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  • Am I lazy???

    I work for a city a population of approx 1M citizens. Our sworn is at about 600 officers. This Dec will be mark my 4th year sworn.

    I've been in patrol the whole time. Of the 12 or so of my academy classmates, 1 is a detective now, 1 is in a specialized unit and most of the rest are FTO's. I'm now seeing officers who graduated AFTER me moving on to other specialized units (traffic, air ops, etc) and many who have put in for other units and just haven't been chosen.

    For me, the past 3 1/2 years have gone by FAST. I STILL feel like I'm learning a lot everyday which, I suppose, follows the saying that 'you never stop learning'. I hear many officers bad mouth patrol saying that it burns them out or calls for service suck... you've hear them all. Although I do get burnt out on some days, I do get tired of many of the BS calls, etc... I don't mind patrol. Apparently unlike many of my peers, I'm not in a rush to leave patrol.

    I would like to get into a specialized unit eventually. I do plan on applying for FTO soon. I HAVEN'T put in for any units so I don't have the experience of interviewing for them. I've worked in the same part of the city for the past 2.5 years because I enjoy this area (good mix of ghetto and not-so-ghetto), rather than moving to different parts of the city.

    Another reason why I'm not in a rush to leave patrol is that I'm giving my wife a chance to do what I did 4 years ago... change careers. With her getting laid off and still deciding what she wants to do (although she still is bringing in income ) My schedule needs to stay normal for taking the kids to school, sports... etc.

    Anyway, I guess I'm just struggling w/ trying not to be perceived as "lazy". My workload definitely doesn't give me the chance to be lazy. It's basically just the whole "staying in patrol" and "staying in my part of the city" that concerns me.

    Sorry for the long, drawn out post... any of you guys have experience dealing with this issue?

  • #2
    Heck, I know people who all the ever wanted to do was push a car. That doesn't make one lazy. I means one is content. If you work hard at doing your job well, learning how to do it better, and pass that knowledge along to others, then you are doing well. Being content with your job, while stiving to improve yourself and others will equal a long and satisfying career. I hope you are always happy with whatever job you are assigned.

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    • #3
      On my department, I'm a bit of an anomaly as I have spent the last 12 years pushing a radio car. Granted, the last 8+ I have been an FTO. Most "fast risers" spend about 5 years in patrol and move to detective bureau or some other real cool job, but I love patrol. I am the senior FTO at my station, have set days off (Weekends), and I am the second pick for vacation choice. Not to mention, I am relatively close to home. As shillxsh says, I'm content. Very happy with where I am. When I don't have a trainee, I can pretty much do whatever I want, whether that is taking the whole world to jail, or just kind of chilling out for the shift. I have never been tagged as lazy, foolish yes, but never lazy. I love my radio car and will leave patrol someday, but not right now. I still enjoy the cat and mouse game of cops and robbers!
      Carpe Noctem

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      • #4
        There's nothing wrong with doing patrol longer than others, in my mind. All it means in the end is that when you go for that FTO position, you'll have even more experience to share with your trainees. Do what you like and need to do. When you get that urge to push paper or do something else you'll have the seniority and experience to know what you want to do and get it. You're not lazy. You'll need to get stripes to obtain the title of "lazy" I keed I keed!
        I disaprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

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        • #5
          Am I Lazy?

          I grew up in LA. I can still recall seeing cops with numerous hashmarks on their sleeves. These guys were still pushing black and whites and shagging calls. Lazy? Maybe some where, but I think the majority were just **&^ good cops.

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          • #6
            I guess I pretty much new the answer to my question. I just wanted to see what everyone here thought about it.

            I AM content with what I am doing RIGHT NOW. I may not be content 2 or 3 years from now, but in the meanwhile I'm fine w/ working patrol. Actually enjoy it

            I guess what sort of got me thinking about this was hearing things in the locker room and hearing things in passing. Things mentioned like "if you stay in patrol for more than 5 years, you tend to be perceived as lazy" (not in those exact words but...) or just seeing all these newer (newer than me) officers going into or interviewing for other units. Especially when I hear and talk with my peers about them wanting to move into other units. I always mention that I don't mind patrol at the moment but, of course, I do plan on moving on someday... just not in the immediate future.

            Another issue along the same line... I don't like to mingle w/ upper management. Sure, I mingle w/ my own peers and sgts but when lieutenants and above come around, I tend to want to leave the room. I had the same problem when I worked in the corporate environment for 8 years. Not sure what it is but I'm not like some other officers who shine in front of them. I like to just do my job and be done with it.

            I'm one to take seriously what people perceive me as. Maybe it's a flaw of mine. But I want to be known for the good work I do... I don't enjoy the politics of upper management. Not sure how this relates to my want to stay in patrol but I tend to think about these two main things often.

