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    When was it that you realized that this was the job for you? How has it changed your life, friends, way of thinking, etc...Was this a good change or not for you? For me it was the first time I got to ride along with an officer, My life has changed drastically, you learn to look at people differently, it's hard to go out on the town or take your wife out for a nice evening without acting like a cop. In my case twice as hard as my wife is in law enforcement as well. Friends, well you learn quick who your real friends are, as far as new friends pretty much in the L.E. or fire department area.

  • #2
    I was also pretty sure the first ridelong. Almost a year later, I was 19 and went out "on the Town" with some officers who'd taken a liking to me, and seeing the way were approached by women who knew them hooked me, although I've learned since that's not what it's all about.

    After going in to it full time and working for over three years, I realized while in a converstaion with some non-LE friends who were talking about "work," that in three years, I never ONCE dreaded going into work. I could not say that at any other job I've ever had. Heck, for over two years, the one shift was so fun (we all got along great, and police work was still fun) I often went in EARLY.

    Also, this was reinforced to me, when I got the BURNOUT at about 8 years and left LE for a while. Sure, for about 4 months, I was happy (it was like a vacation) but then I missed it. I got back in and that is why I can put up with some of the BS and CS (Chickens**t)-because I know what it's like at the hardware store.
    People have more fun than anybody.


    • #3
      I grew up in the 70's watching the cop shows(SWAT, The Rookies, Starsky and Hutch, Adam 12 reruns, etc..) and thinking "WOW! That looks COOL!"

      When I was around 8 or 9, we took a tour of the local PD, and I said "WOW! This really IS COOL!"

      A few years later when I got into Little League, my coach was a local, small town officer then later with a neighboring SO. Through him, I got to know the dispatcher, and all 6...yes, 6...officers on the PD. This is about the time we got a scanner and I got to hear what was going on. I didn't fully understand, but I caught the gist of it.

      When I took onmy first LE job, I had already spent some time as an MP, so I knew better than go out there with stars in my eyes and a chip on my shoulder, but I had this unbelievable sense of pride and accomplishment.

      I got out after a couple years and spent 4 years working in a automotive plant. I'll tell, after having people's lives and Civil Rights in the palm of my hands, the measurement of a window or placement of a wire didn't seem to have the same priority. I ended up putting myself through the academy and never looked back. Once LE is in your blood, it's really hard to get it out.

      As far as friends outside of the job, I have some, and the ones that have known for me a while don't treat me any differently than if I had a "normal" job. The people I meet in social situations treat me either as a leper or ask the endless questions about tickets(and "quotas") or complain about one thing or another. I don't mind the questions, it's the complaining that bugs me. I try to explain the best I can why something was done, but I don't want to get into a p***ing contest when I'm out trying to have fun.


      • #4
        For me, The ridalong pretty much cinched it. Its where i belong.
        "To each his own"


        • #5
          I realized that I wanted to become a police officer after my first day as a summer student with the RCMP this past summer. Let me tell you I was hooked after the first hour! I am now an applicant with the force and I can't wait to get to Depot!!


          P.S. I passed the RCMP exam, just found out!
          "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. "
          - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


          • #6

            BTDT, man! Like I said, I got out and went to work for a Lowe's store. I needed a job, and they're supposed to have good retirement, so I thought "Okay..."

            It was not for me. Along the lines of what you said, I went from "You're under arrest for first degree rape" and "L22 is 10-43 county, US 70 westbound, passing KFC in excess of 100 mph!" TO "Will you be using toggle bolts or hollow wall fasteners?" and "The decking nails are on Aisle 6..."

            God bless those that are happy doing that, but as you said, once it's in your blood...
            People have more fun than anybody.


            • #7
              CONGRADULATIONS BEVERLY!!!!!!!!!!
              People have more fun than anybody.


              • #8
                Originally posted by BeverlyJWhite:
                I realized that I wanted to become a police officer after my first day as a summer student with the RCMP this past summer. Let me tell you I was hooked after the first hour! I am now an applicant with the force and I can't wait to get to Depot!!
                P.S. I passed the RCMP exam, just found out!
                Good luck, Bev, but we hear that, due to budget constraints, Depot may slow down again after mid October until early April.
                Of course that WAS before 2001-09-11!
                #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                "Smile" - no!


                • #9
                  Yeah, Dave, I did the Lowe's thing, too. For a whole year. My longest stint in the retail world. It's just not the same. They used to send me on the long distance deliveries. I finally asked why and they said since I was an ex-cop, I could get out of tickets. Yeah....RIGHT!!! I had to sit them down and explain how far off their logic was!


                  • #10
                    I think I wanted to be a cop ever since I was a little tyke! I even got to tour a police station in Germany when I was 5.

                    When I was about 10 I got a small multiband radio from radioshack for Xmas. I was able to tune in the local sheriff's office and listen in on the occasional action. I've owned a scanner ever since but I rarely listen now unless I'm on the clock

                    In high school and early in college I resisted the idea of a fulltime law enforcement career. When I turned 22 I became a reserve deputy with the idea I would stay a reserve after graduation. I came to realize that l.e. was my calling and after 3 years of being a reserve and now 9 years of f/t I know I made the right choice..
                    If you see me running try to keep up!


