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  • Want to start a career in law enforcement would like to hear from current leo

    Hey guys as the title says I'm thinking of starting a career in law enforcement and I would love to hear from former and current LEO about there experiences do they like being a cop do they love it do they hate it ? What should I expect I would like to hear the good and the bad. I know im the only one who can truly decide if this career path is right for me but ide love to hear all the details good or bad

    Thanks
    Brian

  • #2
    Every agency is different in terms of workload, assignments, etc. Your best bet is to schedule some ride alongs with different agencies and ask the officers.
    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

    I Am the Sheepdog.


    "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
    that we are all that stands between
    the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


    sigpic

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    • #3
      I am going under the assumption that you are being serious. Not sure if your name is a give away to your age. Most people don't think they want to be a cop. They didn't get up one morning and sip a cup o joe and say, "HHHHHmmmmmmmm, kinda bored today. What shall I do. I know, I will become a cop." Please bear with me. I am not trying to be too sarcastic. There are some people out there that work in a related field and want to try and become a cop. Military, lawyer, hose dragger. These people for the most part have somewhat of an idea what being a cop would entail. For the most part those that want to be a cop have already have had a glimpse into the life of a police officer (Not a tv cop, but an actual street cop) and want more than a glimpse.

      I, for the most part, did not like police officers growing up. The gave me tickets and hassled me. I knew all the donut jokes. It wasn't until I started meeting them when they were off duty that I really got to know them. I then took a "Ride-along" and was hooked. From the time I did that ride with an officer on duty I knew exactly what I wanted to be and did everything I needed to do to become a LEO.

      I am not trying to give you a hard time, but if you are just thinking about it means you are far from walking the path. Do a ride-along and then come back here. If in fact you are 16 your parents can sign a release for you to do the ride along. Until you know you WANT to be a cop, please don't bother us here. Try a firefighter site and you will get a better response.
      Stupid has no color or race, everyone can participate.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks to everyone who took the time to wright back let me give you some back story I'm from CT and I'm not 16 lol I'm turning 26 in two weeks I am an licensed electrician and I've been doing electrical for 8 years and I have never really like it and right now it more along the lines of hating it. I'm looking for a career change. And this whole time I've been thinking of jobs I would be interested in and would be good at and I've realized I've always been interested in criminal justice and the law I'm a leader and I generally like helping people. So as of lately I've been thinking being a cop could be a good fit for me but I wanted to hear from current LEO because the grass always seems greener I wanted to hear all the details the good the bad the ugly to see if this is something really worth pursuing

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        • #5
          Please read my previous post. If you still think it is for you then go on a ride along. More than one if you can. Pick the slowest shift you can get and then the busiest shift. If after that you still THINK you want to be a cop then come back here.
          Stupid has no color or race, everyone can participate.

          Comment


          • #6
            lately I've been thinking being a cop could be a good fit for me but I wanted to hear from current LEO because the grass always seems greener I wanted to hear all the details the good the bad the ugly to see if this is something really worth pursuing
            Her eis what being a cop is about:

            IF you're a cop you'll risk your life to save somebody who hates you and who will always hate you.

            Your job will be to keep people alive who despise you, who would kill you and your whole family if they knew who they were or thought they could get away with it. You have to be ready to fight for your life at the drop of a hat, all the while staying within your department's use of force policy and the law. In the Army if I got in a scuffle with Hadji he was dead, period. Simple. Easy. Can't do that here. You have to keep your head and not over react... or UNDER react... and then provide first aid to the shiite-stain that was just trying to take your gun and kill you.

            I _NEVER_ have a uniform make it for more than one shift. I come home dirty, tired, late, sore and often ****ed off. I have a heavy bag in my gym just to work off the stress so my wife doesn't have to deal with it. The self-discipline and maturity it takes to do this job is immense.

            Most people CAN'T be cops. They just can't do it. They can't think on their feet, they can't mutitask, they can't handle the stress and the danger and the constant vigilance.

