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Is being a LEO hard?

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Th_detective_max50

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Posted almost 6 years ago

 

IS BEING A LEO HARD?


YES, "VERY HARD". While the actual day-to-day routine of police work is not particularly challenging, and at times it can become pretty mundane and boring, there are aspects of the job that are very difficult and it takes a very special breed of person to be able to deal with those aspects.  The job is generally hours of tedium and repetition interspersed with seconds of sheer adrenalin rush, terror, sadness, euphoria, and any point of the emotional senses continuum that you can imagine. You must be a strong individual, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to survive in this job.


As a "YOUNG" officer you will be asked to intercede in fights, domestics, child births, deaths (natural, accidental, homicidal, suicidal, etc), car chases, accidents (motor vehicle, train, boat, aircraft). You will pull children from burning buildings, sometimes alive, other times dead.  You will be tasked with telling people that a loved one has died, you will attend autopsies, you will see, smell, hear, and touch things that you would never, in a million years, think of doing as a civilian. You will deal with people of other cultures, religions, sexual preferences, and ideological backgrounds.  You will be yelled at, cried to, lied to, thanked, congratulated, ridiculed and vilified ( ridiculed and vilified, both in person and by the media).  You may have to defend yourself against physical or verbal attack, get shot, stabbed, or be hurt or killed in a car wreck. You will be the one running towards danger as all of those around you flee from it.  There will be times when you feel that you just can't go on.  You will see the worst of people and you will see the best of people.


You will work weekends, most holidays (Christmas, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, etc.), days, afternoons, midnights.  You will miss family birthdays, anniversaries, the kid's school plays and dance recitals, their football, soccer, and baseball games. Your spouse and kids will ask why you are never around for them on such occasions, while at work you are there for other families, and your heart will ache.  You will turn down invitation after invitation for dinnner and other social events from family and friends because your schedule only allows you one weekend a month off.  You will  start to socialize only with other LEOs because their work schedule matches your own.  You may develop a "Us vs Them" mentality in which you view anybody who is none-LEO as an outsider worthy of only suspicion and mistrust (a sad and dangerous mental pitfall).


While most people learn about Police Work from the "Cop" shows on television, and it all looks exciting and fun, you must be aware that police work is a very dangerous job that is not for the faint of heart or mind.  People bleed, puke, shit and die on you.  You will become part of a Community (LEO) that is not looked upon favorably by many (Liberals, now calling themselves Progressives, and the Media for starters), and you will find that when you begin your LEO career some people that you counted as friends no longer want to associate with you.  You will no longer be invited to some parties or gatherings because you are a "Cop". 


You will find that you can only discuss some of the things that happen "on the job" with other LEOs because friends and family "just don't understand", or don't have the capacity to put what you are talking about into perspective.  You may find that you cannot handle the stresses of the job, and may "turn to the bottle" or some other form of self-medication as a method of coping or escape (beware of this serious pitfall, seek help if you enter this doorway). 


You will interact with a variety of other LEOs during your career, from the excited and "Gung-Ho" Rookie to the cynical and "Do-Nothing" Grizzled Old Vet.  Do not follow the paths of the extremists in either camp.  Seek out the stable, dedicated and hard working officers in your department and learn from them.  If you find officers with 10, 20, or 30 years in Law Enforcement who still have a spark and are still enthusiastic about their job, then learn from these people. It is people like them that rise to the top and make the word "Professional" have real meaning in our LEO Community.


This is a job like no other.  Despite the costs that you pay, both physically and emotionally, the rewards are boundless and extremely fulfilling. It is, without doubt, the best job in the world!


 


Revised 9/23/08 11:15am (Retleo)


"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

Retleo (MODERATOR #8)
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Thi_seal_max50

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Rated +2 | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Very well put. Can I steal it?


PL Mentoring Team Member

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mpd_943 says ...



Very well put. Can I steal it?



I agree


I love each day like its my last! Why do we are have to be so serious?

Th_detective_max50

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mpd_943 says ...



Very well put. Can I steal it?


Retleo says...


Feel free to use it as you want.........happy to be of assistance.



"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

Retleo (MODERATOR #8)
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Rated +4 | Posted almost 6 years ago

 


*************************************************************************** .


THE LIFE OF WORKING 911


***************************************************************************






"I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 6 in the morning as I check her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try and save his life.


*


I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout


gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I've become too familiar with.


*


I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a call, Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What Hazards await me? Is anyone trapped? Or to call and ask what is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or life threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?


*


I wish you could be in the emergency room, as a doctor pronounces dead, the beautiful five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during the past 25 minutes, knowing she will never go on her first date or say the words, "I love you Mommy," ever again.


*


I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the ambulance or engine or cruiser, the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, "It took you forever to get here!"


*


I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the remains of her automobile. What if this was my daughter, sister, my girlfriend or a friend? What were her parents react ion going to be when they opened the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?


*


I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come back from the last call.


*


I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, firefighters and paramedics out and when we call for them and our heart drops because no one answers back or to here a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife needing assistance. 


*


I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally and sometimes physically abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their


attitudes of "It will never happen to me."


*


I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain of missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.


*


I wish you could know the brotherhood, sisterhood and the self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone's


property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.


*


I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking, "Is my Mommy okay?" not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR done on him as they take him away in the Medic Unit. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.


*


Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us...I wish you could though."

 


Avatar_wild_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Nicely put indeed, RetLeo. May I add....


You will be asked to rush towards what everyone is running away from, whether it be fire, man with gun, rabid dog, etc... And when you feel you've done your best and helped those who needed it, they will turn around and sue you. This job is not for the faint of heart, it is for those who are staunch in their belief of helping those who need it, even if they don't know it.


