10/15/2011

Facebook Forum: 10 reader tips for new police officers

You told us what you wish you knew before you signed up for this gig

By PoliceOne Staff

We recently asked our Facebook fans for help answering this question: What do you wish someone had told you before you took your first job in law enforcement? We received a ton of great responses, from inspiring to funny — and some a little disillusioned – that we want to share.

If you've got any additional thoughts, please leave them in the Comments section below to keep the discussion going.

"Conducting strip searches of people who have no regard for their personal health or hygiene may be required." — Aaron Coleman

"Never get involved if you witness something off duty. You make an excellent witness. The risk to your career isn't worth it." — Craig Zieg

"The men and women in command positions have the same ideals you have and are working for the good of the public. All too often street officers want to second guess every command decision without any background or thought as to why those decisions are made. If you have a gripe, then propose a solution, a real solution, and how you would fund it. Every officer on the street has the ability to change policy or propose policy. If you are not willing to be part of the solution, you are part of the problem." — Rod Getting

"The stress in the job will not come from murders, child abusers, rapist or drug dealers....it will come from the politics in your own department!" — Michelle Jansen

"Keep a daily journal. At the end of your career, you will have the makings of a great book!" — Joe Salinas

"Potential LE employers laughed when I told them I had a background history of acting, parenting, psychology and babysitting....turns out it pretty much sums up the job. Who's laughing now?" — April Wilde Gysbers

"Always write everything down, don't leave anything out. Keep a copy for yourself. Because 6 or 7 years later you may need those reports to cover your rear end." — Jean Grice

"You will encounter the sick, twisted, perverted, and insane of society. Then you will meet the criminals!" — Jesse Souza

"You will view people differently after you begin to encounter all walks of life. Your list of friends outside of law enforcement will grow smaller & smaller due to this. Try to remember not all civilians are criminals, even though they may look, dress, or even act the part." — Travis Bratton

"You should have been a firefighter instead." — Rafael Flores

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