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  • Legacy: Non-Issue or Forever in Stone

    Now that the end of my career is rapidly approaching, the notion of 'legacy' has been on my mind. Legacy, as in five years after pulling the plug, what will you be remembered for?

    Reason I submit this as a topic of discussion: I've noticed the only people who are spoken about after they leave generally have a black mark on their record. Examples:

    -One guy decided to examine his pistol (for whatever reason) while in some woods. He put a round through his support hand, left a big scar but amazingly did not lose function. He's been gone for years, but to this day, whenever his name comes up, it's always "Oh yeah, the guy who almost blew his hand off."

    -Another guy decided to examine his pistol (for whatever reason) while in his office. He put a round through the wall, which hit the desk of an admin person as she was sitting there. That was 25 years ago, but this day, whenever his name comes up, it's always "Oh yeah, the guy who almost shot Rita."

    -Another guy pulled blew up a gas station after fueling up. The gas tank was on the passenger side, so after he paid, he simply forgot the nozzle was attached and pulled away. When he looked in the rear view mirror, he wondered how a huge fireball started. His agency paid $250K for repairs and he's been gone for 15 years, but to this day, whenever his name comes up, it's always "Oh yeah, the guy who blew up a gas station."

    I could go one with a dozen more "Oh yeah, the guy who did blah blah" scenarios, but I submit for discussion: at what point does legacy not matter? Or does it ever matter at all?


    (For the record, five years after I leave, people will just say "Who?" I'm cool with that....)


    There are two types of people in this world: those who are humble and those who will be humbled.

  • #2
    My kid has had a LOT of members come up to him over the past almost 13 years (including his time at The Swingin' Arm Ranch) and say, "Hey, you MUST be Pete's kid!", even though he is now posted in Alberta. I can not even deny the vast majority of the stories - kind of a, "Live by the sword, die by the sword" thing.
    #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!

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    • #3
      In my experience, retired guys are either remembered with funny stories or as @$$holes...there's no real in-between.
      "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
        Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
        (For the record, five years after I leave, people will just say "Who?" I'm cool with that....)
        This.

        Comment


        • #5
          At my first PD, you would almost never hear one cop say a good word about another. Barely anyone liked each other, everyone seemed to hate how the next one did his job, and the only humor they had was generally non-good natured ball busting (basically, criticisms passive-aggressively disguised as jokes). They remembered everyone who got fired, suspended, written up, chewed out, or embarrassed on the job, and that would be the only thing they used to define each other. If someone won a medal, the only response was "How did that idiot manage get recognized. He barely deserves his badge!" or "He wouldn't have had to do what he did for the medal if he hadn't f'ed up to begin with..." It was toxic. You'd almost never hear, "He's a good dude and a great officer."

          The jail I worked at was worse: If they didn't have any dirt on you, someone would just make something up. I had a particularly nasty, baseless rumor spread about me that many officers, including a lot of high ranking supervisors, believed. Even after I debunked it, someone kept it going saying that I was lying and they got their info from a "reliable source" who saw what I did "firsthand". I ended up have a long believed reputation as a coward based on a complete lie. Probably a lot of people still believe it to this day.

          Most jobs are like that because it's human nature, but I think with the strong personalities in law enforcement, it tends to be more intense in this environment. I don't think all LE agencies are like that, but it's not uncommon, it seems.
          "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
          -Chris Rock

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          • #6

            Most jobs are like that because it's human nature, but I think with the strong personalities in law enforcement, it tends to be more intense in this environment. I don't think all LE agencies are like that, but it's not uncommon, it seems.
            I have a few theories about this. One, it's more prevalent at smaller agencies than bigger ones because at bigger ones, everyone recognizes they're just a number on a spreadsheet, while at smaller ones, people are more apt to think they're hot stuff. I also think internal drama is more of a factor when nothing serious ever happens, hence Sayler's Law kicks in ("The reason the fights were so vicious is because the stakes were so low"). And you have a valid point about strong personalities- a dynamic only magnified by uniform, title, and authority.

            I also get that LE generally attracts meat eaters and alpha dogs, but looking back, I can honestly say some of the most vile people I encountered were on my side of the badge. Thankfully the number was very few, but the damage they caused was significant. Their legacies are etched in blood and fire in the lower tiers of hell, along with the indifferent and feckless upper managers who coddled and protected them....
            There are two types of people in this world: those who are humble and those who will be humbled.

