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Should I Consider Being a Cop?

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  • Should I Consider Being a Cop?

    Hello, officers! So, I've been lurking around these forums for a bit because I've been getting several hunches about going into law enforcement even though my current direction in my life so far (not very far, actually) leans towards landing me a cushy job in the tech industry. People suggest that I speak to a few cops, and since I don't know any in real life and don't feel like just randomly waltzing into a department when they may have more important things to do, I thought I'd get some input here.

    I'll start off with my background: I'm at a well-known university finishing off my computer science degree. I have lots of connections, software development experience from freelance work, and leadership experience serving positions in some major on-campus organizations. I'm currently 20 years old, and my main priority is to finish my degree. Once that happens, if I continue the route, I either go for a graduate degree or hopefully land a cushy job in the tech industry. However, there are a few indications that indicate that I should go into law enforcement:

    - Career tests I've taken say that while my skills are strongest in technology, my interests are much better suited for law enforcement / security, and my skills are supposedly also quite strong (but not as strong) in that area.
    - Compared to other people in my major, I have far more interest in dealing with society.
    - I always wanted a job which includes a huge work area and a lot of travelling around. Driving a truck sounds fun, but the money is way too low.
    - I want a job where I can help make the world a better place, even if it's in a minimal way.

    Some things that indicate that law enforcement might be for me are:

    - I'm generally a situationally-aware person. I tend to know every random thing that's going on around me even if it may seem insignificant. By the time I meet people that my friends know, I usually already have a rough dossier of them in my head based on info obtained through talking to my friends and stuff they post online.

    - People say that I remain unusually calm and have command presence in tough situations. However, they're always annoyed how I am never completely off-guard in any relaxed situation.

    - I use cardinal directions to navigate, and it's easier for me to find an address by saying "2200 block of N Main St" instead of "turn left off the freeway, go three blocks, and look next to the gas station."

    Then, there are a few things that push the other direction:

    - I have lots of friends who are defense attorneys or in law school to become one, even though I often don't agree with their viewpoints. On the contrary, I don't have any friends who are in law enforcement.

    - At six times, I think I may have experimented with weed a little too many times. Reason why I went over the general guideline of "five" is because I wanted to make sure what the "high" is and how it differs if I take it in different forms and different dosages. After getting extremely stoned on my sixth try, that's when I made the conclusion that weed is not for me, legal or not, and completely stopped. What I did walk away with was an understanding on the state of mind of a person who is high.

    - None of my friends or family support me in looking at law enforcement. They think I'd get shot. I tend to disagree with that seeing that most cops make it home alive.

    Then, there are a couple things that may be interpreted either way:

    - While I respect cops and are thankful that they keep the community safe, I distrust cops. My viewpoint is that with a few rare exceptions, if I'm approached by a cop, s/he is suspecting me of committing a crime (however minor it may be, including taillights).

    - I'm an extremely geeky person. Not sure if this is good or bad.

    In terms of criminal record, I actually have a clear record, although I do have one "infraction" (traffic-level) ticket that was later dismissed in court. Considering the fact that it's documented, I'm not going to post on a public forum whether or not I actually did the stuff on there. Your personal judgment on the matter is most likely correct though.

    As for substance usage, I'm clean with the exception of caffeine. I just really like being on "overdrive" all the time so I can be situationally aware all the time. I've experimented with weed (as detailed above) and alcohol, but I just really disliked the effects. As for other stimulants: I haven't tried them; there's no reason to when caffeine does the job with little side effect and comes in a million forms, all of which are cheap, delicious, and easily (and legally) obtained.

    For me, it appears that the main appeal of a law enforcement is that if I work long hours, I can make just as much as I do in the tech industry, each day is unique, and I get to apply both technical and social skills.

    I'd just like to get some comments on what you think and what my next steps should be.

  • #2
    Originally posted by excelblue View Post
    I'm at a well-known university... I have lots of connections, software development experience from freelance work, and leadership experience serving positions in some major on-campus organizations.
    You do realize the points I've outlined above have zero (0) to do with getting hired in law enforcement. You may think it sounds impressive but let's be honest, what you see as a "major on-campus organizations" is no Fortune 500 company. While having a degree is nice and can help you meet or exceed minimum qualifications, it doesn't always make for the most competitive applicant when stacked against others who have actual work experience in one profession or another. By all means apply if you're interested and give it your best shot, but you may find that in today's hiring environment where professionals from different career fields are getting laid off and looking for a career with job stability/security that there are many others who not only have a degree but actual work experience utilizing that degree.

