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  • Being accepted into the "brotherhood" of police officers

    So im a new hire officer, me and like 4 other guys. And its a really small department. 20 officers. And the police chief gave us a speech on, dont be a know it all, dont argue with an experienced officer, dont join a conversaion your not invited in, and i totally understand that you need to work your way up, and show that you deserve to be there. When we want to welcome you, you'll know when its your time, he said. After we got our address from the chief, about 1/2 of the guys came up to us and were like, dont take that personally, we'll have your back, and basicly welcomed us to "the family" of this very small young department. They were very friendly. One even invited us to a BBQ he's having at his house this weekend. Without the chief, administration, or day time veteran officers knowing. Im surethe chief wouldnt care, but we didnt see it coming.

    This kinda got me thinking...

    My question is, if an officer does a great job and is good at his/her work how long does it usually take for them to be accepted into the "family" or "brotherhood" of his/her fellow co-workers. What about huge agencies?

  • #2
    That depends on alot of things. The two biggies are the new officer's attitude and demeanor and (while some might disagree with this one) the "generation" of the veteran officer.

    First, attitude and demeanor. The biggest complaint that veteran officers have about new pups is the "know it all" attitude. Alot of vets don't like a new guy coming in and assuming that they are automatically of equal stature to the older guys...especially someone without street experience. This is a job where you could, potentially, be placing your life into the hands of your fellow officers. That takes alot of trust, and it's trust the must be earned. When it comes down to it, we all hope that the officer who's coming to back us up will do what they're supposed to, but any experienced street cop will tell you that he or she knows which officers to trust and which they don't.

    The second, I believe, is a generational issue. I suppose I might get some flack from this, but (in my experience) the older the cop, the more standoffish he will be with new officers. Some older officers even still believe that a new officer must "prove themselves" before accepting them can even be considered. I know of older officers who wouldn't hesitate to stand back and watch the "new guy" struggle in a fight and not help, just so they can judge how well they handle themselves...something that I, personally, don't agree with.

    And, of course, all departments are different. Some are more like families and readily accept new officers into their ranks. Others are like exclusive clubs, where new officers have to be "initiated" in some form or other. And, there are the departments that are political or "just jobs," where there's little socilization.

    So, in the end, there's not really any time period after which a new officers is automatically accepted.
    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
    -Friedrich Nietzsche

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    • #3
      Being a newbie,I will chime in

      Some will like you and some won't period and forever. Worry about the ones that like you and to hell with the ones that don't accept you.

      You are there to do a job. I might hate you with a passion but will back you up in heart beat if I have too.

      You will know soon enough who you fit in with
      Leave Space Empty

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
        I know of older officers who wouldn't hesitate to stand back and watch the "new guy" struggle in a fight and not help, just so they can judge how well they handle themselves...something that I, personally, don't agree with.
        That's sick! Thank God I've never seen or heard of such a thing occurring on my Dept. If it did the "veteran" would be (I hope) shunned. That said, the other info/advice is good and I generally agree. I'd add that every officer works differently than every other officer in various ways. Personalities are different and "cliques" do form among officers who find they have things in common. Keep your eyes open, watch, listen and learn. Eventually, you'll come to understand who has the qualities which you most want to emulate. Most officers have good traits and lesser features, so pick the best to use and put your own "spin" on those traits which enable you to do the best job possible. Eventually, other officers will recognize your qualities and you'll be accepted, but don't push it. Let it happen on it's own. While on probation, the advice we give is that you come to work, do your job and go home. We don't encourage newbies to work OT, hang around HQ on their days off or do much socializing while their still on probation. Things will work out. Good luck.
        "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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        • #5
          You know I think it's great that the Officers have gone ahead and invited you in, but to some degree, those rules still exist. Go to the get together, but you're still low on that totem pole. They invited you to get to know you outside the job, but that's also an indication of how you'll be ON the job...so in a way you do need to remember what the Chief said...LOL...do NOT be a know it all and don't argue with the vets. Go to the party...sit back...see all the personalities you're working with...listen to the war stories or funny things that have happened...take advice where you get it, BUT and this is a big but...keep an open mind...that advice might be tainted with the Officers bad experience...listen to what others say, but don't follow blindly or take their words as gospel. Lastly, give everybody a chance if you want them to give you one.

          To answer the second part...all PDs and whatnot are different, but I don't know that human nature is really all that different no matter where you are. Now. I need some coffee...
          sigpic

          I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GPOC View Post

            Some will like you and some won't period and forever.

            So true, you can't please everyone. You will go nuts if you try.

            I see guys on my force who have been working together for 15+ years and can't stand each other but when it comes to work they do what they have to for everyone safety.

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            • #7
              A far as I'm concerned, you had the rocks to do the job, so you're a step up from other folks already. That is, you've already shown you had the right stuff to get hired. But that's all.

              That said...

              BE HUMBLE. LEARN. LISTEN. WATCH. Understand you are at a kindergarten level of knowledge and accept that. You will be given room to grow, to screw up and to make mistakes - short of the jaws of disaster - from which your FTOs and senior officers will pull you if you venture too far.

