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Typical 10 year slump?

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  • Typical 10 year slump?

    Ok folks. I want to kind of vent and ask for guidance from the veterans here. I'm 11 years in. I moved around some with my wife's career. I did three years at a campus PD. We moved and I did four years at a small city PD. She finished training and we moved to our forever home. I'm starting year 4 here. Where I work is a smallish PD with 160 or so sworn. I like my shift. I like my supervisors. My department is pretty ok too. My city and area are pro cop.

    And im seriously considering getting out of the game. When I am dispatched to a call- whatever it is- my mental response is "I don't care." Stupid people crashed? Meh. A domestic situation? Waste of my time because you'll go bond them out in 12 hours. Theft from vehicle? Lock your freaking doors. Catch the bad guy? Good job. He or she will get their probation reset for the 7th time. Cops getting killed or run over or blinded for what? Since I've moved around so much, I'm still 25+ years out of retirement.

    My wife job pays enough for me to stay home if I wanted to (I don't). But I can literally leave today, pick something else to do for any or no pay, and try that. And no swing shifts or missing holidays with my young kids.

    so tell me, what is up with me? Is this just normal? It seems like I hear this from time to time.

    thanks

  • #2
    Dude, I am right there with you. I am at 10 years and 3 months. There are days I really get into my job, and others where I just don't GAF.

    It seems normal, I think there are a few times in a 20 - 25 year career where you hit that burnout.

    Maybe try to get into a hobby or hang out with non-cops?
    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

    I Am the Sheepdog.


    "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
    that we are all that stands between
    the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3
      There are several such milestones in a career. The first is usually in that less than 2 years on the job when you're doubting everything you do. Fortunately that one passes quickly.

      The real tough one hits between 7 and 10 years on the job. What you're describing is exactly right for this time frame. This is when it stops being interesting, starts being annoying, and you wonder if it's really worth it anymore. This is the section where we lose the vast majority of cops. Most cops are young enough at this stage to move on and not look back. One of the ways out of this stage is to try to find a change of pace. Try investigations, or traffic, or some other unit that's different from shagging calls. If you can.

      Those that survive this stage go on to one of two paths: the strong veteran of the streets or the disgruntled leech. You know the types. That one older guy is kicking down doors and busting heads with the young guys and loving every minute, or that other guy who sits in the squad room all night bitching about everything and everyone. The first guy is the one who gets over the hump and starts to find a niche that works for them, reviving the feelings of making a difference, even if its just in a small way. The other guy didn't have the balls to pull the plug at 10 years and now hates life but won't do anything about it.

      There's another major hump at around 20 years. I've been hitting that one pretty hard. The good news is that on this hump, retirement is now usually within reach so it can be a matter of just hanging on. I just hit 23 years on the job. I've been told by some older guys that there's another window of job satisfaction up ahead, but I only need to put in another 3 and half to pull the plug, so I might never get there.

      My advice is to do some real soul searching. Make sure you've got stuff in your life that isn't cop related. That's where a lot of disillusionment comes from. By that 10 year mark, everything revolves around being a cop and all of sudden, being a cop isn't all that great. If at all possible, find something new to do in your department, even if it's just some kind of collateral assignment. Just something to change the pace.
      Last edited by SRT936; 12-13-2016, 02:10 PM.
      Originally posted by kontemplerande
      Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

      Comment


      • #4
        The light at the end of the tunnel has always been the pension. As SRT said the 7 to 10 year stretch is the big one. It's that stretch that causes most NYPD cops to start counting time.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for taking the time to answer and discuss with me. You all nailed where I'm at- "is it worth it"

          And thats what I'm going to have to decide. I have fun hobbies alone and with my family, and a good group of friends outside of LE. My wife would love for me to not have crazy hours. But she would also support me wholly if I stay in.

          so many conflicting thoughts in my head on this. There are other divisions I could try and get in to, but I'm not even sure I want to do them. Our CID is small and has a reputation for being a bit lackluster. I have a general apathy towards tickets now, let alone doing nothing but tickets and wrecks. I get infinitely tired of stupid civilian calls to 911 for stuff that the government has no business doing. But at the same time, I love the heart behind the blue line. I'm still a sheepdog. I love my brothers and sisters. And part of me feels like to leave would be a betrayal of the sheepdog side of me.

          it really is a diverging path. I'm 36. I have a sugar momma wife who would love for me to do whatever crazy career I wanted to do. I could do that. Or I could stay and be the kick *** veteran that I've looked up to for 11 years now.

          thanks again for listening and responding

          Comment


          • #6
            Man, a suger mamma wife, that'd be the bee's knees! I make more than my wife, and I don't make that much.
            The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

            I Am the Sheepdog.


