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Why be a LEO?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by TechBrute, Mar 14, 2004.

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  1. TechBrute

    TechBrute Member

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    So the latest bunch of anti-LEO threads have got me wondering... why would anyone want to be a LEO?

    Cons:
    Low Pay.
    High Risk.
    When people see you, their stress level goes up.
    You're a target for the press, activist groups, criminals, etc.
    Lack of support from the community.
    Lack of support from your superiors.

    Pros:
    Get to carry a gun.
    With a bit of effort, you can convince yourself that you're making a difference.
    Paid administrative leave when you screw up.
    "Get out of jail free card" from traffic tickets.
    People have to do what you say.
    Easy to qualify for the job.


    There's obviously something I'm missing from the PRO category. Let's hear why someone would become a cop.
     
  2. Kodiak AK

    Kodiak AK Member

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    Well . From speaking with a quite a few oficers in my day I have gotten a lot of different reasons .

    1.No body is going to pick on him anymore. (That guy actualy scares me, I don't hink he should be in the general population much less wearing a badge on top of it .)
    2.My older brother died from a drug overdose.
    3.My little sister was raped.
    4.My brother was killed in a gang drive by.
    5.My uncle was killed by rasicts.


    Also from my personal experiance with speaking to a bunch of different officers , it seems a big city cop is more likely to have a chip on his shoulder and get into police work to be "A big man with a badge and gun."
    Small town cops seem to be more likely to do it just because it is something to do for the town .

    Face it man . There are good cops , and there are bad cops . Just like any other profesion even lawyers . I can actualy name two good lwyers off the top of my head . The problem is , the bad apples give the rest of the profeshion a bad name .
     
  3. TheFederalistWeasel

    TheFederalistWeasel member

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    Your PRO list tells me a lot about you.

    If you want to get into LE just to carry a gun your in the wrong profession.

    “Convince yourself your making a difference�

    So last week when I made those two felony arrests for $2,500.00 in bogus check, taking a man who made is career out of defrauding banks, is that not making a difference to you? Or what about the guy who put his wife in the hospital with two broke arms and a fractured skull, I hooked him up for aggravated battery, he’s on probation for two other felonies, upon conviction of this one he’s gone!

    Is that not making a difference?

    Paid admin leave?

    Partner you only get put on PAL when you use force in the line of duty where I work, if you f**k up elsewhere it’s without pay or they rip you for damages.

    Example you wreck a car and it’s your fault it comes out of your check!

    “Get out of jail free card�

    Yea it’s called not breaking the law; I’ve never even been pulled over before, period!

    “People have to do what I saw�

    Negative, if I encountered you, a law abiding person and I just told you to do something just for S&G’s you do not have to do it, where the heck did you come up with that?

    Too much TV?

    “Easy job to qualify for�

    Here is the process I went thru…

    I applied for the Police Academy

    Was interviewed by the director

    Completed a POST background check, which involved a GBI Agent interviewing my family, criminal and drivers history, fingerprints and a polygraph.

    Next two POST Instructors interviewed me again

    Took assessment written test

    Took POST Skills written test

    Completed a complete medical physical to include a stress test

    Completed a psychological examination, which included SIX tests three written and three computer based and culminated with an interview with a Psychologist.

    Then I was cleared to enter the Academy.

    13 weeks each week ended with a written exam which I had to pass with 80% or higher plus 4 standalone modules, had to pass 12 practical exams, in all 17 written exams and 12 practical. Had to complete Emergency Vehicle Operations Course and meet the Georgia Firearms minimum standards. Two 80% or higher scores on the GDAC, I topped out at 98.8% and won the shooting trophy, I also won Academic excellence award in my class 97% GPA.

    Next I had to apply for the department I currently work for.

    Was called for my initial interview with Internal Affairs, yes they do the app screening.

    Submitted to YET ANOTHER background check,

    Had YET ANOTHER Medical physical/drug test etc…

    Had YET ANOTHER psychological examination similar to the one above.

    PT Test

    Chief and Asst. Chief Interview

    Met with Patrol Major

    Waited for my letter

    Was hired only after I completed all of the above

    Then I was subject to 12 weeks of Field Training plus four more schools I had to complete prior to being turned loose on my own.

    Yea-easy job to get.

    Oh yea all the while I was in the Academy I did not get a paycheck, I sponsored myself,















    :fire:
     
  4. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    I think it's fairly simple.

    Because cops are the good guys.

    Yes, I know: a few aren't. But by and large, most police officers set out to, and do, do good.

    They are perceived much like lawyers. People bash them until they need one -- and then they have high expectations for their performance.

