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  • Are those close to you supportive of your career?

    Hello,

    I'm curious as to whether or not those close to you are supportive of your career as a law enforcement officer? I'm in a bad position right now (family wise) that kind of has me seeking advice or opinions from those already in the career field.

    I've been interested in becoming a State Trooper since the age of 10. I come from a family and area that is highly supportive of the military and law enforcement. The issue is that my family members aren't supportive of my choice to become a police officer. They have been aware that becoming an LEO is something I was always interested in, but they apparently never suspected it was something I was actually going to pursue.

    I'm 3 semesters from graduating with my degree in business and computer systems. I'm also a reservist for the military and I work on computer and network systems. Computers have also been a long time interest of mine but I'm more interested in a career where I'm not stuck in the office all day or in one position. This is a large determining factor in deciding to become a State Trooper -- I like to be on the move, learn from and experience new things.

    I'm in the recruitment process at the moment and my chances are looking good. I've passed the entrance exam and exceeded standards on the physical. My family has come to the point of realizing that this is something I'm serious about and it's putting a strain on me. While my father accepts what I've decided to pursue, my mother has practically pleaded with me not to become a police officer (reason being: obvious dangers of the job). I'm not sure what communication took place, but apparently she has my girlfriend of 5 years in on this and she is also asking me to seriously reconsider what I'm about to get into.

    I suspect most of the answers to this thread are going to tell me to do what I want given I'm an adult... I understand that. I've just never been put into a position like this before. I'm pretty close with my immediate family members since the rest of our family is distant. Every... single.... conversation now with my parents or girlfriend turn into a discussion about why I shouldn't become a police officer. I honestly feel like I'd be in more danger on an overseas deployment despite not doing anything combat related than I would a police officer here in the states (specifically my area).

    Do any of you officers have any insight to a situation like this? Are your close family members supportive of your decision to be a police officer? Does it put any kind of strain on your relation? I'd like to hear your opinion.

    I've been patiently waiting to get into the recruitment process and I can't see a better time then to make a move than now. I almost have my degree, the agency I want to get picked up by is hiring, the demand for officers is high, i'm in what I consider my peak of physical fitness and I can't put this off any longer.... I'm getting old now (23) and I need to make a move into a proper career.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Three Delta; 06-19-2020, 01:10 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Three Delta View Post
    Hello,

    I'm curious as to whether or not those close to you are supportive of your career as a law enforcement officer? I'm in a bad position right now (family wise) that kind of has me seeking advice or opinions from those already in the career field.

    I've been interested in becoming a State Trooper since the age of 10. I come from a family and area that is highly supportive of the military and law enforcement. The issue is that my family members aren't supportive of my choice to become a police officer. They have been aware that becoming an LEO is something I was always interested in, but they apparently never suspected it was something I was actually going to pursue.

    I'm 3 semesters from graduating with my degree in business and computer systems. I'm also a reservist for the military and I work on computer and network systems. Computers have also been a long time interest of mine but I'm more interested in a career where I'm not stuck in the office all day or in one position. This is a large determining factor in deciding to become a State Trooper -- I like to be on the move, learn from and experience new things.

    I'm in the recruitment process at the moment and my chances are looking good. I've passed the entrance exam and exceeded standards on the physical. My family has come to the point of realizing that this is something I'm serious about and it's putting a strain on me. While my father accepts what I've decided to pursue, my mother has practically pleaded with me not to become a police officer (reason being: obvious dangers of the job). I'm not sure what communication took place, but apparently she has my girlfriend of 5 years in on this and she is also asking me to seriously reconsider what I'm about to get into.

    I suspect most of the answers to this thread are going to tell me to do what I want given I'm an adult... I understand that. I've just never been put into a position like this before. I'm pretty close with my immediate family members since the rest of our family is distant. Every... single.... conversation now with my parents or girlfriend turn into a discussion about why I shouldn't become a police officer. I honestly feel like I'd be in more danger on an overseas deployment despite not doing anything combat related than I would a police officer here in the states (specifically my area).

    Do any of you officers have any insight to a situation like this? Are your close family members supportive of your decision to be a police officer? Does it put any kind of strain on your relation? I'd like to hear your opinion.

    I've been patiently waiting to get into the recruitment process and I can't see a better time then to make a move than now. I almost have my degree, the agency I want to get picked up by is hiring, the demand for officers is high, i'm in what I consider my peak of physical fitness and I can't put this off any longer.... I'm getting old now (23) and I need to make a move into a proper career.

    Thank you.


    If they weren't supportive of my career.................they wouldn't be close to me


    Originally posted by Three Delta View Post
    ... I'm getting old now (23) and I need to make a move into a proper career.

