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Questions about family life of police officers

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Posted over 3 years ago

 

Greetings all,


After years of debating whether or not to move into law enforcement and working unfulfilling corporate jobs, I am finally taking the plunge.  I have been accepted into a local police academy in PA and I am slated to start in January 2012.  I am incredibly excited to begin this new career path and I have the full support of my wife.  However, I am beginning to feel a little apprehensive about the effects this career move will have on our family life.  I have two small children, 7 years old and 5 years old, and up until now; their lives have been very structured.  Since I have always worked an 8-5 job, I have always been around for the kids.  We hang out every night, have dinner together nightly as a family, I am always home for the weekends, and I have yet to miss a soccer or baseball game.  I know that once I become a police officer things will change drastically due to my impending work schedule.  i do not have a problem with missing the occasional baseball game or school function but it is important for me to still have time for my wife and kids.


My question to currunt police officers with families is how do you handle this situation?  Do you feel you spend adequate time with your familty or do you wish you had more time to spend with them?  Have any officers been in similar situations, moved from 8-5 work into law enforcement, and if so, how have you and your family handled the transition?


Thank you and any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


PC

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Welcome to PL from Maryland


In answer to your question.  Most all police Officer moved from a 9 to 5 job with weekends and holdiays off to enter Law Enforcement.


It is important that you wife understand right from the beginning that things will change.


Working shift work you will either be working or sleeping during many family functions.


Unless a holiday falls on your leave day, you will be working. Depending on your hours that day, you may miss being with the children when they open their gifts Christmas morning.


You will miss being with your family on Thanksgiving.


New Years eve will be out of the question. Normally all leave will be cancelled.


Depending on your schedule, you may not be able to go to your children’s school or sports events.


There are supervisors and departments that allow Officers with small children to come in late on Christmas day for day work or leave early from a midnight shift.and the Officers without children will cover for them But this is not a given and it depends on where you work and the workload of the agency.


My daughters first complete sentence was, " Mommy is Daddy working".


Once you get established you will have other assignments other then patrol. CID Vice and Narcotics. or even the SWAT Team if you decide to go that route. This is additional time away from home. With extra training, and call ins.


The hours are long with some departments having 10 or even 12 hour days. The only upside of this is you might have 3 to 4 days a week off. And don’t forget that these days could be longer if you get late arrest and have to stay to do the booking and paperwork. So when you get off is never exact.


On your days off you will be in Court. More time away from the family.


Make sure that you family understands and is on board because all of your lives will change.


I hope that explains a little of what you wanted to know.

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wiseass0282 says ...



My daughters first complete sentence was, " Mommy is Daddy working".



This sums it all up


I'm married to the LORD..no prenup

Andrea_and_i_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Welcome to PL and I think wiseass summed it up perfectly.

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PotentialPolice says ...



Greetings all,


After years of debating whether or not to move into law enforcement and working unfulfilling corporate jobs, I am finally taking the plunge.  I have been accepted into a local policy academy in PA and I am slated to start in January 2012.  I am incredibly excited to begin this new career path and I have the full support of my wife.  However, I am beginning to feel a little apprehensive about the effects this career move will have on our family life.  I have two small children, 7 years old and 5 years old, and up until now; their lives have been very structured.  Since I have always worked an 8-5 job, I have always been around for the kids.  We hang out every night, have dinner together nightly as a family, I am always home for the weekends, and I have yet to miss a soccer or baseball game.  I know that once I become a police officer things will change drastically due to my impending work schedule.  i do not have a problem with missing the occasional baseball game or school function but it is important for me to still have time for my wife and kids.


My question to currunt police officers with families is how do you handle this situation?  Do you feel you spend adequate time with your familty or do you wish you had more time to spend with them?  Have any officers been in similar situations, moved from 8-5 work into law enforcement, and if so, how have you and your family handled the transition?