    In the recent past, and still in some places, joining the cops was a ticket to middle-class comfort for those unsuited, either by education or inclination, for other good-paying jobs.

    Today, with the "professionalization" of the police, entrance requirements are increasing. For example, in Minnesota, a cop MUST have a 2-year law enforcement degree or another4-year degree PLUS cop skills training.

    And in the recent past, and still in some places, police officers are actually respected by most of the people they encounter.

    It's not bad work. Police officers work autonomously, with little direct supervision. They get to exercise a great deal of discretion in their work.

    And it's an honorable profession. And some folks still care a great deal about honor.
     
  5. TechBrute

    TechBrute Member

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    Well put.
     
  6. PATH

    PATH Member

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    When the the feces hit the rotary twirling blade device it is always the LEO's who get called. Our LEO's fight crime, deliver babies, direct traffic, respond to accidents, keep the roads safe, and perform a whole host of duties you'll never hear or know about.


    Why be a LEO? Yes, it is a secure job in terms of a paycheck. More importantly it is one of the greatest services you can render to your community. Do it for the best of reasons. Make a difference!

    Remember that you are paid to run into what others run away from on a regular basis. LEO's put their lives on the line everyday they suit up and go out there.

    I'd also like to take this oppurtunity to say THANK YOU to all the fine men and women who put it on the line everyday!!! It is a noble calling and profession!
     
  7. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    Gosh, I thought it was because it feels great to put Bad guys where they belong and to help others in times of need.
    And fill out paperwork. Don't want to forget that.
    And dealing with drunks and dopers, liars, cheats and thieves. Gotta be a whole lot of fun.

    And the Pay.
    And New Years Eve off, celebrating with family and friends, then sleeping in the next day.
    Great for keeping good relationship with significant others too.

    Target complex for everyone to aim at... and I mean everyone.

    7 hrs 59 minutes of boredom and 60 seconds of sheer "Why DID I sign up for this?" each shift.

    Sometimes I do wonder why these guys and gals want to wear a white hat.

    Don't even want to think about where we'd be without them.
     
  8. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    For the same reason some people join the military. They want to contribute something positive to the country and its citizens. Protecting people from enemies, foreign and domestic, isn't something you do for the money, power rush or to get to play with guns.
     
  9. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    Why become a cop? I'll try and answer your questions without being offensive:

    Cons:
    Low Pay.

    Yes, it doesn't pay crap, but in my case the benefits i.e. medical, dental, rule. The rule of thumb is, if you get paid well, your benefits suck, if you have good benefits, your pay sucks.

    High Risk.

    Only some of the time. I am in a very unique law enforcement job, I don't fight drunks or deal with domestic abuse, but when I go on a "mission" it can get deadly dangerous before you know what happend. So the risk is not TERRIBLE but it's not a 9-5 accounting job either. If you want REAL high risk look into armored truck work. YEESH!!!


    When people see you, their stress level goes up.

    Not everyone's. I have to admit however, when I was 16 I had a townie cop stick a gun to my head and scare the living ????? out of me. I have never quite gotten over that and yes, when I see one of those bozos my stress level goes up. (and I'm a cop) so usually there is some other reason than you being a cop to stress them out.

    You're a target for the press, activist groups, criminals, etc.

    Always have been, always will. It's because it is a high profile job. Cops are easily distiguished from the public and everyone wants us to enforce the law on everyone BUT them.

    Lack of support from the community.

    This is true. This is false. It depends on the person. I have been cussed and hugged. I have been ridiculed publicly and praised publicly to the point of turning red.

    Lack of support from your superiors.

    This is almost a constant unfortunantly. You really are out there on your own. This is also why some officers become so attached to other officers, its all they have. We share a common affliction. Politics may be blamed I guess.

    Pros:
    Get to carry a gun.

    WHAT!?!?!? Do you know WHY we carry a gun? Self defense. A handgun is a defensive weapon, not an offensive one. A rifle can be either but a handgun is only good at defense. Want an example? Go clear a room with nothing but a handgun when the perp was last seen with a 12ga. You WILL know fear.

    With a bit of effort, you can convince yourself that you're making a difference.

    Okay, now that is offensive. If I did not do MY particular job you would know it. Your pay check would be worth less than the paper it's printed on. Yet you have never seen or heard from me or my guys, we protect even YOUR interests.

    Paid administrative leave when you screw up.

    Thats a joke. Paid administrative leave is like being in purgatory. You sit, out of communication with your fellow officers for days or even weeks while they tear apart your every action and word during a situation. You don't know if you will be given an award or fired. You don't know your future and it is completely out of your control. Your family doesn't know what's going to happen. The psycological stress of this cannot be effectively passed on to those who have not seen it first hand. Its NOT a vacation.

