10 ways you know you're not a rookie anymore


It seems we all wake up one day and come to the realization that it’s been a significant amount of time since we began our cop career. Days go by and we lose track of time... then, one day we wake up and our children are graduating from high school and it finally sinks in that we are the “old guys” on the beat. But the fact that time has sped by could be an indication that you still love your job. Below is a list of a few things — some good and some bad — that you may do or think a bit differently since you first hit the beat ___ (fill in the blank) years ago.

The Top 10 ways you know you may not be a rookie anymore (drumroll, please):

10.) Five minutes prior to the end of your shift, you see a suspected DUI make a right turn, so you make a left one...

9.) Instead of telling someone how many years on the job you have, you tell them how many more you have left before you can retire...

8.) While on a suicide crime scene, you are trying to decide what sounds good for your dinner break as soon as you can clear the call...

7.) You can carry on a perfectly normal conversation on the phone with your wife or girlfriend while running to a hot call...

6.) The “newer” guys have things on their duty belt that you’re not even sure what they are or what they are used for...

5.) When you tell the younger guys you used to drive a “Shamu” and they don’t know what you are talking about...

4.) You still remember what “blue dots” are on vehicles...

3.) You distinctly remember the day you transitioned from you service revolver to a semi-automatic…and thought it was strange…

2.) “Administrative Leave” is just another term for vacation...

And the number one reason you may not be a rookie anymore is...

1.) You can remember saying, “COMPUTER? What’s that?”

Maybe some of you have a few items of your own you could add to the list in the comment area. Each generation has their own I am sure. It will be interesting 10 or 20 years from now to hear the new guys say, “TASER? What’s that?”

Stay safe out there, you old geezer!

About the author

Lt. Hawkes is a 23-year police veteran. In addition to his years of highway drug interdiction, Lt. Hawkes has worked in patrol, K9, investigations, narcotics, and administration. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Dallas Baptist University and is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Justice Leadership and Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.  He has been the recipient of both State and Local awards, including the Medal of Valor. His book, Secrets of Successful Highway Interdiction, which can be purchased here, contains eleven chapters on Highway Drug Interdiction.

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