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To the academy? Or not to the academy?


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#21 takefootoff

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 13:25

I am training for my PVT under 141, getting close to my final stage check. I intend on going for my commercial immediately after obtaining my PVT license.

 

I am also simultaneously going thru the application process for the Philly police department.

 

I am currently of the opinion that since the city is sort of broke but has an aviation unit that just got 3 new as350's last summer that i will be a good candidate for them after i do my time on the streets.



#22 Flying Pig

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 09:26

That's your thought huh? Philly PD is broke but has 3 AStars? Sounds like a winning combination.
Have you ever heard the word "politics"? Id venture to guess philly PD could care less about a Rookie with a commercial. Do They train their own pilots or require a rating to get in?

Step one, get hired. Most LE careers are like a bullet ricocheting off a rock....you never know where it will end up.  Since you are just getting started in this whole LE thing, I will tell you that unless you are actually hired specifically to be a pilot, the odds are stacked against you.  Not to deter you, but from your post you convey the feeling that because you have a license makes you the go-to guy for an agency the size of Philadelphia PD.   In several  cases in LE, you having a license could actually be a detriment to your career or it could be a blessing.   If you get hired I would suggest you keep the pilots license tucked away and quiet until you figure out what kind of agency PPD is.  Good Luck.  


Edited by Flying Pig, 27 October 2014 - 10:29.

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#23 takefootoff

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 17:46

Lol, you sound like such a frickin cop

 

Yea i'm familiar with politics, and those AS350's where purchased thru a grant program from the FEDS. The city is still broke, and i'd imagine the funding required to train a pilot within the department would be on the city's dime.

 

And no duh a frickin department of that size could care less about some rookie with a license. I am well aware I gotta do my time on the streets, and at the very least serve thru my probationary period. 

 

And if while I am PPD and it turns out I don't have a chance to get into that unit for a while I can't just look into a lateral move into a department that does?

 

Internal Affairs is gonna be aware of my PVT license because I am requested to put that down on the questionnaire, and its not like I gonna walk on up to my supervisor the first day and show him my license and remind it of him every time I see him. 



#24 Flying Pig

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 10:57

I guess I probably sound like a cop who's flown for two separate agencies on both sides of the country..... but sounds like you got it all figured out.  Keep us posted on how it works out.  



#25 Spike

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 12:59

Lol, you sound like such a frickin cop

 

Yea i'm familiar with politics, and those AS350's where purchased thru a grant program from the FEDS. The city is still broke, and i'd imagine the funding required to train a pilot within the department would be on the city's dime.

 

And no duh a frickin department of that size could care less about some rookie with a license. I am well aware I gotta do my time on the streets, and at the very least serve thru my probationary period. 

 

And if while I am PPD and it turns out I don't have a chance to get into that unit for a while I can't just look into a lateral move into a department that does?

 

Internal Affairs is gonna be aware of my PVT license because I am requested to put that down on the questionnaire, and its not like I gonna walk on up to my supervisor the first day and show him my license and remind it of him every time I see him. 

 

If you want to be a Police Officer for PPD, then I’d say you’re headed in the right direction. However, if you’re ultimate goal is to fly Airborne Law Enforcement, with 3 machines parked, it’s fairly obvious PPD is not the place to go…..

 

When departments “say” they can’t operate an air unit because the agency is broke, they do so to look favorably in the public’s eye.  The reality is, the agency doesn’t value what an air unit brings

to the overall operation and because of this, they often mismanage the resource.  While I’m not intimately familiar with the PPD situation, I am familiar with other ALE operators who’ve either scaled back operations or ceased to operate altogether. The common thread amongst all of them is organizational mismanagement and the stance that the aircraft are expendable when budgets fall short.  Law Enforcement management and aviation management mix like oil and water and why machines get parked…….

 

BTW, the Pig dude is correct…… On all counts…. Good luck……



#26 takefootoff

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 16:14

yes indeed, and i won't deny either of yal's experience or the input.

 

my opinion/knowledge is ever evolving, but im not gonna just let some guy on the internet try and make me feel stupid for things i already know or am actively researching.



#27 Bonzo828

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 11:35

yes indeed, and i won't deny either of yal's experience or the input.

 

my opinion/knowledge is ever evolving, but im not gonna just let some guy on the internet try and make me feel stupid for things i already know or am actively researching.

 

 

I've been a street cop for a while now.  I have my private and hope to someday be part of my agencies air unit.  The biggest piece of advise I can give you is, change your attitude.  

 

Based on your original post, you haven't even been hired yet by the PD and if you already "know it all", you are gonna have a real tough time making it through the academy etc.  At my agency it's 90% about having a great attitude, work ethic, being a guy everyone gets along with etc.  Whether you realize it or not, from day one you are making deposits or withdrawls into the reputation/ character bank.  The guys on this forum and this website are a huge resource, seasoned veterans and are more than willing to help.  Just giving you something to think about....


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#28 aeroscout

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 11:43

I am training for my PVT under 141, getting close to my final stage check. I intend on going for my commercial immediately after obtaining my PVT license.

 

I am also simultaneously going thru the application process for the Philly police department.

 

I am currently of the opinion that since the city is sort of broke but has an aviation unit that just got 3 new as350's last summer that i will be a good candidate for them after i do my time on the streets.

So you have nothing going in the aviation industry, and nothing going in the law enforcement industry.

Here's a tip...When Flying Pig says "it sounds like you have it all figured out" he's being very very polite.


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#29 takefootoff

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 12:58

yea, i think i started out on the wrong foot with this forum especially with the guy who seems to be the SME on this particular topic. but it is what it is.

 

and i got so many more steps in this hiring process, i think i'll go crawl under a rock til i at least get a conditional offer of employment.