    "Get out of jail free card" from traffic tickets.

    I've been pulled over 1 time in the last 3 years and guess what? I got a ticket. It was for tags. I don't speed, don't drink and drive. I am responsible to my Cheif even while OFF duty. There is no such thing as being OFF the clock in this kind of job. If I were caught smoking weed OFF duty, then I'm fired. If I get caught speeding OFF duty and try to "good 'ol boy" my way out of it and that officer calls my cheif.....I'm in hot water. How many times has YOUR boss been called in the middle of the night because of somthing YOU did on your own time?

    People have to do what you say.

    Wrong. Unless they have broken the law they can (and frequently do) tell me to go to hell.

    Easy to qualify for the job.

    Okay.....here we go with the offensive questions again.

    1. 2 years of college. Still working on my BS to qualify for advancement. How many years have YOU got? I have an A.S. in Computer Science and one in Criminal Justice. I am working on a BS in C.J. and my eventual goal is an MBA.

    2. Experience in security of police work/military REQUIRED. I bounced around in the back of an armored truck to get that experience. The hardest dirtiest most deadly job I"ve ever seen. 3 people were killed during my last 7 months there.

    3. Application filled out, don't hear anything for 1 to 2 months in most cases.

    4. Interview, initial. The weed out process. Clear that.

    5. Interview with the Lt. or Shift Commander and maybe a Sergeant.

    6. Interview with the Assistant Cheif and Shift Commander and maybe a Sergeant. You know, the "hot seat".

    7. Background and reference check of your life. Fingerprints, heck, they even check your credit. Did you know you can't be a cop in some places with bad credit?

    8. Physical.

    9. Drug screen.

    10. Psyc. Test and Psyc. Interview. I have seen perfectly normal people fail this.

    11. Written test. I.E. your writing and grammerical skills. Basic math and problem solving etc.

    12. Get hired about a month or two later. Total time in process? 2 to 4 months.

    13. Begin training. Sent off to specialized training area for a week of introductory academic training followed by a test. You don't pass, you're fired.

    14. Return back and begin training with firearms etc. Total time spent training? About 10 to 11 weeks. Then you have to complete an supplamental training twice a year. These average 3 days long.

    15. You are sworn in. Congrats....now you are assigned to a field Off. you pass that, viola' you're a cop.

    Piece of cake, like working at Target.:scrutiny:

    One other thing:

    "It's not bad work. Police officers work autonomously, with little direct supervision. They get to exercise a great deal of discretion in their work."

    The above statement is no longer true in most cases. The cars are attached with cameras and GPS locators. You get out of your beat or somthing goes down....you get gigged. They know where you are and when and why. If you take to long on a stop, they review the tapes. In my particular field, I work along with my supervisor day to day. I practically have to sit in his lap. So that is not necassarily true.:rolleyes:
     
  10. Country Boy

    Country Boy Member

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    I'm in the final stages of the selection process for a Highway Patrol Trooper in both ND and SD. Allow me to chime in as somebody who wants to get into law enforcement.

    I want to be the one that is actually making a difference, not just sitting around griping about how I wish it could be better. I want to be one of the frontline troops, one of those who stand up for and enforce what is right. I want to be the one that gets the call to deal with those things that go bump in the night, so that everyone else can sleep peacefully.

    I like knowing that what I do makes a difference. That's why I initially got into teaching, and that's why I'm changing careers to law enforcement. Counting beans and pushing paper wouldn't satisfy my sense of duty. If I can make my slice of the world a little better, I sleep well at night. There are going to be challenges and struggles, but there are challenges and struggles in anything worth doing.

    If you want to know why someone would go into law enforcement, look at the lyrics from the song Toby Keith sings called American Soldier. It will give you a pretty close idea.


    I'm just trying to be a father
    Raise a daughter and a son
    Be a lover to their mother
    Everything to everyone
    Up and at 'em, bright and early
    I'm all business in my suit
    Yeah, I'm dressed up for success
    From my head down to my boots

    I don't do it for the money
    There's bills that I can't pay
    I don't do it for the glory
    I just do it anyway
    Providing for our future's my responsibility
    Yeah I'm real good under pressure
    Being all that I can be

    And I can't call in sick on Mondays
    when the weekends been too strong
    I just work straight through the holidays
    And sometimes all night long
    You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door
    Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey, I'm true down to the core

    And I will always do my duty no matter what the price
    I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice
    Oh, and I don't want to die for you
    but if dyin's asked of me
    I'll bare that cross with honor
    'cause freedom don't come free

    I'm an American soldier, an American
    beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand
    when liberty's in jeopardy I will always do what's right
    I'm out here on the front line
    Sleep in peace tonight
    American soldier, I'm an American soldier

    Yeah, an American soldier, an American
    beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand
    when liberty's in jeopardy I will always do what's right
    I'm out here on the front line
    So Sleep in peace tonight
    American soldier, I'm an American
    An American, an American soldier
     
  11. thefitzvh

    thefitzvh Member

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    [puts flame retardant suit on...]


