Posted: 12/15/2005 11:01:24 AM EDT
Why are you a LEO? Was it something that you knew you wanted to do from a young age? What was you scariest moment as a LEO? If it was up to you what would be the standard sidearm for LEO's and why? I am asking because I have a 5yr old wanting to be a LEO but I think that is just my influence on him as a member of the armed forces.
I wanted to be a cop since "Officer friendly" came to my school and I saw a Metro-Dade Motorman at my elementary school. He looked like he was at least 20 feet tall to me, with huge, shiny motor boots and a patent leather sam brown. I stood right about waist level to him and remember that big stainless S&W .357 magnum poking out of the top of his swivel holster.
Then that motor.....man I was hooked, or so I thought until the K9 officer showed up, then I was REALLY hooked.
You go through stages in this job, though. In the beginning it was all about trying to make a difference, then after some years you get jaded and maybe a little bitter. God knows I did. Some guys never get back around to that place they were when they first came on the job.
I got lucky and just had like an epiphany. Things seemed clear to me again, and I'm back to the mindset I had when I started. I do this to serve my fellow man for the greater good. You can't change the world, but you can make a difference in your small corner of it.
You have got to be the kind of person that needs to feel satisfied yourself, without outside influence or public lauding.
There is no greater job, as far as I'm concerned, but you will never be monetarily rich, famous, loved or respected by many people. I am NOT a religious guy, but I will say that my reward is not here on this earth, anyway.
When I was young I always thought be a cop was cool, it looked like a fun job. I was really influenced when I start riding with my hometown PD when I was in HS. One of the detectives became a really good friend and a father to me, so he was the one that really pushed me over the edge and wanting to do it. I always know I wanted to do something in Public Safety, I just did not know what. Being a police officer seemed more fulfulling that an FF or EMT. I think Glocks should be the primary gun for LE, so disagree, but I am really partial to them.
I would have to say my scariest moment ever would be the time I was in a high speed pursuit and we were going through an intersection and some idiot ran the red light, and apparently "didnt see my lights or hear my siren" and almost T-boned me, but he just barely missed me.
I think its a great job, something different everyday and I would never do anything else.
I started thinking about being a cop back when the Sheriff of my town turned out to be a really cool guy and gave me a lot of encouragement to start down this path. Several other officers helped with the effort, they helped me realize my friends are very wrong about the cops, and I should be one. That was around the 6th grade that all started.
I got into law enforcement because it turns out I'm pretty good at it and really like doing it. I don't want to have a job where I sit behind a desk all day. I do want to make the world a better place, especially for those of us that can obey the law. Then I want to get criminals off the streets so good citizens are not endangered by them. Sometimes it seems like the badguys might be starting to get an edge, I'm glad I can be out there to help take some of that away.
I think there should be no standard sidearm for LEOs. Some guys fit better with a 1911, others with HKs, others with Glocks, some with something else. If the officer has a weapon they can and will maintain, they shoot well, safely, and are confident in, that is a very good thing. It is great being at a department where people don't moan about their firearm because if they have some sort of problem with it they can get a different one if they choose.
My scariest moment so far is assisting in arresting a guy in the middle of meth rage. Then fighting him again after we got him to the ER.
When I was around 11 or 12, I knew I wanted go into LE work when my brother started in the same agency as my dad. At the time, my dad didn't talk too much about work, but my brother told me a bunch of stories from the Rio Grande. They both were cowboy boots with their Stetson hat and carried a giant stainless S&W 357. I thought it was a like a Wild West adventure.
Several of my scariest moments include when someone tried to drag me on a traffic stop; someone tried to stab my partner; when I've had to walk a very dense and dark jungle trail looking for someone that just shot at one of the guys. Catching a load of dope that just came across the border and then hearing a burst of auto fire coming from the other side.
My most troublesome period of time was when my wife couldn't sleep and was having nightmares after 2 agents I worked with were killed in a gun battle with a drug crazed man armed with an AR15. She wasn't eating and was crying a lot when I had to go to work.
My saddest moment was when my neighbor, a coworker, came over and told me that 2 of my friends had a boat accident at work and were missing. I lost one of my closest friends that day.
