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Old 01-13-2013, 12:02 AM
policerevolvercollector policerevolvercollector is offline
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L.E.O. question...Why did you become a police officer? L.E.O. question...Why did you become a police officer? L.E.O. question...Why did you become a police officer? L.E.O. question...Why did you become a police officer? L.E.O. question...Why did you become a police officer?  
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Default L.E.O. question...Why did you become a police officer?

My answer is twofold. 1) My father (a deputy sheriff) told me NOT to do it. Every reason that he gave to support his position proved to be true (low pay, terrible hours/off days,etc.). But, I still wouldn't swap the life experience that I gained working in this profession for the last 28 years.

2) I saw the trust/respect that people had for him. I know that was a long time ago.

What got you started "on the job"?

Charles
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:07 AM
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Not an LEO. But I had the chance many years ago.

My fathers best friend was the US Marshall for Alaska. He wanted to recruit me. But he said the same things. Low pay. Long hours. Days or weeks away from home. I listened and joined the Air Force and got the same treatment!!

I didn't have the temperment for it anyway. First person that spit in my face would have been seriously hurt.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:19 AM
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For the money....
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:32 AM
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Family Tradition
regular employment and regular paycheck
pension

(also I couldn't sing, dance,play a musical instrument, or good looking, so Hollywood wasn't an option)
(where else can you harrass the citizens and get paid for it ?)
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:52 AM
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While not quite the same, I did spend some time as a Military Police Officer after 10 years as an aircraft electrician. Why... I met some people who belonged to that unit, and they impressed me with their dedication, bearing, and strength of character. So, I enlisted (again)! Loved the time I spent with that unit.

While the Army was different, especially after 10 in the Marine Corps, some of those I served with would have made d@#n fine Marines!
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:58 AM
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Chicks dig a man in uniform.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:00 AM
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I remember pulling traffic duty during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, in a dress uniform. None of looked, or felt very good at the end of our shift. Not sure too many chicks would have dug that!
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:10 AM
charlie sherrill charlie sherrill is offline
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When I first started I went into it because I thought it would be exciting. I was partially right. It began as 99% boredom and 1% pure terror. I discovered early on that a large part of the career was actually helping people who couldn't help themselves. The older I got the more I enjoyed doing this. I also enjoyed solving things and I learned that helping people helped me solve things and help people even more. People you help tell you things that they don't tell anyone else. Don't tell anyone who these people are, even those you work with, because if you do they won't tell you anymore.

From 1969 until three years ago I worked terrible hours. Nights, weekends, holidays, birthdays, in all kinds of weather, all of this for a pay that I could barely get by on. My reward was not financial, it was in the satisfaction that I knew I had made a difference even though I was not often recognized for it. I didn't care. In a few days my LEO career will be over. I'm on Medicare, my first SS check comes next month along with a smaller than normal pension. I'll still get by. The younger folks are doing the job now, not exactly like I would have, but still doing it. I've trained a few of them and hope some of it stuck with them. Would I do it again? Hell yea!
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:13 AM
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You didn't know it was called Washington State Patrol and Son, did you?
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:13 AM
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After I got out of the navy in 1995, I could not find a job. One day after watching "Cops" I thought to myself "I can do that !" So I worked my way into it through the Dept. of Correction, County Jail, before the Sheriff's Office. Now. that I've been on the streets for seven years. I think "What the hell was I thinking?".
I still enjoy the job but, I don't want to punish my wife any more.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:17 AM
MaximumLawman MaximumLawman is offline
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My dad told me not to be a teacher....I was bored with college and wanted to get out of the house while I still knew everything. Turns out I loved the work while I was young and single. Ten years later and married with kids, on call 24/7, not as much. It was still a good job though even though I made a lot less money than my pals in real estate, banking, tech etc. I was content that I had the prospect of a decent pension and job security. That lasted until the housing market and the dot com collapse when my buddies who were suddenly out of jobs after making 300k and up per year decided that I was making too much money and shouldn't have a pension because they didn't get one. Then the take-aways started happening......Now almost 30 years later it's just about time to get out.

I tell my kids to finish college while they still have a safety net with mom and dad, like I didn't, and stay away from local cop jobs. Get a degree and a job that won't tie you down with chains to one employer. A type of occupation where you actually NEED a college degree for the training that provides the ability to work in that field. Not something where a degree is just the price of admission. More importantly, I recruit other role models for my kids and get THEM to tell them these things, because it seems to have a lot more credibility when someone else tells them. You shouldn't need a degree to be a cop yet it's becoming more and more necessary to have one to be competitive in the field with regard to promotions, post retirement jobs, etc. I take this as a symptom of academia looking out for academia. Paying for college just to keep the machine going.

