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Civil service. How I dislike thee.....

Discussion in 'LEO Bubbas' started by Mattyb, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Mattyb

    Mattyb NES Member

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    Just thought I'd post a bit of a rant over a recent experience with my town and the Civil Service Commission for the state of Mass.
    I'm 36 years old, and will be 37 in a week. I took the entry level Police exam last April and my 3 choices were my hometown, MBTA, Beverly and Danvers. The last 2 towns are pretty much a throw away choice since I'm a non-resident and the chances of being hired are beyond slim to none.

    Months went by until the test results came in and I scored well being my first time ever taking the exam. I did qualify for Vet preference(not points) which would place me in the top tier of candidates.

    In late November, the list was established which placed me #10 out of a couple hundred or so. I got word from my town officers that they will be hiring X amount of Reserve Officers.

    In December, I recieved a post card stating that I must report to City Hall by Jan 1 to sign the letter of interest. I signed it a week or so later.

    A week or so later, an application packet came in the mail and once that was done, my backround investagation would begin. I spent a week gathering all the information they needed and passed it in. Thus starting my backround..

    A month later, I so happen to run into the two detectives conducting my backround and they told me I was all set and to lay low until I get a letter for an interview.

    Two weeks later, I get a letter from the city. I open it, and it stated that I was an automatically disqualified due to my age. Apparantly, in March, a month before the exam, the city adopted Chapter 31 Section 58A which means that if you are a non vet, you cant be more than 32 years of age and 36 for Vets. I was 36 and 41 days when i took the exam.

    I contacted Lawyers, City council members, State Reps, the Chief, the useless Mayor, City Vet reps, etc. They gave me nothing but the run around since they are employed by the City. Throughout this ordeal, I was in contact with HRD in Boston and several times they told me that they nothing of the City adopting this State Law. One response was even through email. Finally, I set an appeal date with the state and in walks the City Attorney with the Civil service rep. I stated my case and the lawyer stated her case. We went back and forth and the final decision was that even though the City failed to notify the state of any rule changes, it doesnt warrant the retraction of my suspension. All I got was,"Sorry" and was shown the door.

    i'm wondering how many others were screwed by this process and if PD's continue to bypass candidates to get to their "friends". it's such bullshit...

    Anyhow, That's my story and thought I'd share. good day all
     
  2. Business

    Business Member

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    sorry man that sucks
     
  3. Len-2A Training

    Len-2A Training Instructor Dealer

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    Very sorry to read that.

    I know that Civil Circus has many, many issues.
     
  4. joehaus

    joehaus Member

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    Civil Service - putting less qualified people ahead of more qualified people for decades.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. mark056

    mark056 NES Member

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    I don't understand why so many people in Massachusetts who want jobs in law enforcement stay in Massachusetts. If you want to be a cop, look elsewhere because unless you have "juice" or are a minority, you probably aren't going to get in here. Naturally there are exceptions to every rule, but generally this is true here.

    Figure too, all the thousands of people holding CJ degrees who are out on streets looking for jobs as well. It is almost akin to aspiring to be a professional athlete in a major sport. The odds are against you.
     
  6. Bolio

    Bolio Member

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    There are currently 43 student officers in the Reading Police Academy right now. Three minorities and the rest are white males and 1 female. About 2/3 of the class are non vets. All from different municipals. Oldest student is 51 years old white male...yes I said 51.

    Most hired are from civil service communities.
     
  7. Bolio

    Bolio Member

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    MattyB,

    Don't give up bro. Keep trying.
     
  8. OfficerObie59

    OfficerObie59 NES Member

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    Really the only recourse you have is to petiton your state legislator to pass special home-rule legislation in your favor. The bill would look something like this:
    http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2011/Chapter13

    It's tough but not impossible and you'd need to be a squeaky clean and highly qualified applicant with everyone in the city, to include the police brass, behind you.

    I would call the police admin official and politely demand a meeting with the Chief, tell him how much you want the job, and generally talk yourself up. Then let him know of your plan and ask if he'd support you. Worst thing he can say is GFY, and you haven't lost anything.
    That's because those municipalities never accepted or have since gotten rid of the max age limits. To save pension funds as well as get officers who were career military with life expierience, municipalities have been trending towards getting rid of MGL 31/58A. If you look at the list of civil service cities and towns on the civil service list, those that have gotten rid of 31/58A are noted as "pension reform" municipalities.

    Also, for a point of clarity, the 36 yoa limit for vets is only applicable if you have 4 or more years of active duty. The age limit is actually 32 years plus any active duty time up to four years. Ergo, if you only served 2 years, 6 months on active duty, your age limit would hit at 34 1/2 years old.

    I think the age limit has long been antiquated for the reasons above.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
  9. mark056

    mark056 NES Member

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    So what is your point? It looks like the requisite minorities and female have been hired, and the rest are white males...and of those white males, how many have relatives on the Job or are otherwise connected? Look at the majority of MSP recent academy grads, mainly white males.