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            • #7
              42 yrs later I am still remembered at the prison as the guy who put a 12ga round through the ceiling of the armory. This happened in the first year of my 30 yrs with the prison system. It was by far NOT the only unwarranted firearm discharge at the facility over the years

              Mind you that during the remaining 29 yrs I rose to the rank of Lieutenant and was a midnight shift supervisor for 15 yrs, Helped formulate the employee relations committee policy for the state, helped re-write the entire agency policy manual and was my agency representative when we built a computer records system that is in use in our agency and a number of other states.

              It was funny up to a point but when I have kids that weren't even born then bring it up it ****es me off.

              You will also hear from people that I worked with that "He was a fair supervisor and a good guy to work with" So in the end I am fairly happy with my legacy there.

              I as SOOOOO glad I worked before the age of Youtube


              Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
              I also get that LE generally attracts meat eaters and alpha dogs, but looking back, I can honestly say some of the most vile people I encountered were on my side of the badge. Thankfully the number was very few, but the damage they caused was significant. Their legacies are etched in blood and fire in the lower tiers of hell, along with the indifferent and feckless upper managers who coddled and protected them....
              I had more problems with staff than I ever did with inmates....................
              Last edited by Iowa #1603; 06-17-2019, 07:17 AM.
              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


              • #8
                Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post



                I had more problems with staff than I ever did with inmates....................
                Actually that REALLY says something when you realize the fact that I worked in a maximum security penitentiary
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
                  I also get that LE generally attracts meat eaters and alpha dogs, but looking back, I can honestly say some of the most vile people I encountered were on my side of the badge. Thankfully the number was very few, but the damage they caused was significant. Their legacies are etched in blood and fire in the lower tiers of hell, along with the indifferent and feckless upper managers who coddled and protected them....
                  Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                  I had more problems with staff than I ever did with inmates....................
                  I wish it wasn't so, but that's the rule rather than the exception in LE...
                  "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


                  • #10
                    I'm pretty sure I'll be remembered as "the guy who got shot in the nuts". It was my PELVIS! My nuts are fine, thank you very much. The more sensational the rumor, the more persistent it is.

                    Some "legacies" start as far back as the academy. I recently attended a leadership seminar with a guy I went to the academy with 25 years ago. After a long and successful career he is STILL known as "Mucous Matt". Let's just say that whenever he blew his nose it was VERY loud and VERY...productive.
                    ​​​​​​​

                    Comment


                    • Iowa #1603
                      Iowa #1603 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Ouch !!!!!

                      My "discharge" had no lasting effects except for not being able to hear for a few hours

                  • #11
                    Some "legacies" start as far back as the academy.

                    I tell new kids: hook up with whoever you want but DON'T hook up with classmates at the academy. Thirty years later people will still be talking about it.


                    There are two types of people in this world: those who are humble and those who will be humbled.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post
                      I'm pretty sure I'll be remembered as "the guy who got shot in the nuts". It was my PELVIS! My nuts are fine, thank you very much. The more sensational the rumor, the more persistent it is.

                      Some "legacies" start as far back as the academy. I recently attended a leadership seminar with a guy I went to the academy with 25 years ago. After a long and successful career he is STILL known as "Mucous Matt". Let's just say that whenever he blew his nose it was VERY loud and VERY...productive.


                      Nice try, I'd stick with "G-root"

                      Any truth to the rumor since your accidental discharge you’re now a soprano?
                      Last edited by BTDT2; 06-17-2019, 10:58 AM.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                        My "discharge" had no lasting effects except for not being able to hear for a few hours
                        not.in.my.town’s (AKA townie Soprano) accidental (???) discharge presented a solid audition on " New Jersey has talent" show. As per his department's weekly newsletter, Townie received a standing ovation and trip to San Francisco for his traditional soprano rendition of " The last rose of summer".






                        Comment


                        • Iowa #1603
                          Iowa #1603 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          but he can't quit his day job

                      • #14
                        Thanks, BTDT2 and Iowa #1603 . This ^^^ is exactly how rumors start and continue on for decades.

                        For the record, it wasn't an accidental discharge but very much intentional...and I was NOT the shooter.

                        (I did, however, manage to "shoot" out the glass of an antique grandfather clock with a recoil spring while disassembling a 1911. Oops. )

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post
                          Thanks, BTDT2 and Iowa #1603 . This ^^^ is exactly how rumors start and continue on for decades.

                          For the record, it wasn't an accidental discharge but very much intentional...and I was NOT the shooter.
                          That is YOUR version & I understand the reasons for you sticking to 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

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