Heroes Live Forever!

Th_detective_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Thanks for the kind words, glad that you all approve of the post.


 


"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

Retleo (MODERATOR #8)
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jlu492 says ...



Nicely put indeed, RetLeo. May I add....


You will be asked to rush towards what everyone is running away from, whether it be fire, man with gun, rabid dog, etc... And when you feel you've done your best and helped those who needed it, they will turn around and sue you. This job is not for the faint of heart, it is for those who are staunch in their belief of helping those who need it, even if they don't know it.


 


 



Nicely Put

1979_max50

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Rated +4 | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Outstanding! The only thing you failed to mention is that it the best damn job in the world for those who are a little 'different' and finds this strange life is part of their life. I dare say that I have lived the equivalent of many lifetimes because I was, and forever will be, a cop.

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+1

Rated +1 | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Hell yes, "because I was, and forever will be, a cop." thats the good shit.

11

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

That is information i have been looking for and thank you i have been wanting to be a cop for many years and im now persuing that career with the sheriffs department. everything i have wondered about has been answered. Thank you agin. And thank you for your service and everyone else to our communitys.

Patrolcar_pic_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Well put Ret.


"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. "

Thi_seal_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

JamesLadlee says ...



That is information i have been looking for and thank you i have been wanting to be a cop for many years and im now persuing that career with the sheriffs department. everything i have wondered about has been answered. Thank you agin. And thank you for your service and everyone else to our communitys.



To me this job is simply the best on earth.


PL Mentoring Team Member

My day begins when yours ends.

Mr_speeder_max600_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

well put. I love my job and wouldn't want any other job.

Bring_it_on_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

This is a great read and very well written. I enjoyed drinking my coffee and reading this, this mornig. Thank you Ret!!!

The_wall_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

It is all said in a few words of wisdom, Well Done!


PL Mentoring Team Member
Honor The Fallen, Strive never to have your name put on the wall
"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan USN

M_1fea71ddb46bbfd4ee7416f03a00ad38_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

YOU NAILED IT RETLEO!!!


BLESS YOU,


 


warm regards,
Penny
illegitimi non carborundum

Th_detective_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

As you may have noticed I have done some revisions on my original post based upon some of the posts that have been made in response to it.  I will keep it a "Work in Progess" and make additional revisions as needed.  Thank you all for your comments and input.  This job is our life and it is up to us to make certain that the newbies don't stumble into our world with blinders on.


"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

Retleo (MODERATOR #8)
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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Retleo says ...



As you may have noticed I have done some revisions on my original post based upon some of the posts that have been made in response to it.  I will keep it a "Work in Progess" and make additional revisions as needed.  Thank you all for your comments and input.  This job is our life and it is up to us to make certain that the newbies don't stumble into our world with blinders on.



Condensing it all into the original is a good idea


Heroes Live Forever!

Thi_seal_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

I like the revisions Ret. I try to give it to the rookies straight when I teach the academy.


PL Mentoring Team Member

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Well put RETLEO, that is the best I have ever heard it said. Keep up the good work and be safe always.

Jc_gunner_max50

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It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do. - Edmund Burke

 


The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his. ~George Patton

Th_detective_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

BUMP


 


"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

Retleo (MODERATOR #8)
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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Awsome post, RetLeo and SO true! Thanks!

Tattoo2_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

This is by far the best writing about our way of life that I've seen in a very long time!


Great job Retleo.


Most people respect the Badge... Everyone respects the gun...

"Proud serving Infidel since 2001"

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

 


Bump!

Img_9999__2__max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

You nailed it right on the head.  What's left to say???

Putnam_co

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Rated +1 | Posted almost 6 years ago

 


  1. Ya it's hard, but I'm still doin it after 30+ yrs I hope I am one of those vet cops that still have spark and enthusiasm retleo mentioned. You see I have been shot,stabbed,broken jaw ect. I do this thankless job for all those reasons retleo stated in his well worded answer. I have seen alot of things over the years. But you see even with the bad there is the good. Nothing feels better than helping that injured crash victim,and finding out that they live because of action you've taken. Or getting the bad guy,after he's beat the hell out of his spouse or girl friend. Well ya get the idea. Sometimes the job is great sometimes it sucks, But no matter what,if I had to do all again, I certanly would. Is being a cop hard? oh ya but very very rewarding. Good luck with your career. Hope you enjoy it as much as I.   (57yrs old and still doin it)


August 1942 Major General William C. Lee said to his men of the newly formed 101st.Airborne Div.
"WE HAVE NO HISTORY BUT WE HAVE A RENDEZVOUS WITH DESTINY"

Tam_and_i_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Seek out the stable, dedicated and hard working officers in your department and learn from them.  If you find officers with 10, 20, or 30 years in Law Enforcement who still has a spark and is still enthusiastic about their job, then learn from these people.


 


good stuff

Work_pictures_045_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Retleo,


Very well said.  I would like to add just one more part to what you said.  The community thinks that we are robots.  Nothing that they say, or do should make no difference.  Its like they think that we don't have emotions.  In the career of law enforcement, like Retleo said, we will see and smell thing we wished we never did.  I think the hardest part of this career is driving up to a scene and having the feeling of your heart be ripped out, but that does not matter.  You have to remain strong.  You can't cry at that time.  You can't puke at that time.  You have to be the brick wall that shows no emotion.  You must do you job.  That is the tuffest part of our career.  I can't remember who said it, but the good always outways the bad whether or not the public thinks so.


Good Luck with you Career

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