#30 Flying Pig

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 15:32

Feel free to ask questions. Not a problem. But I gotta say your idea that PPD is to broke to train a pilot.... Therefore I got a good shot .... Is flawed on a lot of levels.

#31 Spike

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 15:59

I usually tell folks to pursue both paths independently (although initially, not at the exact same time). Get hired as an Officer and a year or two into it, seek certification through CFII. While working the street and hopefully earning a spot in the air unit, get a part-time job as an instructor and build time. This way when the opportunity does come along, you are more than qualified for the spot with an emphasis on “more than”…….. If that spot never materializes, guess what, you’re still building time and when you’re ready, you can change careers and fly for a living…… Win-win……


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#32 Flying Pig

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 16:11

My unit had both FW and RW. I initially identified FW as my target. Got my commercial and instrument FW and then started flying A LOT with civil air patrol. I later added my RW private. I got on as a TFO and later got tapped to fly the airplane. After that, I decided I would add my RW commercial. And a few years later when a RW pilot retired I was able to slide over to his helicotper spot. About 8yrs later, Here I still am. Took me about 8yrs working the street before I finally got Into asu initially.

#33 Spike

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 20:54

I knew a career Officer who was an experienced FW pilot who owned his own twin and IFR proficient that received his helicopter certification, and through a chain of events, was immediately assigned as PIC in the department helicopters. Not long after his assignment, he was placed in charge of the unit. Shortly thereafter, he died with his mechanic while ferrying the machine from a maintenance facility back to home base………


Edited by Spike, 29 October 2014 - 20:54.


#34 Flying Pig

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 21:22

Ahhhh..... I know that story. And that ended their unit. Pretty much forever.

#35 Eric Hunt

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 01:29

It also depends on how the management sees their unit. Some see it as a police station that happens to have helicopters. The better ones see it as a flying squadron that supports the police.

 

The first group says "Ya gotta be a street cop first, to know how the bad guys think. Flying is a piece of cake, anybody can learn to fly, you don't need flying experience, just street experience."

 

The second group says "Anybody can learn to be a cop. An experienced pilot is better able to put the machine where the other cop(s) in the aircraft want it to be."

 

Our unit had state-wide coverage and as well as aerial support for covert surveillance (6000') we also did search and rescue - not a job for a rookie PVT pilot.



#36 Spike

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 10:06

From my experience, it comes down to the difference between “managing” a unit and “leading” a unit. If the stars, bars and stripes don’t understand the difference, it can demoralize the best of units, the people within, and ultimately diminish safety…….

 

Who has a bigger ego than a cop? - A pilot….
Who has a bigger ego than a pilot? -A cop who’s a pilot…..
Who has a bigger ego than a cop that’s a pilot? -A cop, pilot supervisor…….
Who has a bigger ego than a cop pilot supervisor? –the Chain of Command…….


Edited by Spike, 30 October 2014 - 10:06.


#37 Flying Pig

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 10:57

Funny..... I had an interview yesterday and one of my questions was "What are one of the challenges you see in running an LE air unit."  I responded.... "Pilots with type A personalities meshed with cops who are type A personalities working with managers who have no real interest in aviation."  

 

It all comes down to the individual units.  Some can do it right and some cant.  The only difference with LE air units who cant vs civilian operators who cant, is that civilian operators just eventually go out of business.   In actuality, most LE air units perform to the level that the command staff needs them to.  

Really the whole sworn vs civilian argument is irrelevant.   The agency I was with trains their own pilots from the sworn TFOs..... and has been doing it for 15+ yrs.  And the mission covers everything from SAR, NVG, mountains up to 13K.. long lining, patrol and remote ops.  Then a neighboring agency tasked with nothing but local flat land city patrol has pilots who wont fly past the city limits because its dark and they don't have NVGs.   But then again... nothing in their mission requires them to fly outside the city limits.  They are paid to work patrol ops in the city that pays the bills.  

Its really a discussion that can go back and forth all day.  I started as a cop who became an LE pilot... and now Im a civilian pilot who was a cop... so go figure.


Edited by Flying Pig, 30 October 2014 - 11:11.


#38 gw263

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 13:22

I think the best advise for someone wanting to fly for law enforcement is to want to be the best cop.  If all you want to do is fly, you probably won't be doing a good job as an officer, and they are unlikely to give you a plum assignment like aviation, no matter what your qualifications.  I went through the academy, tried to be the best, worked patrol, tried to be the best, worked investigations, tried to be the best, and lo and behold, after only six years, was assigned to aviation.  I already had private and instrument airplane.  It can happen, but you have to do research, go to an agency that has an active aviation unit, and, above all, do your best.  Luck also comes in, but luck comes to those that work hard and are prepared.


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#39 OH58A

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 14:17

I run in to this pretty regularly, like Flying Pig says, disclose it on your application of course but otherwise keep it to yourself until you get the lay of the land. Philly is a huge agency and there is probably more than a couple of other people working on getting into aviation. Seniority will play a role as well as politics. There are people that will never get into whatever speciality unit no matter what qualifications they have because they pissed off the wrong person.

#40 ospreydriver

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 10:07

From my experience, it comes down to the difference between “managing” a unit and “leading” a unit. If the stars, bars and stripes don’t understand the difference, it can demoralize the best of units, the people within, and ultimately diminish safety…….

 

Who has a bigger ego than a cop? - A pilot….
Who has a bigger ego than a pilot? -A cop who’s a pilot…..
Who has a bigger ego than a cop that’s a pilot? -A cop, pilot supervisor…….
Who has a bigger ego than a cop pilot supervisor? –the Chain of Command…….

What's the difference between pilots and God?

 

God doesn't think he's a pilot.


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