    Thank you.
    Bull Crap

    THAT is an age where many agencies will pass on you because you don't have enough life experience



    Read this thread

    https://forum.officer.com/forum/publ...e2#post6888869
    Last edited by Iowa #1603; 06-19-2020, 01:21 PM.
    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


    • #3
      You should accept some realities of LE...

      Your family is unlikely to ever REALLY understand what you do. You can explain the generalities of the job, but nobody who hasn't DONE it will ever really know what it's like. They'll understand the theory, but not the reality.

      Your parent will always be worried about you to some degree. They're parents...it's what they do. Watching the news today doesn't help...

      This job is not particularly good on relationships and families. Missing holidays, birthdays, weddings, various family functions, etc. is simply part of the job. Unusual shifts are part of the job. High stress and changes in viewpoints are part of the job. There's a reason why LEO's have such a high divorce rate.

      You will lose friends when you become an LEO. Some will just drift away. Some will abruptly stop talking to you. It's not unusual for LEO's to find that they seem to have less in common with their non-LEO friends as time goes on.

      This is a BAD time in LE. I've been in the game for 20 years, I've seen various political administrations on all levels, I've seen good financial times and faced layoffs, I've seen the public love us and hate us...none of it comes close to where this country is today. I encourage you to SERIOUSLY consider the profession you're looking at, weigh the benefits vs. the risks WITHOUT EMOTION. Consider that there are many veteran LEO's who are considering how quickly they can pull the cord and get out and what that means.

      I'm not intending to be Negative Nancy, but I believe that people should go into this profession without the rose-colored glasses and with their eyes wide open.
      "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


      • #4
        Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
        If they weren't supportive of my career.................they wouldn't be close to me
        Yeah... unfortunately, it is what it is.

        Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
        Bull Crap

        THAT is an age where many agencies will pass on you because you don't have enough life experience
        This was initially a concern of mine. Historically, the agency I'm interested in has not typically hired those under the age of 30~. Recently, they (as well as surrounding agencies) have been picking up individuals in their early 20's. I would assume this is due to the shortage of police officers as I can't see any other reason as to why that would be. Agencies in this area were badly hurting to find officers prior to the recent protests/riots. Officer retention has been a very large issue for these agencies over the past few years.

        I must agree though that I'm surprised by these agencies hiring younger officers given the liability involved.


        Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
        You should accept some realities of LE...

        Your family is unlikely to ever REALLY understand what you do. You can explain the generalities of the job, but nobody who hasn't DONE it will ever really know what it's like. They'll understand the theory, but not the reality.

        Your parent will always be worried about you to some degree. They're parents...it's what they do. Watching the news today doesn't help...

        This job is not particularly good on relationships and families. Missing holidays, birthdays, weddings, various family functions, etc. is simply part of the job. Unusual shifts are part of the job. High stress and changes in viewpoints are part of the job. There's a reason why LEO's have such a high divorce rate.

        You will lose friends when you become an LEO. Some will just drift away. Some will abruptly stop talking to you. It's not unusual for LEO's to find that they seem to have less in common with their non-LEO friends as time goes on.

        This is a BAD time in LE. I've been in the game for 20 years, I've seen various political administrations on all levels, I've seen good financial times and faced layoffs, I've seen the public love us and hate us...none of it comes close to where this country is today. I encourage you to SERIOUSLY consider the profession you're looking at, weigh the benefits vs. the risks WITHOUT EMOTION. Consider that there are many veteran LEO's who are considering how quickly they can pull the cord and get out and what that means.

        I'm not intending to be Negative Nancy, but I believe that people should go into this profession without the rose-colored glasses and with their eyes wide open.

        These are valid points -- many of which I took into consideration given I have 2 stable jobs in a field that isn't going anywhere. Law enforcement is a whole different field in contrast to the work environment I'm currently in. I've been looking into the realities of the field ever since I decided this was really something I was going to try to pursue. I'm especially interested in the view points and opinions of those who actually work the job so I appreciate it.
        Last edited by Three Delta; 06-19-2020, 02:21 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Three Delta View Post

          Yeah... unfortunately, it is what it is.

          .
          I am not sure you understood my response......................

          NOBODY who didn't support my choice of a career was going to be CLOSE to me.

          That included an ex girlfriend.....she became an ex girlfriend because she didn't agree with me being a cop

          That included a cousin who chose a different area of the criminal justice system to avail himself

          AND others

          My mother wasn't happy with my career but came around when she realized that I was going to do it
          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


          • #6
            I grew up with parents who weren't into firearms my dad having been robbed at gun point a few times and highjacked as a truck driver. Both of them from urban high crime areas. In college I started working at an indoor shooting range and firearms dealer. I got a carry permit while working there (one of those counties in CA where it's actually possible). Parents weren't on board. Eventually they both bought hand guns from me. Lost a GF over it (who grew up in a rural area shooting black powder with her family, seems hypocritical to me).

