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  #1  
Old 08-02-2018, 12:34 AM
John172 John172 is offline
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Default OCSD or DJCO?

Hi guys, Iím dead set on seeking a career in LE. The two paths Iím deciding on going are either: Deputy Sheriff Trainee with OCSD or Deputy Juvenile Correctional Officer I with OC Probation.

For a long time, Iíve always had my sights on the DJCO. My background is better suited for that as for 15+ years, I ran a non profit boxing club in the city of Santa Ana (bad part of town) that served inner city youth ages 8-18. The kids ranged from charming angels to badass little bangers. While I wasnít a boxing coach per se, I was in charge of supervising them and making sure they stuck to their workout routine. I would explain the rules upon joining and made sure they followed them. Theyíd come talk to me a lot one on one whether it was to vent, talk about school, life, or small talk about boxing (which wasnít very long as Iíd make them get back out there to train). So in a way, I served as a mentor and a positive role model not to toot my own horn.

However, now Im considering OCSD as a Deputy because I feel and Iím sure many will agree, itís a tougher challenge than DJOC. Iíd still be serving my community and should I make it through the testing, rigourous academy and land a career as a Deputy Sheriff I, that would be an amazing accomplish I could look back on to just to have made it and served my community in the process. Not that DJOC wouldnít have the same rewarding fulfillment, but the OCSD would be more challenging. And who doesnít like a challenge, right?

Background: Late 30ís, 5í11 196lbs. No felonies, misdemeanors, moving violations or pulled over. 2 parking tickets are my worst things. Never tried or used drugs including marijuana. No history of alcohol abuse, I was never a real drinker and more so now due to my surgery a year ago, itís off limits (weight loss surgery). Current CCW holder. No military or college background, just high school diploma. Work out 5 days a week at the gym focusing on cardio and strength training. I also plan on enrolling in the 3 preparation classes offered by Santa Ana College for LE this fall (Prep for LE, Fitness and TAP). Health wise, history of diabetes and hypertension that are controlled and numbers are that of a normal healthy adult with meds(may be off meds soon for good due to weight loss). I did have one episode of A-fib last April for the first time ever. Cardiologist feels this isnít a big deal and it was a one time occurrence due to dehydration and rapid weight loss. Iím still Ďyoungí to worry about it were his words.

The million dollar question youíre about to ask, why did I wait until 38 years old to seek a career in LE? Mostly because I was way overweight most of my adult life. Would have never made it past agility test. I had WLS (Weight Loss Surgery) to correct this almost a year and a half ago and now am at 196lbs, and still losing weight. Plus I was running my family boxing club and had I quit that, there was a strong possibility it would have closed down (mostly non paid position and I paid out of my own pocket to help run it). I didnít want to abandon all the hundreds of kids our gym served.

I feel my biggest hurdles will be the agility testing and medical history. Not saying the other aspects of the testing would be a breeze, by any means. But I feel Iíd excel at those better then medical history and agility testing. Iím getting better at agility everyday. So the real thing I fear is my medical history disqualifying me.

Anybody here that has worked as a DJOC? If so, how was it and looking back, would you have chosen that path still today or chosen a different path? Is there any agility test for DJOC? Iím sure there are a few current and former OCSD Deputies here, how tough is getting through the testing aspects and academy itself? Aside from color blindness, are you aware of any other disqualifying medical conditions? Pros and Cons for either career?