Thank you and any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


PC



 


Tact is not a virtue of mine. You need to use spellcheck if you can't do it on your own. I really dislike answering questions from posters who do not take the time or thinks its not important to tell us a liitle about themselves in their profile. Another blank one.


It seems you have some trepidation about sacrificing your home life for a career in law enforcement. Well, you can't have it both ways in this profession. There is no "middle ground" to be had. You will work overtime, a lot without pay. You will spend more hours at work than at home. You will miss important events in your families lives. You will work holidays, weekends, nights, days rotating shifts. Special assignments and training that require you to be away from home for weeks to months.


You do all this because its a calling. Because a few very special men and women have what it takes to do  the job. we do it because we do not have the attitude of "I'll let someone else do  it". You do the job because it is in your blood. You want to make a difference in this crappy world. You don't care what the hardships are. You deal with them.


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

25-1-13-a_1__max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

I have missed those Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and other holidays and I by no means am perfect but that being said....... I try my best to take advantage of every day off and let my kids know that time spent with them and mommy is the most important.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Speaking of spellcheck....."thinks its"?. That would be "think it's".....


just giving you a hard time. ;)


 


Anyway, back on topic, this job is hard on family. You will miss a lot of special events. Your wife and children will be home without you quite often. It is not always easy. The best advice I can give is to do the best you can to make the time together count. When you do have time off, spend as much time as possible with the family. Most importantly, as others have said, make sure your wife is aware of the chanllenge ahead BEFORE you embark on this crazy life journey into what we consider to be the greatest job in the world.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Yup, what wiseass said.


In GOD We Trust (All others get searched, then checked through NCIC)

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

It's going to be hard to make it any more succinct than how wiseass put it.  That says it all.

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Welcome to PoliceLink!


Many new members introduce themselves here (a courtesy, not mandatory) with a simple hello from the state they are located in.  Thank you for presenting your dilemma as part of your introduction.  It tells a lot about you.


I hope these expert responses help you make your decision.

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Rated -2 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Thank you all for your replies and, more importantly, your honesty.  I have no doubt this will be a difficult adjustment for my family but I still intend to move forward.


To SGT405:  thank you for being...a complete and utter arse.  You stated that tact was not one of your virtues - I think that my be the understatement of the year.  I will start with the spell check - and not spellcheck - issue.  I realize now I may have misspelled a word or typed the wrong word - I typed policy instead of police.  I absolutely hate when I send an email or post with grammtical errors.  I even read over the post a couple of times before submitting and still did not catch the grammitical errors.  But what can I can say - I am only human.  I thank you for pointing out my mistakes - there is nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others.  By the way, you may want to head your own advice regarding  using spell check when posting.  I noticed no less than four misspellings or grammtical errors in your post - kind of makes you look like an idiot after pointing out my misspellings and grammitical errors.  Finally, you stated you dislike answering questions from posters who don't provide some background information and I have a very simple solution for you.  Don't.  Don't answer their questions - move on - ignore the post.  When you do respond to a post and attempt to portray an air of superiority - as you did when responding to my post - you tend to come off as a complete and utter arse.


PC

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Rated +1 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Double P. Listen to Sgt405 as he is a long time professional. With a family and small children I read some doubt in your comments. My advice is become a reserve and keep your full time employment. Keep in mind not everyone is cut out for this profession. Give this move lots of thought.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Hold on now, there's no need for name calling. You asked for advice and you got it. If you don't have the right attitude going into the law enforcement profession you're not going to make it very far. You seem like a sensitive individual and you're going to need to get over that FAST.


SGT is right, it is a CALLING. MarlyB is also correct in that posting nothing about yourself and using this as your initial post says alot about you.


If being corrected on your grammatical errors by people you cannot see hurts your feelings, I hope you don't have to get corrected when you turn in your reports. It's time to pay attention to detail, my friend.  See that.....G-R-A-M-M-A-T-I-C-A-L.

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PotentialPolice says ...



