So You Want My Job: Police Officer

by Brett & Kate McKay on October 28, 2009 · 31 comments

in Money & Career, So You Want My Job

chicagoImage from Chicagos Finest

Once again we return to our So You Want My Job series, in which we interview men who are employed in desirable jobs and ask them about the reality of their work and for advice on how men can live their dream.

Today we hear from a man who works as a police officer in a specialized unit that does everything from undercover work to patrols in high crime areas. Because of the nature of his job, he asked to remain anonymous.

1. Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from?How old are you? Where did you go to school? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, ect).

I’m from the Kansas City area. I’m 29. I went to school in the suburbs around here and college at a small school in southeastern Kansas. I’ve been on the department just short of 5 years. I’m married with no kids. I’m the first police officer in my family.

2. Why did you want to become a police officer?

I think it’s important to say that before people read my responses they understand that: 1. These are only my opinions, from my experiences. 2. I work in a high-crime urban area.

I used to have a desk job at an advertising agency. One day, I was sorting through all the minutiae of corporate nonsense and just decided that I was tired of having a “job,” and working for the weekend. All the things that were of grave importance in my life at that time-TPS reports, water cooler gossip, etc.-none of it mattered in the grand scheme of things to me. Taking all that into consideration, I looked at what I thought separated a “job” from a life’s work and used that to start looking for another career. In short, I wanted to find something that dealt with true human emotions. I wanted something that tested who I was.

Don’t get me wrong, I have complete respect for the guy who gets up every day and drives in the same traffic, to the same cube, to do the same thing, every day. That life just wasn’t for me.

3. If a man wishes to become a police officer, how should he best prepare?

I don’t really know how to best prepare.  I guess you’d have to ask yourself why you want to do it. If someone came up to me and said “Got any tips?” I’d probably tell them that knowing you do the best job you can is the only reward you should expect. If that’s ok, go apply. If you want parades, it might not be for you.

With that said, the things you would typically assume are pretty good places to start. A criminal justice degree couldn’t hurt. A lot of larger departments are looking for college-educated candidates. Having a job in a related field, like loss prevention, is also something a lot of folks do. I say this, but I never did any of it personally. I’d feel fraudulent saying they are necessary.

4. What is the process like of being accepted to a police academy? If you make it through the academy, are you guaranteed a job?

Basically the process of getting hired is like this: Apply, then wait to hear from them. A background investigator will dig around about you to your friends, family, employers, etc. If you check out OK then they’ll call. Next, go in and run a timed obstacle course (it’s a doozy), then wait to hear from them. Go in and take a polygraph based on your background investigation, then wait again. Go in for an oral interview, then wait again.  After awhile, they’ll call you and tell you if you’re hired. If so, you go into the academy. My “awhile” was almost two years.

A typical day may consist of studying constitutional law. Learning how to handcuff a combative person. Learning to shoot properly, i.e. moving and shooting, combat shooting. You may then have classes on dealing with death or cultural awareness for the end of the day.  They really cram a lot into the academy. I couldn’t begin to explain how taxing the process can be mentally and physically. It’s by design though, to inoculate people to stress.

Are you guaranteed a job? In these tough economic times, I’d have a hard time saying that you’re guaranteed a job. It used to be that you were hired if you made it through the process. That’s not really been the case recently. Our department did get a grant recently that allowed for the hiring of a few more people.

If and when you make it through the academy, you will begin what is called break-in. Break-in is where you ride with a field training officer (FTO). You and the training officer will then take all the “hot calls” in your division. A hot call is the really bad stuff like shootings, cuttings, rapes, etc. The purpose is to see how you respond in a real world setting. If you’re FTO feels like you’re not an idiot, and you’re not going to get yourself or anyone else hurt, you get released. After break-in, you just go out there and get to work.

