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Old 11-29-2012, 7:29 PM
Watchur6 Watchur6 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 714
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I will share a little of my background with you, I am not a police officer but I am in law enforcement. I began looking into law enforcement when I was in my late teens. I began working full time when I was 19 years old. By the time I was 20 I began to apply for a couple different agencies. I applied for a park ranger position and was told to No, i assumed it was due to my age at the time. I applied for a sheriff trainee position and a probation position. The probation position was the first to call and start the process. I understood probation work and that it differed from patrol but all I wanted was to get a foot in the door and figure out where I wanted to go from there. Well I got hired with probation at the age of 20 and started the academy a few days after my 21st birthday. I am now going on 5 years with the department. It has been a rollercoaster. Things have been up and down due to the budget. We experienced layoffs and demotions. At first I promoted rather quickly but was soon demoted due to the economy, it frustrated me and to this day I am still in the position that I was demoted to. What gets me through the different challenges of the job is my passion for the work I do. I am in corrections and I have to say with all the ups and downs I still love what I do. The pay cut from the demotion was pretty significant and it has caused some hardships but it will get better one day. I am now 25 years old and I am not focusing on the now but the future, my plans are to promote back to my old position and eventually get out into the field working a gang unit or some other specialized unit that is offered. With my department this is a very competitive route but it is what I want to do. The reason I am saying all of this is to show you that it is not just a career change, it's a life change. For me this is a passion and it is all I ever want to do. I have invested a lot as others have and I cannot imagine doing anything else. I'm sorry if I sound preachy but I felt I had to share my experience with you. Make sure it is your passion and that when the chips are down (they will be) that your passion and drive for the job is what gets you through. Most work all holidays, new years eve and so on, if you plan on having kids there will be times when you have to leave your wife home alone all night or on holidays so you can go work out in the streets or sit in a jail. I work graveyards and the hardest thing is leaving my wife and 6 month old baby home alone all night 5 days a week. I am lucky to have such an understanding, loving and strong wife that puts up with the shift and stress. I hope this helps in some way, i just felt i had to share this with you. Good luck.
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