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View Full Version : Can't believe I'm asking for your collective opinions


masameet
06-30-2009, 12:11 PM
But here goes (and yes, some friends have likened me to Tolstoy lol):

You guys ever meet somebody off-duty, like at the local range, and tell 'em, after listening to that person coach a friend in firearms handling, he'd make a good LEO range instructor?

This happened to me yesterday. An off-duty sheriff's deputy sgt. heard me coaching a friend. I guess he eavesdropped, being a few stalls from us, and then watched how my friend shot, which was impressive for a first-timer at the range at 15 yards (no 7- or 10-yard targets). I think he talked to my friend first before speaking to both of us, because once I started listening I heard him say everything I'd said regarding firearms instruction was just about perfect and that he couldn't find anything wrong with what I said or my coaching style. He also said I probably could teach anybody anything if I set my mind to it.

After he identified himself and his agency, we talked about the differences between city cops and deputies. My friend's business has him dealing with cops all the time and so he has a pet theory that city cops are always on the edge, just waiting for another adrenaline fix (and a chance to hit ya! lol), and that deputies are generally much easier-going and friendlier and still just as professional. And the sgt. agreed with him regarding his personality assessment of city cops and deputies. I was still trying to absorb what they were saying before I offered up my opinion of one PD's officers. As I told a story of one local cop's police brutality that I and about 60 people witnessed some years back, the sgt.'s eyes widened and I could tell he knew that cop personally. lol

Anyway he pulled out his wallet, took out his card with his name, rank and agency name, and said if I ever wanted to talk to him in a professional way (about a job), to call him. Before we left, he offered me a box of 9 mm ammo (which I declined but he insisted that I take anyway ("They charge forty bucks for this stuff at the store!" he said)) and then offered up for me to try his beautiful Ruger .22 LR competition tactical. Sweet gun. For sure.

My friend thinks I should go for it and become a cop. I dunno. Never thought of myself as cop material. Until I started reading a local motorcycle online forum on which a bunch of motor cops participated, I had something of an anti-cop attitude, a throwback from my experiences as a college photographer. But I've come around to a more positive attitude. Even have one good friend now who is a LEO. Personally I'm somewhat nerdy, somewhat maybe creative, somewhat maybe too willing to say F*ck it and F&ck you (well, online anyway lol). I know I'm a good teacher. Once a month I coach motorcycle riders for free and these guys and gals immediately pick up on what I'm trying to impart. They lose their fears quickly enough that by the time we're done, they have a better appreciation of both themselves as riders and their bikes.

And I know from reading other online LEO accounts how difficult it is to become and then stay a good cop. That sgt. made it pretty clear too that becoming a LEO and keeping the right attitude is challenging. Of the 8,000 or so candidates who applied to his agency for that round (year?), he said he was one of 80 candidates who were chosen. I forget how many made it through the academy. Now, some 16 or so years later, of that 80 there's just him and a LT who still wear the uniform.

Anyway I am looking for a career. And that sgt. did say a person really really really must want it badly to become and remain a LEO.

yzernie
06-30-2009, 12:49 PM
The advise I would give you is to go on some ride-a-longs to see if that is a career field you would want. The harsh reality of it all is this...being a cop is rarely a cool assignment like a rangemaster but being a good communicator with people is a HUGE part of the job.

heyeugenio
06-30-2009, 1:11 PM
I'd say that speaks volumes of your ability to effectively "teach". It's also quite flattering coming from someone such as Sgt. that's been working for that amount of time.

He is very correct however making the statement that one must REALLY, TRULY, WANT TO BE A LEO. To me, it is the greatest test of character; not just applying and being hired, but remaining an upstanding LEO. Your whole life changes.

With that being said, it takes a lot to know that it IS and ISN'T your calling. It's a profession that requires great responsibility, accountability and courage under fire (not just real "fire") but mental scrutiny and sometimes, abuse by the very same community that we strive to serve and protect.

Take a peek at the Peace Officer Code of Ethics - it's a glimpse of what, I feel, is the foundation of a LEO.