            "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
            that we are all that stands between
            the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm banking on the sugar mama thing. My wife went back to school recently to get her degree in health information management. She's already getting courted by the local hospitals and has a good chance at making 6 figures by the time I retire. That kind of money plus my retirement means SRT gets to do whatever he wants when he pulls the plug.
              Originally posted by kontemplerande
              Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tn_gunslinger View Post
                Ok folks. I want to kind of vent and ask for guidance from the veterans here. I'm 11 years in. I moved around some with my wife's career. I did three years at a campus PD. We moved and I did four years at a small city PD. She finished training and we moved to our forever home. I'm starting year 4 here. Where I work is a smallish PD with 160 or so sworn. I like my shift. I like my supervisors. My department is pretty ok too. My city and area are pro cop.
                You have a lot going for you just referencing the environment.
                Originally posted by tn_gunslinger View Post
                And im seriously considering getting out of the game. When I am dispatched to a call- whatever it is- my mental response is "I don't care."
                I start feeling the drag, I take a short vacation. If I'm gone more than ten days, I'd probably have to be re-trained and have a really fresh perspective.
                Originally posted by tn_gunslinger View Post
                Stupid people crashed? Meh. A domestic situation? Waste of my time because you'll go bond them out in 12 hours.
                Not your problem. Do your job, let the prosecutor do theirs. I use my fisherman analogy--I just catch them, I don't clean them or cook them.
                Originally posted by tn_gunslinger View Post
                Theft from vehicle? Lock your freaking doors. Catch the bad guy? Good job. He or she will get their probation reset for the 7th time.
                If they ever cure stupid, I'm going to work at a gym handing out towels.
                Originally posted by tn_gunslinger View Post
                Cops getting killed or run over or blinded for what? Since I've moved around so much, I'm still 25+ years out of retirement.
                The social climate has just recently swung back towards people hating cops; it will change back at some point in time.
                Originally posted by tn_gunslinger View Post
                My wife job pays enough for me to stay home if I wanted to (I don't). But I can literally leave today, pick something else to do for any or no pay, and try that.
                This can be your motivation to leave OR your motivation to stay on the job.
                Originally posted by tn_gunslinger View Post
                And no swing shifts or missing holidays with my young kids.
                My first ten years was like that and now, I have options to work holidays or let junior guys work them. I can burn time to go watch my kid play ball, etc.
                Originally posted by tn_gunslinger View Post
                so tell me, what is up with me? Is this just normal? It seems like I hear this from time to time.
                You are experiencing what most of us have experienced at one point in our careers. At least your wife's job affords you options that many of us do not have. Good luck.

                “This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

                George V. Higgins--The Friends of Eddie Coyle

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by slamdunc View Post
                  YDo your job, let the prosecutor do theirs. I use my fisherman analogy--I just catch them, I don't clean them or cook them.
                  I use a hunting themed analogy.

                  When you first start out in LE it's like when you first start out hunting. You want to shoot every deer in the woods and you're excited as hell each time.

                  After a while you're just looking for that trophy buck and are willing to pass up a lot of little ones. Just like trying to nab the big cases and the real bad guys.

                  Then you get so that you can't even stand hunting anymore. You've got the trophy, you're freezer is full of meat and it's lost is allure.

                  Until eventually, you realize you're just happy to be out in the woods.
                  Originally posted by kontemplerande
                  Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I too am happy to just get out in the woods.

                    When I started hunting I used the most advanced top notch equipment. Then taking a deer at 300 yards with a scoped 308 lost it's allure. I went back to using a flintlock and had to stalk much closer to get anything.

                    It was sort of like that with my police work, just good old fashioned ground pounding work. A couple of promotions didn't hurt either.