Sorry for making this long. Any input is much appreciated. Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2018, 3:32 AM
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With no military background, law enforcement background, and college degree you will have a tough time getting ocsd to hire you. You will have to compete with a lot of people younger than you with college degrees. Even with DJCo position, a lot of them with BA or BS degree. Just my two cents.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2018, 4:49 AM
John172 John172 is offline
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Originally Posted by RollingCode3 View Post
With no military background, law enforcement background, and college degree you will have a tough time getting ocsd to hire you. You will have to compete with a lot of people younger than you with college degrees. Even with DJCo position, a lot of them with BA or BS degree. Just my two cents.
Thank You for your response and input! I know it will be an uphill, or Mount Everest battle I should say, more so for me because of the things you pointed out.
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Old 08-02-2018, 9:39 AM
CinnamonBear723 CinnamonBear723 is offline
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It seems you have more of a passion for youths. You might be happier overall sticking with that.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:24 AM
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I’d recommend researching both departments and the job descriptions of both. What interests you more and what do you have more of a passion for?
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2018, 12:04 PM
John172 John172 is offline
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Originally Posted by CinnamonBear723 View Post
It seems you have more of a passion for youths. You might be happier overall sticking with that.
Very true. I guess what I like about the OCSD is the challenge factor and more challenging career. A year and a half ago due to my weight, making it through the testing aspect would have been along the same odds as hitting the mega millions jackpot. Now that Iím at a healthy weight, plus I see academy videos (black Monday) of guys that are heavier then me. One guy only got in 4 push ups when ordered to them. I read about guys in their 40s and even 50s trying out for academy, and making it. So there is Ďsomeí chance for me. If that chance exists, I want to take it. Only thing that would hold me back from even trying is a current or former OCSD telling me that diabetes or hypertension are immediate grounds for further consideration for deputy sheriff once you get to thr medical exam portion. I canít help my medical past. Thank you for your response!
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:35 PM
John172 John172 is offline
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Originally Posted by esy View Post
Iíd recommend researching both departments and the job descriptions of both. What interests you more and what do you have more of a passion for?
My long term passion has been the DJOC. I feel it would be a smoother transition doing that based on what I used to do. Working with teens as opposed to adults in a detention facility interests me more since Iíve heard working as a Sheriff Deputy, they make you work the jails for at least 4 years before you can do anything else. Not that I mind the working conditions, but I feel Iíd be better at de-escalating situations with teens better than it would with Adults, though I have experience with being a Ďrefereeí between adult conflicts at another job, but thatís another story.

However, with OCSD, and this is an area I could be wrong about, there is a better chance for advancement/promotion without a college degree under your belt. With DJOC, the most I could advance to is DJOC II. After that, if I wanted to become a probation officer, a bachelors degree is required. Plus I read that DJCOís are kids (early to mid 20ís). I donít mind being one of the only Ďold mení in the group, but it would be nice if there were a couple other old timers so I donít feel like Iím the only old man and outsider. Keep in mind as is, Iíll be around mostly ex military and/or college graduates in their mid to early 20ís. It seems OCSD academy would have some guys close to my age or even older.

I plan on taking a prep course for LE this fall. One of the things they cover is advantages/disadvantages for working with different agencies. So I hope with that, and hopefully a few more chiming in here, itíll give me better insight. I have a couple LEO friends that work for SAPD so Iíll get their insight, but I donít know anyone personally from OCSD or OC Probation. Thank You for your response!
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:39 PM
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John172 if you have very good interest in a Deputy Sheriff position that is challenging, I would say you should apply to LASD. Try to get to stations such as century, compton, south LA ( Lennox), Palmdale, and Lancaster. Those are challenging assignments for the beganing of any deputies career.
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Old 08-02-2018, 2:38 PM
CBR_rider CBR_rider is offline
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Gettin ready to leave so sorry this is kinda short:

Have you considered agencies that have positions such as SRO's? You could eventually perhaps land one of those gigs but still have other opportunities if you want a change of pace. Obviously you will also get your feet wet in what will more likely be a more challenging environment.

If I had to go solely based on what you wrote in your OP I would probably work for DJCO.
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Old 08-02-2018, 2:45 PM
Shadowdrop Shadowdrop is offline
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I was a DJCO in OC for a while. It's fairly low-paying and not really LE. I worked at the toughest facility (Joplin) and it was rewarding, but it was sort of small potatoes in the grand scheme. I worked with a few box of rocks, too. OCSD custody can be mind-numbing and not all that rewarding. Patrol is more rewarding but they aren't exactly cream of the crop in that role. Their detectives and specialty units are better. I'm now a city detective and I love it (mostly).

If those are your choices, work OCSD and look to work to a spot you really want. Although there's lots of applicants these days, a huge portion are worthless millennial that cannot function in the real world. Sell yourself on life experience. Lots of places hiring these days....
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Old 08-02-2018, 4:41 PM
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I wouldn’t sell yourself too short, John. Like others have mentioned, life experience means a good amount. While it more than likely won’t get you promoted or pay incentives, it’s worth a great deal.

