Read This If You’re Thinking About Leaving Law Enforcement

I’ve been blogging for a while on law enforcement transitions to the private sector (Cop to Corporate). A few years back only retired cops were looking for jobs in the private sector, mostly to augment their pensions.  Today, more and more rookie and mid-career cops are reaching out for advice on leaving a career they once loved but feel it’s not worth it anymore.

Yesterday, an officer reached out to me. He just hit his 3 year anniversary in a PD near Ferguson, MO. He was in his mid-20s and his main reason for wanting to leave was the current climate against police officers.  I told the young officer before he decided to leave to ensure he was 100% committed to his decision.  Making a rash decision and quitting law enforcement before retirement is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly or purely on emotion.  I also cautioned him to be safe as cops have many stresses on their mind and thinking about leaving the force while on patrol can create a mindset that puts you at risk.

I told this young officer that reaching 3 years in law enforcement was a huge milestone.  I remember reaching 3 years as a new cop and feeling very comfortable with policing and the knowledge I gained as a rookie.  Cops at 3 years recall everything they learned in the police academy and FTO training.  They are eager to take cases and run to every call.  They have great officer safety acumen, because they live and breathe the job.  Their families don’t understand why they love their jobs so much.  They still wake up excited to go to work because they remember how hard it was to get into the police department.  All the entry tests, background checks, polygraphs, processing, academy training, evaluations to just get on the road takes a lot of time and effort.  Many police recruits wash out of the academy, so the ones that made it past their one-year probation have the right stuff.

I told this young officer to reconsider leaving because his city needed him in this tumultuous time.  We need these good, young officers that dedicate their lives and personal safety for our communities.  They are the future of policing and can help shape the way policing is done in the US, but it will take years for the many changes and reform that is being discussed.

Some may call me a hypocrite as I left law enforcement to the private sector after 12 years.  I had my reasons which are detailed in this blog: Guest Blog – Police Muscle.

This has been a very sad week for our LEO family.  I’m just very grateful we have so many dedicated men and women in blue unselfishly protecting us.  Thank you for what you do.

*Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of Microsoft.cont.png

6 thoughts on “Read This If You’re Thinking About Leaving Law Enforcement

  1. I spent many years in law enforcement and am very proud of my career choice. I’m seeking a recruiter who understands the experiences gained by those of us who served. I’m hoping your readers have a name or two that they could pass along.

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  2. Hey Brian, my name isAlfonso, and I am due to retire this coming July, and would like to know how to find a decent job. I’m located in NJ.

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  3. I spend 7 years as a Police Officer and after injuries crept up with me, I needed to make a change. After my 5th surgery, I had a lot of time to think. Many cops have great interpersonal communication skills and conceptualization abilities. This lead me to sales. Forget the stigma of sales professionals, just like the stigma of being a cop. Your job in sales, isn’t to screw people out of money, just like your job as a cop isn’t to hassle people and lock them up. When you boil it down is to solve a problem. Which is why many of us got into law enforcement, to help. Your abilities to question people in a manner in which would direct them to use your product is in your DNA. So with some grinding (which we’re all used to) and adaptation you can make a great career in sales. I’m gearing up for a full all expense paid trip to Mexico because I made President’s Club. Work smarter, not harder.

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  4. I am a 26 year career police officer in mid level management, Lieutenant, with a BS degree in business. I’m looking for something new to do and finding it hard to find anything besides sales or security that seems to be the trend for retiring officers. I am looking for something challenging I can enjoy and use my skills as an investigator, problem solver, leader, manager etc… to benefit a company. Is there anything in the Private sector like this?

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  5. I am a 15 year female police officer. I unfortunately never wanted to be the police but took the job at the urging of my spouse who wanted the paycheck. We are now divorced but the lure of stability and benefits for me and my child keep me going. I am proud of the work I have done and I do feel this is an honorable job. However it is horrifically boring. Boring! My brain feels like its dripping out of my ears. The “man with the gun” call is just a disillusioned girlfriend that wants her money back from her boyfriend who already spent it on another woman. Later it will be a domestic but they are just “so in love” they will be back together tomorrow. And none of my male co-workers want to lay hands on people let alone arrest them for a crime they really did commit because we might get sued. I am constantly made fun of for my use of the latest technology and my college degree (now 15 years old and irrelevant). I. Hate. This. Job. The idea of becoming a supervisor of any kind makes me want to weep. Then what? Supervise those who refuse to use the new system or make arrests? You have got to be kidding me. What are my prospects as a female? Private security would be so much worse.

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    1. I’m a female Leo as well. Almost ten years and vested. 212 days until I’m vested to be exact, but who’s counting. I’m a sergeant and am currently being pushed to take the next promotional exam, but the idea of staying with my department another 15 years churns my stomach, let alone going higher up in rank. I don’t know if there is a solution to our problem/outlook. I’ve been searching for answers myself and researching everything from transferring departments, taking a year sibatical, going back to school, to changing careers all together. Just know that you’re not alone.

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