It's not just a career, it's a lifestyle - both good and bad to some and it depends on your angle.

Hope this helps and kudos for getting props on your ability to teach/instruct.

Would you mind pm'ing info re: your riding school? I have someone that's interested in learning.

Thanks and good luck on your choice

Jonathan Doe
06-30-2009, 1:27 PM
Even if you become an LEO, it will take a while to become an instructor. No one can just pick you and make you an instructor. All those things about equal rights and coveted position application, etc. stuffs. If someone makes you an instructor right away, the person is going to be in a hot seat. Although my range LT pushed for me, it took me a while when I became a firearms instructor.

socalsheepdog
06-30-2009, 3:13 PM
Most "instructors" and range officers are retired LEO. They don't get paid a huge amount but they are pulling a pension at the same time. I don't think your goal should be to become a firearms instructor via a position in law enforcement. Sign up because after you have done sufficient research, you feel you could do the job for 30 years and be happy doing it. You have a lot more mobility when you work for a larger agency such as a Sheriff's Dept. More area to patrol, more special assignments and such. Not sure where you live but down here in socal, the Sheriff runs the airport, harbor, jail, coroner, has a large air support division, has the bomb squad, participates in most regional task forces relating to drugs, gangs, stolen cars etc. You get the idea. If your going to do the job for that long, nice to be able to do a lot in your career.

Oh how I love to jack up the college photographers. haha j/k

Jonathan Doe
06-30-2009, 4:11 PM
Most larger agenicy instructors are sworn LEO's who did their time on the streets. I worked the Jail, Patrol, AOT instructor, then firearms instructor at the weapons training unit.

Fire in the Hole
06-30-2009, 4:14 PM
Dear mesameet, I don't think you'd like it. LE isn't a job that encourages creativity, and free expression. Do you like to think outside the box, push the edge of the envelope, break molds, live by your own moral compass and make your own rules? LE mgmt. does not like people who think outside the box. The "box" is policy and the law. LE mgmt. wants people to stay in the "box". I know. I'm a creative thinker myself. I must admit I spent 30 years feeling stifled, and now that I'm retired I do harbor a bit of ambivilance about it. It took me 15 years to become an instructor. I think your assets could be put to better use. People do not realize how a LE career takes from you. After you give it your all; it only wants more. It is a very selfish, demanding, and unforgiving mistress.

I always try to tell people who state that, "I love my job." Love God, yourself, your family, and friends. They will return your love. Do not love something that will not love you back. It is a means to an end.

Live well and prosper.

yzernie
06-30-2009, 6:59 PM
LE isn't a job that encourages creativity, and free expression. Do you like to think outside the box, push the edge of the envelope, break molds, live by your own moral compass and make your own rules? LE mgmt. does not like people who think outside the box. The "box" is policy and the law. LE mgmt. wants people to stay in the "box". I know.
While I do believe LE is more of a conservative group as a whole, I'm not sure I completely buy into the "box" example completely. Yes, there are personnel rules and policies that govern our behavior while on and off duty as well as some standard protocol for how to do our jobs. Yet, rules similar to those could also be found in many civilian jobs too. I think to paint all of LE management with the same broad brush is a bit unfair. Not every department has management who won't allow their supervisors and line personnel to think for themselves. On my department we allow personnel who make good decisions to continue to do so. Those who make poor decisions are the ones who get our attention. Maybe I'm just spoiled by having the luxury of spending my entire career with a department who allows the good employees to carry on with business.


People do not realize how a LE career takes from you. After you give it your all; it only wants more. It is a very selfish, demanding, and unforgiving mistress.
That is a pretty accurate description for us older guys when more was demanded from us. We have some young and enthusiastic kids coming into this business but unfortunately, I don't see to many of the youngsters putting the same amount of mental and physical energy as we did into this career. Many of the newer and younger LEOs see their position as a job and not a lifetime career. I honestly do not believe the duration of their careers will be as tough on them as they were on us.