              AND ASK QUESTIONS. LOTS OF QUESTIONS. ANYTHING THAT COMES TO MIND. There are no stupid questions - only stupid answers. Your job is to ask them only - not to answer them unless your FTO asks.

              Again, overall, BE HUMBLE and BE MODEST. But know you are indeed admired simply for being of a caliber good enough to be appointed.
              The All New
              2013
              BBQ and Goldfish Pond Club
              Sully - IAM Rand - JasperST - L1 - The Tick - EmmaPeel - Columbus - LA Dep - SgtSlaughter - OneAdam12 - Retired96 - Iowa #1603
              - M1Garand

              (any BBQ and Goldfish Pond member may nominate another user for membership but just remember ..... this ain't no weenie roast!)



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              • #8
                You'll know when your in, somebody will set you on fire, steal your car, call your wife and tell her you were flirting with the ugly cashier a the local stop and rob. You'll have to take her to the station and show her the girl and you'll both have a laugh. Not that it has ever happened to me. Somebody will cross lace your boots so they are tied together, tape your locker lock with duct tape, put a live mouse in your mail box, pepperspray you car door handle, get the IT to lock you out of the computer knowing you work midnights and it will take days to get back in, put finger print powder on you locker lock, you car door handle, the toilet seat, anything that is important to you.

                Anyway, you'll know.
                It takes a Wolf.......

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                • #9
                  Brotherhood of Police Officers

                  Originally posted by 1042 Trooper View Post
                  A far as I'm concerned, you had the rocks to do the job, so you're a step up from other folks already. That is, you've already shown you had the right stuff to get hired. But that's all.

                  That said...

                  BE HUMBLE. LEARN. LISTEN. WATCH. Understand you are at a kindergarten level of knowledge and accept that. You will be given room to grow, to screw up and to make mistakes - short of the jaws of disaster - from which your FTOs and senior officers will pull you if you venture too far.

                  AND ASK QUESTIONS. LOTS OF QUESTIONS. ANYTHING THAT COMES TO MIND. There are no stupid questions - only stupid answers. Your job is to ask them only - not to answer them unless your FTO asks.

                  Again, overall, BE HUMBLE and BE MODEST. But know you are indeed admired simply for being of a caliber good enough to be appointed.
                  All I can really do is second the advice posted above from a fellow retired Officer. It's great advice. Let me welcome you to the Brotherhood. That includes our female colleagues as well. I can still recall the influence some of my Sergeants and Senior Officers had on me forty years ago. (Wow, it's been that long). They passed on wisdom and knowledge that I , in turn, was privileged to pass on to new Officers. Every day you report for duty is a new learning experience. Sure, you'll have some routine, even dull shifts. You'll also spend nights running from one call to the other. Ask questions, listen, observe, absorb. Welcome aboard. !!

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                  • #10
                    To the OP, I was also just recently hired by a very small department but have been lucky enough to have one of the "family" style departments where everyone has been very friendly and open to me so far.

                    I just spent my time before really getting into it getting to know the officers and asking a lot of questions about things that they have encountered in their past.

                    I believe it has been posted several times here on the forums and I really took it to heart as it comes to my training,

                    "God gave you two ears and one mouth"
                    The above comments reflect the personal, off-the-record, unofficial opinions of the individual posting them only, and in no way, shape, or form should be taken to indicate any particular opinion, policy, or belief by the poster's or any other agency, governmental entity, organization, or corporation. Thank you and have a nice day.

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                    • #11
                      The only difference between many police departments and high shool is that high school was only 4 years (for most cops). Just be yourself and don't over do it trying to impress your new peers to be "accepted".

                      You'll learn soon enough who's in which clique and who's worth emulating and who's not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                        Originally posted by Bing_oh
                        I know of older officers who wouldn't hesitate to stand back and watch the "new guy" struggle in a fight and not help, just so they can judge how well they handle themselves...something that I, personally, don't agree with.
                        That's sick! Thank God I've never seen or heard of such a thing occurring on my Dept. If it did the "veteran" would be (I hope) shunned.
                        I agree, and it's not something that I've seen personally. From what I've heard, it was an older "tradition" that has (fortunately) gone by the wayside in my area. When I heard about it, I made it clear that, if I were the officer involved in the fight, there would be two people who got the crap beat outta them when the fight was over...the original badguy and the officer who decided to sit back and watch rather than jumping in.
                        "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
                        -Friedrich Nietzsche

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Irishluck31 View Post
                          You'll know when your in, somebody will set you on fire, steal your car, call your wife and tell her you were flirting with the ugly cashier a the local stop and rob. You'll have to take her to the station and show her the girl and you'll both have a laugh. Not that it has ever happened to me. Somebody will cross lace your boots so they are tied together, tape your locker lock with duct tape, put a live mouse in your mail box, pepperspray you car door handle, get the IT to lock you out of the computer knowing you work midnights and it will take days to get back in, put finger print powder on you locker lock, you car door handle, the toilet seat, anything that is important to you.

                          Anyway, you'll know.
                          Here is an addition to the list, never, ever, get out of your unit on a call with other officers present and leave the unit unlocked, if its summer, they will turn the heat on full blast, then lock the doors, of course its always a good idea regardless to lock your unit if you get out, period, HAVE FUN.
                          law dog

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