Most jobs will afford you some time to finish your degree so I highly recommend that. I’ll probably start working on finishing my Master’s pretty soon so there’s always a chance.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:48 PM
John172 John172 is offline
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Originally Posted by TacopsDep417 View Post
John172 if you have very good interest in a Deputy Sheriff position that is challenging, I would say you should apply to LASD. Try to get to stations such as century, compton, south LA ( Lennox), Palmdale, and Lancaster. Those are challenging assignments for the beganing of any deputies career.
Iíll definitely look into LASD. My main goals are OCSD and DJOC because those are both in the county I was born, raised and currently reside. So there is a strong sense with me to serve the community I was raised in. Having said that, I know when it comes to securing a highly competitive career, itís about getting your foot in the door in whatever position is available and as mentioned, could always transfer down the line once established. I canít help but think that LASD would be even more competitive to get into than OCSD. Thank You for your response!
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CBR_rider View Post
Gettin ready to leave so sorry this is kinda short:

Have you considered agencies that have positions such as SRO's? You could eventually perhaps land one of those gigs but still have other opportunities if you want a change of pace. Obviously you will also get your feet wet in what will more likely be a more challenging environment.

If I had to go solely based on what you wrote in your OP I would probably work for DJCO.
No I didnít even think of SRO. I guess I overlooked that as its SAPD. Naive questions incoming: How is one assigned to become an SRO? Would that be a probationary position assigned to a rookie in the same way a Deputy I is assigned to work the jails for the first 4 years of his career? My SRO in high school wasnít no way older gentleman, but he wasnít a kid either. If I had to say, maybe he was around early 40ís.
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Shadowdrop View Post
I was a DJCO in OC for a while. It's fairly low-paying and not really LE. I worked at the toughest facility (Joplin) and it was rewarding, but it was sort of small potatoes in the grand scheme. I worked with a few box of rocks, too. OCSD custody can be mind-numbing and not all that rewarding. Patrol is more rewarding but they aren't exactly cream of the crop in that role. Their detectives and specialty units are better. I'm now a city detective and I love it (mostly).

If those are your choices, work OCSD and look to work to a spot you really want. Although there's lots of applicants these days, a huge portion are worthless millennial that cannot function in the real world. Sell yourself on life experience. Lots of places hiring these days....
When you were a DJCO, did you have to take an agility test and more importantly, do you recall anyone being disqualified for medical reasons (I.e Diabetic or hypertension)? What age were you when you were in that position?

Thank you for responding, and that would be my goal should I make it in OCSD. The best I can do is sell myself on my trouble free background, contributing to my community serving youth in a non-paid role (hopefully they have some admiration for that).
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:40 AM
CBR_rider CBR_rider is offline
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Originally Posted by John172 View Post
No I didnít even think of SRO. I guess I overlooked that as its SAPD. Naive questions incoming: How is one assigned to become an SRO? Would that be a probationary position assigned to a rookie in the same way a Deputy I is assigned to work the jails for the first 4 years of his career? My SRO in high school wasnít no way older gentleman, but he wasnít a kid either. If I had to say, maybe he was around early 40ís.
Some counties have SRO positions; they don't belong exclusively in the realm of PD's. Some districts even have their own departments; but that would probably defeat the purpose of NOT working for DJCO since you really wouldn't have much else to do besides deal with school issues.

Assignment depends on the agency: I would assume you would have to be off probation first; after that it could be a mandatory "low man on the totem pole" gig or it could be one you would have to apply/interview for. Probably like anything else; sometimes promotions/changes in assignment in the LEO world are more about timing than anything else: Get off probation and be working on a good name for yourself when your agency picks up a school contract for 8 positions/have a mandatory assignment rotation for those same 8 spots (and only has 8 folks put in for them) and you could get the spot right quick. Work for an agency that doesn't have any kind of mandatory rotations and you might have all the spots filled with old timers who are going to sit in them until they retire.

Other than perhaps putting in for SRO and having some kind of expected duration of assignment/rotation schedule at your particular agency(2-4 years would probably cover just about all of those), you would get the spot until you are booted out or tire of it. There are good reasons for some folks to work at small agencies and there are good reasons for some folks to work at medium/large agencies; the availability of various assignments is certainly one of those things to take into consideration.
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Old 08-03-2018, 2:38 AM
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I wouldnít sell yourself too short, John. Like others have mentioned, life experience means a good amount. While it more than likely wonít get you promoted or pay incentives, itís worth a great deal.

