I'm a Detective in a specialized police unit that routinely gets called to gain access to locks, be it auto, home or commercial. With some training and alot of practice i've became proficient at these tasks. In 2 years or so I will be looking for a new career and I'm leaning towards locksmithing as a second career. My question is how should I best prepare. .... which books , online stuff etc.
so you go and open locks. then the locksmith that was called gets screwed out of his opening. thats what used to happen here before the police were stopped. now they do what they are trained to do and have stopped infringing on private enterprise.
to answer your question. good place to start would be the faq for this group.
can also do a google group search. key words (learning locksmithing)
Safe and Loft unit? Locksmithing is a good option, but expect to make a pretty healthy investment in equipment and classes. While you know how to gain entry, as a locksmith you will be called upon to prevent people from gaining entry unless you just want to have an opening service.
The best training is on the job. Simply taking a corrospondance course will teach you just enough to make you dangerous. The best way to learn is to work for someone else for at least a year. the problem with that is that if someone knows you want to learn so you can start your own business, he's going to be a little reluctant to "train his future competition" for obvious reasons.
One suggestion would be to find someone getting ready to retire (possible want's to become a police officer as his second carreer) and offer to buy his business if he is willing to stay on and train you. That way you'll get everything you need to operate the business along with the training. Just a thought.
One more thing to keep in mind... If you are getting ready to retire, I'll assume that you're at least 50. If you don't have a good back, good knees, and good eyes, you may want to reconsider locksmithing.
Assuming the poster is for real (not posting from any domain having anything whatsoever to do with law enforcement, so who knows), you should keep in mind that there are some police lock openings which they are not going to call an independent locksmith for, those would include high risk warrant service, pretty much anything to do with any PD which has ones intelligence divisions openings etc. There is a legitimate need for in house police locksmithing/opening. They shouldn't always be looked at as direct and unwelcome competition.
The original question was "If I want to change careers to locksmithing, where should I start".
The right answer is "Start by reading the FAQ, which has a canned answer for this question." Recapping that:
There are low-end correspondence schools which cost a few hundred and are worth about that (ie, they'll give you an intro to the field but not enough to survive on). There are serious schools which cost much more and are worth correspondgingly more (but unless you're lucky enough to be in the right town you'd better plan on travel and housing costs on top of tuition, just as you would for any other kind of serious education). You can invest a significant amount of time and money in books and practice on your own; that works for a small number of people who are sufficiently motivated and who learn well in that mode. Or -- traditional and often still best solution -- you can try to find someone local who is willing to take you on as apprentice.
Theoretically, if you've been on the police force you *ought* to be a good candidate for the latter, as far as assumption of trustworthiness goes. On the other hand, given the bad rep some special detective units have of taking shortcuts around proper law and ethics, this may not be something you want to emphasize on your resume.
You're comparing apple and oranges. That's got to be one of the stupidest analogies I've ever heard. OTOH, I'll bet you'd hear it from the chauffeurs if you started giving free rides to citizens (other than "downtown")
I don't get it. Police won't come out and give a stranded motorist a hot-shot. They won't come out to change a tire. They won't bring a gas can when someone's car runs dry. (All of which require little knowledge or experience. But they think that they are qualified to open a locked car. 'Splain that!
I'm assuming you're a police officer by your defensiveness on the issue so look at it this way...
Let's say you get a call to a parking lot for a stolen car, but when you arrive you find that the party found their car in another part of the lot and left. Now, imagine that because they were gone when you got there, the municipality that your work for docked your pay for the wasted time.
In other words, how would you like it if every time you went to a wild goose chase you didn't get paid for it. You see, you get paid whether your time is productive or not. We don't.
To add insult to injury, when we show up at an opening and the police are already there, a) they don't stop and let us take over the job we were called to do and b) they actually take pleasure in saving the locked out party the money they would otherwise have to pay for a service to be provided. And to hell with us.
Tell that to the cop that brought me a roll of tape and some wire cutters when my taillight was out, or the one who gave a friend a ride to the Texaco and back when he was out of gas. I haven't witnessed a police tire-change, but I've occasionally heard the radio calls from one making sure that he wasn't needed more urgently before getting involved in a roadside repair for a stranded motorist.
Maybe you need a PD with better hiring practices, since it sounds like yours is unclear on that 'serve' bit...and a little unclear on what would simply fall under being a good neighbor.