            A couple years latert I started riding motorcycles when I was AD military. EVERYONE in my family pretty much asked for about the first 3 years I was riding if I was "still doing that". They all had bad experiences themselves or their siblings/SOs. Eventually they stopped asking. My mom actually likes motos now but she doesn't want to ride. She did tell me if I had a decently comfortable tourer she would ride with me (but I don't). After about three years people realized that it was something I would do for a long time. They don't really ask much anymore. Now as a side gig I teach motorcycle safety classes through the state safety program.

            When I originally got into LE a lot of people I knew thought it was a bad idea. I lost friends etc. I got out for a while but a few years back I jumped back in as a Fed. My wife supports me. She much prefers what I do now compared to when I was a city police officer.

            As others have pointed out, at first some people will discourage you from doing something they either don't like or feel you aren't a fit for. Listen to what they have to say but make the right choice for you. Try to understand what their hangup is. For me and motos, I am not the idiot or maniac that my relatives were so their concerns about me were just their own projections. I've been riding for 16 years. I don't know that any of them ever did it for more than a year or two while having multiple mishaps while doing so.

            Understand yes you are young to be working in LE. I don't think agencies see you as a bigger liability than a candidate who is a few years older at least not appreciably so. It's just that literally you areeare unlikely to have anywhere near the life experience you will have by say the time you are 30. The way it's going maybe you won't have to respond to too many non-criminal calls for service but when you do, what you are taught in an academy can only help you so much. Life experience gives you ways to relate to random people you will encounter and without it, you will be thinking inside your head how do I help this person/situation/etc.

            I remember as a police officer being on a call for a fatal traffic collision. GF/wife of deceased asked another officer on scene if her guy was going to be OK. This after the fire department had just finished extinguishing his dead body (moto vs suv collision where gas tank exploded and he caught fire). She was in shock. Obviously dude was dead. The officer handled it well. I wouldn't have had any idea how to respond to that in those days. Now that I'm older I could do ok.

            My last comment is why State Trooper? Not that that department isn't worth working for but I am always a little interested in why a potential candidate would be so focused on one agency only. Do you think you can/will get to use your computer related skill set there? And why is retention such a problem in your area?

            Comment


            • #7

              Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post

              I am not sure you understood my response......................

              NOBODY who didn't support my choice of a career was going to be CLOSE to me.

              That included an ex girlfriend.....she became an ex girlfriend because she didn't agree with me being a cop

              That included a cousin who chose a different area of the criminal justice system to avail himself

              AND others

              My mother wasn't happy with my career but came around when she realized that I was going to do it
              You are correct. I did misinterpret what you had meant. I appreciate the clarification.

              Originally posted by 9L81 View Post
              I grew up with parents who weren't into firearms my dad having been robbed at gun point a few times and highjacked as a truck driver. Both of them from urban high crime areas. In college I started working at an indoor shooting range and firearms dealer. I got a carry permit while working there (one of those counties in CA where it's actually possible). Parents weren't on board. Eventually they both bought hand guns from me. Lost a GF over it (who grew up in a rural area shooting black powder with her family, seems hypocritical to me).

              A couple years latert I started riding motorcycles when I was AD military. EVERYONE in my family pretty much asked for about the first 3 years I was riding if I was "still doing that". They all had bad experiences themselves or their siblings/SOs. Eventually they stopped asking. My mom actually likes motos now but she doesn't want to ride. She did tell me if I had a decently comfortable tourer she would ride with me (but I don't). After about three years people realized that it was something I would do for a long time. They don't really ask much anymore. Now as a side gig I teach motorcycle safety classes through the state safety program.

              When I originally got into LE a lot of people I knew thought it was a bad idea. I lost friends etc. I got out for a while but a few years back I jumped back in as a Fed. My wife supports me. She much prefers what I do now compared to when I was a city police officer.

              As others have pointed out, at first some people will discourage you from doing something they either don't like or feel you aren't a fit for. Listen to what they have to say but make the right choice for you. Try to understand what their hangup is. For me and motos, I am not the idiot or maniac that my relatives were so their concerns about me were just their own projections. I've been riding for 16 years. I don't know that any of them ever did it for more than a year or two while having multiple mishaps while doing so.

              Understand yes you are young to be working in LE. I don't think agencies see you as a bigger liability than a candidate who is a few years older at least not appreciably so. It's just that literally you areeare unlikely to have anywhere near the life experience you will have by say the time you are 30. The way it's going maybe you won't have to respond to too many non-criminal calls for service but when you do, what you are taught in an academy can only help you so much. Life experience gives you ways to relate to random people you will encounter and without it, you will be thinking inside your head how do I help this person/situation/etc.