5. Why did you want to join a specialized unit within the police department?

I was really interested in all of the facets of police work that this unit does. I can’t speak for all departments but it seems that on bigger departments, in urban areas, it’s better to be good at a lot of things versus great at a couple.

Our squad does all kinds of cool stuff. A typical week might consist of uniformed patrol of an area in response to a rash of shootings. The next day could be a prostitution decoy with our VICE squad. Then you may be in plain clothes doing surveillance on a person that has been identified as a high-profile criminal. Essentially, we are tasked with a problem and given the freedom to solve the problem within the policies of the department.

It’s a ton of fun, and I get to work with like-minded people.

6. What are the advantages to joining a specialized unit? Do you get extra pay? Do you find the assignments more interesting?

You would join a specialized unit because it’s an area that interests you. SWAT guys want to be SWAT guys for example. However, there can be benefits that stem from the training you receive. For example, an officer who has been trained in accident reconstruction can then consult with insurance companies and bring in additional income that way.

It is also gratifying to make it to a specialized unit. Most of them have some sort of testing process, usually both mental and physical.  Extra pay isn’t generally a benefit. It can come in other ways like overtime. Some squads will work a lot more overtime because of the nature of their position. A homicide detective has to work a murder when it happens. If it’s at the end of their shift, that’s just how it goes.

A comment about pay: In this job, you don’t get bonuses for putting “x” number of murderers in jail or anything like that. The same goes for speeding tickets. You get paid on a tenure scale. A lazy slug of an officer with 6 years on gets the same as a go-getter with 6 years on. At least that’s how it is for us.

7. Are there any drawbacks to joining a specialized unit?

Sure, there can be. Your days on and hours get moved around, so it can be tough to plan a social life.  It’s also easy to lose certain skills that are essential to some areas of the job. For example, if you buy dope as an undercover for five years, you’re probably going to be behind the curve on writing certain reports or changes in basic procedures if you go back to the field.

8. What is the hierarchy like both in the police department in general, and within a specialized unit? How do you get promoted?

Ours consists of the following ranks in order: Officer, Sergeant, Captain, Major, Colonel or Deputy Chief, then Chief. You promote by testing and meeting certain criteria. A sergeant must have five years in the field and so many hours of college credit. You work your way up the ladder and the amount of education also increases. Some ranks require a master’s degree.

A specialized unit will usually require “x” number of officers to make up a squad. A sergeant will supervise the squad. A captain supervises each line element. A Major oversees whole divisions. A Colonel oversees an entire discipline like patrol or investigations. It’s complicated. Essentially, the higher you go the less time you spend getting in foot chases and wrestling with bad guys. The higher you go, though, the more money you make.

9. What is the work/family/life balance like?

Hard. It ends relationships. You just do the best you can, that’s really all anyone can ask of you.  More importantly, that’s all you can expect of yourself. You will miss a lot of birthdays and holidays. The people around you don’t understand why because they all work 9-5. Your loved ones will resent your job. It’s isolating.

It can be tough to relate to regular people. Sometimes, when someone complains about how hard work is, you want to ask them if they’ve ever held a dying baby or been spit on. It’s easy to develop that f-you attitude.

Fortunately, I have an awesome wife who gets it. That’s rare though.

10. What is the best part of your job?

It can be a lot of fun if you want it to be. If you do it the right way, you really do contribute to a greater good. You will have experiences at work that put everything about life into perspective.

11. What is the worst part of your job?

The human animal. You see the worst in people. You will be asked to do what other people are too unskilled, unwilling, or afraid to do themselves. They will be happy to judge how you do it, or criticize your decision though. It can be very easy to develop a general disdain for people, or groups of people.

Another issue is the constant judgment. Don’t get me wrong, there certainly are some officers that do wrong. They are a lot more that don’t though. Once you put that uniform on people associate you with their past experiences and assumptions.

