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  • #16
    Re: Family's reaction to wanting to be an officer

    Originally posted by ESDavis
    Hello, I have always wanted to be a police officer, the only thing stopping me is that my family does not want this happening. I know someone will say something like, "it's your life not theirs." But I really value their opinion. What is your expiriences is this situation?

    Evan Davis.
    My grandfather wanted me to become a businessman and not a cop. In his own unique humor, he said "All policemen are a bunch of ground up *********s who are looking for a free lunch." LOL
    Visit TheologyWeb.com now!!!

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    • #17
      Bodie, you will never be "normal."

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      • #18
        A quote I heard once that sums it up:

        "You will see things that you will never unsee, no matter how much you wish you could."

        I can't tell my wife very many stories, she is cool with me being a cop as long as she doesn't have that good of an idea of what goes on. I remember I spent about $1,600.00 tricking out my AR for patrol and she was ****ed, saying that I would never need it. I let it slide. A few weeks later she overheard my friends and I together swapping war stories and it disturbed her a bit and we discussed it and worked it out. Now, her viewpoint is that I can spend as much as I want on firearms and body armor...

        On the flip side, she is a nurse on an orthopedic rehab/neurosurgery & neurotrauma unit of a Children's Hospital...You want to hear about a screwed up and emotionally taxing job?
        And lo, as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
        I shall ask myself,
        "This is the f*cking Valley of the Shadow of Death! What the f*ck am I doing in the f*cking Valley of the Shadow of Death?!?!"

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        • #19
          Never NORMAL ? how very true tan/grn my friend.

          I have arrived home and not wanted to talk to anyone for at least a couple of hours. The career changes you for life.

          But if you enter it with eyes and mind wide open and have a plan in place to get your mind and heart off the job then that's a big part of survival.

          It' yor life as most parents & other family members will say and that's tru and if you choose leo you not only change your life but in ways theirs too

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          • #20
            To be honest, the danger of the job is overdone, usually by us. Believe it or not, there are more dangerous jobs in this country other than being a cop. I think we tend to become a little melodramatic about it. I say that when I personally knew a half a dozen cops that have been killed on my dept during my career. But at the same time, I read annually where some construction worker was killed in our city. So in reality, which is really the most dangerous job? Granted, some cities are more dangerous than others, but overall it's safer than being a bicyle messenger in a large city. The part about your family not knowing if you'll come back when you leave for work is a bit much. It's much more likely you'll have a heart attack from the Big Mac you have for lunch.

            That being said, the things to look out for on this job is 1.) becoming too cynical and 2.) thinking that you are John Wayne.

            The first was my downfall. Dealing with society's dregs, I lost my perspective on what a "normal" person was. For instance, when I worked sex crimes and child abuse, I was beginning to wonder if I was the only man in town NOT screwing his kids. I associated ONLY with other cops and dropped out of any outside activities involving other civilians. When I retired, I volunteered at a local library for a little over a year and that was the best thing I ever did. I was around a lot of good folks and got a realistic picture of the community again. I saw people coming in to get books and read to their kids rather than yell and scream at them.

            The John Wayne syndrome is bad too, IMO. Being a cop 24-7 is a state of mind, not an obligation. I've read examples of officers getting into confrontations with people at McDonald's etc when they were off duty. I do recall going into either a McDonald's or a Burger King with my daughters when they were small and there was some guy at the counter escalating. It was obvious he was going to be a real problem in a few minutes. Since I was off duty and with my small children, I chose to take them and leave. I had no legal or even moral obligation to deal with this guy and I sure wasn't going to get into a beef in front of my little kids and scare the hell out of them. From posts I've read, I've no doubt many members here would have displayed their badge and got into it. Besides, my little girls were a lot more important to me than anything this guy might do and that includes later pulling out a gun and shooting people. My family comes first, period. If I was on duty and without them, it would of course, be a totally different story. But keep it in perspective!

            Armed robberys are another example. People talk about going into action if someone robs some place while they are there with their family. That's well and good, but the last thing I want to do is draw fire toward my family by pulling a gun. MY first thought would be looking for an exit to get my family to safety, not be Clint Eastwood. This job can and will consume your life if you let it. Some people obviously WANT it to for what ever reason. But there is a lot more to me than this job. I retired from the job, but I'm still some peoples' father, husband, friend, etc. That's a much more important identity than being a job.

            I agree totally with Bodie about needing downtime when I got home. I was someone else at work and I needed to transistion into being Dad and husband. It took a while to drop my police persona and let go of the day. I didn't need two hours, thankfully though. I could usually do it by working the day's crossword puzzle in my chair. When I was done, I was able to push my workday aside and enjoy my family. At least until I had teenagers, but that's for a different post!
            Last edited by retdetsgt; 08-26-2004, 11:38 AM.
            "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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            • #21
              The true danger to the career is not the physical it's the mental changes and stress and challenges that kill far more of us then any weapon ever will.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Bodie
                The true danger to the career is not the physical it's the mental changes and stress and challenges that kill far more of us then any weapon ever will.
                Absolutely! They can be overcome, but unfortunately there seems to be some inate inner resistance to do the things that will ease them. And I'm as guilty as anyone.
                "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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                • #23
                  Mt Mom always wanted me to be an attorney....LMAO to this day about that. I'm sorry Momma...never meant to hurt you.....
                  If you knew you would fight for you life tomorrow, would you change the way you trained today?

