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Sounds corny, but have you been able to help people?

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  • Sounds corny, but have you been able to help people?

    I'm a senior in college and I'm looking forward to getting into law enforcement. However, I find that in my relatively short time on earth I've become somewhat cynical about people. I don't trust most people as much as I used to, and I've come to expect the negative more than the positive.

    My hope is that despite all of the negative aspects of law enforcement, there will be some positives as well. Provided I have the desire to do so, will I actually have the chance to help people? I've been told I should look into fire/ems if that's what I want to do, but I still have the desire/calling to put myself between decent people and the "bad guys".

    I guess my question is: Have there been times when you think your actions made a positive difference for someone? I realize that thanks are few and far between, but I think I would be happy just knowing for myself that I made some sort of difference. That's very important to me, I don't think I could have a job where I didn't feel that way.

    Sorry about the long post. Thanks.

  • #2
    You should be skeptical of people and not trust everyone. I can't speak for everyone but I know I've made a difference in peoples lives whether it's for the good or bad, who knows? You can help people in fire/ems too and probably get a few more thanks than you would as an LEO if that's what you want. If you're getting into the law enforcement profession for praise or constant thanks you're going to be disappointed.
    Now for all these "negative aspects" you refer to, I think there are negative things in just about any profession. It's how you approach it, if you sign on and have a negative attitude then you'll be a negative cop. Approach it with an open mind and handle each day different, because each day will be different, and go from there. Good luck.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

    "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

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    • #3
      Everybody loves a fireman and everybody hates a cop, but which one do they call when the you know what hits the fan. You will be loved as a fireman and help people, but we help people every day too. We are very rarely thanked for it, but we do in some little way help people every day. From the stolen car we recover to arresting the guy who has beaten his wife ten times already we make society better on a daily basis. Just dont come into law enforcement thinking its a TV show where you are going to be "rescuing" people from evil gangs, saving people by forcing them to kick drugs, arresting the serial murderer/rapist before they can strike again, etc all in the same shift.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it. It sounds like I'd be pretty happy. I think I would be more than content to know that I gave an accident victim someone to turn to, or helped a domestic abuse victim have a least one night without fear. If that's something I can do, then I think I'll be very happy in law enforcement. Which is good, because it's been a very strong calling for me for a long time.

        I've been getting the negative pounded into my head so much the last four years, that it's nice to think about the positives every once in a while too.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Fuzz
          Everybody loves a fireman and everybody hates a cop, but which one do they call when the you know what hits the fan. You will be loved as a fireman and help people, but we help people every day too. We are very rarely thanked for it, but we do in some little way help people every day. From the stolen car we recover to arresting the guy who has beaten his wife ten times already we make society better on a daily basis. Just dont come into law enforcement thinking its a TV show where you are going to be "rescuing" people from evil gangs, saving people by forcing them to kick drugs, arresting the serial murderer/rapist before they can strike again, etc all in the same shift.
          What do you mean? Cops really don't track down the bad guys and get them convicted in less than 60 miutes?
          "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

          "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

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          • #6
            Helping People

            The late Jack Webb, in his persona as Sgt. Joe Friday, said, "You walk the beat, and you pick up the pieces". I spent a total of thirty eight years in the profession, and still wonder at the impact, if any ,I made. As one of the previous posters noted, you don't enter this profession looking for praise. You sure as the dickens don't do it for the money either. Still, there are some moments when you'll feel good about what you do. They may be few and far between, but you'll know them when they're there, and believe me, they're well worth it.

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            • #7
              In this job, you actually help many people. Sometimes you help by changing an old woman's tire on the side of the road or finding a missing person. Other times you help people by arresting them. I have had three people that I arrested run into me later on and thank me saying that I helped turn them around. It rarely happens, but when it does, it feels good. You just have to remember that most of the time, you won't be thanked for what you do. You just have to know within yourself that you've done something to make a little difference.

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              • #8
                I assist motorists all the time and knowing you were able to help them get home safe and sound is a great feeling. I have changed a few tires and made gas runs a few times as well.

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                • #9
                  Every time I arrest someone, I am helping the community. It is also helping the suspect, because he might realize he is screwing up his life and needs to get right. If I make a case that sends someone to state prison, it really helps the community, because it saves them from the dozens of crimes that the crook would commit if he was loose.
                  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

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ateamer
                    Every time I arrest someone, I am helping the community. It is also helping the suspect, because he might realize he is screwing up his life and needs to get right. If I make a case that sends someone to state prison, it really helps the community, because it saves them from the dozens of crimes that the crook would commit if he was loose.
                    Agree 100 % on the first one- if you get the second one too every now and then, it's a bonus.
                    If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

                    ---Jack Handey

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                    • #11
                      I've had prisoners thank me upon arrival at the jail. Every night I get to help someone. Whether it is for the lady that calls in about a prowler and you just make her feel safer by driving by her house. Or by telling someone they have a tail light out. There is always someone that you can make feel better.

                      A lot of people don't like us but call us all the time. For instance just last week I responded to a 911 hang up call and while enroute got information that the lady's boyfriend backed into her with his car and took off. I got there the same time EMS did and my partner and I identified ourselves. She said "I don't need the cop's. I hate the cop's!" I responded "you call us all the time". She got really ****ed but she's nutz. I'm sure we'll be back again within the month.

                      If you want to do good and can handle not always getting the recognition you deserve then being a Cop is a good job for you.
                      The views I share are my own, and do not represent the opinions of my employing agency.

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                      • #12
                        I know because of certain actions I have personally saved lives before.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for all of the replies, I think I'll be pretty happy overall.

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                          • #14
                            I'm not a cop yet, and this may sound very corny, but as a citizen I would say that you guys simply showing up for work is not only helping me but everyone else in the community as well. One of the reasons I am going into this profession is because I will know that just putting on my uniform and going to work is making a difference, even if I don't take one call or make one stop all day.

                            See I told you, corny.

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                            • #15
                              I'm a senior in college and I'm looking forward to getting into law enforcement. However, I find that in my relatively short time on earth I've become somewhat cynical about people. I don't trust most people as much as I used to, and I've come to expect the negative more than the positive.
                              [/I]
                              That is a good thing, you should always expect the unexpected. You should be able to look at a situation and see all the angles.

                              My hope is that despite all of the negative aspects of law enforcement, there will be some positives as well. Provided I have the desire to do so, will I actually have the chance to help people? I've been told I should look into fire/ems if that's what I want to do, but I still have the desire/calling to put myself between decent people and the "bad guys".
                              This question has a two part answer: yes you will be able to help a person here and there, BUT for the most part you are helping people/society as a whole. You maybe locking up a sh1thead for selling drugs, or lock up a 30 year old soccer mom with no record that just got into an accident and was drunk. Now locking up the drug dealer is cool, locking up the soccer mom could make you feel like crap because of the penalties she will be facing because maybe she just had a horrible night and separated from her husband. You have to make the tough decisions and think of the big picture.

                              I guess my question is: Have there been times when you think your actions made a positive difference for someone? I realize that thanks are few and far between, but I think I would be happy just knowing for myself that I made some sort of difference. That's very important to me, I don't think I could have a job where I didn't feel that way.
                              So far I have never got a thanks from someone I have just locked up. But I have got a thanks from a citizen for locking someone up. As far as thankyou's when I get a chance to do traffic enforcment, I do get them, you just have to be fair and professional.

                              Sorry about the long post. Thanks.
                              No problem, good luck. You are welcome.

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