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Is it game over...?

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  • Is it game over...?

    I’m 22 years old, graduated the academy at 20 years old. I don’t have any college or military or prior LE experience, so it was hard to find a job here in Florida. I finally found one in a small town of less than 5,000 residents and only 7 officers, 1 Chief and 1 Sgt.

    I did really well in the first phase of FTO, second phase rolled around and I started having issues with doing things on my own. I spoke with my chief and FTO about the issues and they assigned me four remediation days to correct some of the confidence issues I was having, to which I also did not pass. I was given the opportunity to resign instead of being terminated, which I took.

    After speaking with the Chief again today while returning all of my equipment, we came to this conclusion: my issue seems to be in a lack of confidence. I certainly possess the knowledge to do the job, and I definitely understand what’s going on on scene because I’m able to put it all down on a report and articulate exactly what I need to with no help at all. But something happens where I get on scene and I sometimes draw a blank or something. I think my issue lies in not having done enough of the different types of calls. I’m a repetition type of person. The more I do something, the better I get at it. I think this because the things that I AM good at, are things I did a lot of (traffic stops, using the radio and communicating, navigation, report writing). But the things I did poorly on, I barely did at all. In my two months of working there, I only had one retail theft, two domestic violence calls, and one intoxicated person. Not a lot of experience, to me anyway.

    Let me be clear, I am in no way blaming my department or trainers, they were amazing and incredibly insightful. I think I just didn’t get enough experience to meet the expectations in time, due to it being such a small town with such little activity.

    So my question is, is it game over for me? My Chief and FTO’s left on very good terms and they all said I SHOULD still pursue a job. He even told me, “if I could give you more time I would”. He also told me he had somebody come to their department and get hired on who had the exact same issues, and got hired on at a bigger agency after failing the FTO there and now he’s doing really well. Chief and Sgt both said that anywhere I apply I should have them call them, and they’ll have nothing but good things to say about me. So, all things considered, do I still stand a chance?

  • #2
    I’ve seen several officers fail out and go somewhere else. If there wasn’t enough real world training scenarios are am option. Keep trying but don’t take any baggage with you.
    Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?

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    • #3
      You are very young. You need life experience.
      Now go home and get your shine box!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JDCOP View Post
        I’ve seen several officers fail out and go somewhere else..
        This is completely true.............but you also need to be aware that some people are just not cut out to be out there alone. I have known a lot of people that were good students............could be lead anywhere...........but couldn't figure out how to do the job when they were solo without someone leading them.

        Which are you?.............I have no idea.

        I am going to agree with CCCSD that many times confidence comes with age and practice. But also the agency shouldn't penalize you because they didn't provide you with enough scenarios. They could have staged some scenarios to get you up to speed if they really wanted .

        Even according to your Chief .............they failed others who made it elsewhere so I see a failure to train issue also

        ONce again.................I have no idea where you lie in the scheme..................good luck in your future endeavors.
        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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        • #5
          Confidence in one's self is hard to train. It's kind of an intangible. It's just having the stones to take the initiative or make a snap decision when the situation requires. While I don't think it's one of those bright line "either you have or you don't' things... you have to give us something to work with. As Iowa said, some people are great with a partner, but are just not cut out to do things on their own.

          If your agency is willing to cut you loose over this, it's not a small problem. A much larger agency have a little more training time/budget leeway. As an FTO, I have worked with young officers to overcome problems for a reasonable period, but the officer himself has to make solid progress. If he doesn't, he can become a liability.

          Being good at repetition is fine, but in this profession we are faced with new off-the-wall variations on routine situations all the time. For example, it's easy to think that most drunk driving arrests pretty much go according to a script. Most do. But then you'll get one that goes right off the rails when you least expect it. Drunks can get real dangerous, real fast.

          Do some soul searching. It's not an embarrassment to admit being a police officer isn't a good fit for you. You don't want to risk your own or another officer's safety.
          You can trust just about every officer you work with to risk their life to save yours, but don't ever leave your lunch in the breakroom refrigerator.

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          • #6
            Game over? How about your game is just beginning??

            First of all, many people don't make it to the first year. I don't know if there's been any solid research into this, but I would venture a good 30% of hires don't complete academy and/or FTO.

