Eric Gustafson #1124

Gus 2

Eric Gustafson #1124 West Chicago

I lateraled to the Irving Police Department from the Chicago, IL suburbs in April 2014 with just under four years of police experience in a suburban-Chicago municipal police department. I was single at the time and moving to Texas was an easy prospect for better financial stability, better retirement, and of course, better weather. I have been with IPD for seven years, and in that time, I have been a PTO, Burglary Detective, SWAT Team Assistant Team Leader, and promoted to Sergeant. My lateral experience was an easy one. I knew I had to re-establish myself in a new department, but I was treated with respect for my veteran experience. I found the academy to be a simple process and helped acclimate me to the changes between Illinois and Texas laws. In PTO training, I was treated more like a veteran officer, and most of the time, I felt like I was riding in a two-person unit with my training officer. Overall, Texas has been a huge upgrade in terms of finances and long-term stability. Taxes and cost of living are much less than the Chicago area, and my salary was comparable when I lateraled in, but without a state income tax, my take-home pay every two weeks was noticeably more. Housing was a bit tricky here. Luckily apartments are plentiful, as I wanted to find the right house within a market that moves quickly. Still, after two years in apartments, I purchased a home without feeling the pressure to get a deal done right away when I relocated to Texas. I chose Irving over the other departments I looked at because of the call volume, resources, policing philosophy, and the support we get from the community. I have not been disappointed by my decision to join the Irving Police Department.

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