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  • Just a Job?

    Originally posted by Lazy Eye Bob
    ...I'll be quick with this. Police work, it is nothing but a job. Though this job expects more out of us, its still is a job that allows you to house, feed and clothe your family...
    I picked this up from Bob with the lazy eye in the Katrina Forum and I thought that I would run with it here.

    There has been a discussion in the International Forum on how the younger generation police officers perceive 'The Job' and a Gardai member commented on how in present day Ireland it is not unusual for someone to chuck in the job, whereas years ago, it was unheard of and being a Police Officer was a job for life ie from the cradle to the grave.

    I have always regarded my job as a Police Officer as 'Not just a job, but a way of life'. Perhaps this attitude has now changed and as Bob with the lazy eye says, maybe it's nothing but a job and that in this day and age you just clock on and off, as you would in a factory?

    Maybe I have taken Bob with the lazy eye out of context, for this Post bears no relation to Hurricane Katrina.

    So, in your view, is it 'Just a job or a way of life.

    I would also like to hear comments from any of our Retired Members.

    Cheers.

  • #2
    Actually, I think it's both. Nowadays people change careers (in the U.S., anyways) about 6 times in their life. I'm not 1 of them having done this job here & in New Mexico almost 30 yrs. Today, now more than ever an Officer has to be above reproach in most evrything he does & still be aware of the community's needs & attitudes. What this does is force the officer to have to be more "approachable" yet still know his job & project that job knowledge on & off-duty. I.E. I have a friend that's very suspicious of our govt. Now some people would call him a survivalist or even an extremist but I think that's going too far. When I see him we frequently talk about legal issues & once it's explained to him he 'll often change his view. What I've done is essentially put on a "human face" to to the profession away from the job & shown him what we (police) do is often simple common sense,legal and in the best interest of both me & the public. It's a hard thing to do but nowadays necessary. In short,do yourself a favor--- don't make it a "lifestyle". You'll go crackers and you won't live as long--And you know what? Not 10 minutes after you retire no one is going to remember your name or the effort you put out. Enjoy the job for what it is. Just make sure you come home every night

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    • #3
      For me it is a job.
      When I go to work I put in 110%. But when I am off, I am off! I would go nuts if I had to live the cop 24-7. Only my close friends and family even know what I do and those people know not to even play the 'what if' game of questions when I am on my own time. I don't wear anything or display anything on my personal vehicle that would even give the slightest hint of what I do. I seperate work from my personal life. It's just how I stay myself and sane!
      I am a cop at work but anything that happens there is left there and I am right back to myself when I walk out the door.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by NJladyGlock21
        ...I would go nuts if I had to live the cop 24-7....
        Fair enough, and I agree with you.

        I certainly would not like to 'live the cop 24/7' What I meant by 'Not just a job but a way of life' was staying in the job for life and belonging to the brotherhood as in Police Clubs, Police Social and Sporting events etc.

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        • #5
          Gotcha! I'm sorry, I misunderstood you.
          I would do that. The brotherhood will always be with me. I couldnt see letting that go.

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          • #6
            Well, I get told to relax all the time or 'get off my high horse', but I come from a long line of Police officers and have grown up thinking this career I choose is a way of life. I don't consider my being a police officer a job in any respect. I took an oath, and put my life on the line to protect people and take people off the streets and that is more of a moral obligation to me then just a steady paycheck.

            I carry off-duty but don't get involved in ANYTHING I don't have too. I don't ticket off-duty or wear anything to say I'm a police officer.

            I goto work everyday smiling and with the attitude that I'm gonna get some person off the street tonight that could hurt or kill someone or did something that was grossly against the law.

            I didn't become an Officer to only get a paycheck. I also didn't become a Cop to be any sort of super hero. I became a Cop because I decided that's the path I wanted to devote my life too and I wanted to do something meaningful with my life.

            I like my high horse, I think I'll stay riiiight on it.

            Craddle to the grave baby.
            Last edited by Dash; 09-09-2005, 09:52 AM.

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            • #7
              Definitely just a job- a very secure one, but just a job nonetheless.

              The problem with the job is that today you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't. There are so many sue happy people out there praying that five-o will ram them during a pursuit, call them an offensive name, or just just make a mistake so they can get their big payday. I don't know how it was in the 70's and 80's, but being a cop now certainly isn't the job I thought it would be when I grew up watching what cops did on TV.

              I never thought I'd spend my career hoping that I don't get stuck on a job with a potential lawsuit attached. And when you think about it, just about EVERY job you go on has that potential. I get enough CYAing at work and don't need to bring it home with me.

              On rare occassions, we're thrown a bone and can go home feeling good about what we've done that day. But on many of those other days you can't help but wonder if you'll be the victim of some BS complaint or lawsuit, and all for doing your job.

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              • #8
                for me it is far more than 'just a job,' but--it is also NOT my bread-and-butter.

                I became a Reserve the old fashioned way--volunteer. I paid for my own gear. I FTO'd on my own time and my own dime. Being a cop was something I'd always wanted as a child, and somehow 'grew out of' mostly because I didn't think I *could* do it. My Dad was a Reserve for 27 years and retired as an Lt. My Granfather, while not a cop, was an immigrant, who gave much, if not most, of his free time to public service. It's a tradition, and a cultural thing.

