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I'm Ready to Be a Cop - But is My Fiance Ready For It?

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  • I'm Ready to Be a Cop - But is My Fiance Ready For It?

    After contimplating the issue personally for a year, I have made the first step to pursuing a career as an LEO. I've never looked forward to something so bad and I virtually have dreams about it.

    I've had initial discussions with my fiance and she has been more than supportive. We both feel this is something that I need and will make me extremely happy proffesionally. However, her family is a little cautious (and rightfully so).

    Right now I work a pathetic M-F job that most would probably love. I have plenty of time to plan weekend get aways with her and I obviously get to see her every night.

    As a LEO there is no gurantee if/when I'll see her. I could work night shift and rarely see her on days we both work. Then, with rotating shifts I may only see weekends off every 4-6 weeks.

    Her family is worried my schedule could lead us to a fall out, especially when we have children (though that will not happen for another 4-6 years). I did not have much of an argument as I feel they have a valid concern.

    I would like to hear from LEOs that have families and have learned to cope with these situations. If you do not have a family but have any advice how to approach their concerns I would be more than appreciative.

    While this is something I feel I am right for, I also need to prepare our families for the event that I get to pursue this career.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Originally posted by kmwumc
    her every night.

    As a LEO there is no gurantee if/when I'll see her. I could work night shift and rarely see her on days we both work. Then, with rotating shifts I may only see weekends off every 4-6 weeks.
    You statement should be you will be working nights and if you are lucky you might get a weekend off every now and then. That will depend on the scheduling practices of the agency you work for. When I first came on I worked graveyards for the first 4 years of my career and the first 3 years of my marriage. My wife was gone for work when I got home from work. When she got home we would have a quick dinner and then she was off to school. When she got home from school I was gone for work. Weekends off were unheard of except for the rare special occasion. But in spite of all that we made the most of the time we had together. There is still time to spend together it will just be at different times than most people. Bottom line, you just have to make it work. Eventually you will get the the point where you can work days with weekends off and have a summer vacation!!!
    Cowboys in town. Trouble expected.

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    • #3
      Probably they never will be accepting of the screwed up career you have chosen but they will learn to live with it. Cops have one of the highest divorce rates there is.

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      • #4
        It took me right at 20 years to get days with weekends off. But there are very few of them in the department I work for in patrol.
        RADAR is the 8th wonder of the world.

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        • #5
          I have been doing this for 5 years now (not that 5 is a long time) and I still love working nights. I seem to be able to get into alot more at night. When i am at work the wife is asleep and when I am asleep the wife is at work, so we get to see each other enough but not too much. Odd days off arent bad because you don't have to stand in line anywhere. If you want a weekend off take some time. Only draw back to nights is staying awake for court, but the over time is good. You can run a pursuit all over the city at night, because the traffic is not as bad. By the time you get sick of nights you will have enough time on to get a day gig.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bodie
            Probably they never will be accepting of the screwed up career you have chosen but they will learn to live with it. Cops have one of the highest divorce rates there is.
            The divorce rate was something her family brought up and I did not know how to respond. It's hard to argue with the truth.

            Although I need to do what is best for me, I still need to make sure we're a happy family. I would hate to work as hard as I have for this, get it, and then have it to tear apart my relationship.

            I'm lucky enough to have the chance to work for a Dept where you're schedule nets you weekends off every 5-7 weeks (Fri/Sat, Sat/ Sun, Sun/Mon).

            Is it easy to request time off? Obviously, holidays are probably the hardest (unless you have senority) but do PDs frown on officers taking all their time off? I've worked for companies where they boast about their vacation packages, but rarely do they make an effort to see that you use it all.

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            • #7
              Right now I work a pathetic M-F job that most would probably love
              Sounds like you the same job I have hehe.

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              • #8
                If this is something that you truly want to do then do it. Its up to you to be a man and make the choice, and if your girlfriend supports you thats even better. If your worried about divorce then wait until you have a little time on and see what it is like. You cant go around worrying about what your family thinks about it. If it was up to everyones parents we wouldn't have police. If you still have your family's support when you hit the streets then good for them, if you don't then they are the ones that need to do the soul searching. Best of luck!

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                • #9
                  In 25 or so years I had weekends off for 8 months total. Work second shift or double shifts so much I missed 8 yrs of my only child growing up.
                  If as yiou say the fiance and her whole family are against you being a cop you don't have a strong enough realtionship with this woman for the marriage to survive ................. no matter your career path.

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                  • #10
                    My wife was never a fan of me being a cop. She still isn't. But she realizes that I enjoy my work and tries her best to support my career. But my marriage is ultimately more important to me than my career. If it came down to a choice, I'd always pick family over work. I love being a cop, but it's still just a job. You need to remind yourself of that fact otherwise you'll take everything at work personally and will only create undue stress for yourself.

                    If you can separate work from home, you should be able to manage your personal life without too many problems.
                    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

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                    • #11
                      Law enforcement is one of those jobs, along with doctors, nurses, that has a higher than normal rate of divorce. You have mentioned the odd work schedule, which is the the tip of the ice berg. I would recommend getting a book called "I love a cop" you can get it at Barnes and Noble. I never read the thing, but I had my girlfriend read it when I first got hired and she said that understood my job a lot more. I would say that 3/4 of the people in my academy class that were married are now divorced. It's a big step for the both of you, best of luck.

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                      • #12
                        Ready to be a cop

                        You're going to marry your Fiance, not her family, although in many ways you do marry her family as well. If you're looking for guarantees that your marriage will work, they're aren't any. As previously noted, the divorce rate in LE is very, very high. It's possible too, that your Fiance, while supportive of your career choice now, may not be five years from now. It's almost a certaintly, that your kids will graduate from high school, and you'll realize you hardly know them. Plan on missing a whole lot of birthdays, school events, anniversaries, little league, dance recitals etc. It comes with the territory.Depending on the department you apply to, it is quite possible the Background Investigator will talk to your Fiance/Wife as part of his/her investigation into your fitness/ability to join the department. It may sound to you as if I'm discouraging you. Not so. I'm merely trying to share some thoughts with you as regards the reality of this career.

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                        • #13
                          If you want to be a police officer that much then you should go for it. If time off is a concern try to find a dept. that is acceptable to that. Best advice I can give you is look for a dept that works 12 hour shifts. My dept works 12's and we rotate day to night each time we're off. No one gets stuck on night shift and everyone has fri/sat/sun off every other week from the guys with 2 months on to the guys with 20 years. Also if we want a day off I've never seen one denied. The chief will call someone in for overtime in order to get you time off if you request it and there are not enough people in that day.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WTPD3534
                            we rotate day to night each time we're off.
                            Isn't that hard on the body (for some people)? Would take some time to get used to....

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                            • #15
                              Play the "what if" game with her. What if you never get promoted? What if you get hurt on the job7 can't work anymore? What if you get a female partner? What if you get accused of a crime or sexual harassment? These are just some of the questions I had to ask my wife 30 yrs ago when I decided to do this job. Fortunately she had all the right answers and things worked out. You need to look at the LE career/ marriage package just like buying a suit---- does everything fit? If it does, welcome aboard & good luck. If not--only you can decide which is a higher priority.

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