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                  • #24
                    Going through life seeing a traffic stop or a mope in cuffs wondering what your life would have been like if you tried will make you hate your yourself, your family or both. If you think the life is for you... give it a try... if you get hired and it makes you happy then that's all that counts. Don't worry about what others around you think... they will get used to you choice. I always used to hear from my mom that "It's dangerous... you could get killed", when I reminded her that people die in traffic accidents or some way other than natural causes, she started keeping her concerns to herself. If I don't make it through my shift tonight... I will have been happy right up to the end... and for me that's all that counts.
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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by retdetsgt
                      To be honest, the danger of the job is overdone, usually by us. Believe it or not, there are more dangerous jobs in this country other than being a cop. I think we tend to become a little melodramatic about it.
                      I tend to agree. The only caveat is that although there are plenty of professions more dangerous than ours I can't think of another that has to take so many precautions against being murdered and assaulted. Most LE deaths tend to be accidents so it isn't like we have a huge risk of being murdered but I can't think of another job people want to kill you just because they can. The amount of equipment and training we get to prevent that is a good indication of what we may face. I think this is the distasteful aspect of the job that mothers and wives hate.
                      I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones

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                      • #26
                        Follow your heart, if you really have the desire it will never leave you. Your family, in time, will be ok with your choices. They may not like em' but they will be ok with it. Like said before, this job does change you and the lifestyles you are currently used too. You notice everything and see things in a different light. Just make sure you leave alot of it at work and not take it home...thats the best advice i can give

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                        • #27
                          I cant say that my family was all that supportive either, but its really all about you.. you hit the streets every day, not them. If you really have a love for Law Enforcement. Do it.

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                          • #28
                            I am Aux officer and my parents did not understand why I was becoming an officer. During my pre-hire ride-along, my mother was visiting my daughter. My mother said that maybe the ride would help me get it "out of my system". My seven year old daughter piped up and said "I am sad for my daddy!". My mom asked why and she replied, "Because my daddy is really excited about being a cop and you are not excited for him and that makes him sad." My mom was rather taken aback at this statement and we have had nothing but support from her since then. My dad is still another story...he dosent really want to talk about it.

                            What really matters is that my wife and children know that this is something that I have always wanted to do and they are behind me 100 percent. I need nothing else!

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                            • #29
                              Re: Family's reaction to wanting to be an officer

                              Originally posted by ESDavis
                              Hello, I have always wanted to be a police officer, the only thing stopping me is that my family does not want this happening.What is your expiriences is this situation?

                              Evan Davis.
                              Im sure you've heard much great advice already from many of the officers on this forum. But Im actually living your situation right now so I thought we could commisserate together. Ive started off in Criminal Justice with the intentions of going into forensics (this being before the whole CSI craze). From that I decided I would be insanely bored couped up in an office all day and decided that I would do what I had always thought I couldn't do- pursue a job in law enforcement. My extended family has consistently asked me all 3 years of school what my degree was in like it was a joke and I would "get over it." I just graduated about 2 weeks ago. The day I got my degree I took it to my dad. He goes "Im proud of you...now let me ask you about this trip ." I had went on a trip that week to apply for a job. He then proceeded to tell me that he thought it was disappointing that I would was a 4 year degree to be a "patrolcop" as he put it. Now Ive always been the good kid that never talks back blah blah...raised in the South, what can I say. And I had to tell him that this was nonnegotiable and that I didn't have to justify my dream to anyone.

                              It hurts, Im not gonna lie to you. But Ive talked to too many people that have said "God I wanted to do that and I never pursued it."

                              "Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away"

                              Do what you love. Law enforcement is a job that I feel requires you to have a passion and a love for what you do. Most people I talk to say that they have always known, somehow that that is what they are meant to be in. Thats special. Good luck to you. People get over stuff and your family will to, just like mine.
                              - Amanda
                              "As Bush said, after detailing some of Saddam Hussein's charming practices: "If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning." It's not as if anyone is worried that we're making a horrible miscalculation and could be removing the Iraqi Abraham Lincoln by mistake." -- Ann Coulter

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                              • #30
                                Re: Family's reaction to wanting to be an officer

                                Originally posted by ESDavis
                                Hello, I have always wanted to be a police officer, the only thing stopping me is that my family does not want this happening. I know someone will say something like, "it's your life not theirs." But I really value their opinion. What is your expiriences is this situation?

                                Evan Davis.
                                By "...my family...", do you mean your parents and/or siblings and/or cousins, or your common-law partner/spouse and/or children, or some combination?

                                None of my relatives had been in Law Enforcement before me. My family had been friends with 2 LEO/PO. My parents were VERY supportive of me during my application and have been VERY PROUD of me right from when I started training almost 29 years ago. My sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends were, and still are, concerned for my safety, as were my parents, but have been very supportive, and proud, of my career.

                                I had been in the RCMP for almost 4 years when I started dating my wife - she used to baby-sit for, and hang around with, several of the RCMP members in her home town, one of her brothers had already been in the RCMP for about 2 years by then, and her parents knew a lot of the RCMP members from Church or through work. Another of my wife's brothers, and a husband of one of my wife's sisters, have joined the RCMP since we were married.

                                My main caution to potential RCMP applicants, and I suppose it would only apply to you if you apply for, and get accepted to, a Law Enforcement Agency (State or Federal), is about being transferred frequently. In the 24 years that my wife and I have been married, I have been physically transferred 3 times, requiring selling and purchasing homes plus packing and moving. We had no kids for the 1st, 2 for the 2nd and 5 for our last move.

                                Forced moving is very tough on dependents, so be thankful if you can get on with an Agency where you will NOT have to move around. Otherwise, you REALLY want to make sure that your spouse and kids will be able to deal with being moved. However, I am VERY thankful many times that I DID get posted FAR from my family and friends, and therefore never had to deal officially with any of them, nor with my wife's family.

                                If, after everything we LEO/PO have said to you about becoming an LEO/PO, you REALLY want to pursue this vocation, then tell your family clearly and calmly that this IS what you are going to do with your life and get on with your application. Good luck either way!
                                #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                                Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                                RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                                Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                                "Smile" - no!

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