                    Now that I'm retired, think I'll load up the muzzleloader and go get a few squirrels for supper.
                    Last edited by bpd303; 12-14-2016, 03:08 PM.
                    Train for tomorrow, for you never know what it will bring to the fight.
                    In the school of Policing, there is no graduation day.

                    Arguing on the internet, is like wrestling with a pig in mud. After a while you realize that while you are getting dirty, the pig is actually enjoying it.
                    Do Not Disturb sign should read, Already Disturbed Proceed With Caution.
                    Even if the voices aren't real, They have some really good ideas.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tn_gunslinger View Post
                      Thanks for taking the time to answer and discuss with me. You all nailed where I'm at- "is it worth it"

                      And thats what I'm going to have to decide. I have fun hobbies alone and with my family, and a good group of friends outside of LE. My wife would love for me to not have crazy hours. But she would also support me wholly if I stay in.

                      so many conflicting thoughts in my head on this. There are other divisions I could try and get in to, but I'm not even sure I want to do them. Our CID is small and has a reputation for being a bit lackluster. I have a general apathy towards tickets now, let alone doing nothing but tickets and wrecks. I get infinitely tired of stupid civilian calls to 911 for stuff that the government has no business doing. But at the same time, I love the heart behind the blue line. I'm still a sheepdog. I love my brothers and sisters. And part of me feels like to leave would be a betrayal of the sheepdog side of me.

                      it really is a diverging path. I'm 36. I have a sugar momma wife who would love for me to do whatever crazy career I wanted to do. I could do that. Or I could stay and be the kick *** veteran that I've looked up to for 11 years now.

                      thanks again for listening and responding
                      This is pretty much exactly how I'm feeling right now. I've been doing it about 6 years now. Some days I love it and some days I absolutely hate it but I guess that's pretty normal. I've considered getting out and doing something else but know I would miss it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Am going into my 9th year as a police officer. At the 7 year mark I was generating too many negative thoughts while on patrol. Thankfully I was assigned to the tactical team and been really enjoying this assignment. Like somebody already stated, switch to a different assignment or perhaps if you can't immediately get a particular assignment, maybe switching shifts, new faces, new set of issues etc.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am on 11 years on as well. Currently looking forward to my 5th year in back Patrol after a 2 year stint in Divorce Court (which is a great way to break up LE burn out!- Divorce or Family Court are the BEST of the front row seats to the greatest show on Earth!!!).

                          I am feeling the apthay and general discontent towards the population. The ones that "trigger" me are simple family dispute (parent-child or adult siblings). "Like, seriously? You call us for this? How do you function in normal life?"

                          IIRC, the FBI's LEOKA stats say the most dangerous point in your career is between 10-15 years. I am betting it's because of this general apathy and burn-out. I don't have a lot of answers. I just take each call one at a time and try to make a couple car stops. California basically decriminalized all theft that isn't home burglary AND simple possession of all drugs to misdemeanors...so everything is a ticket now! makes my job easy.
                          semper destravit

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As I have grown up, I've wondered how old-farts would often speak their mind, and usually get away with it. I am starting to feel the pull to speak my mind more and more the older I get. I too have felt the apathy, and cynicism toward the public. But the closer I get to retirement, the better I start to feel, and think that in due time,I will have the "whatever" attitude, and just smile at folks and tell 'em "whatever you say sir/ma'am.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SRT936 View Post

                              I use a hunting themed analogy.

                              When you first start out in LE it's like when you first start out hunting. You want to shoot every deer in the woods and you're excited as hell each time.

                              After a while you're just looking for that trophy buck and are willing to pass up a lot of little ones. Just like trying to nab the big cases and the real bad guys.

                              Then you get so that you can't even stand hunting anymore. You've got the trophy, you're freezer is full of meat and it's lost is allure.

                              Until eventually, you realize you're just happy to be out in the woods.
                              Very good analogy! Every time I think about doing something else I realize there is no other job I could do and make the amount I do with what is required of me. If my wife made enough to financially support us both and it wouldn't cause strain in the marriage I would be gone today and on the way to the cabin. Find a job with the DNR or at a local gun shop and be a happy man.
                              In Valor there is hope

                              Comment

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