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  • Staying in or getting out

    Hello everyone, I’m just about 6 years in as a police officer and I have over 12 years private security experience. I’m always praised by my superiors about how well of a job I do, but I’m starting to feel like the work I’m doing is getting old. I’m getting tired of arguing with people, getting used like a body guard, having to wear so many hats at one time can be confusing. What I want to know is this a typical feeling when you are a campus police officer, or do you city and municipal officers hit the same wall around this time?

    I have become the officer that I wanted to be as far as attitude, ethics, and education. I’m just not sure of what I should do, I find myself looking at other jobs but nothing really grabs me. To try and help me decide I have signed up to get a social workers degree, since I know no matter what job I do choose I will be working with a variety of people that may need my help. I haven’t lost the feeling of wanting to help others but I have lost the feeling of just constantly dealing with negative situations that almost take the life out of me.

    High amounts of stress and just not enough positive outcomes are just really getting to me. I’m tired of feeling like I’m just spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. As I look back it took so much for to get the career I have now, I’m just confused as to what should I do stay in the field of policing because it’s been good to me financial wise and I have had some good times but I hate feeling stuck ? Thanks for reading and input is welcome.
    My life is in GOD’s hands, and he hasn’t finished with me yet.

  • #2
    I think social work would be even more frustrating.

    You are at the time in your career when most officers of all stripes consider bailing out. I can't tell you what to do, but I think most of us have been there.

    I have long since reached the point in my career in which I can say, "eff it." I work for my employer and my employer sets my duties, pays my mortgage and feeds my kids. As long as they don't order me to do something illegal, I still get paid and it all counts towards retirement. When I show up on Monday, if the chief tells me to go home and put my grubby clothes on because the grounds crew needs me to help them cut grass at Veteran's Park, whatever, I'll be back shortly.
    Last edited by just joe; 05-18-2014, 08:30 AM.

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    • #3
      Had those feelings myself a couple of times over the years. A change of assignment helped. When those feelings crept up again another change of assignment helped again. When 25 years rolled around and the pension checks started rolling in I was glad I stuck around.

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      • #4
        As a cop or a social worker remember this...You're not going to save the world! All you're doing is putting band-aids on people's problems that they have had years to create. Once you understand that the job gets easier to handle.
        Strong Body, Sharp Mind And Good Tactics!

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        • #5
          It's easy to get burned out over this job, but ultimately it's fairly easy and you make a decent check. There a lot of people working a lot harder than you and making less.

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          • #6
            I'm right behind you man. I've only been a cop a little over 2 years and I have seen things nobody should have to see. I've pulled more dead people out of cars than I care to count, had 1 person commit suicide in front of my face, been first on for a someone who just committed suicide and there was just a stump on the neck, seen several after they had been hanging several hours, death notifications, the list goes one. Eventually that stuff starts messing with you, and I got a little one on the way I don't want to bring that home to. Also my dad was a cop growing up and I hated him because he was gone all the time, I don't want that. I want to be able to go to dance recitals or baseball games or whatever else they may be involved in, and with my current schedule and department it's not possible. Also when I became a cop I wanted to work for a large busy department, as that's what I grew up around (dad retired from Ft. Worth) but for some reason I can't get on with bigger departments.

            I also just found out I have a pretty rare opportunity to go back to school for lasers/photonics, for free. Only 75 people in the country a year get this opportunity so thinking about taking it and either reserving or leaving police work all together.
            "To hell with a supervisor, men follow a leader" -Texas Ranger Captain Allee

            "Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death."
            -Sun Tzu

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            • #7
              I think we all go through what your going through, for both the op and Baylor. At the end of the day, for me anyways, it boils down to these facts. I don't do this job for anyone else but myself, It's not about the pay, pats on the back, etc, etc. Do I like the fact I can sometimes help others, absolutely, but as far as why I won't do anything else but be a policeman, it's who I am. I could never do anything else, I'm just not made that way..

              The list of how police officer's get shorted is many pages long, on the other hand the opposite list is just as long..

              All the little things use to eat me up, I'd be a nervous wreck when the DA would drop a good case or a jury would find someone not guilty on a damn near perfect case.. Not anymore, I look for tiny victories on every case, every call and every person I deal with.

              All I can do is my very best each time I'm called upon, other than that, I can't change anything once it's out of my hands, so why worry!
              "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck"

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              • #8
                Thank you, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in this struggle. My job has it its moments but I will see what the future brings ,one day at a time.
                My life is in GOD’s hands, and he hasn’t finished with me yet.

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                • #9
                  Sic 'Em Bears! Oh, sorry... proud Baylor Dad here.

                  I've got nearly 9 years full-time now and I get a bit crispy around the edges time-to-time. But then I get dispatched to something and I'm OK again for a while. I think one of the important things is to find someone to talk to. Debriefings help you deal with some of the *sigh* unpleasant parts of the job.
                  Officer Jay McGuire, Minneapolis Park Police EOW 5/14/2009 age 11
                  Among Texas' finest
                  Deputy Andy Taylor, Llano County SO EOW 5/9/2005
                  Senior Deputy Jessica Laura Hollis, Travis County SO EOW 9/18/2014
                  Darren H. Goforth, Harris County SO EOW 8/28/2015

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                  • #10
                    There is no perfect cop job. Every agency (municiple, county, state, and federal) has it's own set of issues and politics. When I went to college I completed an internship with the campus police department. I don't think I could ever be a campus cop.

                    With all that being said, have you thought about going to a different agency? Participate in a local, state, or federal task force. Diversify your career if you can.

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                    • #11
                      I've got the 7 year itch. Fortunately, it's career-related and nothing to do with my marriage!

                      I've been with 170+ sworn department since I started and have become a bit tired of things. Granted, our call load is pretty high as well as our crime rate, so it keeps us busy. That said, I have been looking at other agencies in the DFW area. Lower crime rate (on the north side of DFW where I've been looking), fewer calls for service, more time to get into self-initiated things, and a better environment to raise my family. I may end up switching, losing all of my seniority, take a pay cut, go back to midnights, and get bored out of my mind in a few months, but at this point in the game, I'm willing to suck it up if I can give my family a better place to grow. I don't live in the worst neighborhood, but I have seen all kinds of crime happen in even the best of neighborhoods in my city.

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