RolinThundr
06-30-2009, 8:01 PM
Anyway I am looking for a career. And that Sgt. did say a person really really really must want it badly to become and remain a LEO.

I would follow an earlier suggestion: call the Sgt and try to do a ride-along with the agency. Best to see the job from their perspective. The other suggestion I have would be to find a local PD or SD that offers a "Community Police Academy" and enroll in it. If it is done like the one offered by SFPD, you'll get to meet several officers from different depts and learn about the specifics of their primary tasks from them (CSIs, Homicide Det, Patrol, K-9). You can also learn about the hiring process and training. My wife and I got to shoot less-lethal ammo with the SWAT guys, drive the vehicle simulators, and use the weapon/firearms simulator.

If you choose not to pursue a career in law enforcement, the NRA offers courses in becoming a certified firearms instructor. You could take the course and go into business for yourself offering private instruction or work for Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, or other training schools.

masameet
07-01-2009, 3:17 AM
Thanks for the input, guys.

Initially I couldn't believe my ears (well, they were kinda stuffed with foam plugs lol). After I got home and thought about what was said, I kinda got a little excited. Enough so that I text messaged my LEO friend. Who promptly texted back: No! Not for you!

I know he feels protective of me, which I like. Still I got to thinking about what Fire wrote, and have to admit that although I might think out of the box because I can view things slightly differently (being just slightly smarter than the average bear), my thinking is actually quite conventional. Plus because I believe in being objective and have learned not to let my ego get the best of me, I tend to have good judgment about events and people.

So I'm going to give this new career nudge some more thought. In the coming months, if I decide to go with it, I'll let you know.

All the best to you. And please stay safe.

Fire in the Hole
07-01-2009, 5:47 AM
mesameet, my post was not intended to be a big turn-off. I only intended for you to go in with both eyes wide open. An LE career is not just a job. And it's not what you see on TV. Lots of young good people with well-informed intentions enter the academy, and drop out half-way through. Quite a few last a couple of years, and just can't handle the rigors of the job. Divorce, alcoholism, and unfortunately suicide are on the rise among cops. It's not only you that must be flexible. You family, especially your spouse must be too. I think in 30 years I had 4 Christmases off. One's family must adapt to you changing shifts two or three months. No weekends off. Your days off could be Tuesday and Friday. Not very convienient for two day get-aways. Celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter a day or so before or after the actual date. Missing childrens school plays, soccer games, family reunions, marriages, etc. All I'm trying to say is that a LE career has rather systemic effects on one's life.

eltee
07-01-2009, 8:15 AM
Out here, many of the police academies are essentially colleges. Some are parts of larger colleges, some are independant facilities that are accreditied by a college. The range staff are not cops (though some used to be, or are reservists) but considered college employees / academy staff. On occasion, a full time cop will assist during the firearms training phase of an academy class but the regular range staff are civilian, college empoyees.

My point is that some folks who do not / can not become police officers can still seek a career as a rangemaster/firearms instructor within the law enforcement community. My friend who did not make it into law enforcement is now a full time firearms instructor at a junior college that runs a police academy. He has more fun than he ever would have as a cop. Plays with full auto, unlimited ammo, unlimited trigger and range time, all sorts of connections should he ever be pulled over :rolleyes: and gets to meet many, many hot looking female recruits. :cool:

He has none of the burdens that being a cop brings, makes a decent wage, and gets to play with guns 5 days a week.

I envy his position to no end.

socalsheepdog
07-01-2009, 9:15 AM
It's not easy to be a cop, or maybe it is, it just won't last long when you approach it like Sgt Bill. Crazy story from 60 minutes.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5037309n&tag=cbsnewsMainColumnArea.2

sytfu_RR
07-01-2009, 12:01 PM
It's not easy to be a cop, or maybe it is, it just won't last long when you approach it like Sgt Bill. Crazy story from 60 minutes.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5037309n&tag=cbsnewsMainColumnArea.2

WOW, I cannot believe the balls of that guy. Why is it not still in jail? 5years for all the crap he caused? city being sued, officers lost their jobs? what a whacker to the fullest.

masameet
07-01-2009, 12:40 PM
It's not easy to be a cop, or maybe it is, it just won't last long when you approach it like Sgt Bill. Crazy story from 60 minutes.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5037309n&tag=cbsnewsMainColumnArea.2

You know what's just as bad as cop bashers in this LEO forum?

