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10 years in and thinking about hanging it up

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  • 10 years in and thinking about hanging it up

    I know this is a personal decision, but I am thinking about hanging up the badge after ten years. I am not ****ed off or disgruntaled at my department, in fact it is coming along and improving as I type. The job still gives me a thrill from time to time, but the day to day operations have become trite. The one conclusion I have come to is shift work. I want to be normal. I was a detective for a while, but the on-call was almost worse than shift work at times. I went back to the road so my wife could go to college during the day. Plus the lightening rod reactions I get when I tell them I am a police officer still gets to me even after ten years. The job has also changed my personality quite a bit. Just seeing what we see and doing what we do will change anyone. The other day I went to a MVA with a decapitation(not the first). It was almost like a regular call with a science experiment attached. Does, or has, anyone else gone through this? I love the work, but I do not know if the work is for me anymore. Just looking for opinions, good or bad.

  • #2
    Originally posted by rolltidecop View Post
    I know this is a personal decision, but I am thinking about hanging up the badge after ten years. I am not ****ed off or disgruntaled at my department, in fact it is coming along and improving as I type. The job still gives me a thrill from time to time, but the day to day operations have become trite. The one conclusion I have come to is shift work. I want to be normal. I was a detective for a while, but the on-call was almost worse than shift work at times. I went back to the road so my wife could go to college during the day. Plus the lightening rod reactions I get when I tell them I am a police officer still gets to me even after ten years. The job has also changed my personality quite a bit. Just seeing what we see and doing what we do will change anyone. The other day I went to a MVA with a decapitation(not the first). It was almost like a regular call with a science experiment attached. Does, or has, anyone else gone through this? I love the work, but I do not know if the work is for me anymore. Just looking for opinions, good or bad.

    Obviously only a call you can make, but you're bound to get "use to" things like that if you see them enough regardless of event or field. Personally, I'd never go back to the regular 9-5 cubicle jobs. Atleast here, I know each day will give me something different. Not to make light of it, but it could be MVA's on tuesdays and thursdays and some other fun task M-W-F. Like you said though, it's your call. That's one you'd need to really sit and think about and think what would you do in place of this? Would you be happy with 10 years doing that job? Good luck.

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    • #3
      cleaning up
      Last edited by cogslave; 07-24-2007, 09:53 AM. Reason: just because

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      • #4
        I know that I have gone through that and I'll bet that truth be known most cops have at one point or another, at least to some degree. God knows there are plenty of frustrations in this line of work. What are you thinking of doing instead of police work? Are there any other assignments at your agency that you can do other than patrol or investigations? Maybe a leave of absence would be a viable option? Would switching teams/shifts be worthwhile? Does your agency participate in any task forces? Are there any specialties that get you fired up? I know of guys that have essentially become de-facto experts on working check cases. It doesn't do much for me, but they like it. Maybe there is another agency that you may want to consider. I hate to think that you might hang it up and then regret it later. On the other hand, if you truly don't want to do it any longer, then get out. Are there any other coppers that you know that have left mid-career? It might be worth talking to them to see what the transition is like and if they have/had any regrets.

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        • #5
          If you're not sure if the work is for you anymore...take a vacation...if the desire to return to work and do your job doesn't hit you after two weeks then maybe it is time to hang it up.

          I have been in and out of LE for ten years...when I've been out I miss it beyone belief...when I'm in I bitch about getting out and doing something different....all in all I don't know what else to do and even on day shift, there is nothing "normal" about this job and lifestyle.
          Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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          • #6
            Your choice

