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    Hello everyone,

    This is my third time posting here and I just wanted to give you all an update on how things are going. The good news is that life is going swell! I have continued to stay out of trouble and avoid negative peers; I have taken up a lot of awesome hobbies and extra-curricular activities too. I have maintained great relationships in the last few years with good friends, family, and friends in law enforcement. I recently graduated from West Chester University and received my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology & summa cum laude honors. I did my practicum with Norristown Police Department: Criminal Investigation Division (Final requirement for degree) over the summer. I passed the background investigation because I was truthful and I explained the totality of the circumstances to the lieutenant and he thought that I had made a sincere effort to be a law abiding citizen. Plus it was the second year in a row that I applied and the lieutenant admired my persistence (Was not hired summer of my junior year because I needed more time in between my arrests and the internship). It was an exponentially rewarding summer however. I got to go on several ride-alongs, assist officers with their hot spot policing logs, sit in on interrogations/interviews, assist detectives in investigating crimes, go to court, and participate in community policing efforts. One of the detectives actually let me investigate cases via telephone under his supervision, I LEARNED A LOT FROM THAT. I got to know most of the cops in the department and all the detectives. The atmosphere was pretty laid back, I always got my work done but the officers and detectives would always joke around with me, tell me stories, and treat me like I was a good friend. One of the officers who I rode with actually invited me to partake in Spartan races with him. They are all quality people and it was an honor to work under them. It was an experience that I will never forget, especially because my school required me to keep a daily journal of everything I did.

    I also got a part time job at King of Prussia Mall as a security officer while doing my practicum at Norristown PD. I still work there now and I am enjoying it. It may not be as glamorous as law enforcement but I have had the opportunity to assist Upper Merrion Police Department from time to time and I have gotten to know some of the officers. I also get along very well with the directors of security, supervisors, and my coworkers. Also, I was accepted into the CRJ master’s degree program and I plan to graduate in December of 2015. I am thriving in grad school. I am currently conducting research with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department to evaluate their G.R.E.A.T. program (their follow up program to the D.A.R.E. program). I recently was approved to attend ACT 235 training by the PA state police so that I can work in armed security. I plan to work at an armed security company while working on my MS and looking for a LE job. I plan to apply for a full time LEO job with Norristown PD after I get my ACT 120 because my supervisors at Norristown filled out an application for my school at the end of my practicum and gave me an A. She also said that I would likely be hired full-time if I applied. She said that I would make a great cop. Right now that is my best bet.

    I realize my story is unusual. However, I am not like some people who post on here saying that they committed criminal acts and then say that they want to be police officers all of a sudden. In that, I mean that I realized that I royally messed up, and I knew that I had to get my affairs in order. So that was exactly what I did. Was I once wrong and irresponsible before? Yes. Was I once out of line? You bet. Do I regret what I have done? Every day of my life. Let me tell you, not a day goes by that I do not think about the bad decisions I have made in my life and wishing I could turn back the hands of time. On my second post, I said that I was bullied as a young boy (11-13) and while that may be true to a certain extent, I know the real reason for my poor choices was depression. I did not want to admit it before because of the stigma associated with it but it is the truth. The depression coupled with loneliness, insecurity, lack of pro-social bonds, lack of positive role models, and being lured into a deviant lifestyle by anti-social peers led me into a downward spiral. It was just a dark time in my life, a time when I forgot about my then dormant child hood dream of being a police officer which was buried in my subconscious.

    However, there is beauty in the breakdown. I got my affairs in order and I made a complete 180 degree turn back into the good graces of my family, the community, and most importantly God. I plan to use my experiences to help others to not go down the path I did. I plan to counsel youth either as a side job or as a volunteer activity. My friend who works in juvenile corrections told me that youth really connect with people who have done drugs and have been through the CRJ system, but then turned out to be successful. Those persons’ words resonate with the youth to a much greater extent. Much like in the story of the prodigal son, some of us have to wallow in the mud pit before we realize “yea maybe this was not such a good idea, this just is not for me.” Sometimes God uses the dark places to mold us into something greater then we could have ever imagined. Also, in a way, I am happy I learned all these lessons the hard way because at least they are out of the way. There are people who are 50> who still have not learned the error of their ways. I know of young police officers who got hired and then fired during their probationary period for getting DUIs, flashing their badges at clubs starting problems etc. Some of the police officers who get hired young at a young age have never gotten in trouble but they do not have any street smarts, if anything they are naive. Unfortunately, some of these officers are the ones who let the power get to their heads and they end up getting in trouble/arrested. That will never happen to me because I know how hard it is to become a police officer and, God willing, if I am able to get hired somewhere then I will never do anything that would possible jeopardize my career. I cannot change the past, and sitting around wishing that I could would be a fool’s errand. The only sensible thing to do it admit and that I have done wrong, move on and be the best person that I can be. This includes influencing others to be the best that they can be.

    As some of you may remember from my second post, I was originally accepted into the Marine Corps officer program but I decided to hold off on that. I want to be a cop, I do not really want to become a marine. Using the USMC as a means to an end is just wrong. I told the recruiter that I was not ready to make the commitment and he understood, he told me that if I am ready to make the commitment to the Marine Corps to give him a call. So military service is still an option if LE does not work out.

    This whole experience has taught me a lot. Crime does not pay, drugs will ruin you, and anti-social peers will bring you down. Even if I do not become a cop, I am a productive law abiding citizen who has a bright future and that in and of itself is a beautiful thing. I owe my life to Jesus Christ, with Him I can do all things. And indeed I am blessed, there is no doubt about it. I cannot say that I know anyone who acted as stupid as me but is now is one his/her way to becoming successful. So I wanted to thank all of the LEOs on here who have given me advice/stern lectures/ realist perspectives in the past. I want to especially thank any of you who have been hard on me, telling me to get my s**t together because it really was a wake up call.In reference to my first post, you all were right; I was way too immature to even consider becoming a LEO at that time. Hypothetically, even if I was hired at that point in my life, I would have made horrible judgment calls and I would have ended up like one of those cops who got fired for acting inappropriately.

    I thank you all for what you do, protecting us and keeping order. It is not an easy job. I doubt that a lot of people who come on this site to ask you questions have any idea of the kinds of things you guys deal with and what you had to sacrifice to earn your shield and keep it. In addition, I sometimes look at the questions that some people ask on here and it befuddles me as to how people can be so ignorant. However, I was once one of those people as well so I do apologize. Anyway, I commend you for dealing with them, and me. I know this is not a question but I do have a few questions for you all which I will space out of course but I just wanted to catch all of you up on where I am now. Thanks.
    If you do not hold yourself accountable, your circumstances usually will.

    Never stop learning because life never stops teaching.

  • #2
    Tl;dr , holy text wall!

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