The kind of crap that you posted. It's interesting, yes, but it has nothing to do with the intent of this thread or with any of the LEOs on this forum.

socalsheepdog
07-01-2009, 1:39 PM
You know what's just as bad as cop bashers in this LEO forum?

The kind of crap that you posted. It's interesting, yes, but it has nothing to do with the intent of this thread or with any of the LEOs on this forum.

Wow, I didn't know I had to hold your post to a higher state of "seriousness" than other threads on the forum.

What was the intent of this thread again? Oh yea, you were asking if you would fit in with the world of law enforcement with all your worldly knowledge and above average creativity. I can tell you that you probably wouldn't last a week if you can't see humor in anything.

I will pm you with all my future posts to make sure they meet your standard prior to posting. Cool?

I am really unclear how this is cop bashing.

retired
07-01-2009, 4:21 PM
Wow, I didn't know I had to hold your post to a higher state of "seriousness" than other threads on the forum.

What was the intent of this thread again? Oh yea, you were asking if you would fit in with the world of law enforcement with all your worldly knowledge and above average creativity. I can tell you that you probably wouldn't last a week if you can't see humor in anything.

I will pm you with all my future posts to make sure they meet your standard prior to posting. Cool?

I am really unclear how this is cop bashing.

What was your purpose in posting the link in the first place. The OP was correct in that it has nothing and I will add, absolutely nothing, to do with the intent of his thread, nor with any of the leos on this forum.

So again, what was your purpose in posting this. You are not asking a question of any leo here and that is the prime purpose of a non leo to post on this particular forum.

I will pm you with all my future posts to make sure they meet your standard prior to posting. Cool?

This ^ sarcastic comment was not necessary and is unacceptable. Don't do it again.

I am really unclear how this is cop bashing.

One could interpret your purpose as wanting to show the incompetence of the chief, tho I am not saying that was your purpose as I don't know why you posted this.

If your intent was merely to show something interesting, the Off Topic section would have been more appropriate than this forum.

socalsheepdog
07-01-2009, 4:41 PM
It's not easy to be a cop, or maybe it is, it just won't last long when you approach it like Sgt Bill. Crazy story from 60 minutes.

I guess I should have stated that "It's not easy to become a cop" rather than "It's not easy to be a cop". That was my intent. Many people want to do the job and drop out, it is stated in the original post.

I watched that and thought the same way as sytfu RR. It's a lot of work to get hired and this guy just walked in and claimed to be LE. Took me over a year nearly 15 years ago.

WOW, I cannot believe the balls of that guy. Why is it not still in jail? 5years for all the crap he caused? city being sued, officers lost their jobs? what a whacker to the fullest.

I made no comments about the Chief. I can see how he was caught up in this scam

Copy on the sarcastic comment. I took a bit of offense that I was cop bashing.

retired
07-01-2009, 4:57 PM
socalsheepdog, I did not say you made comments about the ex-Chief, I said it could be interpreted that you were trying to show that he was incompetent. I also mentioned that I did not say it was your purpose to do so as I didn't know what your purpose was. Unfortunately, the vagaries of the internet are what they are.;)

You are correct about the hiring process: It took me about a year to finish the process with my former dept. The ones who had lived out of state took a lot longer due to the backround check.:)

socalsheepdog
07-01-2009, 5:11 PM
socalsheepdog, I did not say you made comments about the ex-Chief, I said it could be interpreted that you were trying to show that he was incompetent. I also mentioned that I did not say it was your purpose to do so as I didn't know what your purpose was. Unfortunately, the vagaries of the internet are what they are.;)

I agree, I am just putting on record.

retired
07-01-2009, 5:40 PM
It's all good.