, but if you really wanna play cowboy and have a boner for drugs they are the best
      >IRS CI
      Even bigger nerds than FBI. You are not only a tax man but also a pig.
      >USMS
      Do you enjoy shooting rapists and dangerous felons with no repercussions? Do you like getting screamed at for 5 months and is it borderline a sexual thing for you? USMS were all pretty solid; excellent training, tough academy, long history. Professional when I dealt with them and they liked me and told me to apply. The pay at first starts shitty though and they are supposedly revamping their hiring process. Reach out to your local USMS field office to inquire how to apply as it is unique to them. If you like getting your balls stomped on with a group of fellow morons they are the best.
      >Diplomatic Security
      As I said, where I am going to. Everyone has told me their training is top notch, they get tons of cool stuff to play around, and if you wanna work overseas they are one of your few options. The hiring process is exceptionally competitive (like all foreign service jobs) so you may need to build your resume, kind of like the FBI.
      Outside of that, I have a few friends who do analysis in the east coast. They all love it, but analysis is obviously very different. If you wanted to do field work for the IC I would assume you'd need to build up your resume for them as it is competitive (like FBI, State).

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        kek, just noticed Federal Air Marshals (Abbreviated F A M S) got changed to SEPNAITACHI

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      However, I did get good experience and took the little benefit I could from it; I also used it as a way to stay motivated so I could get into a good agency. Currently finishing up background for diplomatic security and much, much more excited for that. To be clear, I have no prior military or LEO experience, just in shape, genuinely not moronic, and reliable. Those three things put you ahead of 99% of people. I got so fed up with CBP I quit and moved to Montana to work part time/odd jobs after I got the offer from state because frick being that miserable. Here are my thoughts on the agencies:
      >FBI
      literally eagle scout, pretentious accountants who grew up in the suburbs. They coast off the prestige of the name and the agency currently has a massive issue with morale and leadership; this isn't unique to FBI though. They think they are better than everyone when they are kind of just soft nerds. Sicario did a pretty good job of showing how idealistic and far removed they are from the real world. However, they get tons of money, training, funding, and they are the premier LEO agency (for better and worse) so they get dibs on all the good stuff. If you only view things as black and white, good and bad, could be a good fit.
      >DHS HSI and ICE
      ICE EROs aren't 1811s, but man if you wanna kick in doors and wrestle fat dangerous minorities all day go for it. Genuinely fun to work with them. HSI seems to be the place everyone in DHS wants to work for, and their mission statement basically is the same as the FBI, except the agents are generally a cut lower than FBI. They also have this weird superiority complex to CBP and other agencies, especially EROs, when they really wouldn't exist if CBP didn't give them 90% of their cases. HSI also like to act like the ATF and shit on the Constitution a good amount. You will work SWB a ton.

      [...]
      >TSA SENPAITACHI/Federal Air Marshals
      lol, TSA. have fun working SWB and following around "suspected terrorists" which are just Americans on lists.
      >ATF
      >lulz. outside of the memes, generally poor quality. they know other agencies hate them and how useless they are
      >DEA
      Pretty legit from the few times I met them. Tough to get into, but if you really wanna play cowboy and have a boner for drugs they are the best
      >IRS CI
      Even bigger nerds than FBI. You are not only a tax man but also a pig.
      >USMS
      Do you enjoy shooting rapists and dangerous felons with no repercussions? Do you like getting screamed at for 5 months and is it borderline a sexual thing for you? USMS were all pretty solid; excellent training, tough academy, long history. Professional when I dealt with them and they liked me and told me to apply. The pay at first starts shitty though and they are supposedly revamping their hiring process. Reach out to your local USMS field office to inquire how to apply as it is unique to them. If you like getting your balls stomped on with a group of fellow morons they are the best.
      >Diplomatic Security
      As I said, where I am going to. Everyone has told me their training is top notch, they get tons of cool stuff to play around, and if you wanna work overseas they are one of your few options. The hiring process is exceptionally competitive (like all foreign service jobs) so you may need to build your resume, kind of like the FBI.
      Outside of that, I have a few friends who do analysis in the east coast. They all love it, but analysis is obviously very different. If you wanted to do field work for the IC I would assume you'd need to build up your resume for them as it is competitive (like FBI, State).

