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  • "Ex-Police"

    As of 0001 hrs on Sunday, 06/08/08 I wasn't a cop anymore. The retired "Sergeant" badge and ID is nice, but the last week was stressful to say the least. Regardless of all the good wishes, the going away party, plaques, cards, etc..., when you're "out", you're really out. It's amazing how we do so much to prepare for things getting into and working in this field: the application/testing process to get hired, the academy, passing probation, advanced officer training, investigations, promoting, etc..., but preparing for the act of leaving isn't given much thought, beyond the financial issues.

    I'll be okay. I feel better now than I did while cleaning out my locker on Saturday afternoon (although I still don't want to look at the things I took home), or than how I felt at the going away "event" (I told my wife to hide the blown-up photo from when I was sworn in at my agency in 1978). I knew it would be hard to leave and it was.

    Maybe I'm just being cynical, but it seemed like a lot of my co-workers were going through the motions of seeing me off. There were some friends there, but a lot of people I hoped would attend, FTA'd and some of those who were there I strongly suspect were there because an appearance made them look like they were being supportive of the organization (good for one's future career aspirations). Yeech. This bitter taste in my mouth does nothing for the appetite.

    When I met with the Chief, I noted that he's changed so much over the last 18 months that the prior chief's "legacy" is all but forgotten. If "the man" didn't leave much after more than 15 years, my contribution will be forgotten within the next week or two, if it isn't already. I couldn't even really view O.com over the last few days, for fear that I didn't belong. (Yea, I know about all the retired posters. The feeling's there none the less.)

    I've spent the last few days with some good friends, whose support I'll never forget, but retirement is a very difficult thing and if our organizations really cared about us, maybe we'd have a class called "Ex-Officer Survival" to make the transition a little easier. Unfortunately, I guess this is something all of us (who make it this far) will have to endure, before we begin to really enjoy the next "phase" of our lives.

    I reflect on all the retired coppers I've known over the years, who (when they left) experienced ambiguous or worse feelings towards the organization they devoted so much to and don't want to feel that way myself. Still, it's very hard to concentrate on the good memories and pending "adventures" when you feel as though you've lost a limb. New guys (those with ten or more years to go) take note: Get lots of things going outside "the job" you will be here eventually and if you spend more than 40 hours a week at work (I didn't the last few years-intentionally), it will be that much harder to "detox"!

    Enough rant. I'll post on other stuff with a better 'tude!
    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

  • #2
    Congrats! Look at the bright side -- you survived a career where you could've been attacked just as easily from within as from the mutts on the street. You still have aloving family you now actually have time for, you're getting paid NOT to work and you have your Rights back!
    It's been 2 years since I retired & I'm still trying to get used to it (with moderate success) but I know I'm better off having done my time & leaving because I wanted to. Enjoy it!

    Comment


    • #3
      pullicords...I know what you're feeling and I'm sure you will be fine. I retired 6/27/07, packed everything into a couple of boxes, brought them down to my basement. Haven't opened them since. In a about a week I'll drive back to my command and just leave all the gear with the other Lieutenants I worked with. my year to go back will be just about up....and I'm not doing that. You're on the money about being really out once yo're out. BUT you are equally correct about preparing for that day. I chose law school. So even though I'm out, I still get to deal with the officers I worked with and quite often commanded. Don't ever sell yourselves short....you all have the intelligence to survive one of the most demanding careers around. You have abilities and talents that you can develop into a second career.

      Comment


      • #4
        Honey, I have no idea what it feels like and am still far enough way that my little ole brain can't fathom it. However, having said that to say this: it will all work out in the end.
        sigpic

        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have the same fears and views. I am afraid that, since I have delved into police work so much that it's a lifestyle, what happens when it's no longer my life? It's more than just a reallllly long vacation. It's a whole new paradigm...a whole new lifestyle. Will I miss the old one so much that I refuse to change? Will I like the new lifestyle so much that it really won't matter?

          Puli, I fell for ya, envy you, all in the same breath. You are right. There should be a "How to survive retirement" course. Maybe I'll put one together with the help of all you old farts

          Take care, and let this place be your band-aid. It helps through the tough spots to know others have been where you are now.

          Comment


          • #6
            Indeed, it's kinda weird, bro, but like everything else in life, time - and only time - will take the edge off.

            But everything everyone else has said here including your observations are dead on. You are indeed - out. In a few weeks they won't even remember you were there. In a few years, half the guys won't even know you - nor you, them.

            It like a death and grieving - you have to picture your career as a fart in the wind - here for a minute then gone and forgotten. Picture it rotting like a corpse into the dirt it was before you molded it into a career.

            Then, when it's dead and buried, you will remember the best parts - and every time you see a black and white cruising by, you will take a silent comfort in knowing you were there; that you could handle anything they are responding to and that you had your moment in the sun.

            You, your family and God will be proud and will know. No one else will matter.

            Congrats and thank you my brother, for all you did for society. Smile, every month when that free money shows up right on time and soak the system for at least 31 years more.
            The All New
            2013
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            Sully - IAM Rand - JasperST - L1 - The Tick - EmmaPeel - Columbus - LA Dep - SgtSlaughter - OneAdam12 - Retired96 - Iowa #1603
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            • #7
              Originally posted by pulicords View Post
              As of 0001 hrs on Sunday, 06/08/08 I wasn't a cop anymore. The retired "Sergeant" badge and ID is nice, but the last week was stressful to say the least. Regardless of all the good wishes, the going away party, plaques, cards, etc..., when you're "out", you're really out. It's amazing how we do so much to prepare for things getting into and working in this field: the application/testing process to get hired, the academy, passing probation, advanced officer training, investigations, promoting, etc..., but preparing for the act of leaving isn't given much thought, beyond the financial issues.

