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A question I would like officers that has kids to answer.


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  • A question I would like officers that has kids to answer.

    This is going to be straight forward, but how big a toll does it take missing out on things for your kids. I am deep into the process with two agencies and i have two children. I just think about not being their for his t-ball games or her recitals. I hope that in about 10-12 years I will be able to have the shifts where I can go to his highschool football games (god willing). I know it is important work and I know someone has to do it. I just wanted to know the toll that can take.
    Last edited by Sayitundefined; 07-07-2009, 10:19 AM.

  • #2
    I haven't made all of them. Thankfully, I started when my son was 2 and wasn't into all the extra stuff. Once he was, I had enough time in to slip out every now and then. Now, it's easier because I've been in long enough to make things happen...however, I don't make everything and have shown up to quite a few things in uniform and had to leave right after. I make it work and I was a single mother until last year.

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


    • #3
      What Smurfette said. A lot will depend on how far away from your residence these PD's are, and how big they are (if you're 1 of 2 cars working, you may be SOL) whether you can "snake over" and catch some of the game.

      We have residency here in Chicago and a lot of the Officers live in a very few neighborhoods, so it's pretty normal to see coppers at ballfields or schools in uniform or the squad parked out back.


      • #4
        Take Morning shift, they'll be sleeping then. I'm at the house every night for dinner and have breakfast with them every morning.
        "Rollin and Patrollin the Wild Wild West of Bham"


        • #5
          you have to remember even though we are cops we are still human. I guess i cant speak for all departments but mine is very good about family. If i just let the boss know i may be here at this time for something he more times than not does not care as long as nothing important is holding. I am not saying you will make it to every event however you should be able to make most of them as it would be with any job.


          • #6
            A lot will depend on your department's shift structure and whether you work where you live. My kids are grown now but I was often able to drop in on events while working or take comp time for out-of-town track and swim meets. If you're willing to help other officers by trading shifts, they'll help you.


            • #7
              My 2 cents- volunteer for night shifts early on when you children are young and later as you gain seniority bid for days.

              I was on night shifts for the years when my children were young- before they went to school. I was able to spend more quality time with them during the days then most fathers get. Later, as they entered school during the days I switched to days and get to go to their games, recitals etc.

              Make the schedule work for you whenever you can.
              ---Cut the red wire---


              • #8
                I am fortunate in that I had just enough seniority on the job to go to whatever shift I wanted before my son was born. At least enough seniority to hold the shift that was best at the time. My son is in school now so I work the graveyard shift. Before he went to school I worked second shift.

                You will miss a few things but with hard work you might be able to make the majority of his or her events. So far my timing has been perfect. If he has something real important when I am working I try and take my code 44, (lunch break), during the activity. It's hit and miss.

                I believe the key is too make every lasting minute you have with your child, while off duty, precious. Be it playing catch outside, taking them too the park or even lying on the couch and watching their favorite tv show. It takes discipline, determination and endurance but it can be achieved. Don't be afraid to tell your child you love them all the time and explain to them that while they are frustrated you can't make their important event you are even more frustrated because you love him with all your heart.

                I have this thing with my son. I tell him I love him all the time. To the point of nausea. My favorite thing to do is tell him "you are my son" and he then replies "you are my dad." We do this all the time. I am a sap when it comes to my boy but at the same time I want him to know I care.
                Prov 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.


                • #9
                  I make time for my kids any way I can. I have enough time now that it's easier and they are in high school. I sacrificed some time with them earlier to make it happen for them later. I also took a resident deputy post for about 3 years so I was around them all the time.

                  Beware too, this job gets in the blood. My teenage sons are now explorers and looking forward to a career in L.E.
                  Today's Quote:

                  "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                  Albert Einstein


                  • #10
                    You can also help make up for missing things like sports games and school events by planning your off-duty time around them. Maybe you miss a t-ball game, but the next day you have off and you take him to a semi-pro or pro baseball game. Maybe you miss a school band/choir performance, so you take the kids camping on your next days off.

                    The important thing is to make sure your kids/family get top priority in your off-duty time. If it comes to a decision between mowing the yard and doing something with my kids...the grass will still be there tomorrow.

                    For me, I got involved with Scouting when my kids were young. It forced me to set aside time where I focused my attention on them. Now I'm a scoutmaster, my oldest is filling out his Eagle Scout paperwork (today, in fact) and my youngest can't wait to become an Eagle. It works for us.
                    Last edited by bajakirch; 07-07-2009, 04:35 PM.


                    • #11
                      I'm working midnights right now. Four tens with three days off every week. It works out well because I see them in the morning before they go to school or summer camp and I'm out of bed when they get home. This summer, when they have a week or so off from the summer camp they go to, my days off will be spent with them at the pool, camping in the mountains (where it's cooler), catching a minor league baseball game, etc. During the school year, I can take some days off during their fall and spring breaks and we can take day trips or just spend time together. You have to make it work out and plan ahead.
                      "...Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."


                      • #12
                        You just have to make it work. Sometimes the family waits a little while to start opening presents on Christmas morning when you are just getting off midnights or having their birthday party on a different day when its your day off. And even after all that....sometimes you miss things...it happens and you just have to make the most of when you are there.


                        • #13
                          I am in agreement with everyone who has posted. Key is going to be how 'family-oriented' your department is (most are). I will say that I did have to re-arrange my daughter's first birthday party plans because of 'personnel' (i still dispute it) shortages on the day of her actual birthday AFTER I had already put in my request and was 'told' I would have it off. But overall, my SGT has been very good about letting me take off for my girls' Dr's appointments, even when it has been last minute.

                          also - like others have posted - begin getting used to the fact that you will attend many events 'while in uniform' and 'on duty'.


                          • #14
                            I am lucky to work hours that are M-F days. However I am on call 24/7/365 so I tend to get called out at the worst times. Comes with the job. As mentioned our PD is really good about family stuff.
                            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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                            • #15
                              If you can get to a steady midnight tour , you can make it work. Same for a steady day tour, but thats going to be tough to come by with no seniority. I'm sure any department you work for has a certain number of 'personal' days you can take that must be granted regardless of staffing concerns. You save these for the really big occassions... Christmas, birthdays, etc.
                              Family first, job second.
                              "The wicked flee when no man pursueth
                              but the righteous are bold as a lion"

                              Proverbs 28:1, inscription beneath NLEOM lion.sigpic


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