Cheating death and fighting communism: that is how a fellow officer once described our job. It was meant to be funny, but as time went on it seemed all too true.
I spent more than ten years in law enforcement, all of it on the street in uniform patrol. I've been a patrol officer, instructor, sergeant and lieutenant.
Do not report crimes here. Nothing here should be considered legal advice. All opinions are my own.
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I started shooting a long time before I went into police work. Shooting has always been fun and relaxing for me. I don't recall the first time I shot a gun, though it was likely one of my dad's .22 rifles. BB guns before that.
In the academy, it seems like most people fail out because of firearms or academics (not passing tests) rather than just giving up. In field training (the initial on-the-job training), encountering violence is often what causes a lot of people to rethink their career choice. Law enforcement can be an ugly business and the environment is very toxic. Discovering that evil is something real, and not just stuff from a bad movie, is a real eye-opener. Most people never get into a fight as an adult. Depending on where you work, fighting people on a daily basis is part of the job. For some new officers, they can't handle the physical danger. Most of them decide on their own to move on. It doesn't mean they aren't great people, just not suited for police work. I don't think most people are prepared to encounter violence on a daily basis.
Depends. Some misdemeanors will automatically disqualify you, such as anything related to perjury or domestic violence. Others will not necessarily exclude you (like a bad check when you were in college, for example). However, any criminal record is going to make it difficult for you to get hired. If you have multiple arrests, it will be very difficult indeed.
Thanks for the comment about this thread. There is a very friendly rivalry between the cops and hose draggers (errr...firefighters) in my area. We work together all the time, and the firefighters in our city are top notch. Sometimes there are practical jokes back and forth, and always a funny jibe, but it is always friendly. Several of our officers have relatives on the fire department.
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Shot, no. Shot at, yes. While I have been injured, thankfully, all of my injuries have been relatively mild. Only one required any kind of "light duty," meaning that I had to work a desk for a few weeks until I was seen and cleared by a surgeon due to a knee injury.
Race is merely a descriptor to me when looking for someone. For example, if a white male just robbed a store, I will be looking specifically for white males. Beyond that, I don't care what you look like, where you are from, etc. All people are capable of good and evil. I'm looking for what people are doing, not what the look like. Every cop, no matter their own race, is accused of racism. Criminals don't like being arrested and can make all sorts of outlandish claims in an effort to "get back" at the cop who arrested them. It is annoying, but part of the world in which we work.
No. Politeness and honesty are your best friends in a traffic stop. Many officers already have an idea of what enforcement action they will take when they stop you. However, honesty and good manners are so refreshing that many officers will cut you some slack. Rudeness, on the other hand, can turn a warning into a court appearance. On a sparate note, the folks doing the soliciting for the PBA and other law enforcement organizations are often telemarketing companies who only give a small portion of the money they collect to the organization they claim to represent. If you want to donate to a law enforcement charity, consider Concerns of Police Survivors http://www.nationalcops.org/ They help the families of police officers killed in the line of duty.
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