The job has been very good to me but my family and I put a lot into it as well. I earned every dime I ever took home and then some.

The famous Joe Friday "What Is A Policeman" speech on the Dragnet Episode known as "The Big Interrogation" pretty much sums it up without too much extra cornball. It's pretty timeless and is still true today.
Joe Friday, What it means to be a Police Officer - YouTube

There's a certain mystique about the job that's enticing for the first few years. This wears off in time. How much time depends on whether you work for a big city department or a smaller, less busy one, I think. And look at how many cop wannabes there are out there. You can see them on internet forums all over the place as well as your every day life. They don't make television series about accountants for a reason. Everybody thinks they know what policework is all about but it's one of those things you'll never "get" unless you're there, making a living at it, for a number of years. You don't "get" it by being a volunteer police reserve, you don't "get" it by hanging around cops at the bar listening to war stories and you don't "get" it by watching TV shows.

After a while, I enjoyed the feeling of having a backstage pass and a front row seat to the greatest show on earth and seeing and hearing things that nobody else got to see and hear. It was also amusing to hear others who were clueless, tell me about what my job was all about. It was good to be a part of this somewhat exclusive club. This has nothing to do with any "blue code of silence" nonsense but rather a camaraderie that most other occupations don't have.

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Old 01-13-2013, 09:35 AM
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In East Kentucky when I turned 21 there was a saying:
Coal mine,moonshine or on down the line. My decision was on down the line to a county sheriff office. That was almost 30 years ago. Glad I did not try the coal mine or moonshine.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:37 AM
MaximumLawman MaximumLawman is offline
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What part of Eastern KY?? For most of my family "on down the line" meant Detroit in the 1920's after a few decades around Lynch and Stonega,VA. I wish they would have picked CA or WY or ME or......But the factories beckoned.

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Old 01-13-2013, 09:40 AM
mccloud112 mccloud112 is offline
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knott/breathitt county.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:53 AM
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Mmmmmm...Fresh donuts from the bakery at 4 in the morning Fresh hot coffee when the cafes opened at either 5:30 or 6.

Why????? My dad had always said when I was a kid, to work with my head, not with my back, like him...(He was a blacksmith by trade).

Had to be physically fit, but the work wasn't all that physical to do. So I can do that....

The job was steady...and would supposedly come with a good pension. (disability pay ain't squat. )

As mentioned above...the gals love a guy in uniform

Also as was mentioned, sort of anyway...Once a cop, always a cop. The camaraderie is life long.


WuzzFuzz
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:56 AM
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Cuz I'm an adrenaline junkie..... No actually I really thought we made a difference.... Lesson learned
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:00 AM
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Not a police officer, but i realy appreciate and thank everyone that weare the badge.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:28 AM
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I was 32 years old with a college degree, owned my own business and had made a lot of money. The new county sheriff had won his election saying he was going to clean up the department and it needed it. I was one of several he reached out to and asked to help him develop a professional work force and get the business end of a department under control with a fifteen million dollar budget (at the time).

I turned my business over to my wife and staff and went to the academy. After that, it took us 4 years to really turn things around for the department both professionally and financially. I had committed to the sheriff to stay 5 years, and that was 15 years and 2 more sheriff's ago. I've done it all from patrol, CID, SWAT, and administration and it's been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.

Here's the main thing I've learned in my tenure in LE, most cops who work their way up to chief or sheriff don't know diddly about managing big budgets. They don't fully understand the concept of time-is-money and efficiency, things that people who have to turn a profit understand. I've worked with some great cops who were inspirational leaders, but just didn't have the financial background or training to run a business. The smart ones, though, get people on their staff who can help them with their weak areas, and I've been fortunate enough to work with some smart ones.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:49 AM
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Too lazy to work, too nervous to steal and too many morals to be a fireman. L/E was the only option.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:42 PM
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In the very early 80s I was new to adult status and thought my life was set as a highly paid machinest. Then the bottom fell out of the economy and, after about 9 months of no jobs in my field, I went to the AF recruiter. I decided that I wanted a recession proof carreer where I could keep working through any more recessions.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:24 PM
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I spent a total of 33 yrs. on the job, and 28 of those yrs. were in municipal law enforcement. It truely is "the greatest show on earth". I like to think I have seen it all, but everyday was different, and you never knew what was going to happen next. Yes, the thrill of the hunt kept me going. I get a moderate pension & took my SS at 62, so I can get along for now, and I knew going in that I would never "keep up with the socialites".

When asked why did I become a LEO, my answer is straight and simple. I did it to make a difference in peoples lives & stand up for those who could not.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:29 PM
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Tool a Federal LEO job for 2 reasons - no one ever got laid off, and 20yr retirement (now 25yrs). How can you beat 20yr retirement?? Bailed out in 1991 and it was the best day of my life to hand in the equipment. So far 21yrs of paid vacation, with more to go!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:38 PM
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Ya get to visit folks.....




