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LEO Mental Progression/Degression

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Bbqxena_max50

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Posted about 7 years ago

 

After only 8yrs in law enforcement, I've seen my views and mental state go up and down. I remember how I first felt when I raised my right hand and swore to an Oath. I remember how I felt after learning the truths about society and what people are capable of. I've seen myself slowly evolve into what I am today. Not saying it's better, but it's definitely different than when I started. I once heard an old Army Ranger Full Bird say, "If you can figure out how to harness the initial feeling you had when you dawned the beret, you will do Great Things."

Have any of you noticed the progression/degression throughout your careers; from rookie status to now? If so, please explain... Be Safe

9-11-logo_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

“For almost all law enforcement officers, the career begins from a position of enthusiasm, motivation, and idealism, but the journey over the years from new recruit to experienced officer produces changes. Idealism can become cynicism, optimistic enthusiasm can become pessimism, and the easy-going young recruit can become the angry and negative veteran police officer.”

This comes from Kevin Gilmartin's "Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement". The book has a lot of vauable thoughts about how/why this happens, and how to manage it.

Coin_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Tat....

I equate your years of experience as to being in your late teens early 20’s... old enough but not old enough to be vested and start the new generation. Officers from the 6 - 10 years are old enough to have seen their share of stuff, smart enough to be on their own, have the "kids", officers with less than 6 years, idolize, and/or look up to them and competent enough to have supervisors rely on them. All of this is good yet it comes with a price. If you remember WAY back to when you were 18 - 20 years old you had your own opinion yet lots of people might not have taken you seriously. In your career, these would be older officers 10+ years and possibly even administrators and all of that adds to the frustration that you also encounter on the street. Then you are looked to for advice from younger officers, you see things that you have strong opinions on and you start to get jaded. Some officers; and I am sure you have seen this, tend to take on other people's problems, even though it has nothing to do with them, they become crusaders for others and they fight the wrong war or battle. Your Colonel has posed the right question and it is up to the individual to find that answer because it is different for everyone.

I tell you this to give you this piece of advice….. Want to recharge yourself.... follow a trainee, feed off of their enthusiasm and don't let things that don't effect you bother you; someone else's problem, is not your problem unless it directly effects you. You can do nothing about what you encounter on the street. Heck, that is why we do this job.... You can't do anything about your co-worker's attitudes and you can't do anything about administration, courts, bureaucracy and other entities, unless they allow you to have a say.... but you can do EVERYTHING about you! I can say this because I have been through it, lived it and got out of it..... Now I SEE it all the time.

Hang with the new guys, they will infect you with enthusiasm and you will teach them how to make it to 8 years. Your attitude will improve, you don’t get in the middle of the proverbial “pissing” matches and pretty soon, you will start smiling, laughing and giving the same advice!

Remember, no matter what anyone says; we have the BEST job, it is fun, challenging, exciting and not boring…. unless you make it that way.

Be safe, keep laughing and have fun!

Dscn1263_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

tat2,

I have been on for almost 18 years (7 1/2 to go)...I have born many burdens and suffered may tribulations that come with the job. I also have always remembered that this is what I chose to do with my life. When I start to feel down, I remember my brothers and sisters and the good that I have done with my life.

For a quick pick-me-up, I refer to the Old Testament and to another writing about Sheep and Sheepdogs. We are Sheep Dogs, the public is the Sheep, the criminals are Wolves. Though the Sheep do not always like to see the Sheep Dogs they go through their lives without fear of the Wolves because they know that the Sheep Dogs are there....

Stay Strong, Bare the Burdens and Suffer the Tribulations and at days end your life will have been well spent...For the service of man is the most noble of causes
.

3734983337_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

your ahead of the game tat, and it has nothing to do with age are time spent on the force. to many times in my job i have seen new officers try and fail, and try and succeed,age didnt give an advantage in most cases. the more you learn the less likely you will question yourself later. this job gives you the physical tools you need to carry out your task on a day to day routine,but you have to seek out the mental tools you need. when you have those you will sleep better at night. also training and supervising the new ones keeps you grounded.

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Tat2, it's human nature. The fact you've recognized it is good, now you can watch for it. I would venture to say it happens to everyone, but it's just a matter of degrees. Yep, ups and downs. What worked for me was trying new things and meeting new people (in person). It keeps me fresh and guessing, just when I think I have it all figured out.

Also, not knowing your particular situation, but sounds like you might be reaching promotion age?

Bbqxena_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

NICE! All gave great words to ponder on.... I think I got a head start by being raised by a retired Captain (31yrs). He has been in the trenches in a beat and commanded at all levels.....even held hostage twice!!! I feel good about my career and life so far, but it does get to me to see fellow officers turn to nothing but negativity....I'm currently a 2yr Sgt and a SWAT Tm Leader....I think the Rangers made me grow up quicker than I thought and the recent shooting humbled me....(First call-out where I was in charge inside objective)

I still have a lot of rookie in me though and I recognize that.........I still want to save everyone and their burdens bring me down sometimes....I've tried to and currently use the "servant leadership" style, but one man can only take so much......(that's even experiencing many days in a swamp with no food and your brothers eating insects, snakes and whatever is close enough to be victimized)

I love the sheep dog story and that's very true.....that helps put everything in perspective - that will add to my mental tool box ODIN mentioned........I feel the Admin trust me since they've put me acting Lt. several times and acting Patrol Commander once......a lot of stress you boyz have at that level.......

Thanks again for the advice - It definitely helps....

"Young-Buck Sergeant"

Bbqxena_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

......

Photo_user_blank_big

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

tat2, you sound strong and mentally squared away. trust your gut instincts. trust your head. also, maybe try to shake the job off you when you sign out end of tour(easier said than done, i know) go out w/ the boys after work, or better yet, spend time w/ friends or family not involved in law enforcement. (i don't know, maybe a fresh perspective?) any way, stay safe. all the best to you.