Careers: Police/The job


QUESTION: I am a 35 year old interested in pursuing a new career in the pd.  I am wondering your opinion about starting at 35/36. I have always had a interest in police work.  I am currently in great shape and work in finance.  Have a history in own my own business as well

ANSWER: Jason,

The good thing about your age is that no department can discriminate against you because you are 35.  The bad news is that if you are hired that you would be starting out as a patrol officer at the age of 36 or 37.  Policing is a young man's game and soon you would be in your 40's which is the time that many officers have either retired or moved on to investigative spots, etc.

I am certainly not trying to talk you out of this but keep in mind that police departments have huge hiring pools these days.  They have hundreds if not thousands of applicants to chose from.  So if you do apply for a job in law enforcement please don't quit any job that you have while waiting for the application process to play out.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I understand what your saying. I am in very good shape.  Do you think it is a good or bad idea? Is there advantages in being older

Being in shape is great but it has little to do with being hired as a police officer.

Think about this.  There are thousands of departments and each has its own hiring standards.  There are thousands of applicants for the larger departments and fewer for the smaller departments.  They are looking for intelligence, the ability to communicate with the public, and aptitude.  Police work looks easy on television or the movies but when they test you and you appear before an oral board they can tell whether you have the aptitude to be a police officer.

Another thing is that an older applicant has had more chances to obtain negative background material.  Not that you are an unfit candidate but a 21 year old has not had the chance to get in trouble or have bad character references.

I cannot possibly tell you whether you are a good candidate or not  I encourage you to give it a try.

Careers: Police

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Jack Toomey


If you are an author I will be happy to help you however I do expect a reasonable donation using the PayPal icon. U.S.: I am an expert in this category for the purpose of giving young people an idea what the hiring process involves for the position of police officer. I am getting a flood of questions from young people who are being influenced by unrealistic television shows. I'd ask you to consider that when you watch police shows on television that they are NOT realistic and most of what you see does not happen in real life. Please do not ask me about potential jail sentences that you, your friends, or family might receive in court. There is no way for me to know that. I am NOT a probation officer so I cannot answer questions about probation and parole matters. I am a retired police officer with 26 years experience.I worked in a variety of assignments including investigations, homicide, sex crimes, runaway investigations, missing persons, and fraud.I also dealt with the general public during that time giving a wide range of advice on matters such as domestic disputes, problem solving, teenage problems, civil/criminal matters, and dealing with the mentally ill. I am available to give sound and reasonable advice which can solve most problems. Please do not ask me to do homework questions or online interviews. Young people should not rely on the Internet for interviews. Local police officers are normally very agreeable to assist students with interviews and surveys.


Worked as a police officer/detective for 26 years.

Graduate of the University of Maryland.B.S. in Law Enforcement.Attended numerous schools and training courses involving investigations, interviewing, interrogations, crime detection, domestic violence, and others. Recognized in court as an expert witness.

Received numerous awards during my police career for expert investigations. Handled the most sensitive and confidential investigations. In 1999 I won an award for my work with high school students while working in my new career in a large suburban high school.

B.S from the University of Maryland.

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