12. What is the biggest misconception people have about your job?

People that aren’t cops think they know what cops do. It’s natural to quantify someone based on a role. It’s human nature to judge, so you become whatever that person perceives a “cop” to be.  In the average persons head a baker bakes, and a bricklayer lays bricks. So, it’s only logical that a cop does cop stuff. All they know cop stuff to be is a combination of their own interactions with the police and what they see on T.V.

For example, people will ask me questions about a speeding ticket they got and have no idea that I’ve never written a speeding ticket. I don’t know how to use a radar gun, and I have no desire to learn. That’s just not what I want to do.

13. Any other advice, tips, or anecdotes you’d like to share?

Just take a moment and thank someone who does a job that you won’t do, that you benefit from. It doesn’t have to be a police officer. Thank your mailman. Thank a schoolteacher. There are a lot of good people who do tough jobs. It’s nice to hear that people appreciate it.

Also, people ask how to get out of a ticket a lot. There is no fail-safe way. I can tell you these things though that can help:

When you see the flashing lights, pull off the road to the right. If there’s an outlet off the roadway within sight, pull off there. This is so we don’t get run over.

Put your hands on the wheel and roll your window down. You know that you’re not a maniac with a gun. We don’t though. If it’s night-time, turn on your dome light.

Be polite and honest. You don’t have to incriminate yourself, but own what you did if you know you did it. If there’s a good reason for it, explain yourself. Understand that if you’ve been stopped for it, that officer has decided that they will swear under oath that you did it. Being truthful is respectable and that goes a long way.

Thanks for the opportunity to share a bit!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephen October 28, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Thanks so much for this interview! It was really interesting to read and I really appreciated hearing a nice and clear view from someone’s thoughts we may never actually get to hear. This was awesome.

2 Zander October 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm

It must be difficult to be a police officer. You do a tough and honorable job and yet people talk about how they hate you and write songs about killing you. I hate when people are like “Cops are pigs! blah blah blah.” You know what? You may not like them when they’re pulling you over (for something you did wrong that you know you did wrong), but when you really need them, you’ll feel differently. I don’t understand why when a man is a soldier people fall over themselves to thank the guy for his service, but they just roll their eyes about cops. It’s pretty much the same job-putting your ass on the line to protect others. So anonymous guy, thank you for your service and doing your job.

3 Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot October 28, 2009 at 9:55 pm

I feel bad because like many people I have called policemen bad names – they are commonly referred to as pigs in the UK. Terrible isn’t it?

My attitude changed after I had kids and read an article warning parents not to tell their kids that the police will put them in jail if they’re naughty. Children and adults should not be scared of the police, unless they’ve committed a crime of course!

The police are our friends, they are there for us when we’re having trouble and they are doing the best job they can in hard circumstances.

Sure there are a few bad apples in the bunch but at the end of the day being a police officer is a caring profession like nursing – police officers want to help people and all kudos to them.

4 Dan Smith October 28, 2009 at 11:46 pm

I know you can’t reply to this, but I think it’s cool you’re helping to fix things up in a city in my home state. I bet you went to college down the street from where I grew up. Well done, and keep up the work!

5 David October 29, 2009 at 12:02 am

Thank you for your service. I used to want to be a cop but am going to the mission field instead. My father-in-law is a police officer and I have great respect for what he does and every other cop for that matter.

Thanks for the tips for when we get pulled over. I don’t get pulled over much but when I do I have done everything you said except the dome light. Great idea.

6 Jarrett October 29, 2009 at 5:34 am

Thanks for this interview.

I am close friends with a family that lost their father, who was a police officer, and I hold this profession in the highest esteem.

As a black male growing up in L.A. I’ve had my fair share of situations with cops, both good cops and bad cops. Being a victim of racial profiling is not fun! Trying to learn what to do when stopped so I don’t get shot by an officer inadvertently wasn’t the greatest moment when learning to drive, but it probably saved me from death or injury a few times.

