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  • Can I still become a cop with bad knees?

    My name is Patrick McKenna, and I'm a 19 year old college student majoring in Criminal Justice. I have a problem with my knees that has been going on for about 5 years now because of playing soccer. My knees swell up after intense running and are completely not mobile. I have been going to many top doctors in my state and every single one of them gives me the same exact answer, and that is "that they have never seen anything like it." Basically I have parts in my knees that are completely not normal, but other parts that are completely fine. I have what they called "potholes" in my knees that do not have cartilage.

    My question is can I still be qualified? I can still run and gun, and there is no doubt about that. I can't bend my knees all the way back though, I can go just a bit past halfway. All I know is that I'm fitter than most cops. There is plenty of cops out there that are way over weight, and I know for a fact that I could run longer and faster then them with crap knees. I lift weights 4x a week, and I still manage to squat and deadlift. I wear compressed knee sleeves, which help a bunch when I'm lifting or when working my job. Can I wear knee sleeves in training?

    Another question that I have, I know a former police officer and he told me that there are waivers you could sign to ride a bike instead of running, is this true?

    All I know is that if I do have a chance to become a police officer I will be one happy sun of a gun because of the fact that the only careers I have ever wanted as a kid was to either be a Marine or a cop. Anyways thank you for reading this, and I really hope that I can still have a chance at this career.

    If there is no way in hell I can pass the qualifications, please suggest other jobs I could do in the field of criminal justice.

  • #2
    Originally posted by patmckman View Post
    Another question that I have, I know a former police officer and he told me that there are waivers you could sign to ride a bike instead of running, is this true?
    No


    Everything you posted above tells me you will never make it through the academy PT portion and/or you would be in pain everyday for the entire career.
    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


    • #3
      Dispatcher.
      Now go home and get your shine box!

      Comment


      • #4
        How are you going to run every morning in the academy, function all day, and then run again the next morning (for months on end)?

        Comment


        • #5
          I have serious doubts that your knees would hold up the the punishment of several months of academy PT. Beyond that point, there is the wear and tear of you keeping yourself physically fit for duty, and dealing with things like foot pursuits that will come along during the course of your career.
          In God We Trust
          Everyone else we run local and NCIC

          Comment


          • #6
            I wouldn't count yourself out yet.

            While not as bad as yours I had surgeries on both knees in HS due to football injuries. I served 16 years in the Army, which was not kind to my knees... I also had a spine fusion and became an insulin dependent diabetic due to a line of duty accident that led to my early medical retirement.

            I still made it thru the academy at age 43 and currently serve as a sheriff's deputy. I practice Crossfit and Krav Maga regularly.

            Yes, you will have problems. I'm in pain every day. The academy was particularly challenging. However, I decided that I needed to do something worthwhile with my life rather than sit on the couch, so I accept the pain.

            There are ways to stay fit post-academy that don't involve running. If you are self-sponsoring there may be academies that place less emphasis on physical fitness or less emphasis on running. Mine mostly did Crossfit for PT.

            Also, I'd suggest you try Bikram Yoga. sometimes called "hot yoga". Give it a solid six months at least 4x/wk and see how your knees are then. Bikram developed his series of poses to help himself recover from a severe knee injury. It will increase your leg and core strength as well as your flexibility and is very good for many knee and hip problems.

            The main question is: Will you injure yourself further by attending the academy? If so, don't. If not, it's up to you and how much pain you can stand.

            If you won't injure yourself further and want this bad enough to deal with the pain, go for it...

            ...BUT don't expect any slack. Don't use it as an excuse to your instructors, your squad-mates or yourself. On the street Ray-Ray doesn't care. You have to be able to handle him and back up your fellow officers regardless of how you feel that day. If you can do that, have at it.

            If that won't work for you corrections might be an option. Their academies tend to be shorter and often less demanding. Probation might be an option, too. There are many niche departments that have a limited role but are still important. Some regions have court marshals or bailiffs that are less physically demanding:

            http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/she...rotection.aspx

            Something to think about.
            Last edited by tanksoldier; 12-12-2014, 11:32 PM.
            "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
              Your situation is medical in nature, and I try not to make it a practice to "go there". I feel safe in saying that your particular situation will be judged and evaluated in the light of the medical standards for a given agency. You could encounter some significant problems and several of those have been mentioned by my colleagues. Best of luck in all your efforts.

