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  • My Mom Says Joining LE Is Not a Good Fit for My Life (What do you think?)

    So much to say ... I'll try to make this as brief as possible, and sorry in advance!

    I'm a semester away from my B.A. in biology with a 3.98 GPA. I was on the pre-med track during college not because being a doctor was ever my dream job, but rather because my parents wanted me to live out their failed dreams. I mean, I do love medical science and saving lives, but in the US, that career path is extremely lengthy and the debt you would accumulate is significant, to say the least. To make matters worse, an on-the-job accident has put my father into early retirement, so I now have no desire to be in school for another 4 years without making a dime and not being able to live as comfortably as I'd like.

    To be completely honest I haven't ever considered joining LE until early last summer. It is indeed a VERY different career path from a medical doctor, but it appeals to me in some of the same ways that being a doctor has appealed to me. For all my life, my desire to save lives has stayed constant. All my experiences I've enjoyed thus far had to do with helping people (tutoring, teaching, writing health-based books). I do not feel fulfilled unless I am helping somebody in a meaningful way. I can't pinpoint the exact moment when I've seriously considered LE, but I've seen reading this forum intently for months and it is very appealing to me. I am looking into joining the NYPD or the PAPD. I am currently waiting until I can take the exams.

    My mother is VERY against this sudden change in career paths, not only because of the safety concerns of the job, but mainly because she thinks being a police officer will take every minute of my day and I would no longer be able to have time for hobbies or a social life, let alone time for sleep. I do realize that as I police officer, I will not have time to go clubbing every night for 4-5 hours and have my weekends free, although drinking/partying has never appealed to me and I wouldn't care whether my free time was on a Tuesday or a Saturday. The only things I really like to do is go to the gym 3x per week, read scientific articles/studies in my spare time (and make blog posts and homemade products that I sell based on this stuff sporadically), engage in social media for ~3 hours within a whole week, maybe a see movie once a month, and soon, engage in some sort of kick-boxing or MMA once a week. According to her, being a police officer means I won't have time for ANY of this? I do not plan on getting married, and I know I will never be having kids.

    Based on the little I like to do with my time, would being a PO be too much for me? According to my own self-evaluation, I think I'll be a perfect fit. I never touched illegal drugs in my life, had one beer in my 22 years (and never plan to drink again), and never got into trouble with the law. I am a very caring individual, yet I am not hysterical. If I am yelled at, I am calm to the point where I am stoic. I thrive on fast-paced activity and at the same time, I am very careful and detail-oriented, which is needed of course to write police reports. I've taken a few medical lab-based courses and I am not at all disgusted by the sight and smell of blood and other bodily fluids. Even though this is a heavily male-dominated field, I am very capable as a female as I can bench press and deadlift ~200 lbs (and getting better),and plus, I am getting into some type of martial arts soon. Most of all, I want to do this to have a positive impact on my community for the principal of it, not because I expect any kind of appreciation or praise. I am aware that LE is a thankless job most of the time, and I know a lot of people will hate me on sight.

    Based on everything, is my mother right that I will be a poor fit for the job? I do not think my living conditions are too high-maintenance for this career. In my opinion, I only have a short number of hobbies and I will not have a family to tend to.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Listen to your Mommy
    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


    • police_hopeful
      police_hopeful commented
      Editing a comment
      I appreciate your response.

      May I ask what part of my posting makes me unqualified in your view? Thank you.

    • Iowa #1603
      Iowa #1603 commented
      Editing a comment
      I think not.in.MY.town answered your question for me.

      Never said you were UNQUALIFED, but after reading your statement above...............I agree with your mother that I FEEL you wouldn't be a good fit.

  • #3
    Originally posted by police_hopeful View Post
    My Mom Says Joining LE Is Not a Good Fit for My Life (What do you think?)

    So much to say ... I'll try to make this as brief as possible, and sorry in advance!