    Officer Obie did a great job explaining the age situation.

    One of the pitfalls of having no mandatory retirement age, is the upward mobility becomes difficult as higher ranking officers hang on forever making it tough for the lower ranks to move up.
     
  10. OfficerObie59

    OfficerObie59 NES Member

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    True as with MSP, but that situation doesn't really apply here. Really the minimum age is meant to, among other things extend careers.

    Muncipal police officers in Massachusetts actually face mandatory retirment at age 65. Pension funds are saved without a minimum age because cops get hired at ages old enough that they can never max their pension benefits.

    For a municipal police officer to max his pension at 80%, he must have both 55 years of age AND 32 years of service. And since the majority cops are older than 23 when they're hired, the time in service in generally the limit most cops look to. On the other end, if you're hired after age 33, you can never max because you'll face mandatory retirement prior to hitting 32 years of service. This would, in theory, save the municipality pension funds if everyone always worked with the goal of maximizing their pension output.

    In the example here, if Matty was hired tomorrow at age 38, he would only be able to put in 27 or 28 years. The current matrix would drop his pension benefit to about 67% of base pay or so. By no means penuts, but the city would save 13% of his base pay at retirement to it's pension fund per year for the remainder of his lifetime.

    Let's give that last example real numbers. Say Matty got hired at age 38 and retired at 65 with 27 years of service. His base pay when he retired was $65,000. His salary maxed would 80% of $65k or $52,000/year in pension payouts. However, since Matty couldn't maximimize time in service, his rate is 67% puts his payout at $43,550, a differnce of $8,450/year. If Matty were to live for 20 years after retirement to the ripe old age of 85, his late hiring would save the municipality $169,000 total, not including any COLA increases.

    That's why towns that get rid of MGL 31/58A are dubbed "pension reform municipalities".
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  11. SSW1911

    SSW1911 Member

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    Not that Obie needs any help, he is right on the mark. I am the guy he describes, except on the FD instead of PD.

    Carreer 32 years with minimum age 55 and mandated retirement at age 65, for 80% of base.

    I got hired at 35, I'll never see max benefits. I am not a vet so no military time to buy and came from private employment, so no other civil service time prior to apply.

    Matty keep going for the job you want. Not every community deadlines at 32 and as said before, there may be options outside of Ma. worth looking at.

    What ever you decide, best of luck!!!!!
     
  12. Bolio

    Bolio Member

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    My point is just because someone got hired doesn't mean that they are related to someone or is connected.
     
  13. Climbnsink

    Climbnsink Member

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    Just go work in the private sector, problem solved.
     
  14. mark056

    mark056 NES Member

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    You keep believing that, and when you are 45 and still trying to "get on someplace" in Mass...reevaluate your position. Oh, I am sure that there are a few here in there that are hired "off the street" the odds would support that, but I would also say damn few...damn few.
     
  15. bolt

    bolt NES Member

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    asdfg
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  16. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    The MBTA Police force is one of the most dysfunctional departments on the planet, many guys take the appointment and then try to move on to another department.

    If you get offered the T take the job, but be prepared to learn a whole new definition to the word suck.
     
  17. OfficerObie59

    OfficerObie59 NES Member

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    I had an undergrad CJ professor who worked a shift or two a month just so he didn't get so far up into the ivory tower that he'd forget way out. For some people its a stepping stone. For others, they're content.
     
  18. MrScrewzloose

    MrScrewzloose Member

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    Heya Matty,

    Sorry to hear man, as Obie said, you may attempt the petition route. However, do you have a degree? If so, have you thought of maybe looking at a 1811 SA position? Every 3-6 months there are usually GS9 open calls and I THINK (don't hold me to it) the max age is 37 w/o Vet Pref. This route, though a LOT more thorough and time consuming (I'm about 8 months in) might be an option.

    FWIW, I got a 99 on the last exam, no vet bonus, still no chance in hell.
     
  19. PeacefulMuslim

    PeacefulMuslim Member

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    Just think, I believe just a few years ago there was a chance for 25 years and out regardless of age (and would have opened up untold numbers of new positions) but the M.P.A. advised against this because it was not worth giving up the "Quinn Bill". Now that the Quinn Bill is gone anyway, everybody just gets to keep on working. What does the M.P.A. do again????
     
  20. OfficerObie59

    OfficerObie59 NES Member

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    MSP doesn't subscribe to the matrix maxing at 32 years/80%. Im not sure of they even have a matrix, but their system is commonly referred to as 75/25--meaning trooper may retire at 75% of base pay at 25 years of service. I don't know if this plan is new (I think it is) or if it's a hold over from the days pre-92 when Troopers faced mandatory retirement at age 50.
     

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