      To finish, the pay is great for all fed LEO work-people who say go local are moronic. I left as a GS 12 and was making $130k a year on the west coast with 50 hour work weeks. My buddies who are 1811s in bigger midwest cities and GS13 and get LEAP make 150k a year. Plus a pension, it is tough to beat. All 1811 jobs are competitive and I would start applying now even if you are iffy. The oral board practices are worth it and all agencies essentially have three ish rounds of testing: 1 is a literacy test which knocks out most people (ie do you know the difference between to, too, and two);2 is usually some type of writing and or logical reasoning (LSAT prep courses help with this); and 3 is normally the oral board. Once you pass those you get a tentative offer, and then do medical/background/and final PFT. I started when I was 28 and you will definitely be on the younger side at FLETC as the normal age range seemed to be 26-33. Let me know if you have more questions anon, happy to help because when I started no one gave me any useful advice.
      Also, every agency likes to shit talk others; find one where you enjoy the work, remember the oath you took to the constitution first, and how you are supposed to serve the US people, and you will be able to sleep well at night and know you aren't a scum sucking power tripper. With that said, DHS as a whole really is viewed poorly and as amateurs. Lots of DHS employees know this and have a chip on their shoulder, but instead of using that to act and improve themselves, they instead act like hypersensitive children and prove the point of how no one takes them seriously.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        [...]
        >TSA SENPAITACHI/Federal Air Marshals
        lol, TSA. have fun working SWB and following around "suspected terrorists" which are just Americans on lists.
        >ATF
        >lulz. outside of the memes, generally poor quality. they know other agencies hate them and how useless they are
        >DEA
        Pretty legit from the few times I met them. Tough to get into, but if you really wanna play cowboy and have a boner for drugs they are the best
        >IRS CI
        Even bigger nerds than FBI. You are not only a tax man but also a pig.
        >USMS
        Do you enjoy shooting rapists and dangerous felons with no repercussions? Do you like getting screamed at for 5 months and is it borderline a sexual thing for you? USMS were all pretty solid; excellent training, tough academy, long history. Professional when I dealt with them and they liked me and told me to apply. The pay at first starts shitty though and they are supposedly revamping their hiring process. Reach out to your local USMS field office to inquire how to apply as it is unique to them. If you like getting your balls stomped on with a group of fellow morons they are the best.
        >Diplomatic Security
        As I said, where I am going to. Everyone has told me their training is top notch, they get tons of cool stuff to play around, and if you wanna work overseas they are one of your few options. The hiring process is exceptionally competitive (like all foreign service jobs) so you may need to build your resume, kind of like the FBI.
        Outside of that, I have a few friends who do analysis in the east coast. They all love it, but analysis is obviously very different. If you wanted to do field work for the IC I would assume you'd need to build up your resume for them as it is competitive (like FBI, State).

        However, I did get good experience and took the little benefit I could from it; I also used it as a way to stay motivated so I could get into a good agency. Currently finishing up background for diplomatic security and much, much more excited for that. To be clear, I have no prior military or LEO experience, just in shape, genuinely not moronic, and reliable. Those three things put you ahead of 99% of people. I got so fed up with CBP I quit and moved to Montana to work part time/odd jobs after I got the offer from state because frick being that miserable. Here are my thoughts on the agencies:
        >FBI
        literally eagle scout, pretentious accountants who grew up in the suburbs. They coast off the prestige of the name and the agency currently has a massive issue with morale and leadership; this isn't unique to FBI though. They think they are better than everyone when they are kind of just soft nerds. Sicario did a pretty good job of showing how idealistic and far removed they are from the real world. However, they get tons of money, training, funding, and they are the premier LEO agency (for better and worse) so they get dibs on all the good stuff. If you only view things as black and white, good and bad, could be a good fit.
        >DHS HSI and ICE
        ICE EROs aren't 1811s, but man if you wanna kick in doors and wrestle fat dangerous minorities all day go for it. Genuinely fun to work with them. HSI seems to be the place everyone in DHS wants to work for, and their mission statement basically is the same as the FBI, except the agents are generally a cut lower than FBI. They also have this weird superiority complex to CBP and other agencies, especially EROs, when they really wouldn't exist if CBP didn't give them 90% of their cases. HSI also like to act like the ATF and shit on the Constitution a good amount. You will work SWB a ton.

        Hey OP, I can give you direct, first hand knowledge from my experiences with fed LEO work. I actually worked for CBP for just over two years; it was the first agency that got back to me once I finished grad school. It wasn't my first choice, but I really needed a job and it was during covid, so I took what I could get. I also heard (and is partially true) DHS as a whole is a good place to start with fed work as you basically work and meet every other agency. However, I truly believe DHS should be a temporary, few year stepping stone at best. It is an agency with no leadership, no pride, no standards, they step on everyone's toes, and basically shit on the constitution and act like local piggies in terms of how broad their job objectives are. The only exception to that is the Secret Service (high standards, professional, good opportunities, rewarding work) and Border Patrol (tough, thankless job, but you see tons of shit and BORTAC is exceptional, if you are in long enough). I was a CBPO because I didn't wanna work SWB and just needed a temp job while I figured out what agency is a best fit (kind of like high school sports, all of them have their own culture and prestige). I hated it everyday; fat coworkers, stupid, uneducated, all tacticool larping mall cops for the most part. Truly like being a starting QB for varsity football but you have a team composed of downies and coaches are mongs; the letterman jacket and badge/gun seems cool but you know deep down you are surrounded by morons and it is a façade.

        Greatly appreciate your answers, bro. Noted everything

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          For sure anon. What is your job for military, and what is your education in? Any language skills? Foreign travel? Do you enjoy physical violence and are you in shape? Give me a rundown on your background and personality and I can give you some suggestions into what to look into specifically.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I always though Marshals would be fun

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Unless you are going into high tier fed spook shit or you're friends with the county sherrif being an LEO is almost never worth it these days. You are getting paid less than a garbage man to wrangle the dregs of society and do the most mind numbingly boring paperwork ever created by a government.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    It would be silly not to work for Uncle Sugar since you already have credit toward retirement which is the most important goal of working.

    Best to contact humans who work currently at any agency which interests you and check the usual work social media including reddit.
    Eventually age means you will want an office gig but that doesn't exclude fun while young.

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