            Originally posted by rolltidecop View Post
            I know this is a personal decision, but I am thinking about hanging up the badge after ten years. I am not ****ed off or disgruntaled at my department, in fact it is coming along and improving as I type. The job still gives me a thrill from time to time, but the day to day operations have become trite. The one conclusion I have come to is shift work. I want to be normal. I was a detective for a while, but the on-call was almost worse than shift work at times. I went back to the road so my wife could go to college during the day. Plus the lightening rod reactions I get when I tell them I am a police officer still gets to me even after ten years. The job has also changed my personality quite a bit. Just seeing what we see and doing what we do will change anyone. The other day I went to a MVA with a decapitation(not the first). It was almost like a regular call with a science experiment attached. Does, or has, anyone else gone through this? I love the work, but I do not know if the work is for me anymore. Just looking for opinions, good or bad.
            If you are going to hang it up do it soon since you have Ten years vested i'd say two more and you might as wait and get a pension if you make it. How is it at home? Discuss it with your family. Do you have something lined up? If you do im sure the money will always be better but it has to be because being a cop is just that. It is what you become and not just a job like everyone who doesnt know how hard you worked to get there feels. You have to be dedicated to be a cop and the more dedicated you are the harder it is at home and in life outside of L.E. If you leave go and don't look back. If people react to you a certain way because you are a cop and you are tired of it then you are like every other cop. I just accept it. Ive seen many get out and come back or try to come back so like I said if you go don't look back and give it time. You need to work a regualr shift not rotating that might help also. I enjoy the freedom of patrol. I like to either go out and tear it up or sit roadside and do nothing and having that choice. You cant ge that with any other job. The brotherhood is similar to the way it was for me in the Corps also. You cant get that in corporate america even if you do company picnics and play paintball in the woods, it just isnt the same. In the end you have to live with your decision. Sit down with your wife and write two colums both negative and positive of L.E and see which one wins then take it.
            "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

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            • #7
              As a 20 year municipal PD retiree I know EXACTLY what you are going through. Let me give you some advice that I have learned first hand. Stay until you have enough time in your retirement system to draw a retirement check when you leave. It could be as little as 10 yrs, depending on what system you are in, mine was 12 yrs. You have put too much blood, sweat, and tears into this career to just walk away with just a reimbursement. Make the city pay you their part for what you have experienced on behalf of their PD.

              That said, only leave if you have CONCRETE goals to meet after you leave LE, such as going back to school to become a teacher, lawyer, etc. In other words to better your financial position in life. If you have no goal other than just to quit- stay where you are at. I have seen too many guys resign to go to greener pastures, and end up coming back a year or two later, losing all their senority and benefits- starting over again.

              I was the same as you at 10 yrs, and was really sick of it when I took early retirement at 20 yrs. I had no problem with the job, I was sick of the Police Dept. Administration to the point that I hated the people I worked for. I retired and went into sales, swearing that I would never carry a gun again. I made very good money, but the job was just not for me.

              I realized after all of the anger was gone that I still loved the job, and that I realistically was not equipped to do anything else. LE was where my heart was, and the only thing I cared about doing. (Besides, civilians work their *** off for their paycheck ) I knew that there was no way I would go back into the political pressure cooker of local LE, and had no interest in dealing with thugs and scum again on a regular basis.

              I went into a different type of LE, I became a University Police Officer at the local State University. The job is way more layed back, and I enjoy interacting with kids who are basically winners. I still deal with some thugs, drugs, and Domestic Violence, but not near as much as I once did. The job is more proactive than reactive, which I like.

              I'm glad I held on until I received what I deserved- a retirement, and also glad I left when I did before I became a problem employee. Just my experience.

              DeltaCop
              Last edited by DeltaCop; 05-04-2007, 01:16 AM.
              "For those who fight for it, Life has a meaning that the sheltered will never know"

              Unknown Marine
              Khe Sanh

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              • #8
                Alot of very good advise here, especially DeltaCop. I did Reserve work for 10 years (I know what you are thinking, what do Reserves do, but I was over active, the Blue Flue hit me for 10 years) and now that I am a fully sworn Officer I wonder what I got myself into. But, as it has been said before, I make the game, I make the cases. I back off on some to show I have compassion, I lean on some who know they can do better, and I know that I make a difference. It's a hard question, to ask others of their opinions but don't live your life. I think of it this way, "If there is something you would do without pay, without praise, what would it be?". For me, it would be to make a difference from what I live. I get out and talk to they "wanna-be thugs" and challange them to intellectual thought. I know what they are going through, although most I deal with only have a 1 parent home. What I have learned in the past 10 years could save them decades of bad decisions. I don't put down the man/woman in cuffs in the back of my car, because if the cards were shuffled different, it could have been me! I treat them with respect ( unless they really **** me off) and tell them that I am here to fix their problems in life.
                I am a Native American of non-Indian decent.

                Cleaning the pool, one gene at a time.

