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Is being a LEO hard?

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Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

Good I don't have to answer this, Retleo covered it all. Well said Retleo


Retleo says ...



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 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 bacause 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 has a spark and is 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)



"EVIL WINS IF GOOD DOES NOTHING"

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Retleo,


You better copyright that.......


 

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

I have to confess, I've come back here a couple times to reread this and to sort of sink it all in because this stood out to me even as I would log off of here. I started taking policing courses about a year and a half ago and as I slaved over studying, I thought "this will take forever!" and now, I'm in my last year of school. To me, there are times I think "is this even right for me? Is this really what I want to do?" but then I'll be in a cj class the next day or chit chat with a friend about being a cop and feel at the end of the day that I'm walking the right way...just thought I'd share


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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Retleo has such a way with words.  This is the greatest job in the world.  Think of the number of kids that played cops and robbers then compare it to the number that played CPA and insurance salesman.


 


"You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone"- Al Capone

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Well said


As robocop says though it takes a certain type of person..I never saw it as hard I always felt it an honor to be given the authority to do the things that others won't...I miss the heck out of the job it is THE BEST JOB EVER!!!

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

 Kudos to klmckillip and what she wrote. That was heart wrenching

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Well said Retleo!  It sounds like you kept a healthy frame of mind during your career.  I'm on my 22nd year and still love doing the work, despite seeing just about everything you outlined.  For those who wish to join... join only for the right reasons and good luck.

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Well put. You didn't mention the paperwork.

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

YOUR STORY HIT ME HARD.I REALLY FEEL FOR YOU GUYS.i HAVE BEEN ON PL FOR AWHILE AND JUST A SUPPORTER I KNOW NOTHING OF BEING A COP BUT WHAT I SEE OR HEAR.I HAVE RUN INTO BAD COPS AND COPS WITH A HEART.SOMETIMES I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO FEEL.AFTER READING THIS I FEEL VERY DIFFERENT.THANKS FOR YOUR STORY,IT MADE ME SEE THINGS DIFFERENT.

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

This thread is very moving. I thank all of you for these enlightening posts. These are the visions and reasons I imagine you doing the job for. Thank You Retleo.- The concerned civilian. Ryan

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

That was a great answer!  Very well said.   

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

twoliver says ...



Retleo has such a way with words.  This is the greatest job in the world.  Think of the number of kids that played cops and robbers then compare it to the number that played CPA and insurance salesman.


 



I may not have played cops and robbers but I was always the banker when we played Monopoly back when I was a kid. It doesn't mean I didn't have fun.

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

Ret, this is almost exactly the same speech given to my Explorer Post way, way back in the early 90's by one of our advisors. I really like the point that you make about finding the right role models within the department to learn from. This is exactly what I did even as an Explorer and found that these guys won't hold back but they won't smoother your desire to learn, to that end I learned allot that you would not have learned by just going to the Academy.


Cheers!

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Rate This | Posted almost 5 years ago

 

cmhfleo says ...



acuerdo


 



I assume you meant choque


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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

made me wanna cry almost....all the LEO do and how little recognition they get

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

RetLeo I'm gonna borrow this, put it on my tab


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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

Retleo, you have put into words and summed it up, maybe not in total, but almost what every LEO feels day after day when he or she put's on the badge or star.  I took my pledge in 1971-72  and stayed with it for  as long as I could (14 yrs) do to an accident while on duty.  This was along time ago.  I still to this day consider myself  a loyal Medically Retired LEO and always will be.  What you have said is true.  I saw everything you mentioned in my career.  It was the best career I ever had.  Do it again?  You bet!  From the beginning.  Who ever is looking into becoming an LEO....study hard, stay out of trouble and go for it.  You will know in a short time if this is for you or not.  It is for some and not for others.  It is a way of life.  This career takes dedication and commitment.  You will need to give up alot.  Is it worth it?  I thought so.  So do others.  When taking on a career like this, it is always good if you have family and friends that will be there for you.  Can you talk about cases with them, I could not.  That was part of my Dept. pledge.  Loose Lips sink ships!  There are other things you cannot do, it depends on each Dept.  Good Luck to all new Rookies and those who have dreams of becoming Rookies.  Stay safe.  Thanks Retleo!

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

WOW.....just wanted to say that even tho this post is from a year ago it has been a great source for me personally.  I'm looking foward to starting sheriff academy this august. It really woke me up and to take this life choice serious. just wanted to say thanks for ALL the post and replys.  Thanks all

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

lebanonjacket says ...



WOW.....just wanted to say that even tho this post is from a year ago it has been a great source for me personally.  I'm looking foward to starting sheriff academy this august. It really woke me up and to take this life choice serious. just wanted to say thanks for ALL the post and replys.  Thanks all



 


Good luck! You're about to embark on the greatest vocation in the world!! Thart's right, it's not a job, it's not a career - it's a vocation or calling. Enjoy your time1


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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

Thats nicely put and amazingly descriptive!

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

The hard part about being a cop from my point of view is not knowing the laws. Domestics are tricky. Make an arrest or not. Court is stressful at times if you have a judge (s) that love criminals and hate cops. It takes an average 2 or 3 years to see if you will stay in law enforcement. Those are the hardest I think BC your learning.  

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

cross_rifles says ...



The hard part about being a cop from my point of view is not knowing the laws. Domestics are tricky. Make an arrest or not. Court is stressful at times if you have a judge (s) that love criminals and hate cops. It takes an average 2 or 3 years to see if you will stay in law enforcement. Those are the hardest I think BC your learning.  



Never Stop Learning. 


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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

I'm an aspiring LEO not there yet and wish I was and I would like to thank Retieo and all LEO's wholeheartedly for the post. It was very Informative and hasn't changed my mind. Well.. actually I want to be an LEO more now than ever. Patience is a virtue and I will be one with alot of hard work and detication. I would like to thank you all agian for this post.


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Rated +1 | Posted about 4 years ago

 

It's as hard as you make it.  It's an ever learning process.  You never stop learning new ways and updating what you have already learned.  No it's not that difficult, if you commit yourself.  It's a very rewarding job, no matter what other people think.  If you apply yourself and follow your department's policy and procedures, it will be a lot easier than you think.  Pay attention to detail and learn from the older officers that have been around for a while.  They have a lot to teach you.  Develoep your own style from watching how others do things, and apply their style to yours. 


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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

It is information and insight like that provided by retleo that make me proud to be a part of this site and even more proud to be entering this field! 


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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

Good Answer

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

yup

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

For me on the street was alot easier, working as a narc most of what I do i can't tell anyone, not even other LEO's. After a while the only time I feel like a LEO is  when executing a search warrant or in court. But I still love the job and would'nt change it at all.

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

I only know about working in a prison enviroment , but I think being a police officer is a much safer career and I will tell you why. They out number us and if you can get to the radio it’s already to late your dead before any guards could come to your aid. My facility houses over 3000 inmates and we only have 80 prison guards, do the math, they run everything

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