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Being an LEO and impact on family

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  • Being an LEO and impact on family

    I've been interested in becoming a law enforcement officer, specifically with the California Highway Patrol, for many years. I'm currently a junior in college on track for graduation with a criminal justice degree in 2006.

    I believe that I'm interested in law enforcement for all the right reasons. Of course it's great to fly down the interstate at 100mph Code 3 in a brand new Crown Vic (I've been on several ride-alongs and experienced this). But I want to make a genuine difference, and I tell myself that if I can stop one drunk driver per month, that would be enough to make it all worth-while. Blah blah blah, anyways...

    In the past year or so I've begun to reconsider my career goals, and my main reason is family. I'm not ignorant to the fact that being an LEO is terribly hard on the family life, and I've been told this by several officers I've gone on ride-alongs with. I've come here to get some more honest,insightful perspectives and opinions on this topic. I've been with a girl for several years and I love her dearly and if all remains the same I'll probably end up marrying her sometime after graduation. Yes, I know things change, by we're speaking in hypotheticals here.

    First of all, I'd have to attend the academy right off the bat, which is six months in a live-in facility with weekend passes as long as you don't flunk a test or **** off an instructor I'm guessing. This obviously would be very harsh on a young relationship, but assuming I get past that okay, then the job begins.

    I get relocated to any location in California, and I assume begin working the overnight/graveyard/C-Watches. I would feel horrible leaving my girlfriend/wife alone every night for an unknown amount of time, and be asleep during the day. It doesn't seem like a great way to build a foundation of a relationship or marriage.

    I also know that being a law enforcement officer has other ill-effects on relationships, probably related to the gruesome situations that every LEO has to deal with on a daily basis, etc. etc.

    But in the end, being an LEO has been my dream and passion as long as I can remember. But is it worth it? Lately I've been leaning towards "no".

    Thoughts? Ideas? Experiences? Thanks

  • #2
    Of course it's great to fly down the interstate at 100mph Code 3 in a brand new Crown Vic (I've been on several ride-alongs and experienced this).
    Wait until you are the driver and it's wall to wall traffic, you won't think it's all that great then..............
    Really? Guess what, I still don't care.

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    • #3
      I always tell someone who wants to be a cop, DON'T get married before you have at least a few years on the job. The person that you are now will bear very little resemblence to the person you will be with some time on the street. Some relationships can survive the change, most don't.

      I amuse myself by asking the younger recruit officers I have as an FTO, if they have a serious girlfriend. If they say "yes", I tell them that I guarantee that they won't be together within a year.

      I've only been wrong once.
      Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

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      • #4
        EURO,

        Let me know if I can help at all with the CHP academy. I went through 4 months of it, befor I was forced out due to a knee injury back in 2000. Its one of the hardest places to get on, and the academy is straight out of "An officer and a gentleman" (paramilitary like no other)

        The pay is amazing, the food is horible, and you dont get much sleep at first.

        PM me if you have any question...

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