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I didnt do it!!

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  • I didnt do it!!

    Well, I actually went all the way to L.A. from Germany, completely gung-ho to take part in the expedited testing process... and then I didnt do it. The night before the test I decided to go take a dry run down to the area where the test was supposed to be.. Temple street via Los Angeles street. It was about 9:30 at night. This route takes you directly through some of the most desolate and desparate parts of the city. The first light I stopped at, to my right was a man sitting on the ground, filthy, rocking back and forth, when he hears my car he turns his head and this is when I see half of his face is gone, totally not there, smashed in at some point in his life and now covered in just skin. I made eye contact with him and was immediately freaked out, and then i turn my head to look away and that is when I notice the tents everywhere and all of the people sleeping in every nook and cranny along the sidewalk. There are people everywhere walking with cups, begging, shaking, strung out etc.
    I know your wondering what the hell I thought it was going to be like, and this is what I thought but I dont think you can wrap your mind around certain things until you see them in real life. I was so affected by this, so sick on the inside. Not grossed out just really affected. I was with my sister at the time, the one who had been blown up in Iraq and she told me that I would eventually get used to this....but then asked me if I really wanted to. She was only 21 when she went to Iraq and lived basically the same sheltered life that I did.. she is now forever changed, numb and less caring about life and its meaning in general. ( If you want you can read about her experience in June issue of Glamour).
    For me, I was at first really convinced that no I dont want to get used to this and I certainly didnt want to live in L.A. now that Im back home I regret a little bit of not going, but for me right now I have a lot of reevaluting to do. It is just scary because this is what I thought my life dream was, this is what I am 20000 dollars in debt for college for. I dont think I want to give up because of this one experience but I definately dont think I want to start in such a large department.
    Owell just wanted to let you all know. Thanks for the support and any advice would be greatly appreciated.... I mean should this have affected me like it did?
    "What looks good from afar can be far from good."

  • #2
    Police work is not for everybody. Whether or not you want to deal with the realities of the job on a day to day basis is something that you have to decide for yourself. It's not always a pleasant job...you should be honest and up-front with yourself about that. And, I won't lie, it has an effect on those of us who choose to make it our profession. But, it can also be rewarding and fun and exciting.

    I came from a pretty sheltered life as a kid. When I got into law enforcement, it was a major culture shock. I saw and experienced things that I had never imagined during my protected little existence in suburbia. Some of it was tough to deal with. I had to deal with a whole new world and deal with my own personal inadequacies when it came to reacting to this new world. There were times that I doubted that I could overcome my own shortcomings and do the job...but I never doubted that I wanted to keep doing it. If felt right. It felt like I was where I belonged. So I stuck with it...and I'm still doing it after 7 years. And I never regret it.

    You're going to have to decide if that's where you want to be, just like I (and many others) had to do. That's not a question that anybody but you can answer.
    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
    -Friedrich Nietzsche

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    • #3
      I don't know how to respond to you here. Yeah L.A. has parts like that, it's not pretty, in the L.A.P.D. you'd deal with it alot, I'm sure.

      Maybe if the big city isn't for you, like you said, a smaller P.D. would be more suitable. L.A.P.D. isn't for everyone, but if you didn't have the follow through coming all the way from Germany to make it to your test, you might have some problems getting a job in Law Enforcement. Suck it up, it's not all bad, there is probably alot of culture shock for you coming from Germany to the thugged out streets of L.A.

      Good luck to you.
      "I'm the man who invented the wheel, and built the Eiffle Tower out of metal and brawn, that's what kind of man I am. You? You're just a women with a small brain." -Ron Burgundy

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      • #4
        Thanks, so far for the replys. I appreciate them. I do realize that I have to expect some shock but maybe start off in a smaller dose, other than L.A. because like I said this is something I have always known or thought I wanted to do.
        One quick question though, how would I have trouble getting a job now that I didnt follow through with my process in L.A.? Its not like I started then quit, I simply signed up for the test and I understand maybe I should have called and cancelled but will this really affect me in other places?
        Anyway guys thanks again, by the way I am an American, I have only lived in Germany for a year because my husband is in the Army.
        "What looks good from afar can be far from good."

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        • #5
          Well if you were schedueled to take the test and didn't, it's going to look bad, not terrible, but you know.

          If you didn't, and just decided not to go, alls I ment is when I said that to you is, if you're having a hard time just looking at those people from your vehicle, and the area, you're going to have a hard time putting Law Enforcement in a blended everyday and drinking it. Lots of people go on to get LE jobs, work it for a year, and quit. Just wasn't for them, doesn't make them a bad person, just a person who doesn't want to do this day in, and day out.