              Comment


              • #8
                OP, I don't know what state you are in, but if you are in or near California, consider going to Dr. Arthur Ting in Fremont. He is probably the top orthopedist in the area. Dozens of world-class pro athletes have been fixed up by him. He's repaired me twice and is the only orthopedist I will go to.
                Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

                Comment


                • #9
                  What concerns me is you have some fairly major knee problems already and you're only 19. Unless they can figure out a way to fix them, they will only get worse as you get older. I can't imagine how bad they will be when you're 30. I don't believe being an LEO is going to work out for you at this time. Have you thought about finishing your degree and going into Probation? I wish you luck.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Any cop can still become a cop with bad knees. You're just one injury away. Oh, wait, what?

                    Look, there's "can" and there's "should." Maybe you think you really want this now, but you're hopefully going to live a real long time. You want to be crippled up by the time you're in your 30's? You want to not be able to play with your kids the way you want to, to not enjoy vacations that you should and not be able to take some at all? You want to wonder if you should have the surgery or wait, if an epidural is worth it, etc. etc?

                    My dad always says if he knew he was going to live this long he'd have taken better care of himself. I now know exactly what he means. You're young now, but you don't stay that way, and cumulative injury just keeps on building. Consider that real hard before making a decision.
                    I miss you, Dave.
                    http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CruiserClass View Post
                      Any cop can still become a cop with bad knees. You're just one injury away. Oh, wait, what?

                      Look, there's "can" and there's "should." .
                      Re-read that several times
                      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


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by patmckman View Post
                        My name is Patrick McKenna, and I'm a 19 year old college student majoring in Criminal Justice. I have a problem with my knees that has been going on for about 5 years now because of playing soccer. My knees swell up after intense running and are completely not mobile. I have been going to many top doctors in my state and every single one of them gives me the same exact answer, and that is "that they have never seen anything like it." Basically I have parts in my knees that are completely not normal, but other parts that are completely fine. I have what they called "potholes" in my knees that do not have cartilage.

                        My question is can I still be qualified? I can still run and gun, and there is no doubt about that. I can't bend my knees all the way back though, I can go just a bit past halfway. All I know is that I'm fitter than most cops. There is plenty of cops out there that are way over weight, and I know for a fact that I could run longer and faster then them with crap knees. I lift weights 4x a week, and I still manage to squat and deadlift. I wear compressed knee sleeves, which help a bunch when I'm lifting or when working my job. Can I wear knee sleeves in training?

                        Another question that I have, I know a former police officer and he told me that there are waivers you could sign to ride a bike instead of running, is this true?

                        All I know is that if I do have a chance to become a police officer I will be one happy sun of a gun because of the fact that the only careers I have ever wanted as a kid was to either be a Marine or a cop. Anyways thank you for reading this, and I really hope that I can still have a chance at this career.

                        If there is no way in hell I can pass the qualifications, please suggest other jobs I could do in the field of criminal justice.

                        Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                        No


                        Everything you posted above tells me you will never make it through the academy PT portion and/or you would be in pain everyday for the entire career.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you can get medically cleared for it, then you have a decision that ONLY YOU can make.

                          No one here will be able to answer the question for you. You are the one that is going to have to live with your choices.

                          It doesn't matter if Joe Bloe with department XYZ is out of shape and you think you can run better than him. None of that matters to Joe Bloe (who has already made it through), us on the forums, or the people making the hiring decisions. The only person you should be worrying about is yourself.

                          Speaking from experience, I had knee problems before the academy. It sucked, but I didn't complain. I passed the physical, used ice and ibuprofen, and made it through because I wanted it bad enough.

                          But again, my experiences aren't yours, and only you can weigh your options.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                            Dispatcher.
                            I agree with this. You should look into it.

                            Comment

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