                I'm on a 30 day diet. So far I've lost 15 days!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rolltidecop View Post
                  I know this is a personal decision, but I am thinking about hanging up the badge after ten years. I am not ****ed off or disgruntaled at my department, in fact it is coming along and improving as I type. The job still gives me a thrill from time to time, but the day to day operations have become trite. The one conclusion I have come to is shift work. I want to be normal. I was a detective for a while, but the on-call was almost worse than shift work at times. I went back to the road so my wife could go to college during the day. Plus the lightening rod reactions I get when I tell them I am a police officer still gets to me even after ten years. The job has also changed my personality quite a bit. Just seeing what we see and doing what we do will change anyone. The other day I went to a MVA with a decapitation(not the first). It was almost like a regular call with a science experiment attached. Does, or has, anyone else gone through this? I love the work, but I do not know if the work is for me anymore. Just looking for opinions, good or bad.
                  If it has affected you in terms of tactics QUIT NOW. You or a buddy will pay a heafty price.

                  Have you worked "normal jobs?" You would be suprised how much they drain you. Same emotions - different setting. Get a part time - if you can - that is close to something you would consider. Work there for a few months. See if that makes you happier as far as a job goes (it won't).
                  Space for rent .........

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all of the replies. I am just putting it out there. Kind of like we are sitting side by side behind a building shooting the ****. I have hashed this out with a couple of guys at my department with whom i have trust. I don't want word getting around. I did quit earlier in my career. A family member needed my assistance, and it was not an option to say no. It was a life changing moment for me in a good way. I went back into LE with a better attitude towards life and it helped me. I am looking for some career advice. I have a degree, but do not want to move around with the feds. I have thought about teaching. You get the same benefits of helping people, but I do not know if I have the tolerance level I once did. I am not tactically unsound, in fact it is quite the opposite. I am more warry now given this current state of mind. Like I said I am looking for advice from someone who has been there with the same thoughts. Thanks and be safe

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                    • #11
                      Would you miss it?


                      Can you make more money doing something else?

                      For me its No and NO so I stay for another 5 then I go
                      Originally posted by FJDave
                      GM, you have just set the bar that much higher for the rest of us in our witty, sarcastic responses. I yield to you! Good job, kind Sir!

                      District B13
                      "We are not cops nor Feds." yet he still poses as an officer Hmmmm


                      Grant us grace, fearlessly, to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression.--WWII memorial

                      "I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile."

                      Pope Gregory V II

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                      • #12
                        10 Years in

                        About the time Tom Selleck was doing Magnum PI, I left law enforcement for the private sector. Thought I was going to make dumptrucks full of money. I went to work for a private security and investigations firm. I was a traffic homocide investigator in those days, and even testified in a case as a defense "expert". Well, long story short. The guy was guilty as home-made sin, and I felt like a minor league Benedict Arnold. The State of Alabama had mercy on me, and, after 18 months on the list, hired me. I retired from the Dept of Public Safety 23 years later. That was me. When all the smoke clears and the dust settles, you've got a decision to make. Being a cop puts a mark on you. Maybe it's not visible to all, but it's indelible. Talk it over with you family, you buddies, and yah,pray about it. Best of luck to you, whatever your decision.

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                        • #13
                          PM sent.....

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                          • #14
                            Welcome to what the rest of working America experiences. Unfortunately MOST people in this world don't particularly care for their jobs. In fact in a recent study it was discovered that police officers were one of the few exceptions in that most of them liked or loved their jobs. So the fact that you are not particularly happy with your job right now mearly puts you on level ground with the rest of the working stiffs in the world. So, IMHO becoming a little hum-drum about your job is not necessarily reason to leave unless there is something else that is really calling you. If there is, then by all means, go for it. But like Delta said, make sure you get paid what you've earned before you leave.

                            Sounds like teaching interests you, are you an FTO? Are there oportunities for you to be some type of academy instructor?
                            Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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                            • #15
                              Its a tough job, and if you leave there are always 5 more people ready to take your place. but it is an honorable, and respectful position.
                              and one hell of a ride, but evryone has to get off that ride sometime. personally, i'll keep going till i make comissioner, or get fired!
                              We scream for fear of suffering silence. - Savage Garden

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