              I'll be okay. I feel better now than I did while cleaning out my locker on Saturday afternoon (although I still don't want to look at the things I took home), or than how I felt at the going away "event" (I told my wife to hide the blown-up photo from when I was sworn in at my agency in 1978). I knew it would be hard to leave and it was.

              Maybe I'm just being cynical, but it seemed like a lot of my co-workers were going through the motions of seeing me off. There were some friends there, but a lot of people I hoped would attend, FTA'd and some of those who were there I strongly suspect were there because an appearance made them look like they were being supportive of the organization (good for one's future career aspirations). Yeech. This bitter taste in my mouth does nothing for the appetite.

              When I met with the Chief, I noted that he's changed so much over the last 18 months that the prior chief's "legacy" is all but forgotten. If "the man" didn't leave much after more than 15 years, my contribution will be forgotten within the next week or two, if it isn't already. I couldn't even really view O.com over the last few days, for fear that I didn't belong. (Yea, I know about all the retired posters. The feeling's there none the less.)

              I've spent the last few days with some good friends, whose support I'll never forget, but retirement is a very difficult thing and if our organizations really cared about us, maybe we'd have a class called "Ex-Officer Survival" to make the transition a little easier. Unfortunately, I guess this is something all of us (who make it this far) will have to endure, before we begin to really enjoy the next "phase" of our lives.

              I reflect on all the retired coppers I've known over the years, who (when they left) experienced ambiguous or worse feelings towards the organization they devoted so much to and don't want to feel that way myself. Still, it's very hard to concentrate on the good memories and pending "adventures" when you feel as though you've lost a limb. New guys (those with ten or more years to go) take note: Get lots of things going outside "the job" you will be here eventually and if you spend more than 40 hours a week at work (I didn't the last few years-intentionally), it will be that much harder to "detox"!

              Enough rant. I'll post on other stuff with a better 'tude!

              I can only imagine how you must feel. I have only been in this game for seven years, and I can't imagine leaving. I actually look forward to going back to work after my off days. Its crazy. When I'm there its like being in an exclusive fraternity, when I'm home I can't wait to get back. There truly is no other profession like it! My dad retired from one of big federal agencies. He had a lot of trouble with it. Therapy helps him through it still, after five years. Something to consider. Best of luck with everything, and keep posting on the boards. You've earned it!
              "Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most. " --Dwight K Schrute (The Office)

              Comment


              • #8
                Its never easy to prepare to leave a place you have basically dedicated a big chunk of your life to. Can you really prepare? I had a conversation with someone this week and was talking about future ventures. They told me that it goes to show you when one door closes another door opens.
                Its never going to be the same and this will also be a test of friendships. You find out who your friends really are in times like these.
                There are no classes like you said but there should be.

                Good luck and enjoy retirement.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Today while at work I met a man that informed me that he was the former Chief of Police in the small town that I was in. After a short cnversation I learned that he had been Chief in that small town for 25 years. I also learned that he had been RETIRED for 25 years! He did nothing but grin the entire time. He is currently serving civil papers for a law firm. If he found life after the JOB, I feel confident that it is possible for everyone.

                  Congratulations!

                  I only have 14 years to go.
                  ROLL TIDE!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Puli,,,,,

                    Congrats.....you made it out of LA police work in one piece.....

                    Did you get to go out on that last patrol shift?

                    BTW,,,,since you shoot skeet, come up to Oak Tree sometime....I'll buy the first round!
                    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

                    "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

                    "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If all goes well, I will join you in the after-LEO/PO-life in about 3 years from this June 30. One of my partners is pulling the pin as of 17:00 Junly 14, and starting a new job 07:30 the 15th after over 33.5 years, and that seems weird enough to me as it is. I have decided that I am going to start looking forward to retirement - not in the sense of slowing down (some people have wondered, the past 32.5 years, when I would move a muscle, but then again, they're full of it!), but just to get myself prepared to leave.

                      Good luck, pulicords, and if you ever want to come up here to fish or hunt - I will try to find someone to go with you because I ain't into that stuff! However, I might buy you an extra-large double-double if you stop on the way through!
                      #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                      Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                      RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                      Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                      "Smile" - no!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Congrats sir and thankyou for your service.
                        Don't tase me bro!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have been retired since 1996 and don't miss the job at all. I don't see or talk to anyone that I worked with. My passion in life has always been flyfishing for trout and since retirement I have the time and money to fish my favorite waters. Having worked for a very large agency (LASD) I learned along time ago that all I was, was a 6 digit employee number. When I walked out the back door a new employee walked in the front door.

                          I had a great career and have many fond memories. I don't miss the shift work, or dealing with the people that we have to deal with.

                          Enjoy your retirement, you earned it.
                          Retired LASD

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dittios!

                            I know how you feel, retired 08/03/1991, my best in you're retirement, go fishing, take that long waited vacation, and more important look at the future!
                            Enjoy Sarge!


                            P.S. Sarge I have to echo the last few post, YOU'RE A RETIRED POLICE OFFICER!
                            Once a cop always a cop.
                            Last edited by Ralph8119; 06-11-2008, 01:53 PM.
                            Take care and stay safe!
                            Ralph8119
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                            • #15
                              Congrats on making it out! I have 19 now and with 2 small kids, no light at the end of the tunnel yet.

                              How long until you get another job?
                              The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

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