    Also...

    Originally posted by excelblue View Post
    - At six times, I think I may have experimented with weed a little too many times. Reason why I went over the general guideline of "five" is because I wanted to make sure what the "high" is and how it differs if I take it in different forms and different dosages. After getting extremely stoned on my sixth try, that's when I made the conclusion that weed is not for me, legal or not, and completely stopped. What I did walk away with was an understanding on the state of mind of a person who is high.
    This is one of the more ridiculous statements I've ever read. Just own up to what you did and be a man about it, don't offer up some cheesy excuse of playing scientist with your marijuana usage. You used it 6 times, period. Some departments may have issue with that number, others won't. The rest of the explanation you gave above is totally irrelevant, and quite frankly nothing more than making an excuse instead of taking responsibility like an adult.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      If you have to ask the question then the answer is probably no.

      While I respect cops and are thankful that they keep the community safe, I distrust cops.

      So you want to hang out with people you distrust? Is that some sort of Confucius way of keeping your enemies close? I don't get it.

      Well anyway this job isn't for you.
      Last edited by ummone; 03-11-2011, 07:06 AM.
      This is for all you parents that like to put your kids names on the back of your mini-vans.

      STOP IT! There are predators that will use that information against them!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by excelblue View Post
        Hello, officers! So, I've been lurking around these forums for a bit because I've been getting several hunches about going into law enforcement even though my current direction in my life so far (not very far, actually) leans towards landing me a cushy job in the tech industry. People suggest that I speak to a few cops, and since I don't know any in real life and don't feel like just randomly waltzing into a department when they may have more important things to do, I thought I'd get some input here.

        I'll start off with my background: I'm at a well-known university finishing off my computer science degree. I have lots of connections, software development experience from freelance work, and leadership experience serving positions in some major on-campus organizations. I'm currently 20 years old, and my main priority is to finish my degree. Once that happens, if I continue the route, I either go for a graduate degree or hopefully land a cushy job in the tech industry. However, there are a few indications that indicate that I should go into law enforcement:

        - Career tests I've taken say that while my skills are strongest in technology, my interests are much better suited for law enforcement / security, and my skills are supposedly also quite strong (but not as strong) in that area.
        - Compared to other people in my major, I have far more interest in dealing with society.
        - I always wanted a job which includes a huge work area and a lot of travelling around. Driving a truck sounds fun, but the money is way too low.
        - I want a job where I can help make the world a better place, even if it's in a minimal way.

        Some things that indicate that law enforcement might be for me are:

        - I'm generally a situationally-aware person. I tend to know every random thing that's going on around me even if it may seem insignificant. By the time I meet people that my friends know, I usually already have a rough dossier of them in my head based on info obtained through talking to my friends and stuff they post online.

        - People say that I remain unusually calm and have command presence in tough situations. However, they're always annoyed how I am never completely off-guard in any relaxed situation.

        - I use cardinal directions to navigate, and it's easier for me to find an address by saying "2200 block of N Main St" instead of "turn left off the freeway, go three blocks, and look next to the gas station."

        Then, there are a few things that push the other direction:

        - I have lots of friends who are defense attorneys or in law school to become one, even though I often don't agree with their viewpoints. On the contrary, I don't have any friends who are in law enforcement.

        - At six times, I think I may have experimented with weed a little too many times. Reason why I went over the general guideline of "five" is because I wanted to make sure what the "high" is and how it differs if I take it in different forms and different dosages. After getting extremely stoned on my sixth try, that's when I made the conclusion tha weed is not for me, legal or not, and completely stopped. What I did walk away with was an understanding on the state of mind of a person who is high.t

        - None of my friends or family support me in looking at law enforcement. They think I'd get shot. I tend to disagree with that seeing that most cops make it home alive.

        Then, there are a couple things that may be interpreted either way:

        - While I respect cops and are thankful that they keep the community safe, I distrust cops. My viewpoint is that with a few rare exceptions, if I'm approached by a cop, s/he is suspecting me of committing a crime (however minor it may be, including taillights).

        - I'm an extremely geeky person. Not sure if this is good or bad.

        In terms of criminal record, I actually have a clear record, although I do have one "infraction" (traffic-level) ticket that was later dismissed in court. Considering the fact that it's documented, I'm not going to post on a public forum whether or not I actually did the stuff on there. Your personal judgment on the matter is most likely correct though.