          If you really want to work Law Enforcement, you can do it, prehaps like you, and myself suggested, maybe just in a smaller place to start. There are alot of really nice communities that need Police too, not just the ghettos L.A.

          Keep pluggin away, and find a suitable place, if you want it, you'll get it.
          Maybe you just weren't ready for L.A. that day, and that's cool too, if L.A.P.D. is where your heart is at, you can get in there. Although I heard they are kind of tough on Backgrounds, but have been relaxing the standards.
          "I'm the man who invented the wheel, and built the Eiffle Tower out of metal and brawn, that's what kind of man I am. You? You're just a women with a small brain." -Ron Burgundy

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          • #6
            I used to patrol that area 20 years ago. The problem here is that you focused on that area alone and not on the rest of the city.

            For many years, Los Angeles County's services for the homeless, people with emotional disturbances and those with substance abuse problems have been concentrated along Main Street and Los Angeles Street (a few blocks off of Temple). As a result, there is a disproportionately high number of "unsightly folks" who congregate in that area.

            The rest of the city is like any other place. It has good points and bad. If LAPD turns you off, check out some of the other agencies such as Santa Monica PD, Beverly Hills PD, or head south to Orange County and check out Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Irvine PDs.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              L-1 is correct, L.A., as most major cities, has problems with the homeless. That particular area is called "Skid Row." It is like that at night but during the day the area is "cleaned up" for business. The whole city is not like this.

              L.A. is 465 square miles, which means there is plenty to see and do. It is not all like Skid Row. There are many areas that have more money than most of us put together and is very nice to look at.

              In most any major city, police work is not pretty. Not only that, there are many people out there who actually don't like us, and that goes for any city and town, no matter how big or small. Just when you think you're going to be able to help someone, they turn around and spit on you, verbally assault you, or physically attack you.

              Bing Oh is also correct, police work is definitely not for everyone. If you were affected so much just by the sight of this person, imagine having to actually talk to and touch him... and sometimes on a daily basis. There's nothing wrong with that, people are all different. If you do decide to come back, let one of us local folks know and maybe we can help you out.

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              • #8
                Also consider Federal Departments as well. Specialized Law Enforcement. I'm assuming your coming from a Military Base, since you seem American and are coming from Germany. Try to apply for the Department of Army, or Navy Police on a base in the Continental United States. Military Installations are like cities, but sometimes aren't as severe as large urban areas. If you have a four year degree and are familiar with the lifestyle of living on an Installation. You could have an advantage over a regular civilian applying as well.

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                • #9
                  Maybe corrections

                  Thanks again everyone, I had honestly expected some kind of discouragement.... like maybe the career wasnt for me if I was so quickly freaked out. But now I have an idea maybe you can advise me with. Do you think that maybe going into corrections first may break me in a little ( or alot), and expose me to more people I will encounter on the street? I mean it sounds logical. I have said before I am from small town USA and just havent been exposed to very much in life, but for some reason have just felt the calling to be in law enforcement, and my entire time in college was a breeze because I absolutely loved studying every aspect of LE. I admit however, that college in no way prepares you for the streets (clearly). I dont know just a thought, I just cant accept giving up over one incident or accepting that Im not right for the job without having ever truly tried. Thanks!
                  "What looks good from afar can be far from good."

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                  • #10
                    A buddy of mine did that. He jumped right into USP Lewisburg. Not only did it get him broken in, he now loves Corrections and is still doing it, just on a county level.

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                    • #11
                      I generally don't recommend for someone interested in law enforcement to enter corrections. I would recommend that, if you're able, to visit various law enforcement agencies, and ride-along if possible. That'll give you a pretty good taste.

                      Admittedly I've never been there, but I think LA could be a culture shock to just about anybody.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks...still on the fence.

                        Thanks again for the continued advice. I am still somewhat on the fence between corrections and police work but I am getting down to the point where I need to just make the decision. I am going to be moving to Florida soon (from Germany). I just really decided I want to be closer to my family, the downfall now is that this means I will be paying for myself to go to an academy and I have to decide between corrections or police training. I am trying to weigh out the pros and cons right now. Police officer pro - this is my life dream, cons of course are many but the pro outweighs them all! Corrections, better hours, faster advancement etc, the con, for me it will be like settling for second place because to be out there on the streets is what I really want.
                        We'll see, Ill post when I decide and actually enroll in something but thanks again.
                        "What looks good from afar can be far from good."

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                        • #13
                          Depending on where you go, many departments will pay you to attend the academy. For instance, if you do decide to come back out to Los Angeles, LAPD provides full pay while you attend the academy. I'm sure there are police departments in Florida that do the same thing.

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