Keys to building options for a post-LE career
After 26 years in law enforcement, I landed a dream job of visiting departments around the western side of Pennsylvania and putting them online to do accident reports. However, in my travels I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my state: police departments are disappearing. Either because of a bad economy, shrinking tax base, or a combination of all factors, police departments in Pennsylvania are being disbanded, or manpower is drastically reduced, at a rate higher than has been seen in the past. Strangely, regionalization is having a hard time gaining a foothold in my state.
I don’t know if this is a trend throughout the United States or just a local phenomenon, but whatever the case, it points out an important fact in modern policing and, that is, you’ve got to be prepared to move into another career simply as a means of self protection. This also means that you’ve got to take advantage of opportunities as soon as you land a position in law enforcement.
With this in mind, I’ve listed potential areas of training that might help an officer continue to make a good dollar if the worst case scenario occurs. The following list is by no means all inclusive, and, if anyone out there knows of other avenues an officer can pursue, by all means make note of them in the comments section.
Lastly, any course that your department might offer to you, such as Accident Reconstruction or an instructors course in Taser, OC Spray, MEB, First Aid/CPR, take. I hold instructor ratings in OC Spray, MEB, First Aid/CPR and I am also an Accident Reconstructionist courtesy of my old department. I’ve made money with all of them and it was always welcome. The only restriction I ever put on using my training was that I would not help anyone charged with a crime to possibly beat the crime, nor would I ever testify on their behalf. This restriction didn’t hurt me a bit.
So there is my list of training that could help an officer make the transition from law enforcement to another field if the worse happens. By no means all inclusive, it should at least give everyone some ideas to help make you less likely to suffer a job loss. If anyone out there knows of others, let’s lend a helping hand by letting officers know. Sadly, we can’t see the future but planning for it, and any worst-case scenario, can go a long way in lowering the stress level.
Lastly, in my travels I sometimes get asked where a young officer might look for good police jobs. It’s been a few years and I’m not always sure if a certain area is good or not. I’d appreciate any comments about how certain geographical areas are doing in terms of police employment so I know if this trend of down-sizing or disbanding is across the board of just in my area. Thanks in advance.
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