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.