Most jobs will afford you some time to finish your degree so I highly recommend that. Iíll probably start working on finishing my Masterís pretty soon so thereís always a chance.
Thank You for your response! Iím just looking to get my foot in the door at this point. Promotions and pay incentives arenít a huge concern right now but Iím sure they will be at some point. I sometimes regret not having gone to college to at the very least get an AA degree but even more so a bachelors. And yes I know itís possible to go back to school and get it, but Iíd be around 43-44 by then. Do you feel delaying the career move to get a bachelors is a much better benefit? It just feels that aside from medical history, age is my biggest hurdle.
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Old 08-03-2018, 7:09 AM
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Originally Posted by John172 View Post
When you were a DJCO, did you have to take an agility test and more importantly, do you recall anyone being disqualified for medical reasons (I.e Diabetic or hypertension)? What age were you when you were in that position?

Thank you for responding, and that would be my goal should I make it in OCSD. The best I can do is sell myself on my trouble free background, contributing to my community serving youth in a non-paid role (hopefully they have some admiration for that).
I wouldn't be concerned with probation's PT testing or conditioning. I don't remember any physical test. I had some serious slobs in my class and they stayed that way. Their "academy" has almost no PT and their testing standards were laughable. Nobody failed anything.

Now, OCSD academy is extremely challenging, physically and mentally. My class had a guy in his 40's complete but he was dedicated to fitness.

Lack of education is pretty easy to overlook for other qualifications, especially when we have a huge pool of over - educated, inexperienced millennials with zero common sense or work ethic. Those we have by the dozen.

I always tell people to think of how your previous experience can apply to LE. You know how to talk to gangsters, or understand broken family dynamics, or grew up under a set of issues, etc. That's what we do, most often. Quick thinking, communication, performing under stress, multitasking, and any specialized or unique skills (like fighting knowledge) are the things you need to demonstrate through your life experience.
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Old 08-03-2018, 9:10 AM
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Originally Posted by John172 View Post
Thank You for your response! Iím just looking to get my foot in the door at this point. Promotions and pay incentives arenít a huge concern right now but Iím sure they will be at some point. I sometimes regret not having gone to college to at the very least get an AA degree but even more so a bachelors. And yes I know itís possible to go back to school and get it, but Iíd be around 43-44 by then. Do you feel delaying the career move to get a bachelors is a much better benefit? It just feels that aside from medical history, age is my biggest hurdle.
Online classes are a winner! You can finish your degree within a year, maybe twoís time. Iíd recommend doing it while youíre already working. There is always some down time and you can accomplish a lot.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:26 AM
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Based on all of your responses, I think you'll be happier with your passion at DJCO. If you go OCSD, it'll be years before you can get to a specialized unit. There are no kids inside the county jails. Not a lot of time while in patrol to deal with kids at least for the first couple of years. It may take 6+ years before you return to your passion.

Why wait 6+ years, when tomorrow is never promised. Good luck in your furture endeavors.

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Old 10-03-2018, 4:30 PM
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Go for it, but I recommend applying with other agencies as well. Look into being a probations officer. The pay isnt the best, but it's decent.
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Old 10-03-2018, 9:51 PM
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The best advice I have received here by the Calgun gurus is give it your all and just give it a try. You won't know until you try. You may not be the best person for the job but you might be the right person. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 10-05-2018, 8:27 PM
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Online classes are a winner! You can finish your degree within a year, maybe two’s time. I’d recommend doing it while you’re already working. There is always some down time and you can accomplish a lot.

This is true! I assume the OP is in the Orange County area; but, as an example, San Diego Miramar College offer many Administration of Justice classes fully online and many general education classes (for the AA/AS) are also offered fully online. Not *everything* but an awful lot of it can be done all online! Check your local colleges to see what they have on offer. If you do it right, you can get an AA/AS degree that flows into a BS degree pipeline.


Here's the SD Community College District schedule as an example: https://schedule.sdccd.edu/

-- Drop down "Subject" menu to "Administration of Justice"

-- Click on the "Fully Online" box in the upper right


Also, you can see the catalog here with the ADJU AS degree options on pages 147-148: https://www.sdccd.edu/docs/StudentSe...02018-2019.pdf
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