    I'm a semester away from my B.A. in biology with a 3.98 GPA. I was on the pre-med track during college not because being a doctor was ever my dream job, but rather because my parents wanted me to live out their failed dreams. I mean, I do love medical science and saving lives, but in the US, that career path is extremely lengthy and the debt you would accumulate is significant, to say the least. To make matters worse, an on-the-job accident has put my father into early retirement, so I now have no desire to be in school for another 4 years without making a dime and not being able to live as comfortably as I'd like.

    To be completely honest I haven't ever considered joining LE until early last summer. It is indeed a VERY different career path from a medical doctor, but it appeals to me in some of the same ways that being a doctor has appealed to me. For all my life, my desire to save lives has stayed constant. All my experiences I've enjoyed thus far had to do with helping people (tutoring, teaching, writing health-based books). I do not feel fulfilled unless I am helping somebody in a meaningful way. I can't pinpoint the exact moment when I've seriously considered LE, but I've seen reading this forum intently for months and it is very appealing to me. I am looking into joining the NYPD or the PAPD. I am currently waiting until I can take the exams.

    My mother is VERY against this sudden change in career paths, not only because of the safety concerns of the job, but mainly because she thinks being a police officer will take every minute of my day and I would no longer be able to have time for hobbies or a social life, let alone time for sleep. I do realize that as I police officer, I will not have time to go clubbing every night for 4-5 hours and have my weekends free, although drinking/partying has never appealed to me and I wouldn't care whether my free time was on a Tuesday or a Saturday. The only things I really like to do is go to the gym 3x per week, read scientific articles/studies in my spare time (and make blog posts and homemade products that I sell based on this stuff sporadically), engage in social media for ~3 hours within a whole week, maybe a see movie once a month, and soon, engage in some sort of kick-boxing or MMA once a week. According to her, being a police officer means I won't have time for ANY of this? I do not plan on getting married, and I know I will never be having kids.

    Based on the little I like to do with my time, would being a PO be too much for me? According to my own self-evaluation, I think I'll be a perfect fit. I never touched illegal drugs in my life, had one beer in my 22 years (and never plan to drink again), and never got into trouble with the law. I am a very caring individual, yet I am not hysterical. If I am yelled at, I am calm to the point where I am stoic. I thrive on fast-paced activity and at the same time, I am very careful and detail-oriented, which is needed of course to write police reports. I've taken a few medical lab-based courses and I am not at all disgusted by the sight and smell of blood and other bodily fluids. Even though this is a heavily male-dominated field, I am very capable as a female as I can bench press and deadlift ~200 lbs (and getting better),and plus, I am getting into some type of martial arts soon. Most of all, I want to do this to have a positive impact on my community for the principal of it, not because I expect any kind of appreciation or praise. I am aware that LE is a thankless job most of the time, and I know a lot of people will hate me on sight.

    Based on everything, is my mother right that I will be a poor fit for the job? I do not think my living conditions are too high-maintenance for this career. In my opinion, I only have a short number of hobbies and I will not have a family to tend to.

    Thank you!
    Are you going to call mom for advice on whether you should arrest the bad guy or not?

    Tell you the truth, when I saw the title "My mom says..." I expected a question either from a troll or from a 12-year-old. Not from a 22-year-old on her way to becoming a medical doctor. Just goes to show how far most college students are removed from the real world these days...

    Do you (or your mom) really think that career decisions should be made based on whether they interfere with your hobbies??
    Last edited by not.in.MY.town; 01-04-2018, 05:25 PM.

    Comment


    • police_hopeful
      police_hopeful commented
      Editing a comment
      "Are you going to call mom for advice on whether you should arrest the bad guy or not?"
      Ha ha, of course not!

      As for the rest of your post, I do apologize if I came off as immature; that was not my intention at all. As someone who lives with my parents, important life-changing decisions are discussed within the family. My post is not much different from "My Husband Does Not Think I Am Fit for Police Work, More Opinions Please?" I did not mean that I asked my mother for her approval for this career choice. I shared my recent change in career plans to someone very close to me and was told me that she doesn't think I'm fit for the career, despite my traits and capabilities. Thus, I asked for more opinions on this matter, and if becoming a police officer would truly take up 100% of my time and not leave me with any time of my own.

