Being a police officer is long periods of insanity-inducing boredom with periodic moments of adrenalin-pumping excitement. You park someplace where people can see you if they need help, and it doesn't take long before someone does. How to Study for the Police Certification Exam. “A lot of times the cameras on us are not a bad thing,” says Brian Dillard, who grew up in the 19th and remembers that cops used to follow up a warning with a beating. But what about those people who were on the other side of that? What it's really like being a 21st century police officer A career in law enforcement requires incredible versatility and the ability to handle being under the public's microscope In a few weeks, I’ll celebrate … I’m a 22-year vet of the NYPD and face the challenges of being an African-American police officer every day. 15. At each intersection he eases off until Burgess says, “Good, right,” indicating clear passage from his side. You draw your handgun and enter the house to clear it, wondering if it will be the last thing you do. When we were about 7, Mom signed us up for an assistance program where, around Christmas, the police took us downtown and bought us shiny white sneakers. This is the humdrum work—if there is such a thing in police work. She remembers shutting it and locking it. These answers should be confident but not boastful. For most cops, the scrutiny is not debilitating. Police officers respond to a young woman who said she was threatened by an ex-boyfriend on July 28 in Philadelphia’s 19th District. Another car pulls up just as you get back to your report writing. Year after year, roughly as many U.S. cops die in traffic accidents–49 last year–as in shootings (50), a toll that would likely be reduced by the use of seat belts, which police famously do not use. It felt like home. Shifts in most departments begin with roll call and this can take up to 30 minutes or so. This appears in the August 24, 2015 issue of TIME. In this case, it's a wife who stays home to care for the couple's two small children. what are the perks of being a K9 cop? The phones have become so common in the crowds that are increasingly thronging arrests that the department circulated a flyer showing a “gun” with the barrel opened to hold an iPhone. Still, Bologna reaches out to citizens like a ward politician and urges his officers to explain themselves at every opportunity. Yes, I am a rookie Police Officer and I was wondering what are the normal symptons that come along with this status. Spencer Platt / Staff / Getty Images News, "10-8" You're in Service and Ready for Duty, From K-9 to Investigations: Reasons to Become a Police Officer, Learn About Becoming a Police Officer and What Job Requires, Learn About Criminal Justice Careers and What Criminology Jobs Pay. You kiss your kids and your spouse goodbye and step outside into another day on the job. You brief the traffic homicide investigator and hand over the information you've obtained so far, offering to provide any additional assistance that's necessary. As a black police officer, I found myself stuck in a balancing act from the start, like walking a tightrope right between two perennially warring foes. “F-ck the law,” a woman says, glaring into the open window of a cruiser easing past a corner. Is there a way to stop this stuff? Whats it like being a cop? “Nowadays we’re in a culture where everything’s against the police, at least in the areas I patrol,” says officer Ernie Williams. He rolled away, drew his own weapon and fatally shot the man who had been shouting, “I’m gonna die! For the right person, being a police officer can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. You tell her you'll do everything you can to help her get her things back, and you make sure she's safe and secure before you leave the scene to enter evidence into the property room at the station...and write another report. In March 2013, while wrestling a suspected robber to the ground, Burgess learned the man was carrying a pistol only when it was fired four times beside his face, blowing out his eardrum. Jul 11, 2016. You can unsubscribe at any time. “If you were in the South, you might have been tracking down slaves,” Ramsey says. - Seeing things other people … The atmosphere then was defined by the beating of Rodney King, recorded by a man on the balcony of his Los Angeles apartment with a Sony Handycam. “You the officer who was in there?” he asks, extending his hand. Tired from a long day, you lay down to go to sleep. A truly exceptional event like the deadly May 12 Amtrak derailment on the city’s northeast side, which brought residents and first responders together in an almost transcendent sense of community, has as the weeks passed assumed the quality of a dream: Did that really happen? The white golfer has a bloody nick on his knuckle and a wreath of dried spittle around his mouth. What is a Traffic Crash Reconstructionist? Your last thoughts are about how happy you are to have the opportunity to be a police officer, and how thankful you are that you made it home safely one more time. We’re gonna die!” Burgess says the man turned out to be “wet,” meaning he was on the animal tranquilizer PCP, still common in these parts. They hold them out from their bodies, like shields, and up in the faces of the officers, like taunts. It touched me to the point where I wanted to do the same. 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