            Do as suggested above. Go for a ride-along, preferably several. See what the street cops see, do what they do as much as they will let you.

            ...and go one further. Try to get a "walk-along" at a detention facility or jail, whatever you have where you are. Look at real criminals close up. Talk to them if you can. See who they are, see what they look and act like. Decide if you can find them in the real world, protect normal people from them and sift them out of the rest of humanity. What does a Sureno look like, a Latin King, a Norteño? Crips, Bloods, Miami Boys... Russian Mafia, etc, etc...

            It isn't all driving fast and carrying a gun. It's staring something that LOOKS human, but isn't, in the face and not backing down.
            "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

            "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

            Comment


            • #7
              Not a LEO, just waiting to start the academy for a state agency, but I wanted to suggest one thing to you that I did before I eventually made the choice.

              Take a look at raw dash cam videos, without a narrator, of officers shot and/or killed in the line of duty. Don't try to dissect what was done right and what was wrong, just listen and watch. Some of them are very hard to watch and listen to, even if you have seen them before. If you can accept the fact that you could be in a similar situation, with everything that it may bring to you and your family, maybe move forward. Otherwise, do not pass go.

              Best of luck.
              “You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ― Winston Churchill

              Comment


              • #8
                Part of what drew me to this field years ago as the "uncertainty" of what the shift was. I still enjoy my job, but the rush is gone. A lot of it depends on where you work but be prepared to have a large part of the population hate you. Most new officer start out on a night shift where you get more "middle fingers" than "thank you" waves on a good night. As long as you can keep you're cool, you will be fine.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is a loaded question-----"tanksoldier" pretty much nailed it BUT I'll give you someother "bits" to chew on.
                  You'll never get paid for what you do but for what you MIGHT have to do. While others are running away, you'll be expected to run towards the problem. Your greatest stressor will be your dept. & bosses whose only concern (usually) is with how they look to their bosses. While other are enjoying holidays, chances are you'll be working. Your old friends, at least some of them, will either disown you or will constantly scrutinize you or your job & ask questions about it, often critically. BTW, relatives aren't exempt from this trait, either. You'll second guess your actions & decisions often, hoping your decisions will all work out.You'll be expected to upheld a certain image/demeanor/behavior on & off duty that may just not be "you". You'll enforce laws & jail people you feel simply deserve a break but can't do that. You'll physically & mentally deterioate so that by the time you're in your 40s you'll be questioning just why you signed up for it.
                  HOWEVER:
                  If you want to do what others only read about in the papers, feel & want to actually contribute, enjoy being a "doer" as opposed to a spectator, feel that if even ONE PERSON appreciates you (and they are out there), are willing to give 100%+ for 20-25 years to have a pension (let's be honest here) and feel working with other who feel as you do, then WELCOME ABOARD! Just don't say you weren't warned.


                  I posted here long ago, a situation early in my career involving a child abuse case tha its outcome made staying in the job worthwhile. THAT sort of thing is what I'm talking about. Hopefully you'll have a similair experience..........Good LUCK!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Read the book 'I love a Cop' it talks about the various stages of the career. You could probably get it used on Amazon pretty cheap
                    Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Go to college and take some classes in English, journalism, writing, etc. If your posts are any indication of your normal writing skills then you'll never make it as a LEO. Your writing would get laughed out of court if a prosecutor would even consider them. Most of what you do as a LEO involves writing reports, lots of reports. If you don't document an incident then it never happened. Being able to write clearly is mandatory.
                      183 FBINA

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here's what I suggest you do. Re-read each and every reply you've received thus far. Both the individual and collective wisdom you've been given is totally awesome. At the end of the day, applying to an agency will be your decision, not ours.

                        Hopefully, the advice we've given you hasn't been disappointing. We don't make it a habit to welcome prospective applicants with open arms. You'll have to apply and compete with many prospects. Many of these will bring more attractive attributes to the table than you possess. You'll need to test extremely well, and keep in mind that the competition for each open slot is going to be very keen.