                I am now sworn again, and yes, this time I'm paid. I work 2 or 3 days a week as a peace officer. Four days a week I pay the bills being a dispatcher. I love that too. Well, I love the *work*... some of the job is the big suck, but isn't that the case everywhere?

                There are very few jobs where you can go home at the end of the day knowing you made the world a tiny bit better. It may never be anything huge or heroic, but most people deal with us during some of the biggest crises in their lives. If I can help them, in a small way, to weather the storm better... then I have done a good day's work. If I can get a bad guy, well, then my rest is well earned.

                The wording of *my* oath says nothing about "part-time" or Reserve or on duty vs. off. It says I will uphold the laws, protect, and serve. My SOP is pretty specific about off duty responsibilities in my jurisdiction--I don't live in my jurisdiction, so I'm 'off the hook' a little there. But I *am* a cop. It's not my job, it's part of who I am.

                Yes, I'm still new, but by no means young. I know the shine will wear off, but I hope it will never tarnish. I know to this day, my Dad, the retired Lt. will not pass an accident if he is the first. He will not hesitate to help a fellow officer, or a citizen, where prudent and practical. He set a great example for me. (and yes, he's pretty ****ed I'm a cop now. )

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cleetus0219
                  ...but being a cop now certainly isn't the job I thought it would be when I grew up watching what cops did on TV.
                  Thinking it was going to be like on TV was your first mistake. I mean COME ON! Did you think you were going to get to shoot all the bad guys and then go home with no paperwork?
                  Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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                  • #10
                    Many are motivated in the beginning and look beyond the "job" term. As time goes by taking hits from within and outside the dept., many treat it as a job. They show up, do thier work, and then go home.
                    When I started I never got off on time but as time has gone by I get off on time 90% of the time now.

                    TGY
                    Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The views expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer [This sig stolen from Brickcop who stole it from Frank Booth].

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                    • #11
                      I think being a Cop is a way of life to a certain degree. When you go home everyone around you knows you are a Cop and everyone watches you (at least me anyway). I mean neighbors, family, and friends, their perspective of Police comes from that person and not while their on duty. I think you are expected to be held to a higher standard. What I mean is don't be a hypocrite. Off duty I am me, but I still know there are people watching. I don't mean a way of life as running around off duty trying to serve and protect I just mean your attitude, demeanor, and respect for the law. Neighbors are especially a nag because you may not know them as well thus if you do something stupid you dept. may learn about it. Just my opinion

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                      • #12
                        Just a job.....something you do but shouldn't define who you are.

                        K9

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chief Wiggum
                          Thinking it was going to be like on TV was your first mistake. I mean COME ON! Did you think you were going to get to shoot all the bad guys and then go home with no paperwork?
                          Fool! I didn't think it was all guts and glory, but I did expect to be able to DO the job. Now we have to just sit back and let things happen because that's the only guarantee to make it 25 years without losing your pension.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How many of us in here are on-duty when we reply to, or generate posts here? I'd suspect not many, which leads me to believe that there is more LEO in each of us when we're off-duty then any of us would like to admit. Why else would we be here? The "blinders-on" or "leave it all behind" statements have a certain saltiness to them, but in each of us there is always a little LEO inside off-duty or not. How many still carry off-duty? If you weren't a LEO, why would you carry a gun? To protect your stash? How many are still acutely aware of their surroundings when off duty? Such as, watching the guy with too heavy a coat for the weather while dinning with your family? Or the couple hundred other habits (good & bad) we delvelop on the job that we carry over to our private life. Do we really "shut it off" at the end of the shift? Probably not. Do we insulate our private life from the job by "putting the blinders on"? That we do, and if we didn't, we really would go nuts. I may just be the coroner, but I too am a peace officer and develope survival mechanisms and tactics. On duty things that cue us to liars, cheats, thieves and dirtbags drive us forward to figure things out and see if there is a a crime or not. Off-duty those same instincts still kick in. We choose to ignore them. Is it a lifestyle or a job? Hmmm, whether we like it or not, it is a lifestyle. The difference is how we conduct ourselves on-duty (move forward and figure out the lie) versus off-duty (ignore the lie). The sweet part of being an off-duty LEO is the choises you get to make. A couple years a go I went to pick up my step-son from a computer game arcade near our home. As I walked up I observed a kid selling joints out of his car. Him I did something about. That was a little too close to home to ignore, especially at a place where my step-son liked to hang out. Recently, long after step-son moved on (and out my home ) I still see dealers while off-duty and choose to totally ignore what I see.
                            Be alert...the world needs more lerts!

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                            • #15
                              Although only "Just a Reserve", I use to believe it was a way of life. I use to believe that being a cop is not what you do, but what you are, who you are.
                              I no longer feel that way, or at least not as strongly about it as I did.
                              I still believe that not every one has what it takes to be a cop, it does take a special breed of person to do so. Through the years, I have seen people hired that are just good test takers, or related to someone important, or the like,
                              but do not have the diplomacy, or people skills it takes to be a cop.

                              Both brothers are cops, late father was a Reserve for many years, as long as I can remember, growing up we always had a police radio on at home, on 24/7. I still love being a cop, albeit a 'part-time' one.
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              In Memory of Staff Sgt. Matt Kimmell
                              United States Army
                              5th Special Forces Group
                              Former Deputy Sheriff, Vanderburgh County
                              Killed in Iraq October 11, 2005
                              Sometimes I wonder, who you'd be today!!
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


                              www.tryfreemasonry.org

                              Real men wear aprons..

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