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Quick Question: When is a rookie no longer a "rookie?"

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  • Quick Question: When is a rookie no longer a "rookie?"

    As it says. How much actual field/patrol experience in a major city police department would it take before an academy graduate is no longer considered a rookie, both officially and (perhaps more importantly) by his fellow officers? Not to say that he/she "knows it all"; I'm sure that you're still learning new things decades into your career; but at what point (approximately) does someone go from the "does he know what he's about?" phase to, "he's been here long enough for me to trust his judgment" (or words to that effect)?

  • #2
    In my opinion a new hire needs about a year of closely supervised service, accompanied with regular sit-downs for supervisory reviews to develop into a reasonably competent member of the team. The first two or three years are required to become genuinely proficient in all of the usual duties.

    There will always be those who are able to get 5 years of experience while others will get one year of experience 5 times (or more).

    There will always be examples of the Peter Principle, which generally predicts that people tend to be promoted to their level of incompetence.

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    • #3
      To put it simply, they're a "rookie" until they aren't. There's no magical years of experience where a new officer becomes just an officer...it depends on the officer, the department, the experiences he/she gets, the officers he/she works with, and about a million other things. Just as some people mature faster, some officers do too.

      Now, I was told by my first FTO that an officer doesn't really feel comfortable going to any call they get (ie, they go to an "average" call believing they can likely work or bs their way through it without assistance) until about 4 years on the road. In my experience, that's about right. That doesn't mean that an officer is a "rookie" until then, however.
      "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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      • #4
        Five years.
        Now go home and get your shine box!

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        • #5
          When is a rookie no longer a "rookie?"
          When the next officer gets hired. Then THAT officer becomes the rookie.


          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post


            When the next officer gets hired. Then THAT officer becomes the rookie.

            Not necessarily.....................at that point the officer is no longer last man on the seniority list, ,that does not equate with no longer being a rookie
            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

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            • not.in.MY.town
              not.in.MY.town commented
              Editing a comment
              Hence the

            • CCCSD
              CCCSD commented
              Editing a comment
              He missed that... I got it.

          • #7
            It's a sliding scale that differs from agency to agency perhaps even precinct to precinct or officer to officer BUT, You either move up to veteran or become the guy that nobody wants to work with because your antics can no longer be written off to inexperience.

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            • #8
              3-5 years, usually.

              One of the indicators that they are no longer a rookie, is that I no long have this nagging compulsion to clear from my current case as quickly as possible so that I can go check on them on their case.

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              • Aidokea
                Aidokea commented
                Editing a comment
                ...and when they stop locking the keys in their patrol car with the engine running...in the rain...
                Last edited by Aidokea; 10-12-2020, 06:26 PM.

              • Iowa #1603
                Iowa #1603 commented
                Editing a comment
                I can assure you that locking your keys in the car is not an indicator of being a rookie. This may or may not be from personal experience

            • #9
              ...and when they start remembering to bring a flashlight when they take a dump in the locker room...because boys will be boys...

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              • #10
                ...and when they start remembering to log off their computer when they're done, so that they don't get called into the Captain's office to explain why the Chief got a romantic email from their department email account...

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                • #11
                  ...and when they stop running VINs over the air after I advise dispatch to hold the air on a hot call...

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                  • #12
                    Half a dozen citizen complaints and maybe a couple of IA investigations.

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                    • #13
                      5 years...

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                      • #14
                        A rookie is a rookie until the senior member on station decrees him or her not to be. Jeeze... Figured you guys would know that one.
                        As far as "rights" are concerned; I look at them this way... I don't tell you what church to go to, and you don't tell me what kind of firearm I can own...

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                        • Aidokea
                          Aidokea commented
                          Editing a comment
                          It would depend on WHICH senior member...

                        • Iowa #1603
                          Iowa #1603 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          no ****

                          I know more than one senior officer who MIGHT still be a rookie

                        • grog18b
                          grog18b commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Most of ours (senior rookies) were promoted to officers... so they were easier to spot...

                      • #15
                        Thank you; these responses have been very helpful.

                        Comment

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