                    • #11
                      I know this is in my blood and have known it for awhile.

                      I have been burned out lately but fortunately I havent been dreading going to work like I used to. I actually got up this afternoon and got ready for work with out thinking "[email protected]^# I have to got to @$#%^*& work!!!!!!!!

                      Hopefully I'm on the end of the burnout rope. But one reason why I didnt quit when I was in full burn out mode was because I was scared to death of being a civilian again. The thought of not having a uniform to wear after having one for almost all of my adult life was just inconcievable, it really put a fear into me that I have never felt before. I even turned down a job making about twice what I make now because I couldnt see myself being "normal" again. I sometimes wonder if I am ever going to be able to leave this job!


                      • #12
                        "Hopefully I'm on the end of the burnout rope."

                        (((SpecOps))), you're the best!

                        I'm glad to hear the burnout feeling is improving.

                        [ 10-03-2001: Message edited by: blondie72 ]
                        [email protected] "Where there is love, there is no imposition"- Albert Einstien.


                        • #13
                          For me as I was growing up, my friend's dad was an Officer for the department I work for now. He used to take me on ride alongs at night time when the brass wasn't around.

                          Also, I got to tour the local PD, including the city jail.

                          After high school, I joined the Navy and worked Shore Patrol (Militay Police) briefly and realized how interested I was in Law Enforcement.

                          When my enlistment was up, I got out and applied for the department I work for now. I've been here for 3 yrs and love it.

                          Of course, I'm kinda going through a burn out period right now as well. Although, I truly believe it's because of the current administration in place.
                          Attitude is a reflection of leadership.


                          • #14

                            You email me before you think of quitting again, okay?

                            If this is in your blood, you won't be happy doing anything else.

                            About the ones who do it (leave) SOLELY for money. I know in the "grown up" world money is an issue, but when we take a job in LE, it's almost accepting an informal agreement that we realize we're not going to get rich anyway. Granted we have to pay the bills and eat, but wealth is out of the question. I'm so glad to have a spouse that supports me on this. We often forget that "support" comes in many ways-not just "allowing us to do it", but accepting the low pay, the weird hours, the isolation from many friends and family, etc., and not adding to our stress by "riding" us about it.

                            As an example, my pastor and my best friend (who is also a pastor) both refer to their jobs/ministry as "OUR ministry," including their wives. The wives say "OUR ministry." I have heard other preachers say, "WE were called to pastor a church..." I first jumped to the conclusion it was just a quick way of making a superficial “token” inclusion of their wives to get a HBP (Hubby Brownie Point.) I then noticed they did it even if their wives were NOT in earshot. I never understood this until after I started going to church, and hanging out with both even more often. In their case it ABSOLUTELY is a two-person show, and this profession is likewise.

                            No offense to anyone here intended, but MOST of the ones who get out to take a job with "Y" company making "X" amount of dollars and stay out completely and forever often were not that good of a cop anyway. Now yes, even I know a few exceptions. But, by and large, that has been my observation. I know some who doubled and in a couple cases TRIPLED their income, but the hardcore ones always come back. I know one (ex-Marine gunny with 22 years, and cop for five years) who left. It was the same story we’ve all heard-“Yeah, ******* is taking a job with his father-in-law’s company, gonna be making about sixty grand a year…” He lasted all of about six months, and tried to come back and because there no jobs open, fell into a depression (the suit and tie thing drove him nuts) which got worse, and lasted a few months, and he ultimately committed suicide.

                            I still make more than the median income here (way more) but it’s not about money. I took a cut in pay to go to a TWO MAN DEPARTMENT because it was the first job I could get to get me out of the hardware store. I was TEN TIMES happier. I put up with an idiot chief, working for a department that NO ONE (LE or civilian) “respected,” NO action, being hated by most of the citizens because the Town’s taxes went up to pay for my position, being “on call” 24/7” to take ROUTINE calls, and worked a shift that in a two week period including shifts of 6, 8, 10, and 12 hours, and the whole time smiling, because it was better than working at Lowe’s (you know, I better ease up slammin’ Lowe’s-they might read this and send the Black Ops team out of corporate&#8230 Besides, I worked for Lowe’s for a total of 2
                            People have more fun than anybody.


                            • #15

                              I posted to SpecOps my last message, but when I "refreshed" I saw your post.

                              If you ever want to talk offline, get my email over in RA and write.

                              I'm not saying I know best, and everyone IS different, but I'll be glad to share my experience with you, for what it's worth.

                              Don't give up. Not just LE-types in general, but especially those who have the mentality to come to this kind of site, might not enjoy the non-LE world.

                              To me it's like officer survival-I'll share my hard learned lessons so everyone don't have to learn them as "hard." Granted there are some lessons you HAVE to learn for yourself, but stick with it.
                              People have more fun than anybody.


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