I've missed anniversaries, birthdays, reunions, holidays, meals with the family and a lot of sleep. I hope and pray that my daughter doesn't ever think about LE work or marrying a cop.
I think every kid either wants to be a doctor, fireman, or police officer at some point in their lives...
I know I wanted to be a LEO when i was little. Reason being was they are polite, they have COOL CARS with cool flashing lights and a child always wants to catch BAD guys cause, well they are BAD!
My child hood past and i didnt want to be a cop. Going through Highschool is when i realized i wanted to.
i got into the explorer program to see what it was all about, then i made my choice. THIS IS FOR ME!
I then was old enough to apply for the JAIL div. for the SO (sheriff's office). Now ALMOST 3 years later here i am...waiting for my time to shine and get into my own car!
It has been in my family for years up until my father... a Vietnam vet that was offed a job on IPD(indianapolis) due to the WHOLE family being there. He declined due to Knowing he had a very short temper. LOL
The reason I am a LEO is for self gratification. (I love helping people and serving the public)
Its a thankless job to MOST eyes but not for me.
The scariest moment I personally had was working in (the dorms). 64 inmates and 1 officer....me!
basically long story short i was wresteling with a inmate with mental instabilities and i ended up on the bottom. Couldnt get to my radio at all...well "master control" noticed that something looked fishy on the cammeras and i came out alive thank god.
just my 2 cents... hope this helps ya out!
For the $. Then I'm gonna retire and be an elementary school teacher so I can have more $.
I deceided to work in the LE field after graduating from college with a BS in Agricultural Economics a minor in Finace.
I always wanted to be a police officer, but never gave it any serious thought until I got out of college. 6 months after graduating college I got on as a Reserve Deputy and the first night out we were in a pursuit and it all ended with me power driving a guy into the trunk of a car, so something sort of clicked in me. I ended up working for the Department of Corrections and getting on the CERT team there and was pretty content there. I learned a lot with DOC and enjoyed the job, but still wanted to do police work.
One day the Chief of Police came to my house and asked me if I enjoyed working at DOC (he worked at DOC before the PD) then asked me if I was interested in working there, so I did.
Scariest moment for sure was: We were serving a drug warrant at a residence that had two buildings to search. One team hit the house and my team hit an out building in the back yard. It was a multi jurisdiction task force so I had a deputy with me. We entered the building and the bad guy ran to a back room so I start toward the bad guy and this deputy gets infront of me and goes into the side room first between me and the bad guy.
When we get in the back room the bad guy has a meth lab going and two flasks in his hands with liquid in them in a manner that seemed he was going to throw it at us. I was drawn down on the guy yelling for him to set the beakers down and telling the deputy to move at the same time. I saw it in the bad guys eyes he wasn't going to put them down.
I sighted in on his adams apple and started my trigger pull. I remember every thought going through my head, every thought. Even the reason I thought about his adam's apple. I saw bare flesh and thought I would snap his brain stem by shooting him there. Just as I was pulling and had commited that deputy stepped right in front of me!! I almost shot another officer!!
Guys this shook me up, but I kept in the game and yelled for the deputy to move, or shoot the Mother F____r. The bad guy saw something when this happened and he set the flasks on a table and went to his knees.
I sort of relaxed then the lights went off. A generator ran the building and the other team unplugged the cord. As soon as the lights went off I heard those flasks break. I turned on my flashlight and just then I saw the deputy inhale a big draw of smoke and he fell back down gagging and coughing. The smoke was coming up to my face and I held my breath and threw the deputy to the other officers and grabbed the maggot by his hair and drug him outside.
The scariest moment was when I saw that deputy inhale that and go down and knew I had to save him first then get me out of there. I did not know what he inhaled and I thought I was going to breath it too and die.
After I got home and went to bed that night the fact that I almost shot the deputy kicked in. I know it was not my fault, but how could you live with that?
Deputy was ok after about 3 months, it was muratic acid. Bad guy broke his arm, cut his head, bruised his tail bone on my bruised foot bone, and pulled out at least one hand full of shoulder length hair from my hand. I am glad someone got me off him before I went to jail.