    This is why I, as a member of the military, no longer have a problem with LEOS referring to everyone else as "Civilians."

    The urban battleground they deal with is ruthless.

    Sure, there's some bad cops, but by and large they're a good group of people. In my experiences with them, I can say there were a few times I was damn glad they were around.

    James
     
  12. Kodiak AK

    Kodiak AK Member

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    alduro Lack of support from your superiors. This is almost a constant unfortunantly. You really are out there on your own. This is also why some officers become so attached to other officers, its all they have. We share a common affliction. Politics may be blamed I guess.
    You need to come to Kodiak and work for Kami.
    I love this guy , he is the best Cheif we have had since I have been here .I had a lot of divorce problems a few years back , and my ex tried to play the abuse card to get custody of our daughter . One day during visitation she called the cops and had them come get my daughter by lieing to him about haveing custody from a dvro.
    Well he did his job and came to get our daughter ,but both I and my wife knew the DVRO was canceled . Now I fully admit that when he took my daughter I blew my top and I cussed him out something fierce . He said to come by his office in the morning so I did .
    In the morning He said flat out " One of our officers mis filed paper work .You where correct .I don't care for the way the discusion went yesterday , but the fact that a mistake was made reflects badly on our department , and I take full responsabilty for this situation."He than advised me that if I contact my lawyer he will suply him with all of the releveant material to begin legal action.And that he can not discuss it any more with me .
    I am a man of many things , but I truly suport an honorable man . More so when that man has the opurtunity to tell me to get bent and arrest me for what I said to him the day before .I explained to him that I didn't need to take any legal action bsed on the fact that he A. Apologised for a mistake . And B.Was willing to take full responsabilty for it . I asked him if he could provide a statment to the court concerning the details of the incident and he agreed . The affidavite of the cheif of police swearing my wife had lied to the police realy helped me in the divorce . I still lost my daughter , and a lot of other stuff , but it would have been much worse with out that statement.
    At that point in my life due to recent events I was VERY anti LE.It is amazing what a difference ONE honorable man can make in someones life . Like I said in a post earlier . There are good cops and bad cops . I thank each and every one of you good cops for what you do . I hope every bad cop gets burned because you are a disgrace to your profesion.
     
  13. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Self esteem, with total satisfaction! :cool: Been there
    and done that, my friend. Tell a seven year old child
    whose dreams are being a policeman/policewoman
    on the beat that they really don't want to be known
    as a "COP"! At least thats the age whereas I made
    up my mind; and I don't think "come hell or high
    water" could have changed it? You can learn a lot
    about duty, honor, and courage from this type of
    profession. In 20+ years as a LEO, I must say that
    most of the time it was enjoyable duty.

    After all, not all of us go around raming toilet brush
    handles up the rear ends of suspects!

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  14. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    Sorry about your loss Kodiak......I hate divorces. They tend to be nasty, personal and drag everyone around them into the muck. I didn't mean to imply that my Chief was not supportive, just the system and occasionally the shift commander.:D
     
  15. Kodiak AK

    Kodiak AK Member

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    alduro
    Divorce does suck .What realy blows is it is almost automatic that the man will be acused of abuse whiether or not there is any basis for it right off the bat .Honestly I think it may have made me a better man . I am in a truely loveing relationship now and have two beutifull kids with her that I am a devoted father to.That old saying about that which doesn't kill you rings true from time to time .

    I just thought it would be good to put a posative Le remark up on a post that is sure to go south .
     
  16. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the pros are very misconstrued.

    Easy to qualify for the job - Wrong. Out of about 100 applicants, maybe 5 will be accepted. Of those 5 offered a position, not all will accept so now you're down to 3-4. Of those 3 to 4, one may not make it through the Academy or FTO program.

    Get out of Jail Free - Not really and you'll find former LEO behind bars (and we're not talking serving or imbibing either).

    People have to do what you say - well, what you say better be lawful or it's lawsuit city or a trip to I.A. with a lot of 'splain'n to do. Wearing a badge doesn't make you better than the citizens you're suppose to protect nor does it allow you to bully them around. You act on behalf of society and not on personal whims or desire.