Through it all I still admire the police officers that do their jobs the correct and honest way. It’s hands down one of the toughest jobs someone can have. I already knew much of this stuff as I had researched the process of becoming a police officer. I’m sure there are some that didn’t know much of what was said and hopefully they benefited. I wish you safety in your attempts to help make this world a better place!

7 Seth B. October 29, 2009 at 8:01 am

Also, for those of you wanting to become a police officer, if your state is anything like Ohio, there are independent academies you can attend.

I did so myself, in fact. Now mind you, once you pass the academy you’re not a Peace Officer, but you are certified to be one. My certificate lasted for a year after I graduated. Fortunately, I now work in IT, so my chances of being shot went way down, but I had the opportunity without going through the administrative process of being accepted by an academy.

8 Rick Scoutmaster October 29, 2009 at 10:02 am

Dear Sir: You are a shining example of your profession and to manhood; articulate, honest, logical, with heart and a clear moral system. Had I read this 20 years ago, I would have gone into police work, (my dad’s best friend was a cop) but it was a black box to me, I didn’t know what it would be like. But I wanted to do good, to have purpose that made a difference. I’ve had to settle as a cube dweller and Boy Scouting is the vehicle I use to fulfill my purpose. I challenge you to put family first, while still doing you job well, and may God keep you safe.

9 Daniel October 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I am a police officer in Kentucky and it is so good to see how a “real” police officer is portrayed than on TV. I am a husband and a father as well. This is and was the most challenging thing about my life the past 4 years. I got into policing straight out of college by accident, and then got married a year later. Bringing children into this world while being a police officer is hard, and extremely scary due to the fact that you see what the world really is in your community. The things that don’t make the news and things that people go through everyday. One can become extremely cynical and stoic, which if not careful, can go straight home with you. My wife tells me everyday almost to “leave the gunbelt in the car”.

10 Justin October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Thank You for your service to the community

11 Stuart October 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for sharing this. I’m in the UK, a semi-cube-dweller and have thought about becoming a Special Constable (aka Hobby Bobby) or part-time voluntary Police Officer for some time, with a view to making a career hop in a few years if I’m any good at it. Whilst there’s not much chance of my getting shot over here (although you never know) it’s good to hear more about the procedural and structural elements of a great police force. These bits don’t make great drama so even the better police dramas etc don’t give you the sort of insights you’ve offered above.

Keep up your fantastic and valuable work, and once again thanks for the benefit of your experience, the pros and cons. On balance I think I’m going to go for it.

12 Gregg October 30, 2009 at 12:44 am

My son is an officer and I’ve already had the calls at 3:00am that said “I’m OK. I’m at the hospital but I’m OK.” and “Shots were fired but I’m OK” but several friends have come to the end of their watch to soon. Thanks to all the officer’s out there as well as your families. I appreciate for all you do. God bless you all.

13 Leo October 30, 2009 at 12:51 am

Excellent article, and thank you for your service. My sister is actually considering a career in the police force; will show her this next time I see her.

14 Isi October 30, 2009 at 10:09 am

Thanks for the excellent response. I used to work for a guy in the military that was an OSI agent. He went from that to managing a bunch of techies – not sure why or how – just the military way of things. The whole time I knew him, and even today, he hates computers – but he gets being a cop. He retired from the service and then joined Customs and gets to do various bits at airports. I never really understood the desire to be a “cop” but as you put it my only perception of what you do is from certain biased pasted experiences, some practical knowledge, news and tv. I figured that there were special fields that you could work in, but that each still required some tie to being on the beat.

Thanks for sharing.

15 Todd Helmkamp October 30, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I was (and am) fortunate to have several family members and friends who are police officers, so I was brought up with the understanding that these people make a huge sacrifice to keep the rest of us safe. To all those who put their lives on the line for the rest of us, whether police, EMS, fire, Armed Forces, or whoever, Thanks for all you do, and keep up the good work!