            Again, I'm enjoying what I'm doing and I don't see myself moving around for a few years. Just like many of you said, I'm happy where I'm at. I work hard and I enjoy teaching which is why I look forward to being an FTO. Everything else... I don't mind not doing for a while

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            • #7
              Patrol is the most important job on ANY police department. This is not a biased opinion as I am not in patrol (regular patrol anyway) right now. As long as your working hard your not lazy. We always need experience in the field. Look at FTO soon, it will make you a better officer.
              Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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              • #8
                How you do your job is what determines if you are lazy or not. It's not what job you have. If you are truely happy in patrol, then I envy you. I was once. Once you start to want for positions that you don't already have, it can take a serious toll on morale when you can't get them. If you are happy in a position that you already have you're not lazy, you're smart.

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                • #9
                  Patrol is the backbone of all police organizations; you're doing the most important job in your department. I can't see how that could be considered "lazy," particularly when you look at what the dicks are doing

                  Drive on, man. If you're as squared away as you sound, you probably should become an FTO, though.
                  d

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                  • #10
                    If you want to be a patrol officer for 30 years, be a patrol officer for 30 years. Not everyone wants promoted, but if you're gonna be a career patrol officer, I expect you to be a pretty damn good one.

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                    • #11
                      I unfortunately have had the opposite problem as "tyscobe". I've been with my agency for approximately three years (I served time with another agency prior to my current one) however, I only spent two years on the road before being assigned to a specialized unit. I have no problem with working patrol, I actually kind of miss it. But when the opportunity arose to experience another aspect of law enforcement within my agency, I dropped my name in the hat just like the rest of those who were interested. Needless to say I was selected.

                      The fact that I was selected over guys with more years on the job definitely caused some animosity amongst people. The fact that I transfered out of patrol in such a relatively short amount of time has caused some to label me as "lazy." So I guess what I'm getting at is it is all relative. Some places may consider you "lazy" for pushing a patrol car for X amount of years, while others label you as "lazy" because you didn't push a patrol car long enough in their opinion.

                      Basically, you do what you want to with your career. If you want to work patrol for 25 years, so be it, as long as that is what you want to do. If you want to get promoted right away, then do what you need to get promoted. Don't let other guys try to dictate how you're gonna spend your career. It's your career not their's. Those types of guys need to spend more time worrying about their own career rather than yours.

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                      • #12
                        Unless my agency gets motors or a helicopter (both extremely unlikely), I have no other career desire than to spend the whole time in patrol. I have 19 years in now, and have only been in patrol and court security. Courts was not by choice, it's a rotational thing. We FTOs are exempt from rotating into courts, so I'll put in another nine or 10 years in patrol before retiring. Patrol is where it's at.
                        Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                        I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                        • #13
                          I've been a Cop 8 years now and the whole time I've been on patrol. I'm a FTO now for the past three years. Believe it or not in my department being in Patrol longer tends to mean you like to be "abused"...Patrol here is where you tend to work the hardest. So I like knowing that I'm still doing the daily/nightly grind. And for that I'm proud. Several Academy mates have moved on to other units. There are a few of us that are still on patrol. I love it!! The set hours, the comadarie, and pretty much knowing the daily job day in and day out. My strength has always been the guy to go to when the detectives need to "find" somebody. I also take pride when our Fugitive Squad calls me to help them locate a wanted subject. Remember it's all about being content. And as Oscar Wylde stated....."Ambition is the last refuge of failure"
                          Terrorist: "You're a policeman, even policeman have rules". John Mclane: "Yeah, that's what my captain keeps telling me!"

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                          • #14
                            CUFFS is exactly right. If you're happy on patrol then you're not lazy - as long as you work product reflects that. There are plenty of arrests and good reports to write when you're on patrol.

                            You mention that your wife is in a transition point in life. You should be commended for being aware of, and sensitive to her needs as well. If you're happy in patrol because it gives her time to find a new career then good for you.

                            Recently, I've been encouraged to become an FTO but I now that I'm personally not ready. I'm also interested in specialty assignments, and I've gotten a positive response from the command staff but I'm not ready yet. Like you said, you learn something new every day on patrol and it'd be a shame to miss out on something...as long as you're having fun.
                            "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the laws until violate the rights of another. Respect the space of your sister and your brother."

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                            • #15
                              I love patrol, I've been doing it for years. I love the variety of calls that I respond to. Too often, I see people in the specialized divisions that get "burned out" faster than other patrol officers. Bottom line.............. do what makes you happy.
                              ""Liberals are liberal until something happens to them or someone they love, then they want the rules to change"

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