  • #4
    Originally posted by police_hopeful
    I do apologize if I came off as immature; that was not my intention at all. As someone who lives with my parents, important life-changing decisions are discussed within the family. My post is not much different from "My Husband Does Not Think I Am Fit for Police Work, More Opinions Please?" I did not mean that I asked my mother for her approval for this career choice. I shared my recent change in career plans to someone very close to me and was told me that she doesn't think I'm fit for the career, despite my traits and capabilities. Thus, I asked for more opinions on this matter, and if becoming a police officer would truly take up 100% of my time and not leave me with any time of my own.
    Is this really your/her main concern?? Do you/does she think that being a medical doctor would leave you with all that free time?

    To answer the question...no, of course being a cop won't take up 100% of your time. Most cops typically work around 40 hours per week. Sometimes there is ordered over time (depends on department and special needs), but usually overtime is voluntary. Unless there's some major crisis (think natural disaster) you'll have plenty of time off. Only issue is working rotating shifts and night shift. You can expect to be on night shift and work weekends for your first few years on the job. You can also expect to work every holiday for much of your career. Since you do not plan on having a family this should not be much of an issue for you...unless of course mom expects you to be home for Thanksgiving turkey...


    Comment


    • police_hopeful
      police_hopeful commented
      Editing a comment
      It definitely is among the main concerns. I think it's a legitimate concern to have. One can love their career, but at the same time, if one has other parts of their life that they like to make time for as well, it's important to know ahead of time if said career will interfere with that. About the medical career, I was thinking the same thing myself! I would imagine much less time for myself during medical school and residency. Maybe that's just her way to dissuade me because she doesn't want me putting my life in danger.

      Thank you very much for the time breakdown! It certainly sounds manageable, not too different from other full-time jobs. I don't mind working weekends at all. The night shift isn't the best, but I know it's something I can work around as long as I plan my sleep accordingly. Missing holidays isn't a big deal as I don't exactly party during holidays or do much different than I would do on other days. This definitely gives me hope!

    • not.in.MY.town
      not.in.MY.town commented
      Editing a comment
      police_hopeful Like I said, you do have lots of free time as a cop. You just don't always have control over WHEN you have that free time. But all the hobbies and activities you listed are easily compatible with any law enforcement schedule. You can certainly read, use social media and blog any day of the week and any time of day or night. Many gyms are open 24 hours so you can train whenever you want. Things get a lot more complicated when you have to juggle all of your family's activities and needs...but most cops make that work, too. So don't let the schedule discourage you.

      That being said, it sounds like you still have some maturing and soul searching to do, and that's fine. You're only 22. You have plenty of time to figure things out. Good luck.

  • #5
    I think you should wait about six years to make this decision. I don't believe you have the ability to be on your own, or the maturity.
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • police_hopeful
      police_hopeful commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for your honestly.

      I hear that the process get to hired for the NYPD may take 1-2 years as it is, so I'm sure I'll be doing some maturing during the process. Each day I am actively trying to do more things on my own and adapt towards total independence so I am adequately prepared. I know this job requires the utmost responsibility, and I take that very seriously.

  • #6
    My mother didn't want me to be a cop either. She is now 93 years old, disabled, and lives very comfortably on the 100% financial support I provide her from the police pension I spent 33 years earning. I believe she is now very pleased that I ignored her wishes.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

    Comment


    • police_hopeful
      police_hopeful commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm happy things worked out so well for you! It's great that you're able to support your mother. Granted, the pay and pension aren't the same as a specialized medical doctor, but it's enough to live very comfortably and the police pension is a definite perk.

  • #7
    If you have to ask your mom for “permission” to be a cop, you will be a liability on the streets and your stress levels will go through the roof at home. You think Mom will be happy
    when you come home and miss dinner for the 4th time
    this week because you got a call right before the end of your tour? (hint: it happens all the time)

    I say do what you want, but you need to be confident and realistic, especially in law enforcement.