            Second, like many have already stated, you are young. Life experience builds character and confidence. Five years from now may be a different situation.

            Third, you seem to have a good head on your shoulders and are taking it in stride. There's no shame in failure; and no one can have regrets when they gave it their best.

            Fourth, there's a lid for every pot. So this department wasn't the right fit for you. Learn from it and try again with a different agency, when the time is right. Maybe something with a different mission, like the Florida Park Service? If you still have your certification, you're still competitive.

            Lastly, say another LE job doesn't work out. It happens. I know many people, for a variety of reasons, who had to move on to different careers. They all found their niche and some are making a lot more money than had LE worked out. Good people land on their feet.
            One day, lad, this will all be yours.

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            • #7
              TBH, If life circumstances allow, I’d try to go back to school to get at least an AA degree and then reapply to a larger agency.

              Very small agencies dont don’t have the luxury of time nor do they have the luxury of really nurturing trainees that just need that little bit extra training.

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              • #8
                Without knowing your exact circumstances, the first thing that sticks out to me is with the agency being so small, why are they hiring people with zero experience and expecting them to be at a certain level to meet their standards? You would think they would only take laterals but thats just my opinion. How long were your FTO periods and how many different FTO's could they have with only 7 sworn? That could be part of the issue is not enough diversity in learning from different officers styles. And to give you only 4 days as an "extension period" sounds like you were set up to fail anyway because as an FTO I cant change major issues in only 4 days.
                "Its not what you know, its what you can prove."-Training Day

                "Game on, bitches. Whoop whoop, flash the lights, pull it over."

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                • #9
                  I'm going to agree with what several have stated. Your young and need the life experience, it helps. Also seems like a agency training issue. For my department month one your going feet 1st but with alot of guidance. Your not expected to know a whole lot. Month 2 things get a little more. What you described as your handled calls in 2 months is what most in her handle in a shift. This job is all about repetition, the more calls handled the easier it becomes
                  I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

                  It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lpstopper View Post
                    Without knowing your exact circumstances, the first thing that sticks out to me is with the agency being so small, why are they hiring people with zero experience and expecting them to be at a certain level to meet their standards?

                    THIS

                    Don’t sweat it. But be aware that the calls we LEOs get arent always the EXACT same thing every single time. You have to learn how to adapt and just be confident in the impromptu decisions you have to make. In time, you get more confident.

                    When I was on FTO I used to get told that I needed more confidence as well. Some FTOs understood because I was like you, brand new, no prior experience. But other FTOs I had were harder on me when it came to not knowing what to do. My last few weeks I did really well because I had a great FTO. I felt confident with him for some reason (which was ironic because he was the one everyone was super afraid of being FTO’d by).

                    Anyways...dont give up! You’ll find a department that will
                    be willing to train you.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks everybody for the replies, much appreciated! I’ve done a lot of hard thinking on this, and I don’t want to give up on this. I really DO want to be a cop, and this all makes me want to show it even more. I’ve applied to a lot of other agencies this past week, big and small, so fingers crossed. My Chief mentioned what a lot of you all said as well, regarding life experience. I’m not sure exactly how to get that though. Is it a time thing? I want to do whatever will make me better, I’m just not sure what to pursue with that. Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks!

                      p.s. sorry for the late reply, I’ve been visiting and calling a lot of agencies this week

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by taran_radig View Post
                        Thanks everybody for the replies, much appreciated! I’ve done a lot of hard thinking on this, and I don’t want to give up on this. I really DO want to be a cop, and this all makes me want to show it even more. I’ve applied to a lot of other agencies this past week, big and small, so fingers crossed. My Chief mentioned what a lot of you all said as well, regarding life experience. I’m not sure exactly how to get that though. Is it a time thing? I want to do whatever will make me better, I’m just not sure what to pursue with that. Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks!

                        p.s. sorry for the late reply, I’ve been visiting and calling a lot of agencies this week
                        It’s a time thing. Straight out of college I tried getting hired in LE with no dice. I got a professional job as an IT analyst for a software company, worked that gig for about a year, applied again and I’ve been a Deputy Sheriff for about 5 months now. Don’t sweat it. You’ll get there.

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