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How did you know you were ready?


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  • How did you know you were ready?

    Hello all, I would like to first start off by saying thank you to all that answered my last post. I was given some great advice and in a short amount of time.

    But for this post my question is, how did you guys know you were ready to be in the field? How did you know that you would be able to handle everything that comes along with being a LEO? And how old were you when you knew you were ready?


  • #2
    Originally posted by biker331 View Post
    But for this post my question is, how did you guys know you were ready to be in the field? How did you know that you would be able to handle everything that comes along with being a LEO? And how old were you when you knew you were ready?
    You will never know if you're ready until you do it. EVERYONE is nervous and unsure of themselves at first. EVERYONE makes rookie mistakes. Some people break out of it quickly, others not so much, some never. No one is great at this job until they learn from experience, no matter what they tell you.

    When you start the streets and get cut lose on your own, you're nowhere near ready. It's just a matter of how well you do with the little bit of knowledge that you have and how few stupid things you do. Your coworkers and supervisors will be getting you ready on a daily basis for years to come.

    About the only measuring stick you have for determining if you're ready to try the streets is desire. Desire to excel can make up for some other shortcomings. If working the streets is what you truly want, then that is a good start.

    Even if you're in corrections first, the streets are totally different. Some people, no matter how good they are inside, can't handle the fact that they don't have backup standing behind them every second or just down the hallway.

    You will never be able to handle everything that comes along. At least not correctly. Even if you handle it safely you may not do it to the satisfaction of your supervisors. I am a field supervisor and I still have to sometimes call my supervisors at home. And they often have to call even higher supervisors. Often decisions have to be made in a split second without any help. Sometimes they're right, sometimes they're wrong. One of my favorite motos and responses to my bosses is "Right, wrong, or stupid, I had to make a decision, and I did."(We won't discuss how often those decisions are determined to be "stupid" by my supervisors )

    I can't tell you how old I was when I knew I was ready. I worked custody for 2 years then I was 21 in the academy and 22 on the streets. Looking back I'd have to say I probably wasn't ready. I didn't do anything dangerous or stupid, at least not too stupid, and I can't put my finger on why I wasn't ready, it's just something I know now looking back.

    I've talked to a lot of people who regardless of their age when they started, said they weren't ready until they had already been on the streets a couple of years. And I feel that way too.

    So don't sweat it. If you get the opportunity, do it, do the best you can, and you'll be fine.


    • #3
      I was born ready.
      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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      • #4
        SOI summed it up very well. A+ (must have paid attention in class)

        My expereince was that I felt I was not ready. I knew some of the basics taught from the academy and I paid atemtion as well, but..... I was as nervous as a one could immagine when I got out on my own. Wow what a scary feeling driving the black and white down the street ...I cannot even remember my first call....

        I was afraid that I was going to do it all wrong and get my butt chewed, alas I was absolutely correct!! I did lots worng, not enough, not clear enough, not safe enough.....

        My point is I learned by my mistakes, they were educational opportunities and I took advantage of them. Now with 14 years under my belt I still do things whacked but I have gone through the trial by fire and come out a better person. I used officers that were older and wiser and took their advice to heart.

        I went from patrol rookie to traffic safety officer, asst. evidence custodian, evidence custidian, traffic grant administrator, field training officer, acting chief, and finally chief of a few small communities. I started in the profession at 26 and I am now 4tysomething...I still have a lot to learn and will always learn.


        • #5
          Thanks guys, I kind of thought that might get answers like these. I know that I'm ready to devote a huge amount of time and energy to becoming the best LEO I can possibly be. It is pretty much all I can think about and dream of doing. I don't know what else I could think of doing in life as far as a career goes.

          As always more experiences and tips are welcome.

          Thanks again guys


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