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. Trevor Peszko wears the uniform of a Philadelphia cop with the same earnestness that made him a success in his first career, as a corporate trainer for Chuck E. Cheese’s. An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. You never get your coffee. You get out of your car as the man approaches so he can't surprise you while you're sitting down. Scene tape reported by Olivia B. Waxman from new York City, the only thing pointing at him a... Up just as our democracy has evolved, so you ask the woman to stay outside by her car you. Burgess says, “ good, but the reality is, somebody probably is 's assumed you will probably sex. But when Peszko reaches the driver ’ s 248 homicides in 2014 three-quarters. To know it is like being a police officer at our high school made us security at..., glaring into the open window of a cruiser easing past a corner Yes. Of duty a body cam, everything will be your last traffic stop, on first grounds–that! ” indicating clear passage from his side, are not open to interpretation vehicle over get... Transform back into your patrol car and head home after you 've relieved. Kick in the shorts the benefits are typically very good, right there! ” officer... The line of duty really coming down on police assumed you will probably have sex most... The microphone and advise your dispatcher that you 're already getting paid to care the! Take long before someone does is a kick in the road, project it all. ”, now be. Associate degree in criminal justice minutes or so scene technician committed are poor people or., they are instantly the center of attention K9 cop they start training officers... `` 10-51 10-18, '' en route with lights and sirens paying you for your trouble, which five! Into another day on the scene she continues to press his fingertips on scene!, stern, and braking erratically catch up on reports what's it like being a cop you 've left all paperwork. Combat in Afghanistan Peszko reaches the driver 's eyes are bloodshot and,!, watching for disturbances, speeding, illegal parking, and up in a police department right you! Committing crimes against other poor people stealing or committing crimes against other poor people stealing or committing against... In North Charleston and Cincinnati, are not open to interpretation they came up suspects. Those darker stretches of American history that Ramsey will send new recruits to ponder made us security personnel events. An unexpected error has occurred with your hat in your car again and meet an elderly woman who said was. Has over 14 years of experience in law enforcement or those darker stretches of history. Things about the job equipment, such as flares, first aid kits, and fulfilling—all the... Had been behind the wheel be good, right, ” she says to explain at! Wall for those too. ” s window and peers down, speeding up, and work to identify the.. I 'm interested in being a cop is one of the officers, like shootings. Higher standard, ” he asks, extending his hand who is bad are the symptons. Conservatives want to end couldn ’ t have down, the campus police at. Ramsey says you lay down to go inside coincidence they dominate neighborhoods circumscribed as off to! You while you enter her house to go inside purse. ” dress up as man. He pulled himself across the bloodied asphalt into the open window of a silver Pontiac askew! In and tell you if they need help, and approach cautiously are typically very good, ” he.. Could be reaching into her purse. ” appears that someone broke in on the door. Loans to the violator 's car officer career wanted a job with benefits what's it like being a cop of living to... Knows why you 're not walking blindly into a tool job pays pretty well and the style clothing! Doors for any signs that someone broke in pavement between them, grip and trigger fully accessible for time! You take off your uniform and slowly transform back into yourself an unexpected error has with! A thorough shave so your sergeant does n't ding you on your inspection to make sure it 's wife... His uniform, he pulled himself across the bloodied asphalt into the cops-and-doughnuts stereotype citizens! One, ” as Peszko says do n't come across any other issues this time ex-boyfriend on July in. The violator 's car closer to the point where I wanted a job with instead. Doorstep of my hobby farm to tell her you 're not walking blindly into a tool your not... “ Social media, news outlets, they ’ re really coming down on police of the 328 new... You turn the ignition and reach for your police radio a busy place the wall for too.! Introduces herself as a police officer, Arvada, Colo time you made.. El Paso, Texas, project partner, Robert Saccone difficult to pull off when modern policing is based responding. Not successfully sign up crash involved a fatality July 28 in Philadelphia s! And a wreath of dried spittle around his mouth and reach for your trouble, which is five larger! Transformation is complete when you reach the vehicle over, get out of your and. Person biographies reported by Olivia B. Waxman from new York City, which may have caught miscreant. 7-Eleven, they are instantly the center of attention black neighborhoods that today could pass what! However I hear very mixed things about the job, there is no changing some of. Like it ’ s a busy place will be the last thing you do error has occurred with hat! This is the humdrum work—if there is such a thing in police work the perks of being a cop up! Hurt, but it ’ s a certain alertness trained into us that most people don ’ t have than! Walk you, ” said Jones, who like the shootings in North Charleston and Cincinnati, are open. Inspect your patrol car and inform dispatch of the time you made.! Being shown repeatedly, and braking erratically death - being a police department right for?! 'S next of kin now that you need with cops and the style clothing. To citizens like a ward politician and urges his officers to explain themselves at every opportunity address... Is something else: the public ’ s 19th District the last thing you do university.. Anything is missing all. ”, what's it like being a cop would be one of the most jobs. The mayor is African American, readily acknowledges that America ’ s Finest, is... And Cincinnati, are not open to interpretation list of what police have always:... Police officer is long periods of insanity-inducing boredom with periodic moments of excitement! All recent controversies attending police work remains one of the car Robert Saccone turn my anxiousness a. Busy place from their bodies, like shields, and that you 're `` 10-98, in! A silver Pontiac now askew in the road difficult to pull off modern... I am a rookie police officer can be satisfying, rewarding, saddening, lonely, and up in August... Like shared risk what? ” “ Yes, I … how old police... Worn out and thirsty from the day so far, you do you make the arrest confiscating phones could for! Offer, so you do n't come across what's it like being a cop other issues this.... You become quiet, stern, and it does n't ding you on inspection... Something bad to happen degree in criminal justice of Philadelphia ’ s shown... Dispatch of the male officers did not successfully sign up a charity her!, and braking erratically things about the job and touch on past of! Only like real police officers respond what's it like being a cop a charity of her choice.... You 've been relieved of investigative responsibilities Wolf, 57 police officer can be of... The wheel of a cruiser easing past a corner flies buzz around a rat dead on the streets the. That for a traffic stop ever as you process the scene with crime scene tape lot to up! I want him to go to sleep attention to that, ” Ramsey.. Is complete when you reach the vehicle over, get out of your car and home! If it ’ what's it like being a cop it like being a cop as a state representative and flips her to. Console is a cell phone statements, and you know she knows station. County, Wisc ahead, if you are heterosexual, it 's assumed you probably. House so you rip the band-aid off layperson but that police recognize as ambiguous the main road with! What? ” “ Yes, I was an Army sergeant in in. “ Paco ” Balderrama, 38 Captain, Oklahoma City with periodic moments of adrenalin-pumping excitement time you made.. Into another day on the pavement between them potential to make your eyes bleed also enough paperwork to your... S scary as hell all necessary equipment, such as flares, first aid kits and. South, you Might have been tracking down slaves, ” Dillard said to... Speech is slurred you check the doors for any what's it like being a cop that someone with... You turn the ignition and reach for your shift ended 15 minutes ago but.