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Old 01-13-2013, 01:49 PM
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I grew up in Detroit and always admired Police Officers even though my father hated them. Coming from a broken and disfunctional family setting, I never though that I was good enough for the job.
After high school I saw a few of the guys in the neighborhood get on DPD and I though, heck, if they can do it then so can I.
I fought the affirmative action thing for several years and finally got on. Did 32 years in two departments combined and would not have done anything different.
I don't know why it is, but a lot of cops tell their children not to get on the job. Probably just want them to do better than them. Personally, my daughter is getting into LE and I am proud of her. Hoping my son does the same.

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Old 01-13-2013, 03:07 PM
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I swear this is true.

My dad took me to see Deliverance in the movie theater when I was 12.

Prior to that day I was a budding young paleontologist. I walked out of that theater knowing I had to have a job that would let me carry a gun ALL THE TIME.

Here's to you, Ned Beatty!
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:09 PM
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Needed a job when I got out of the Navy. Tried driving cab and bartending. Got to be friends with one of the deputies that would come in on bar checks and it went from there. Nothing existential.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:47 PM
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A friend said the department was hiring and I hated my job. I applied and was hired. Thirty-four years later and a succession of college and federal LEO positions, I retired VERY happy with my decision. I still miss catching bad guys.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:15 PM
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Charles, if you find yourself having doubts about going into law enforcement, don't. I went into Federal Law Enforcement because of the adventure and enjoyed it. We did both criminal and counterintelligence investigations. I must admit that I'm glad that I am now retired and don't get calls in the wee hours of the morning.

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qball View Post
Not a police officer, but i realy appreciate and thank everyone that weare the badge.
Amen to that brother! My late father was a cop and my son is today. I know the reasons both of them decided to serve, different in both situations, but it's not for me to speak on their behalf I guess. I will say this though, I truly believe that it is a calling. Yes there are cops that's really shouldn't be, just like any profession, but there are those that really are made for it. My dad and son were/are, I wasn't and understand that, but I knew how to make a radio/TV/stereo/F-4 fighter jet work. God Bless any and all that have, do and will wear a badge; without you most folk don't realize how quickly the hoardes will roam.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:54 PM
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I always wanted to be a cop. Entered collage and it became apparent that it would take a long time to get on a department. Several of my fellow students were MP's in the National Guard. Told me about activate duty MP duty. Well I wanted to see the world. So I joined the Army as an MP. 20 years and 27 days later I lived in 5 stated and 2 counties I retired. Did all my time as an MP. After I retired I did corrections and worked for the Army as a Police Officer. I still work for the US Gov't but not in law enforcement. Yes helping people was the part I liked the most. I would not have changed a thing. I was told once by an old teacher I had I was lucky. I asked why. Because most people do not get the job they really want to do.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:12 PM
MaximumLawman MaximumLawman is offline
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Quote:
I swear this is true.

My dad took me to see Deliverance in the movie theater when I was 12.

Prior to that day I was a budding young paleontologist. I walked out of that theater knowing I had to have a job that would let me carry a gun ALL THE TIME.

Here's to you, Ned Beatty!
You win! No contest!
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  #32  
Old 01-13-2013, 07:38 PM
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I started work GM in 64. Moved into GM Security in 67. Liked the uniform but needed more. A friend introduced me to the local PD Reserve unit. Started that in 74. I had a good paying real job and could go help catch bad guys and work traffic on days off. Working all the overtime and close to 350 hours a years as a Reserve took a toll on home life. Retired GM in 97. Retired as the Reserve Lt. In 2006. Don't miss GM but I do miss the PD. Lots changed during the years with the PD. would I do it again heck yes in a heart beat. Had to stop because of back issues. I can still fit in my 70's uniform......barely......hats off to the men and women who make law enforcement the life.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:35 PM
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I'm done now, but I thought I could make a difference; I did, I think.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:44 PM
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Only job I could find where i got to carry a gun, and ride around with a big dog, and play with explosives.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:52 PM
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MaximumLawman pretty much covered it for me. I was a gun totin' hippy back in the 70s and saw some good cops and bad cops. I decided I would work to become one of the good ones, I did it for 30 years and feel I had a good, interesting career. I learned a great deal about the good and evil people are capable of.

I would not want my sons to enter law enforcement today. Back in the 70s the cops were represented by "Adam 12", "Police Story", and "Dragnet". Now we are portrayed as psychotic criminals that pretty much ignore the law and human dignity. The profession is not respected as it once was. Unfortunately Hollywood chooses not to portray those great individuals that do a tough job as they really are.

