T Nation

Law Enforcement Career Questions

Hello,

LE is something I’ve always considered, and I imagine it’ll always be at the back of my mind. I’m not looking in to becoming a cop in the near future, but you never know.
Just curious about people’s (honest) thoughts on LE and whether they’d recommend it, the ups and downs, things you’ve learned, things you wish you knew.

I welcome any comments from LEOs and what have you from any country, but I’m specifically curious about RCMP or municipal police in Canada.

Thanks

Hey,

I’m pretty fresh in my LE career, but I’ll give you a quick run down from my experience so far. I’m also in Canada, FWIW.

The ups:
-it pays well and has great benefits and pension
-everyday is different (this is a big one for me)
-you’re a part of something important
-every once in a while you get to change someone’s day for the better
-you’ll make friends who will actually be there for you, even in the worst of times

The downs:
-shift work can be tricky
-due to hiring policies, a lot of crap is making it’s way through the ringer and people who shouldn’t be on the job are getting on
-police services are getting more concerned with covering their asses and less on proactive policing
-the legal(not the “justice”) system can be frustrating to say the least
-you normally see people on bad, if not horrible circumstances
-you will have to get rid of some of your “friends”, relationships with neighbours and others will be changed because to them you are the police first, a regular guy never
-people will try to harm/kill you
-you’re guilty until proven not guilty, either way it will affect your career
-Paperwork.

Even with all the negatives, I’m happy with my career choice. I’d be lying if I said I never think about having a 9-5 gig in an office, but I enjoy it 90% of the time. Bullshit exists in every profession.

As for the RCMP… Morale is pretty low right now. I’m not trashing the organization, but things could be better from what I’ve heard. Most guys I know with muni or provincial services have far less complaints.

Calgary and Edmonton are picking up guys like crazy right now, and are both great services to work for.

What are you doing now?

Will207, I get my iron ring (engineer) in a month. I’ve always considered law enforcement or military, and most of my hobbies revolve around what would be practical for LE or mil stuff (combat sports, lots of running and weight training, interest in “worst case scenarios”, firearms, etc).
I’m just not impressed with the engineering world, as of yet. I honestly wish I had never done engineering and had just done a trade or gone RCMP/municipal. I’m giving myself 5 years now that I’m out of university. If engineering doesn’t hit home for me by then, I will very likely be coming RCMP/municipal.
I was considering talking to a recruiter, but very often, given my experience with the reserves, they feed you a line of bullshit.

Why did you decide on LEO with RCMP (from what I’ve gathered you are with them)?

[quote]legendaryblaze wrote:
Will207, I get my iron ring (engineer) in a month. I’ve always considered law enforcement or military, and most of my hobbies revolve around what would be practical for LE or mil stuff (combat sports, lots of running and weight training, interest in “worst case scenarios”, firearms, etc).
I’m just not impressed with the engineering world, as of yet. I honestly wish I had never done engineering and had just done a trade or gone RCMP/municipal. I’m giving myself 5 years now that I’m out of university. If engineering doesn’t hit home for me by then, I will very likely be coming RCMP/municipal.
I was considering talking to a recruiter, but very often, given my experience with the reserves, they feed you a line of bullshit.

Why did you decide on LEO with RCMP (from what I’ve gathered you are with them)? [/quote]

There are many people who have decided their chosen profession wasn’t for them and have gone on to policing. If you’re serious about policing, just make sure you have your life sorted out and that your lifestyle reflects that of a police officer. If you have specific questions about that, feel free to ask.

When you say the reserve, are you talking about the military or RCMP auxiliary program?

I’m not with the RCMP, but I know quite a few people with them and I’ve done courses with the Mounties. Great group of people, I just find they have more issues with their service than the municipal guys.

I’ve enjoyed it. I’m very fortunate to be in my position. I work basically a day shift with weekends off and I have only been on 7 years. I work for a big dept and now I’m in a specialized investigations division. I like it, but the case load is difficult and stressful and the type of work that I do isn’t for anyone (without getting into details).

The pay and benefits are great. I live for FREE in my apartment, since I’m also the Courtsey officer. I also work security at the church I attend on Sunday. So the “total package” when you include side jobs, pension and your other benefits really are pretty solid.

The biggest downside: just being around all the crime. You have to have a good outlet. God, family, friends, hobbies, something. Something strong to really decompress from seeing people at their worst for 45 hours a week. You can get jaded, negative, cynical… It’s easy. It can take the feeling out of you. I feel different, and I’m new and I have a strong faith and marriage.

So if its interests you, I recommend it.

[quote]Will207 wrote:

[quote]legendaryblaze wrote:
Will207, I get my iron ring (engineer) in a month. I’ve always considered law enforcement or military, and most of my hobbies revolve around what would be practical for LE or mil stuff (combat sports, lots of running and weight training, interest in “worst case scenarios”, firearms, etc).
I’m just not impressed with the engineering world, as of yet. I honestly wish I had never done engineering and had just done a trade or gone RCMP/municipal. I’m giving myself 5 years now that I’m out of university. If engineering doesn’t hit home for me by then, I will very likely be coming RCMP/municipal.
I was considering talking to a recruiter, but very often, given my experience with the reserves, they feed you a line of bullshit.

Why did you decide on LEO with RCMP (from what I’ve gathered you are with them)? [/quote]

There are many people who have decided their chosen profession wasn’t for them and have gone on to policing. If you’re serious about policing, just make sure you have your life sorted out and that your lifestyle reflects that of a police officer. If you have specific questions about that, feel free to ask.

When you say the reserve, are you talking about the military or RCMP auxiliary program?

I’m not with the RCMP, but I know quite a few people with them and I’ve done courses with the Mounties. Great group of people, I just find they have more issues with their service than the municipal guys. [/quote]

Military reserve.

Why did you choose muni over RCMP?

Thanks for the insight, Brett620.

[quote]legendaryblaze wrote:

[quote]Will207 wrote:

[quote]legendaryblaze wrote:
Will207, I get my iron ring (engineer) in a month. I’ve always considered law enforcement or military, and most of my hobbies revolve around what would be practical for LE or mil stuff (combat sports, lots of running and weight training, interest in “worst case scenarios”, firearms, etc).
I’m just not impressed with the engineering world, as of yet. I honestly wish I had never done engineering and had just done a trade or gone RCMP/municipal. I’m giving myself 5 years now that I’m out of university. If engineering doesn’t hit home for me by then, I will very likely be coming RCMP/municipal.
I was considering talking to a recruiter, but very often, given my experience with the reserves, they feed you a line of bullshit.

Why did you decide on LEO with RCMP (from what I’ve gathered you are with them)? [/quote]

There are many people who have decided their chosen profession wasn’t for them and have gone on to policing. If you’re serious about policing, just make sure you have your life sorted out and that your lifestyle reflects that of a police officer. If you have specific questions about that, feel free to ask.

When you say the reserve, are you talking about the military or RCMP auxiliary program?

I’m not with the RCMP, but I know quite a few people with them and I’ve done courses with the Mounties. Great group of people, I just find they have more issues with their service than the municipal guys. [/quote]

Military reserve.

Why did you choose muni over RCMP?

Thanks for the insight, Brett620.[/quote]

Some people choose municipal because it offers more stability. You don’t move around, but it’s harder to get into specialized units and to get promoted. RCMP has a lot of room to move around, but they will also move you around. Also, there are differences in detachment policing compared to urban policing. Some people like one, but not the other.

See if you can do a ride along with a few different services and that will give you a better idea.

Bump. I know there are tons of knowledgeable people on this sub forum. Gimme the goods.