    Comment


    • police_hopeful
      police_hopeful commented
      Editing a comment
      Looking back, I could have presented my situation in a better way. I do not need her permission to make a career change, and at the end of the day, she will support whatever I do. She was just looking out for me and didn't want me to put time into going into a career that *she* thinks I won't like because it'll consume my entire life. That's why I asked other officers on here if a healthy life outside of the job is possible.

  • #8
    Originally posted by police_hopeful View Post
    My Mom Says Joining LE Is Not a Good Fit for My Life (What do you think?)
    I think your mother will give your Background Investigator an ear full.

    Comment


    • shortyj
      shortyj commented
      Editing a comment
      Hahah was thinking the same thing

    • police_hopeful
      police_hopeful commented
      Editing a comment
      Lol. No, it's not like that. Ultimately, she will support my wishes. It's not that she thinks I'm incapable of being a good police officer, not at all.- She just thinks that I wouldn't like the job because I wouldn't have time to do anything else I like outside of LE. Reading these posts, I know that will not be the case.

  • #9
    My Mom (or the rest of my family) didn't want me to become a LEO either.

    This was after getting out of the Army. She did not want me to do that either but it was one of the best experiences of my life and made me who I am today.

    I have a B.S. in Medical Laboratory Technology. I worked in this field until I was 35.

    I'm now entering my 18th year in law enforcement. You've got a lot of soul searching. Don't be 40 yrs old and say 'I wish I had........(fill in the blank)

    As far as time goes, my ex is an MD. As an intern, he worked insane hours. I never saw him.

    There are a zillion types of law enforcement jobs to consider. CIA, FBI, Dept. of State, Treasury, Secret Service, as well as Rural, Suburban and City Police Depts. I suggest you do LOTS of research.

    Cut your Mom some slack. Her little girl is no longer a child and it will take some time for her to get used to the idea.
    That said, this is your life. They (your parents) made their choices and it's not fair if they're trying to re-live their lives through you.
    Good luck.
    Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

    Comment


    • police_hopeful
      police_hopeful commented
      Editing a comment
      You make a lot of good points. There isn't a time stamp for working within the biological sciences, but there is a time stamp for entering LE. I'm going to be doing a lot of thinking during my last semester of college. I'm happy that you've found your calling before it was too late!

      I hear the hours are insane as an MD as well. My mother thinks police work will be the same, but fortunately the more I ask around, the more I'm realizing that it is not.

      Thanks for the other suggestions! I've looked into the FBI before, but I would still need other LE experience before I can join. I haven't thought about the other organizations you've listed yet, but I will look into those. Much appreciated.

  • #10
    With a medical background... be a firefighter / paramedic.
    You can trust just about every officer you work with to risk their life to save yours, but don't ever leave your lunch in the breakroom refrigerator.

    Comment


    • police_hopeful
      police_hopeful commented
      Editing a comment
      I've thought about those somewhat. I think that doing police work would offer me much more diverse experiences, however. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

  • #11
    It does NOT have to take up 100% of your life if you are in a large enough Service that you do not have to be on-call / stand-by during non-scheduled hours. Sounds like your Mom either wants you to become a Doctor for the status of being the Mom-of-a-Doctor, or scared you are going to die on duty. Man-up, decide what YOU want to do, and do it - whatever that is.
    #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!

    Comment


    • police_hopeful
      police_hopeful commented
      Editing a comment
      That is great to hear. Thank you.

      "Sounds like your Mom either wants you to become a Doctor for the status of being the Mom-of-a-Doctor, or scared you are going to die on duty."

      I think you hit the nail on the head.

      "Man-up, decide what YOU want to do, and do it - whatever that is."

      I will. I've been researching this career path widely so that I am able to make the most informed decision I can. That's also why I wanted to get some opinions here. Thanks for providing yours!

  • #12
    I understand the difficulty in trying to juggle pursuing a career ambition and not seeming to be contrary to a parent's desire for a career choice. Remain respectful to your mom, but explain what you plan to do. In your post, you put emphasis on your desire to help people, which is of course noble. At the risk of sounding preachy, I believe you know that helping people comes in many forms. Usually officers help the public by enforcing the law on others, such as arresting a homeless person who is trespassing or stealing something, or a person who is caught speeding because they are late for work at a job where they are barely making a living anyway, but they have a warrant for their arrest. As you mentioned, there is a reason why so many people dislike the police because of the nature of our job despite the lower frequency of times we can make a positive impact for someone.