I also saw the variance of professionalism. Standards were often compromised to attain "diversity". It seemed as time went on more and more applicants were only interested in getting a government job rather than wanting to truly be a public servant.

There are still outstanding professionals out there and I hope they will keep the faith and elevate the standards of those who need to try harder.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:21 PM
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I got out of the military and thought, I can do that. I know I can make a difference. It was a little tougher than I thought. Especially on my wife wondering if the nightly kiss goodbye would be the last. I must say I loved the job, I was born a Sheep Dog.

De Oppresso Liber
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:54 AM
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The Sheriff and my parents were part of the founding group of our New church. We knew each other very well. His son and I were the same age. I loved to shoot pistols and was looking for local teams to join. There wen't any. One day while talking about pistol teams with my friend he told me he had become a Reserve officer and they wanted to start a pistol team. I joined up. The team never got off the ground. But LE reserve work started. I would have rather worked full time as an LE if the pay had been better.


The first observed difference on the job was, when I went to a bar it was to have specific patrons line up against the wall after the fight.
A life long friend was Air Force security and after retiring he became a full time deputy retiring as Captain this year. I told him it was odd to see him behind the badge since he was a tad bit wild our youth. He told me he just got tired of riding in the back seat of a cruiser and straightened up to get in the front seat.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:02 AM
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I had graduated from college and was looking for a job. Short version: I had two (2) firm job offers on the table. 1. Become a budget analyst. 2. Become a cop.

Literally had to make the final decision over the course of one weekend. Chose to become a cop. It was the best 30.5 years of my life. Saw and did things I never imagined. Chased bad guys, helped good people, saw a whole lot of the United States (on the job in forty-six (46) states), and had more fun than any of my other friends who were not cops.

Much of my career (due to promotions) was in command and executive positions, but the vast majority was operational...not administrative.

Worked all the OT I could find in my "youth" and was more than fairly compensated. (Note: If you locked up criminals, 2nd and beyond court appearances were OT if you were off-duty at the time. And with weekday days off, that was likely.)

In the later years of my career I was very well paid...but NO overtime allowed...salary capped. My retirement plan ended in 1978 but incumbents were "grandfathered." I am blessed to be able to enjoy my retired years in style.

One final note: I WOULD do it again regardless of the state of salary/benefits.

Be safe.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:03 PM
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Beats me.

































































































Just Kidding.

Family tradition. I'm the fifth or sixth generation now. Though I wasn't expected to follow in the family profession.

A different job. Despite the many drawbacks it's still different.

The mystique attached to the job. After 12 years it's gone, but it was a strong draw.

Stubborness. Many people telling me I wasn't right to be a cop. To short, to much of an intellectural, to nice. Then once I got the badge being told the same thing by cops. Don't tell me I can't do the job because I don't meet your standards. The heck with that.

The pay is steady. It's adequate. There are benefits.

I still like the idea of being a cop. Despite the reality of the work there are still some people who say thank you now and again and they mean it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:03 AM
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I was told there were three reasons to be a cop:
1. You get to carry a gun.
2. You get to drive fast.
3. You can meet women.

Now, I know that carrying a gun is like carrying a handkerchief, driving fast is really stressful and I don't care to know that kind of woman.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:10 AM
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All I can tell you is that as soon as I was old enough to understand the concept of what it meant when grown ups asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always knew. I had no family members nor friends to influence me, I just knew.

I loved going to work for 25 years. Helped a lot of people, expecting nothing in return, but many times they helped me in return.

Looking back now with a great pension and the credentials to get another great job, I know I did the right thing.

I believe that most cops get into it for the same reason. They may get jaded by pay , hours, politics, people, the system, whatever, but most of them, just want to help people.

I don't know about these young guys, but hey, I guess the old guys said the same about us.

In closing, Ill say this, the LEO world will really lose something when it loses Charlie Sherrill. Enjoy it my friend, you earned it!
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:53 AM
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I was an Air Policeman in the Air Force and when I got out I decided to become a police officer. Served 25 years and retired.
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  #43  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:30 AM
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When I was a kid I liked to drive fast, talk to good looking girls. and stay out all night. The Only thing I had to worry about was the Police.

Then I found I could drive fast, speak to good looking girls, and stay out all night....Cuz I was the Police.

Just joking
I was a fourth generation Cop. My dad was a cop in Buffalo, N.Y.. His dad was a Cop. My Great Grandfather was in the FBI (black sheep of the family). Served from 71 to 89 and loved every minute. I would have worked for food, fortunately they didn't know that. I think my starting pay was $5.35 an hour. But all my food, drink, and donuts, were free.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:25 AM
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Because I didn't think I had what it takes to be a criminal or a politician.


Just too many years of reading about the "Good Guys" in history and wanted to be one.
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