Thank you all for your replies and, more importantly, your honesty.  I have no doubt this will be a difficult adjustment for my family but I still intend to move forward.


To SGT405:  thank you for being...a complete and utter arse.  You stated that tact was not one of your virtues - I think that my be the understatement of the year.  I will start with the spell check - and not spellcheck - issue.  I realize now I may have misspelled a word or typed the wrong word - I typed policy instead of police.  I absolutely hate when I send an email or post with grammtical errors.  I even read over the post a couple of times before submitting and still did not catch the grammitical errors.  But what can I can say - I am only human.  I thank you for pointing out my mistakes - there is nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others.  By the way, you may want to head your own advice regarding  using spell check when posting.  I noticed no less than four misspellings or grammtical errors in your post - kind of makes you look like an idiot after pointing out my misspellings and grammitical errors.  Finally, you stated you dislike answering questions from posters who don't provide some background information and I have a very simple solution for you.  Don't.  Don't answer their questions - move on - ignore the post.  When you do respond to a post and attempt to portray an air of superiority - as you did when responding to my post - you tend to come off as a complete and utter arse.


PC



 


How you respond is a window into a persons character and behavior. You were baited and you failed.  You can have any opinion you want, the reality of the situation is I have been doing this job for longer than you probably have been alive. With your attitude and anger issues over one little post that you perceived as an insult I don't think you have what it takes. You will have to prove me wrong.


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

I agree with Uncledennis. Also, even though you may have taken offense to Sgt405's words, you should have read more than just the top level. When he brought up spelling, he was pointing out a very valid lesson. Officers spend hours writing reports, and the accuracy and integrity of those reports should be top notch. I remember a colleague of mine being chastised by a judge for his report writing skills. So don't take offense, just take the advice that you were given. This is a job that you simply can not take lightly. And I noticed that you never mentioned what your wife's point of view on the job is. You can move ahead with your plan all you want, but if you both are not on the same page, there are going to be issues and you may likely end up pursuing your career alone. And that is even less fun with the competitive nature of obtaining a LE job nowadays. So, you said you have until January 2012, take this time to get it all squared away.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

All you needed to do was edit your post and fix your spelling and grammatical errors. Playing grammar war is childish. Learn from this experience. When you go to the academy, I dare you to say what you told  SGT405 when they correct your grammatical errors... bwahahah


I'm married to the LORD..no prenup

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Rated +1 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Romans_116 says ...



All you needed to do was edit your post and fix your spelling and grammatical errors. Playing grammar war is childish. Learn from this experience. When you go to the academy, I dare you to say what you told  SGT405 when they correct your grammatical errors... bwahahah



This is a fact....... BUMP Romans_116.  If Ihad a nickle for every spelling mistake or grammatical error that I see here on this site alone (not even including mine), I could retire.  If I called out only a fraction of those, my forums log would be overflowing.  Grammatical or spelling issues aside, take a step back from yourself and listen to what SGT405 is saying in his response to you.  Listen (as you read) to the responses of other who have posted.


You, PotentialPolice, asked the question hoping for information because you desired a response.  I hope the response that you were looking for was an honest response and not sugar coated with any of us saying that everything will work out and that these problems and work related conditions would not have such a profound affect on you and your family.  It affects all of us and it certainly is not easy when you have to miss one of the all important family events.  There will be added tensions in the home if communication between you and your wife is not a priority........ and even then there will be misunderstanding and associated hurts.  You WILL see the worst that life has to offer and the worst that people will do to each other and there WILL be things that you can not tell your wife.  You will find it easier sometimes to talk to a co-worker who happens to be female.  Don't think for one minute that this will be easy for your wife to understand.  This misunderstanding can lead to mistrust between the two of you and before you know it, the wedge between the two of you might be too large to overcome.