    As for the time off...if you didn't work any over time anywhere, and you worked a typical police work schedule, you will have more time off than you know what to do with. In my early years, I was going crazy on my second day off waiting to go back to work again.

    Comment


    • #13
      It’s your life and no one else’s. You know yourself better than anyone else does, so all in all it is your decision and yours alone. If in your heart you want to be a police officer by all means apply and become one. There is no fault in seeking advise from your parents for there is a wisdom that can be sought from them, but in the end it is your life and you are the one who has to live with the decisions you make.

      With that said being a police officer is mentally and physically challenging and requires a level of maturity, independence, critical and independent thought, common sense, rational skills, and responsibility that most other careers do not parallel. You have the awesome power and responsibility to take someone’s freedom away and worst case scenario their life. You have decisions to make where there is no person you can go to asking for advise. You will be in situations where you will have to decide whether discretion should be used or not. You will have to know how to communicate with complete strangers who look to you to fix their life. You will have to know when to show emotion and when not to. There will be situations you are in where you will have to peel back layers of an individual where you are practically doing some kind of Jedi mind trick on them. You will have to be able to work well with others as a team because your life depends on them as their life depends on you. Anyone can have an ID that says police officer, trooper, sheriff, and deputy, but not everyone could be a cop.

      Policing is shift work with rotating schedules for most. You will sometimes have to work long hours where you can literally fall asleep while standing up (the most I worked was about 42 hours straight). You will work most of your weekends and holidays and be required to come in on some of your days off. If you go Port Authority, they do a lot of overtime. You can be up and around 1600-2000 hours overtime for the year, but most is voluntary. The NYPD is much less overtime, maybe around 400-500 annually. New York City is tight with a buck and has overtime caps for the police department. Both departments pay well, but Port Authority much better.

      Yes, you can have a hobby and will have more than enough time for hobbies. I actually encourage you to have a hobby or activities that you would enjoy when being a cop. It is good to have a life outside the police department. If not, you will go nuts. Do not let the police department be your life, but rather a part of who you are.
      Last edited by Lawdog138; 01-06-2018, 09:09 AM.

      Comment


      • #14
        I had a Deputy that worked for me back in the 90's. He had gone to medical school at USC, and was in his last year of residency..His life long dream was to be a LA County Deputy Sheriff.. Being a doctor was his parents wish, not his.....He quit the medical profession and became a Deputy Sheriff doing what he wanted to do, not what his parents wanted him to do....
        Retired LASD

        Comment


        • #15
          First thing I will tell you is to drop the lofty ambitions (I only feel good helping others, I want to save the world, etc) and realize that we are really a sponge that cleans up the publics problems. Whether criminal or civil we are expected to be there and absorb whatever they dump on us and smile while doing it.

          To be blunt, unless your mo recognizes that you are mentally or physically weak or otherwise would be a liability to your coworkers, it's time to grow up and do what you want with life and not what your family wants. Mine didn't want me to go into police work and yet here I am over a decade later and still loving the job.

          You also need to recognize that you will make sacrifices in this job, specifically free time, financially and socially. If you get burned out on patrol you can't just open your own officer like you could as an MD who burned out in the ER. I also want you to recognize that since this became and interest within the last year you need to realize that this may not turn out to be what you think it is. The academy (good ones) will be paramilitary and will quickly make you realize you're not special or unique.

          I would slow down and talk to more police, specifically those at the PD's you intend to apply to. I also encourage you to do some ride alongs with an open mind to see if you still like the job. Like others, I'm concerned that you were driven to this website because of mommy. What happens when your boss comes to you and says "hey man, we need a special detail tomorrow night working robbery suppression. Plain clothes, 1900-0400. You good?" Are you going to ask "well, mom doesn't like me doing dangerous things, I should call her and if she doesn't like it maybe officer.com will help." An exaggeration I know but you get my point. Perception is reality

          Comment

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