                        This is a job which is totally divorced from the total crap often shown on TV. This is a real world profession which makes almost unbelievable demands on it's members. This is a fact often totally misunderstood by the media, the public and the politicians.
                        In reality, very few people can hack the demands of the police service. It's possible that you're one of them, but the only way to find out is for you to enter a hiring process.

                        In the meantime, recall what we've told you as a forum. Particularly recall the advice offered by my colleague from Illinois. If you 're unable to legibly write and report facts, then all of your otherwise valid work, and often that of others goes right out the window. Y ou've received great advice, and for it , you didn't have to go to some wonk like Dr. Phil or some other know nothing guru.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
                          Her eis what being a cop is about:

                          IF you're a cop you'll risk your life to save somebody who hates you and who will always hate you.

                          Your job will be to keep people alive who despise you, who would kill you and your whole family if they knew who they were or thought they could get away with it. You have to be ready to fight for your life at the drop of a hat, all the while staying within your department's use of force policy and the law. In the Army if I got in a scuffle with Hadji he was dead, period. Simple. Easy. Can't do that here. You have to keep your head and not over react... or UNDER react... and then provide first aid to the shiite-stain that was just trying to take your gun and kill you.

                          I _NEVER_ have a uniform make it for more than one shift. I come home dirty, tired, late, sore and often ****ed off. I have a heavy bag in my gym just to work off the stress so my wife doesn't have to deal with it. The self-discipline and maturity it takes to do this job is immense.

                          Most people CAN'T be cops. They just can't do it. They can't think on their feet, they can't mutitask, they can't handle the stress and the danger and the constant vigilance.

                          Do as suggested above. Go for a ride-along, preferably several. See what the street cops see, do what they do as much as they will let you.

                          ...and go one further. Try to get a "walk-along" at a detention facility or jail, whatever you have where you are. Look at real criminals close up. Talk to them if you can. See who they are, see what they look and act like. Decide if you can find them in the real world, protect normal people from them and sift them out of the rest of humanity. What does a Sureno look like, a Latin King, a Norteño? Crips, Bloods, Miami Boys... Russian Mafia, etc, etc...

                          It isn't all driving fast and carrying a gun. It's staring something that LOOKS human, but isn't, in the face and not backing down.
                          ^^^^ THIS ^^^^ You, my fellow Coloradan, have described the job better than anyone else who has tried.

                          EXCEPT I'll add: To the OP, you will absolutely despise your administration. The problems created within your own department will plague you as an individual more than the things you see on the street. You'll be inundated with rhetoric about integrity, and you'll see good cops who screw up get fired, but bad administrators who knowingly commit crimes get away with it. It will eat you from the inside out, all while you question what moron came up with the latest ridiculous policy.

                          If you spend too much time on midnights or in the ghetto, your personality will change for the worse. You'll be suspicious of everyone, find yourself in a bladed interview stance to talk to everyone, including your wife, grumpy all the time, and wishing you could have back some of the sleep you missed in your twenties.
                          Last edited by mac266; 07-29-2014, 08:19 AM.
                          MAC

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ISPCAPT View Post
                            Go to college and take some classes in English, journalism, writing, etc. If your posts are any indication of your normal writing skills then you'll never make it as a LEO. Your writing would get laughed out of court if a prosecutor would even consider them. Most of what you do as a LEO involves writing reports, lots of reports. If you don't document an incident then it never happened. Being able to write clearly is mandatory.
                            He is right on this, my friend.
                            MAC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              To the OP, you will absolutely despise your administration.
                              I'm actually lucky in that I work for a small, rural Sheriff's department. There's only 3 people between the Sheriff and me in the chain of command, and dou-chebaggery generally isn't tolerated. I don't agree with every policy in the book but at least there aren't legions of minions turning out paperwork to justify their jobs.
                              "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                              "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                              Comment

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