Yes.... you are right in saying that you / we are only human and will make mistakes.  Spelling mistakes may have been pointed out and you took offense to the person who happened to call you out on them.  You made a bigger mistake.  You started off initially on the right foot.  You proceeded to step off with the wrong foot.  Romans_116 made an interesting point.  In the academy, you will be informed by the staff that throughout your entire life, you have never talked right, stood right, walked right, eaten right, sat down in a chair right, dressed right, showered right, shaved right, looked right and written correctly.  In fact, your entire life from birth until present, everything you have done has been done wrong.  The delivery of this information may not be to your liking.  You didn't like the delivery here and what you received here was nothing compared to how you will receive it in the academy.  So...... you may want to step back, review and learn now or........ you can take your chances and do or respond the same way there when it really counts and see how far that gets you. 

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Rated +1 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

uncledennis1 - thank you for your reply and candidness.  I have given this issue much thought and consideration and will continue to do so.


 


To everyone else - thank you again for your responses.  However, I do feel I need to resond further.  I should start by saying that my feelings were not hurt nor was I angered by Sgt405's response.  Did I think his response was uncalled for - absolutely.  Do I still think he is an arse - absolutely.  My response to him was somewhat in jest but also felt I needed to say something because as I mentioned earlier I feel his response was uncalled for.  He said he baited me - why?  What would be the point of baiting me?  Why not just respond to question and be done?  What was Sgt405 attempting to prove?  A few of the other responses alluded to the fact that because of my response I am not ready for the academy and if I cannot handle a simple critique, how can I handle the academy?  I would like to point out that this is a forum and not the academy and I am able to separate the two - can you?.  When I attend the academy, I well aware of what my place will be.  I spent six years on active duty in the military and I am very proud of my military service.  In those six years I rose from and E-1 to an E-6  and earned my fair share of accolades.  The same "attitude" I had in the military is the same "attidute" I will bring to the academy.  Thanks again.


PC

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

PotentialPolice, whatever your reaction to posters here, keep in mind that tact is a very useful tool for the law enforcement officer. After all,  LEOs encounter an infinity of arses on a daily basis.


Finessing a jackass to come along quietly is an art.


 

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Hang on a sec, you served in the military and made it to the rank of E-6, but you have always worked an 8am-5pm job and never missed games, school functions or holidays? You had enough time to spend every evening with your family after the clock struck 5 as an active duty NCO and you didn't need to report at 0530, 0600 or earlier? 


 

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

I was in the military as a young man.  I left the military at age 26 and then went to college.  I have been working in the corporate world since then.  The wife and kids both came after college.

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PotentialPolice says ...



uncledennis1 - thank you for your reply and candidness.  I have given this issue much thought and consideration and will continue to do so.


 


To everyone else - thank you again for your responses.  However, I do feel I need to resond further.  I should start by saying that my feelings were not hurt nor was I angered by Sgt405's response.  Did I think his response was uncalled for - absolutely.  Do I still think he is an arse - absolutely.  My response to him was somewhat in jest but also felt I needed to say something because as I mentioned earlier I feel his response was uncalled for.  He said he baited me - why?  What would be the point of baiting me?  Why not just respond to question and be done?  What was Sgt405 attempting to prove?  A few of the other responses alluded to the fact that because of my response I am not ready for the academy and if I cannot handle a simple critique, how can I handle the academy?  I would like to point out that this is a forum and not the academy and I am able to separate the two - can you?.  When I attend the academy, I well aware of what my place will be.  I spent six years on active duty in the military and I am very proud of my military service.  In those six years I rose from and E-1 to an E-6  and earned my fair share of accolades.  The same "attitude" I had in the military is the same "attidute" I will bring to the academy.  Thanks again.


PC



I will take a 'wait and see' approach, however from your posts here, I am not optomistic, I think you lack committment, and remember, just graduation from the academy is not a guarantee of a LE job, in todays ecomony there are far more academy graduates that LE positions.

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PotentialPolice says ...



I was in the military as a young man.  I left the military at age 26 and then went to college.  I have been working in the corporate world since then.  The wife and kids both came after college.