        As for substance usage, I'm clean with the exception of caffeine. I just really like being on "overdrive" all the time so I can be situationally aware all the time. I've experimented with weed (as detailed above) and alcohol, but I just really disliked the effects. As for other stimulants: I haven't tried them; there's no reason to when caffeine does the job with little side effect and comes in a million forms, all of which are cheap, delicious, and easily (and legally) obtained.

        For me, it appears that the main appeal of a law enforcement is that if I work long hours, I can make just as much as I do in the tech industry, each day is unique, and I get to apply both technical and social skills.

        I'd just like to get some comments on what you think and what my next steps should be.
        Due to the highlighted portion above ---------------------Don't bother applying with any agency. We don't want you.

        I agree with both replies above....................

        Thought I would preserve this for future posters.................
        Last edited by Iowa #1603; 03-11-2011, 07:32 AM.
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the input! Now I know to avoid that potentially awkward ride-along. I came on here to get some feedback on a side I don't have much contact with, and you guys provided a clear answer.

          For those who are wondering, my rationale with the distrust part stems from the fact that it comes from the side you're familiar with. It's my belief to always question authority, hence my distrust for cops. I was thinking that there was a possibility that this distrust may transfer over to apply to clients if I were to become a LEO. Based on the responses, though, this does not seem to be the case.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by excelblue View Post
            Thanks for the input! Now I know to avoid that potentially awkward ride-along. I came on here to get some feedback on a side I don't have much contact with, and you guys provided a clear answer.

            For those who are wondering, my rationale with the distrust part stems from the fact that it comes from the side you're familiar with. It's my belief to always question authority, hence my distrust for cops. I was thinking that there was a possibility that this distrust may transfer over to apply to clients if I were to become a LEO. Based on the responses, though, this does not seem to be the case.
            Yea---------------that would never work in a paramilitary organization.
            Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

            Comment


            • #7
              Going just off what you've posted, I'd say you're probably not well suited to this profession.

              The most disturbing portion for me is that you chose to stop using marijuana, not because it is illegal, but rather because you did not enjoy it.

              This reminds me of the ultra-liberal mindset of doing whatever the hell you want to do, simply because you want to do it, and then making us the bad guys for trying to stop you. I'm thinking your distrust of us stems from this.

              As has been pointed out, having a general problem with authority is not a good thing for someone considering a paramilitary organization.

              -V

              Comment


              • #8
                Over the road truck drivers make good money. A lot of them make more than police officers. If money is your motivator, stay in the IT field.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We don't want you, stay away.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just as an FYI.....distrust on this job WILL get you killed. Granted I'm not involved in gunfights every night like on tv, but each and every day I trust my partners when:

                    1. they say a suspect has been patted
                    2. they say a room is clear
                    3. I make contact while they cover
                    4. they make an arrest
                    5. etc etc etc

                    Distrust of your fellow workers (without merit) will more then likely lead to you working alone and wondering why no one invites you to breakfast.

                    Also, THIS JOB IS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY!!!! I could make the same amount of money (or more) driving a UPS truck or being a teacher. Since you question authority, much like a cook at a summer camp the greatest enemy in law enforcement normally comes from within (i.e. administration.) Good luck bucking that system.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I smell a Troll.

                      If you want to be a cop, apply at some departments and see what happens. Your marijuana use shouldn't be an issue.

                      But judging from your post, I doubt you have the mindset to succeed in a career as law enforcement.

                      Also... career, I hate to break it to you buddy. But I worked for UPS (as a package sorter).... the people driving the trucks make $10-20k more than us

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Your whole post sounds like the ramblings of a stuck up child. Please go away.
                        What is Perseverance?
                        -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                        -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                        -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                        BOP - BPA - ICE

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not the career for you. I say this as someone who used to have a "cushy job in the tech industry"; I took a big pay-cut to do this. Bottom line: if you have to ask the question, you don't really want it. If you don't really want it, it's not for you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ditto on all the above responses. This is a job that you have to want. Start the academy training and if you don't have a strong want to do the job, you will quit within the first week. If you are not sure, either stay away or try the ride along. You seriously need to ditch the distrust crap. You need to trust your wingman with your life, 'cuz that's what he's looking out for.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Put up a poll and do whatever job random strangers on the Internet think is best for you based on 2 minutes of reading. What could go wrong?
                              I miss you, Dave.
                              http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

                              Comment

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