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Is it normal to feel isolated/disconnected as an officer?

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  • Is it normal to feel isolated/disconnected as an officer?

    In regards to camaraderie, that is. I've had several conversations with co-workers where they'll casually mention that they still have strong ties to those they went to the academy with or went to training with. I've begun to realize over the last month or so that I don't really fit the traditional cop-type. A lot of officers will hang out with each other, play golf together, double-date and all that. I do none of that with anyone I work with or have ever worked with.

    I've been in the game for seven years, though I've only been on the road for a year and a half. I realized that not only do I not hang out with anyone that I currently work with, I have no regular contact with anyone at the other two previous agencies I worked with.

    I keep reading about this mysterious brotherhood among officers and I honestly think it's something we've made up to tell civilians.

    Anyone else feel like this? Or is it me? I'm hesitant to even ask this because I don't want to sound like I'm having a pity-party and I know how other cops tend to be.
    There once was a man who said: "Though,
    it seems that I know that I know,
    what I'd like to see is the I that knows me,
    when I know that I know that I know."

    - Alan Watts

  • #2
    I'm the same way. I don't socialize with the deputies I work with.

    Part of it is the age difference. I'm 44 and retired from one career already.... most of them are 20-something and just starting out.

    I also don't drink, and I'm married, lots of the reasons they get together don't really work for me. We joke and carry on a bit on duty, and there are several I really like working with, but they do their thing and I do mine off duty. It was the same in the Army.

    The important thing, and the main purpose of the "brotherhood", is what happens ON duty. If you're willing to put your @zz on the line for them, and they for you, then you're good.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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    • #3
      The brotherhood is there even if YOU don't participate. Just look at the photos of the past few weeks in NYC

      It is not at all unusual to have officers who don't hang with others. I did as a YOUNG officer but the older I got the less I really wanted to do with anyone from work when I was not there

      I do know that I can go anywhere in the country and introduce myself with my badge/id and have a friend respond.


      THAT is the brotherhood
      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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      • #4
        Is It Normal To Feel Isolated/Disconnected As An Officer?

        I wouldn't sweat it. Do you have enough hobbies and off-duty activities to keep you engaged? At the end of the day, it is still a job. If you hang out with fellow officers off-duty you might end up living the job 24-7 and that is no good. Find your passion when you are not working and forget about cop work until you have to be back at work.

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        • #5
          Assuming you don't share a hobby with someone, I see people 40 plus hours a week; I don't need to hang out with them off duty. I have a family and a life; I have things to do. I attend department social events. Iowa's got it right; we come together for the important things.

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          • #6
            I don't hang out with most of my coworkers either (actually, I don't hang out with anyone except my wife and her family). When I first started in LE, I hung with my coworkers (mostly drinking at a bar). Now days, I stay home when I can. There just aren't enough hours in the day to juggle work, kids and friends.

            I will say, my closest friends were met on the job and I just saw two of them tonight at my daughter's birthday party. Even with them, we don't really hang out, they are both single and live bachelor lifestyles. Hopefully, reading these replies will help you.

            Stay safe.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
              The brotherhood is there even if YOU don't participate. Just look at the photos of the past few weeks in NYC

              It is not at all unusual to have officers who don't hang with others. I did as a YOUNG officer but the older I got the less I really wanted to do with anyone from work when I was not there

              I do know that I can go anywhere in the country and introduce myself with my badge/id and have a friend respond.


              THAT is the brotherhood
              Well put.

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              • #8
                I also want to second what Iowa had said. We are all brothers, even if we have never met. I also agree that hanging out with coworkers during off duty time is the same with almost any career. All you would ever talk about is work. There are people out there that enjoy work that much, but most of us are not.
                I was so antisocial when I got hired at my current dept that the other recruits thought that I was a plant from the administration to report back to them about the recruits behaviors and activities. I had that name for a few months. It wasn't until after we all graduated from the academy they started talking to me as an equal instead of as a supervisor.
                You have friends in this field. Don't worry.
                What Is A Veteran?
                A 'Veteran,' whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve is 'someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to and including his life.' That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today who no longer understand that fact.

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                • #9
                  I can put an interesting slant on this. I have been part of the same team for nearly 9 years. I don't drink and have not done so since I was 19 years old. I spend most of my spare time at home, writing articles or physical training.

                  My work mates have the occasional night out which involves drinking. I make a point of attending nights when colleagues are moving on but I tend to miss run of the mill nights out. Some people have problems with this, I do however put that aside when working. I will be there for any of my colleagues and back anyone up without question.

                  You are nothing without team mates!
                  "Attitude breeds success"

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                  • #10
                    It varies. I felt more camaraderie in uniform. Now I'm in an office with only 5 other people on my shift and while I'm friendly with everyone I don't hang out with anyone off duty.

                    That said, the brotherhood is about more than golfing. Our FOP and auxillary are great at getting people together when someone needs us. Caroling outside of a dying retiree's house, a collection for an officer with a child with huge medical bills, wristbands to show support for an officer battling cancer, etc. You can find buddies anywhere. Its tough to find brothers.
                    I miss you, Dave.
                    http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
                      I'm the same way. I don't socialize with the deputies I work with.

                      Part of it is the age difference. I'm 44 and retired from one career already.... most of them are 20-something and just starting out.

                      I also don't drink, and I'm married, lots of the reasons they get together don't really work for me. We joke and carry on a bit on duty, and there are several I really like working with, but they do their thing and I do mine off duty. It was the same in the Army.

                      The important thing, and the main purpose of the "brotherhood", is what happens ON duty. If you're willing to put your @zz on the line for them, and they for you, then you're good.
                      Nicely put. I'm the same way minus the age difference. I just try to stay away from LE while I'm off.

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                      • #12
                        I don't often hang out with my coworkers outside of work, but that's mostly because I have a young child. Believe me, I'd love a night out with the boys. But I see the "brotherhood" when I'm AT work. Everyday, I'm working with my buddies. If you asked me who my friends are, 90% of them would be people I work with, even if we don't hang out much outside of work. And I can't say that about any other job I've ever had. Also, I keep up with people I've worked with on the first shift I started out on.

                        But to the OP, if it's not there for you.. it's not there. No big deal. Do you like the job still? As long as you're happy with what you're doing, the rest doesn't really matter.

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                        • #13
                          I only hang out with 2 of the 25 guys I work with. One of them I went through academy with and the other I just happen to click with. The rest of the department are all great guys and I would gladly do all in my power to back them up and they would return the favor but we are not best friends, some of them I don't even really like in a personal way but they are my fellow officers and we are brothers.

                          You are fine, more time on the street with the other guys will help also.

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