Results of my survey.
Here are some excerpts from the replies I got (have summarised some comments here - for full text read previous posts' comments):
- I am that rarity a cop who is happy at his job. That said I am down to 3 years to go so the end is in sight. And I am now in an office job with no nightshift, pleasant colleagues, and a work level that ticks over but is not stressful... Would I be happy in any of my kids joined now? I don't know.
- ...when I'm out there actually DOING the job, there's nothing I'd rather be doing. It's fun, it's funny, it's exhilarating, I laugh constantly, I have a fantastic squad with a real team feeling. We back each other up, we help each other out. Trust is implicit and never in doubt.We provide a good service, we know it. This is my second career, I'm in my mid thirties now. If I don't balls it up I look forward to doing it for as long as I can. That's when I'm doing the job and not being a desk jockey for some other slacker who's too fucking lazy to do anything themselves and passes it straight down the line to the lowly response officer. After all, they're too busy managing spreadsheets and statistics to pick the phone up for two seconds themselves. But always find the time e-mail you to do it.
- I am a happy Policeman. I have 87 working days until retirement, my mortgage is paid, my kids have grown up & flown the nest, I have a rather nice new car in the garage parked next to a very nice new motorcycle, I am about to be given a "shitfull" of money, my wife left me some years ago & isn't interested in attacking my pension & I can stop trying to be politically correct & leer at women with large breasts without young Officers & Supervisors tut tutting at me.
- Personally I am approaching my pleasure zenith aged a mere 54 and a half having decided to cash in our overpriced property and head off to the beach 4 years ago......(the quiet end of Southern Spain you understand) so am very happy, and would be pleased to have my 5 star happiness logged on your happometer........if fully paid up members of NARPO qualify on the cheery chappie scale!
- I'm pretty cheerful about my job, but I work in the (very) West and rural. Most of your moans about the bosses are right though. I never get grief or stress off the criminals, just the bosses.
- I'm very happy thank you. Mainly because I'm in a well run force (believe it or not) and I enjoy my work. Pity those in Essex :-( [Where is this guy? Let me over there!]
- Well, I'm very happy, but then I'm still training and haven't seen life on section yet! [Just wait...]
- I am happy in spite of a lot of things; the pay is poor considering the current local real estate market; Our laws can be baffling, senseless and stifling - and case law forces small but vexing changes all the time. Liability to lawsuits forces a mindset of backside-covering in some of the management ranks that is truly head-shaking. Office politicking gets in the way of things sometimes, but where doesn't it? ... Members of the public foist unrealistic expectations upon us, recant on testimony, ask us to fix both the trivial and the devastating problems that they themselves created. Drugs and poverty destroy people before my eyes sometimes... I have watched children die. I have watched another copper die. I have seen the worst of my city and looked the evil in the eye that each and every Police officer out there has seen. I have watched bad people win, and good people lose. I have had to fight for my life. I have nearly had to take another life. These are all things that we all see. And still I remain happy. [Wow! Either you are really morbid and masochistic, or the most optimisitic guy in the world - well done!]
- I'm a happy prosecutor, if that's any good. [No! Sod off!]
My own take is that there is no other job like mine in the world and I rarely meet a police officer who doesn't love it.
The BUT is: there is always a BUT.
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Coming soon to this blog: Lawyer-bashing!