I see, I was thrown off when you said you had only worked an 8 - 5 job. Best of luck to you.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Cedardale - thank you for your support; it is much appreciated.  I have a question for you - how is it you nothing about me, other then the few posts I have made, and you have come to the conclusion that I lack committment?  What do you know of my character, my drive, my moral standing?  Don't you think it is rather naive to pass judgment on someone after reading only a few post of a forum?


On the other hand, you are absolutely correct that graduating from the academy does not guarantee a law enforcement job.  Unfortunately that seems to be the case in almost every field.

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PotentialPolice says ...



Cedardale - thank you for your support; it is much appreciated.  I have a question for you - how is it you nothing about me, other then the few posts I have made, and you have come to the conclusion that I lack committment?  What do you know of my character, my drive, my moral standing?  Don't you think it is rather naive to pass judgment on someone after reading only a few post of a forum?


On the other hand, you are absolutely correct that graduating from the academy does not guarantee a law enforcement job.  Unfortunately that seems to be the case in almost every field.



I can read your posts, look at your profile and learn a lot from what is present and what is absent, can also tell some of what you haven't looked at on this site.

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PotentialPolice says ...



uncledennis1 - thank you for your reply and candidness.  I have given this issue much thought and consideration and will continue to do so.


 


To everyone else - thank you again for your responses.  However, I do feel I need to resond further.  I should start by saying that my feelings were not hurt nor was I angered by Sgt405's response.  Did I think his response was uncalled for - absolutely.  Do I still think he is an arse - absolutely.  My response to him was somewhat in jest but also felt I needed to say something because as I mentioned earlier I feel his response was uncalled for.  He said he baited me - why?  What would be the point of baiting me?  Why not just respond to question and be done?  What was Sgt405 attempting to prove?  A few of the other responses alluded to the fact that because of my response I am not ready for the academy and if I cannot handle a simple critique, how can I handle the academy?  I would like to point out that this is a forum and not the academy and I am able to separate the two - can you?.  When I attend the academy, I well aware of what my place will be.  I spent six years on active duty in the military and I am very proud of my military service.  In those six years I rose from and E-1 to an E-6  and earned my fair share of accolades.  The same "attitude" I had in the military is the same "attidute" I will bring to the academy.  Thanks again.


PC



 


I am not the one that has anything to prove. You are. And you once again have failed. You keep showing a lack of maturity and an unwillingness to be told you are wrong or be corrected. Mine or anyone elses motives are not important. Your obsession at proving the rest of the world wrong and yourself right is narcisistic, self-centered and egotistical.  I have enjoyed the best career life has to offer. I doubt you will.


With that, I am on to better more intelligent matters than this.


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

PotentialPolice - First crack out of the barrel with 'arse' and 'naive' might indicate maturity insufficient to show public restraint toward officers whose support one seeks - even those who may appear antagonistic.


One more strongly committed to the end goal might show 'grace under pressure' as the wiser choice of action.


 

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

You know Sgt405 you are absolutely correct.  I am self centered.  I am egotistical.  I am a narcissist.  I am immature.  I have a question - how did you get to be some darn smart?  You have me pegged - and after only a reading a few of my postings.  You say you are happy in your career and I do not doubt that.  However, I think you may have missed your calling.  With your uncanny ability to delve into the human psyche perhaps you should have went into psychiatry.


By the way, you really should try the spell check thing.


Goodbye and again thanks for responses.


PC

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

I have to BUMP UncleDennis. 


His idea is the best way to go until you determine that the profession works with your devoted family life.  Kudos sir and look into Reserves or Volunteers to start with.  Best of luck...

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

 MarlyB - I think you are correct.  I should not have used the word arse and I apologize.  SGT405 I apologize for calling you an arse - everything else I stand by.  However, I also standy by my decision of using "naive".  I believe it truly is naive to make an assumption or try to label a person based soley on a few forum posts.

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