    Paid Administrative Leave when you screw up - along with a lot of stress that accompanies it. Any cop will pass on it.

    Want a real good pro? You sometimes make a difference. Return a lost kid to her the mother and seeing the joy on her face to be reunited with her child is something to be remembered.
     
  17. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    I did it for the chicks.:D
     
  18. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Was it successful? :)
     
  19. TechBrute

    TechBrute Member

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  20. Erik

    Erik Member

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    Why I wanted to be a LEO:

    I buy into notions of duty, honor, responsibilty, sacrifice for the greater good, and other such themes.


    Pros:

    A great deal of satisfaction, both personally and professionally, from serving my nation as an enforcer of our laws.

    The work is frequently interesting.

    I enjoy catching bad guys.

    The thanks of many in society. Nearly every day someone goes out of their way to let me know, as it happens. Great feedback.

    The way children respond to my mere presence. Kids are great.

    Reasonable opportunities fro advancement.

    Relatively good bennies and pay.

    Cons:

    Long, non-traditional work schedual which frequently interfers with activities involving family and friends.

    Sometimes it is hard to remember the satisfaction part.

    The uneasy stares I frequently get when I'm in uniform, regardless of what I'm doing at that moment.

    Negative generalizations and stereotypes about LEOs.

    The realization that despite one's best efforts you cannot accomplish everything you'd like to. Which translates into something deeper than mere matters of productivity.

    Folks who never give me the benefit of the doubt, while always giving the bad guy one.
     
  21. Erik

    Erik Member

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    Answer an interview question of why you want to be a LEO with a comment about getting to carry guns, driving fast, or cool gadgets on your belt, or anything that sounds vaguely like a power trip and you'll be lucky to have the courtesy of a follow up question. You certainly will not be deemed a "best candidate," if even a viable one.

    :uhoh:

    I know of nobody in law enforcement who would list carrying guns as a reason they joined up or as a reason they are staying in. Sure, there are many who enjoy firearms. There are many folks who aren't in law enforcement who enjoy them too. Correlations? Nope.

    Easy to qualify? Way off, as already explained. Mileage certainly varies with location, populace, opportunities, etc.

    It is true that LEOs frequently receive warnings from their peers regarding traffic offenses. Most folks do. And no, it is not a sure thing. I know fellow LEOs who have received tickets. I always question their demeanor, much like that of anyone else who failed to get a warning.

    I have never even heard of someone listing paid leave in instances of disciplinary actions as a perk before. Telling....

    :scrutiny:
     
  22. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    I've thought about becoming a LEO for the following reasons both of which fall under "making a differance":
    1) Justice begins with enforcement. As a LEO I would choose what crimes go before the courts and contribute to a more just legal system.
    2) Credibility contributing to a possible political career.

    Things that are in no way a "pro" from the "pro" list:
    "Get to carry a gun." I can do that whenever I want. Not nessisarily legally but morally. As an LEO I'd sudenly be in such a dangerous position that I NEEDED to care a firearm.

    "People have to do what you say." People will do whatever they want to do, as a LEO you just have to create consequences for them. Not a fun proposition. See previous "Pro".

    "'Get out of jail free card' from traffic tickets." Not always the case. I've heard stories of LEO's getting in serious crap-ola for off duty habits reflecting badly on the department. Something like a DWI can not only get your liscence revoked but fired as well.
     
  23. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Hk, a gentleman never says.:D But, yeah, a few times it was a "contributing factor" but not controlling.;)

    Tech, I did it for the experience. Helped me quite a bit here in the "real world.":)
     
  24. MountainPeak

    MountainPeak Member

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    To answer your question. It is an honorable profession. Added-I'm not a LEO.
     
  25. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 Member

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    Origianlly, I had intended on become a LEO. I earned my degree in the classrooms took my tests and attended the academy (I paid for it myself) Actually went for two depts openings. Made it to the top 10 before getting passed on. (They did make a good choice of the new guy) Initailly, I wanted to get into the carrer because I like where I'm from and actually wanted to be a part of the whole community. Also wanted to do my part to make it a better city. I remember one of my teachers saying it is 99% bordom and 1% terror and there's no glamorous adventures. Wearing a gun wasn't a factoer and anyone that wants the job just for that shouldn't wear the badge. When marriage became parenthood, my focus changed. time with my family far outweighed the hours of a LEO. I still have the utmost respect for those behind the badge. All to often they are the target of gripes, complaints and negative remarks, but when all else fails, that's who people call.
     
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