16 Kenneth October 31, 2009 at 12:25 am

I have a question that I have been worried about for a while, and I’m hoping I can get an officer to answer it. I currently own a car where the driver’s side window does not roll down. About a year ago the power window got stuck, and I tried to force it upwards. Didn’t work, the window fell down into the door. Now I have it held up with a pair of vice grips, and there will be no way in heck it’ll ever go down again. So what do I do if I get pulled over, and I can’t roll my window down? About the nearest I can think of is roll down the rear driver’s window and try to explain to the officer. Can I get any advice from someone with experience? (Preferably an officer, but I’ll take all advice)

17 p51mustang November 1, 2009 at 1:39 am

Kenneth, my driver’s side power window switch failed and I drove with it shut for over a year- even having to open the door to pay a toll five days a week. Finally I got it fixed for about $150, and believe me, it was worth it. To the police officer who wrote this article, I say thank you for your service. I worked for an airline at airports for almost 20 years, and I also saw the nasty side of our fellow citizens sometimes because I wore a uniform. There were those times when we weren’t able to calm down a drunk, threatening, or irate passenger, and the police were always there to back us up. Unbelievably, late one Thanksgiving night I was briefly held hostage by a crazy man who stepped through the ticket counter and said that he was holding a bomb. A SWAT team showed up with shotguns within minutes and he surrendered. He did not have a bomb, but thank you SWAT team!

18 Isaac November 1, 2009 at 4:38 pm

This was a superb look at your work. Thanks for taking the time to give the interview and thanks for your service.

19 Eric November 1, 2009 at 7:53 pm

@Kenneth – get it fixed.
@Anabel – you should be ashamed of yourself for your incorrigible behavior. Everyday those officers are the only thing that stands between you and chaos – yet you call them derogatory names. I bet when you got pulled over you said something to the effect of, “Don’t you have a burglar to catch? I’m late for work! You work for me you know? I pay your salary!”

(For the purposes of ease of writing, when I refer to an officer as “he” – that is meant to include “she” as well).

Traffic stops are the most common way that criminal behavior is detected in the act. That officer asks you the questions he asks you to determine if you are a criminal scumbag that society needs to be protected from. That officer lights up your car the way he does so he can see if someone is hiding in your backseat waiting to take away his life as he approaches. That officer approaches the way he does in case you plan to take away his life. That officer stands behind the B pillar of your car and makes you twist around to hand him your paperwork and license so that if you intend to take his life – it won’t be easy. That officer takes your paperwork before he tells you what you did wrong so that he is in possession of it when you begin arguing with him and complaining about how tough *your* life is.

We’ve heard it all – how hard it is being a mom, shuffling the kids off to school in the morning, making food, giving your husband attention, taking your “perfect little angels” to soccer, football, basketball, baseball, swimming, track, ballet and play dates. You’re in a hurry. You don’t have time for my BS! You need me to hurry and just get it over with!

You don’t think about the fact that while you are speeding your way through town, shuffling your iPod, screwing with your radio, adjusting the heater, goofing with your GPS, watching a movie, typing a text message to your kid or doing your makeup – you are endangering the lives of every person out there. Threatening to take away all they have, their kids, their spouse, their lives. But, I understand – you’re in a hurry.

As you cuss me out while you drive off with that crumpled up ticket there to remind you to slow down, I have to say calmly, cooly and politely, “Please drive safely.” Then I have to go back to my patrol car and get ready for the next time my life might get taken away.

You don’t want my job.

20 Adam Snider November 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

@Eric – Did you actually read Annabel’s comment? She already said she felt sorry and that her attitude has changed. There’s no need to rip into her for something that she has already agreed is wrong and no longer does.

