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Where should a Police Officer live?


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  • Where should a Police Officer live?

    I was recently hired to become a Police Officer in Kenosha, WI.
    I have to relocate as I currently live in IL. Its about a 1.5 hr drive for me to get to the department. (depending on traffic could take much longer in Chicago area)
    I have a wife and 4 kids so this is not a simple endeavor (like moving ever is).
    We have never owned a home so this is quite a big thing for us.
    I start September 2nd, with a week of intro at the dept. before I start the academy (m-f, 7:30am-4:30pm).
    I have several questions and any advice would be much appreciated.

    -Any thoughts about living in the city you patrol?

    -Since I will be likely working 3rd shift, any advice to help my wife and kids adjust and feel safe and comfortable in a new home?

    My biggest dilemma is this: Given the short amount of time which of these would you recommend?
    1: I move up and get an inexpensive place to live for several months and stay in Kenosha during the week. We look for a house to purchase and move up as a family hopefully around November-December. I will be in the academy until Mid-December.

    2: We get a rental Townhouse for 12 months. We use this time to get settled in the new state and get used to the area. We would have plenty of time to find a place to live with good schools, etc... By doing this we will be able to start our kids in school(twins in first grade) without having to change schools mid-year.

    3: Any thoughts on this, or if you have any other recommendations, I would be eager to hear them.

    Any advice in getting settled in a new home such as: Should I keep my numbers unlisted? Do I let everybody know what I do for a living, or should I be cautious about who I tell?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    "He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not loose."
    Jim Elliot (Martyred Missionany to Aucca Indains)

  • #2
    The reason I ask about living in the city you patrol is because I had a friend that was a LEO and he was very protective about his personal info. He did not even want it listed in the Church directory. He also lived as far from the city he worked in as they allowed.
    I talked to several other officers in Kenosha that said it was not a big deal to live where you work.

    Thanks again.
    "He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not loose."
    Jim Elliot (Martyred Missionany to Aucca Indains)


    • #3
      I am curious about this as well. I am in the process with a department that is about 50 miles away and am considering the pros and cons of living in the city where I may be working.
      What is Perseverance?
      -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
      -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.

      BOP - BPA - ICE


      • #4
        If I was you I'd wait as long as possible to figure out where to move to. If you're moving to where you plan on working then I'd wait at least a year (on the street) to give you time to figure out where NOT to move.
        You'll be much better off paying a few bucks on gas for a year then getting a "great deal, fixer upper in an up and coming neighborhood!".
        Price may not be as important as location. If you plan to be poor like me consider which you'd prefer: Gunshots in the distance or bullets through the siding.
        "Why is common sense so rare?" - Me

        By the way.. They aren't "Clients" or "Customers" they're CRIMINALS... sheesh


        • #5
          The answer is really "it depends". In a smaller jurisdiction everyone is going to know who you are and what you do. Neighbors will know even if you don't tell them. In a larger place that isn't such a big deal.

          You also have to consider the price of gas these days. I live about 25 miles from the city I work for, but with the cost of everything going up I'm seriously looking at moving to the city or at least to the county close to the city limits when my lease runs out in a couple of months.

          If you can afford it, I'd say leave the family where they are until the academy is over. Get a small apartment or rent a room until you finish the academy and find out from veteran officers parts of the city that are good to live in. There is also always the chance that it won't work out and you won't complete the academy. On the off chance that it happens, at least you won't have packed up the whole family for a move and then find yourself out of a job.

          "The Engine could still smile...it seemed to scare them"-Felix


          • #6
            I am in the same situtation. I will be moving over 1,600 miles for my new job. My wife and I plan on renting until we find out where to live and where not to live. We currently live about forty minutes from the city I work in now. I would not want to live in the city I patrol, especially if it was a small town. Too many politics, I know every department/city has them, but I think a smaller city has it worse.

            I would not want to buy a house in this market and then try and sell it because you find out later the neighborhood is a dump.

            Good luck


            • #7
              Last edited by Huey County; 08-05-2009, 01:08 AM.
              Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward.
              Whoever cannot take care of themselves without that law is both.
              For a wounded man shall say to his assailant,
              'If I live, I will kill you. If I die, You are forgiven.'

              Such is the rule of honour.



              • #8
                I would not recommend living where you work. For me, it wasn't so much the safety issue (although co-workers expressed that concern), it was the feeling that I was never really off-duty that bothered me. In addition to seeing people I've arrested, I was always seeing co-workers (on T-stops, radio calls, etc...), victims, witnesses and locations of calls I'd handled. When I was off-duty, I wanted to feel that way and living about 30 miles away in a different community provided a relaxing environment that living in "my place of employment" didn't. I still carried a weapon while off-duty and was aware of safety issues 24/7, but I did feel much more comfortable getting "home."

                Additionally, I liked the idea that the drive home from work would give me time to "decompress" and the drive to work would give me time for myself before getting into work "mode."
                "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."


                • #9
                  Sorry, double post!
                  "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."


                  • #10
                    Congratulations on getting hired. No matter what you cannnot be late for the academy. If you drive up the edens to 294 the odds of you getting there on time are slim and none.

                    If your kids are school aged, It's going to be tough to pull them out of school a couple months into it. Can either of your families put up your wife and kids untill you get settled? That way they can stay in school at least until you graduate.

                    If you decide to move the family, try and hook up with a classmate or someone already on the job that lives near the area you choose. If they have a family that's a bonus and your wife will have someone she can reach out too. She's going to need a sounding board.

                    I don't live in the town I work in. Call me paranoid, I also like the feeling of not have to think about or look at the sh** on my off time. Keep your phone number out of the phone book. Limit the people you tell you are a Police Officer to a select few. Your neighbors will find out soon enough and when they do that'll be the center of the majority of your conversations.

                    Good luck, feel free to PM me whenever
                    Last edited by SgtD401; 08-05-2008, 06:36 AM.

                    They don't care how much you know, until they
                    know how much you care.


                    • #11
                      Rent or lease until you are off probation. Just my .02 I live in a different county than I work. It's nice never running into people I've put bracelets on.
                      "Valor would cease to be a virtue, if there were no injustice." -Agesilaus the Great


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JSODEP5338 View Post
                        Rent or lease until you are off probation. Just my .02
                        x2. It will also give you time to learn the area. When I moved for this job the first apartment I looked at turned out to be a total cess pit. See if the department has moving assistance and crime stats, as well, to help you make the decision.

                        I live in my jurisdiction, but not in my patrol area. Its a larger department, so even the cops don't know all the other cops and I seldom run into people I've encountered professionally.
                        I miss you, Dave.


                        • #13
                          I have to agree with pulicords, I live an hour away from my department and its the best thing I ever did moving away. In your situation, you are moving from one state to another so the restrictions might be different. But just as pulicords stated, I don't feel like I'm "on-duty" when I'm at home, but I did when I lived in the area where my department is located. I never see anyone I arrest either. My kids don't attend schools in the area where I work which is a big plus. I know of other officers that have kids going to schools where they have arrested kids or older brothers of kids that go to the same school.
                          Last edited by Only 4 to go; 08-05-2008, 09:01 AM. Reason: spelling error


                          • #14
                            With four kids, I find find the best two or three public school systems and see what it cost to live in those cities.


                            • #15
                              I have a non leo cousin that lives in Pleasant Prarie. They like it and the schools were good, at least that's what I've been told. I live in the City I work in. In my area, even if I lived out in the County, I'd have to come into the City for shopping and stuff. I can't live an hour away as we have residency. I have a take home squad so everybody knows I'm a cop, at least it's unmarked so not everybody catches it from the main road. Congrats on the Job.


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