Brushdog I've missed anniversaries, birthdays, reunions, holidays, meals with the family and a lot of sleep. I hope and pray that my daughter doesn't ever think about LE work or marrying a cop.
Guys Brushdog makes a profound statement there, One of the things I hated the most and honestly hurt me as bad as anything was when I had to lie to my daughter when she was in the 1st grade and tell her I saw her say her part at a school Christmas play. I got there just in time to see her walk off the stage.
Like Brushdog's wife some things happened around here and my wife started getting affraid when I was gone and all that. I worked hoots and evenings from 95-01
It is a calling and it is hard to explain. I quit full time work though a few years ago and went into business with my family. The Chief put me on as a reserve so I get to stay active.I still don't like being around many people that aren't cops.
Guys it is a calling, plain and simple and a part of me still wants to be there everyone of the long boring, routine hours and for everyone of the exciting few minutes.
I've been at it since I walked out of my High School Doors in 1989. I started out as a 911 dispatcher and as soon as I could I attended BLET. (Basic Law Enforcement Training) I grew up watching Adam-12 and from as long as I can remember I knew it was what I wanted to do. I've been at it for almost 15 years now, 6 years SWAT experence, USMC trained and certified LE Scout Sniper, and I'm an instructor at the local BLET academy. I always tell my students that when the jobs gets stressful they need to remember we are all paid by the hour and as long as everyone on our shift goes home "we win"! Sure, there are better paying jopbs and I hate to sound like a politically correct broken record, but, I enjoy helping others and seeing the crooks go to jail. I dont worry about the court decisions because as I said, I'm "paid by the hour" to do something I like. I've been hurt several times in my carrer and I have a knee that is currently 20% disabled. I figure I could get hurt just as bad driving to work anywhere, right?
Brother Brushdog makes a very good point though. To quote him "I've missed anniversaries, birthdays, reunions, holidays, meals with the family and a lot of sleep. I hope and pray that my daughter doesn't ever think about LE work or marrying a cop."
I have two daughters and so far they want to be dentist like their mom, my wife of 13 years now. Yes, I have avoided the COP Marrage stats and am still on my first marrage (and plan on staying that way). I am a Christian and attend Church every time the doors are open. I sing in the choir with as much furver as I practice tactical assults with the SWAT team. I reccomend all officers go to a church of their choosing an be involved. Better to spend time there then in the local pub after duty.
A much wiser man than I said that " all that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing".
No, its not easy to drive down a street at Christmas on 3rd shift and see all the people at their gatherings thru windows. The knowledge that they are safe because you are there is all that can warm your heart at those times. No, its not an easy life. But its the one I've chosen, and I'll be here till its over. Afterall, someone's got to do it.
Be safe brothers...
Always wanted to be a cop, always. Even beofre I really understood what it meant. My first toys I remembered were a little plastic police helmet and gun.
The truth? It has nothing to do with saving the world or "making a diference", I've always been far to pessimistic for that tripe. I get a kick out of arresting people who need to go to jail. I like meading out my little portion of justice regardless of what spineless attorneys or judges do to screw my work up.
I'm good with a gun and there are few professions that allow that sort of thing. I'm too damn ADHD to sit in a fuckin' cubicle. I like to drive fast and run red-lights. I get a kick out of forced entries and searches (no pun intended).
I would rather be at the sharp end of the stick than sitting on my ass at the end of it bitchin' about "why doesn't someone do something"? I can't sit back on my spotty behind and watch people get victimized, I need to act. This way, I get paid for it.
The "good samaritan" crap gets wrung out by volunteering for Crash Rescue.
The job is full of scary moments. Picking just one cheapins the whole thing. But, since you asked. I eneted an apartment with my Lt (who didn't tell me that there was a guy inside with a bloody butcher knife) and walked around the corner right into the guy with the butcher knife.
I wouldn't standardize a sidearm. Anything above 9mm in caliber and whateverthey could hit with. Accurate shot placement is more important than caliber in handguns. People have varying preferences. What I like someone else may be completely uncomfortable with.
Tell your 5 year old that the job sucks and they have to be a little cynical and masochistic to get a charge out of it. If they REALLY want it AND they are meant to do it, the job will find them.