When an applicant applies with a local police department such as the
Los Angeles Police Department, they know that they will be working in
the City of Los Angeles. However, if an applicant applies for a position
with a state agency such as the State Troopers, they may not know what
area of the state they will be assigned to. There is also the
possibility of being transferred or promoted to another part of the
state. The same is true for federal law enforcement positions. Usually
applicants applying for federal law enforcement jobs are required to
sign “mobility agreements” which mean the applicant is willing to
relocate to any post of duty to serve the needs of the agency.
With federal agencies and some state agencies there can be the opportunity to transfer to another agency without starting off as a new recruit. There can also be differences in the pay and benefits between local and federal law enforcement positions. Therefore, in deciding upon local, state, or federal, applicants should take into consideration their flexibility with where they are willing to work.