21 ERIC_is_a DOUCHE November 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm

ERIC– get over your bitter little experiences.
Let see you lame you are.
You pick on the one female that doesn’t kiss your ar$$ and agree with you, without listening to the rest of what she has to say. You put words in her mouth and took you anger and bitterness out on her and your supposed accusations about what she said. None of which was what she said or implied. I bet you wish you could shut her up and teach her a lesson.
The best part is you aren’t even a respectful cop but rather a revenuer that is going to loose his sorry state of affairs to traffic cameras and private security companies. Sound like you need to get out of the job field anyway, you are a threat to the public you pretend to rein over and a loose cannon that is one cold doughnut away from tazing a grandmother. People should be afraid of jerks like yourself b/c they never know when you are going to go off and put someone in the ER.
Yes, you are right I don’t want your job. I don’t need some group of money hungry lawyers/vote pulling politician/power hungry cops thinking up new ways to discriminate against Americans that they don’t feel toe the line. End the 35+ year drug war and the discrimination that started it. Stop the police subsidies and prison filling laws.
Why is that the US(Land of the Free???) has more people in prison than any other nation on the planet. Go figure. Until we have some real tort reform then any baffoon with a badge that has the mindset of Eric and the other 99% of his big headed dolts can suck an egg. For the 1% of those that are doing the right thing –great job, stay safe and stay away from the you-owe-me cop mindset that makes americans cringe. Nobody drafted you to become a cop it was on your own volition. I bet your all puffed up now aren’t you –bet you wish you could hit something.

22 The guy in the Interview November 8, 2009 at 4:58 am

@ Eric –

I get that you’re stressed about the situations you deal with at work. Trust me dude, I get it. That said, your response just fans the flames of a fire that can’t ever be put out. Part of doing the job is accepting that a lot of people don’t know, don’t care, or don’t take the time to acknowledge that it’s unique and difficult. Going off on a misguided tangent doesn’t help your cause.

@ eric is a douche –

In response to your writing of: “Until we have some real tort reform then any baffoon with a badge that has the mindset of Eric and the other 99% of his big headed dolts can suck an egg. For the 1% of those that are doing the right thing –great job, stay safe and stay away from the you-owe-me cop mindset that makes americans cringe.”

1. Be careful with speaking in absolutes like “99%” and “those 1%”. Frankly, you’re generalizing a group of people that I bet you really have little experience with. I know roughly 150 officers personally (on a dept. of about 1300), and only about 10% of them are big-headed dolts. The rest would save your fat from the fire with little hesitation because they truly believe that it’s the right thing to do.

2. Please don’t speak on behalf of all Americans and how they respond to anyone’s mindset. You’re obviously somewhat educated (you did, ironically enough, misspell “buffoon” though) and have strong convictions, which will take you places in life. You aren’t, however, the spokesperson for all Americans.

No bad blood my friend, just keep things realistic.

@ everyone else who responded – Thank you for your well wishes. I really liked being a part of this, and I hope it’s offered a new perspective for you.

23 Eric The Douche November 10, 2009 at 6:27 am

@the guy who called me a douche

It would appear that you are the one with a chip on his shoulder with anger and insults in his words – it’s not my place to judge or speculate on why you are so bitter towards the laws our society has chosen to live by and the police officers selected to uphold them – I’ll let the readers do that. You made it quite clear that even a glimpse of reality is very upsetting to you and I’m sorry for that. The world is a harsh reality and I can’t change reality, I can only do my best to insulate and protect you from it.

@ the interviewed officer – Given the context of the story, I wouldn’t say that letting those we protect know the harsh realities of our line of work – rather than a sugar coated version of it – is misguided. Even outside of the context of “Art of Manliness” and the challenge posed by the the question, “So, you want my job?” If we do our jobs /too/ well those we protect will not be prepared for what they will face.

I’ve had many good experiences in my well over a decade’s time in the Job – if I hadn’t, I would not continue to do it year after year and I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do more. Even with it’s harsh side and the hatred we are shown by those whose very lives we would give our own to save – it is still a gratifying duty. Good luck with your career, stay safe out there brother.