              I remember as a police officer being on a call for a fatal traffic collision. GF/wife of deceased asked another officer on scene if her guy was going to be OK. This after the fire department had just finished extinguishing his dead body (moto vs suv collision where gas tank exploded and he caught fire). She was in shock. Obviously dude was dead. The officer handled it well. I wouldn't have had any idea how to respond to that in those days. Now that I'm older I could do ok.

              My last comment is why State Trooper? Not that that department isn't worth working for but I am always a little interested in why a potential candidate would be so focused on one agency only. Do you think you can/will get to use your computer related skill set there? And why is retention such a problem in your area?
              Thank you for the personal insight. If you don't mind me asking, did you serve as an MP during your time in the military? If so, was it an influencing factor in your decision to become a law enforcement officer in the civilian world?

              I am interested in pursuing state police due to my greater interest in traffic enforcement versus general patrol and calls for domestics. I'm not oblivious however to the fact that general police work is the foundation of all police positions regardless of agency or assignment. I was informed that the state agency I'm applying for previously did not like to hire off the streets as they wanted Troopers who were experienced with more general police work as it was essentially the foundation of the job.

              I've completed a handful of ridealongs with local police departments, the sheriff's department and the state police. What was quite alarming to me was how many police officers and sheriff's deputies I rode along with discouraged me from joining their agency once I had revealed I was interested in becoming a police officer. Many had highly recommended the state police or another line of work completely.

              It appears that poor pay ($15.00/hr - $16.00/hr), a lack of benefits, old equipment and poor leadership is the cause of officers leaving. I have heard the exact information from not only the officers I rode along with, but also a couple of officers I know personally in addition to people in my unit who have ties to law enforcement. The general consensus seems to be that the state police offers higher pay, better benefits, better training, better equipment all accompanied with better leadership and a work environment where officers are held to a higher standard.

              I originally wanted to dismiss the information provided to me via word of mouth given that you only hear about negative experiences. Upon speaking to various officers and deputies however, I simply can't. I believe it would be in my best interest to pursue a position with the state police.

              The state police also offer a starting salary which is much higher than what I currently make. If I were to attain a position in a police department or sheriff's department, I would take a significant pay cut. I'm not in this for the money. If I were, I would stick with my current field and job. The compensation however that is being offered by the cities and county is simply too low for the increasing cost of living.

              With all this being said, I know I'm about to walk into an uphill battle given my age and lack of life experience. I'm hoping that my references (employers, educational, personal and military) can at least attest to my willingness to learn new things and take on new challenges. That is honestly all that I have at this point in my life that I can use to try and secure this position. It isn't much... I'm not going to argue there.
              Last edited by Three Delta; 06-19-2020, 06:05 PM.

              Comment


              • 9L81
                9L81 commented
                Editing a comment
                Wow, those are some low wages. I've been in the bay area so long that even the departments that pay poorly pay 6 figures so I lose touch with other realities in the country. As a Fed I don't do well compared to the locals but in most of the country federal gigs pay better than the local wages.

                When AD no I was not a police officer. I was interested in becoming a pilot since I was a little kid. That's why I went in but I was married to my ex at the time and quickly realized that what I assumed would be a 20 year career AD was never going to work if I wanted to stay married. I didnt know that I could have gone to fly with a guard or reserve unit after a while or that I could have even started there. Anyway my backup if it didn't work out (which I was not sure about since I wasn't sure if my medical would be a problem) was always to become an investigator. I started as a local because to become a DA investigator that's how it's done. And I was under the impression that I would have to move a lot of I became a federal criminal investigator. My wife's job is pretty much only available in about 4 places in the country so I didn't want the possibility of moving all around.

                As a local I experienced several medical issues most of which I was unaware of at the time. I ended up leaving that world and going back to school to get my masters. Had the GI Bill to help with that. A few years after quitting my LEO job I started to get a handle on the health issues. A few years later I got to the point where I was controlling them not the other way around. By then I made several contacts in Fed LE and started looking around for ways to do the job locally. I realized that when you ask to work in the bay area, Fed agencies are unlikely to send you somewhere else because it is super hard to recruit here. Just too damned expensive. If you aren't from here or if you don't have a very well paid spouse it just doesn't work. So I started applying to local positions and eventually got in with my agency.

            • #8
              Family supports it. My sibling is also a cop (as well as multiple cousins), but of course there is going to be a bit of nervousness from your family because of the nature of the job.

              Given what is going on in this country, your age, and the uncertain future the career faces I would wait a while before trying to jump in feet first. Ultimately it is your life and you have to live it how you want it, cliche sure, but that's how it gets distilled down. I wouldn't just apply for one agency though, you might be disappointed by the results doing that.

              Comment

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