Sincerely,

Officer Douche/Pig/Jerk/Doughnut Sniffer/@$$Y073/Cogsugger/Dolt/sh!tbag/motherf’er…/ad nauseum/

24 Ignatius December 8, 2009 at 12:44 am

I appreciate you the Guy in the Interview Police Officer. I am ashamed of all the people who literally rely on you to fight the criminals, to keep the anarchy at bay, but can’t bring themselves to just love you like a brother. A simple thanks is all I can offer. It’s not enough, but it is very heartfelt.

25 Ed U. December 9, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Thank you, young copper, for a clear, concise, honest, view or our job. I am 60yrs. old and was retired medically years ago as a result of fighting with a gangbanger on PCP. During my career I worked Patrol, a Career Criminal Apprehension Team (which you described very accurately), Range Master (where I trained a department of 300 and 10 police academies in the proper use of all types of firearms), and SWAT (at the age of 55 I was the oldest member). I didn’t go into police work until I was 40 years of age and did so for the same reasons you did. My Dad and Uncle were both Cops so I grew up with the desire to be one. There is an amazing amount of satisfaction in knowing you can handle any situation humanity can send your way. You are in my prayers and I am proud of you. You, with your well written responses, give insight to your unimpeachable integrity and willingness to serve for the greater good of humanity. May the Lord bless you with protection and wisdom to make those quick decisions that no one but those of us in,(or now retired from), police work will ever understand.

26 Joshua April 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Thanks for the Interview, it has given me more insight into my soon to be career choice. thank you

27 RSmith June 15, 2010 at 9:58 am

Hey Eric, ease up a bit bro. I say bro because I’m a cop too. You kind of opened up with both barrels on Annabel. She wasn’t running cops down. You owe her an appology. Now as to that tool that called you a douche, you and I both know how hard the Job is. There’s no way a computer coward can ever hope to attain the intestinal fortitude to muster up the cajones to spew that to a cop face to face. So he hides like the coward he is. Much like the trash we deal with daily. One can only hope while the punk is out partying and running his mouth that he gets out of hand. The locals respond and tough guy has enough liquid courage to run his mouth to much and gets arrested….and the tough guy crys like the little girl he is because he has to share a drunk tank with a wife beater..another tough guy like him. Stay frosty and be safe out there, Bro.

28 charles October 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm

I appreciated the fact that you took the time out of your day to answer a few questions so that any person who wanted to join the police force has a better understanding that the job is not for glory but for the sake of doing what others wont. I want to thank you for doing a great job because I am sure if you did not that you would not still be an officer helping the community as an undercover agent..

29 Big B November 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I am at the end of the process to be a police officer, and I also am getting my principal certificate. I have a family and think being a principal is better for them, but I want to be a police officer; however, at the end of the day I want to be there for my children. Thank you for your words on the job, it has helped me to make an informed decision. God Bless the officers, but I think I am going to work in prevention by getting these kids to buy into education.

30 MJ December 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Most police officers work a huge amount of overtime for years and years. New cops work 2nd and 3rd shift for at least seven years. The divorce rate is very high. Officers tend to bond tightly with other cops and form an “us vs. them” attitude about other people. They have a tendency to always jump in and take charge of non-police situations. Many cops retire after only 20 years because they are burned out.

31 HGrang33 October 19, 2013 at 4:31 am

I know this is an old post that I am just now running across but I feel the need to put my 2 cents in. My husband is a police and I really hope you understand how important number 9 is. He works overtime, he has missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays etc… I understand that this is his job and he enjoys it but missing out on major life events as often as he does is something that is quite frankly too difficult to bring up and deal with. He wants children and I refuse because he is not home often enough to take care of them and help me out. I love my husband to the depths of the earth but his career has changed his attitude-described very well by fellow readers of this post. He is not the man I married and I feel like I am a part time wife. I think you should do whatever makes you happy but please think long and hard about others when you make the choice to become a police officer.

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