I am an attorney and am currently working in the court system. I don’t really like my job (it is temporary) but, I do get to see a lot of cases involving criminal investigations and I find them interesting. I’ve been thinking about becoming a cop for a long, long time (probably 4-5 years).
However, you hear a lot of rumors about bad aspects of being a cop. For example, that promotions are totally political. Or that when you are starting out, supervisors will have you do all their paperwork even though your shift is over and its time for you to go home. You also hear about how stressful and depressing it is.
I think I might enjoy being a cop for several reasons. First, I’d like to be mobile. I don’t like the idea of sitting on my ass in an office all day every day for the rest of my life. Relatedly, I like the idea of being in a profession where being psychically fit is not only encouraged, but required. I deeply resent that I currently work with (I’m not kidding) a bunch of morbidly obese middle-aged women who talk nonstop about “Lost” over Lean Cuisine.
I think I would also enjoy the sense of teamwork and camaraderie that police officers seem to have. I like the idea that I am working with men and women who are depending on me for their lives and I am doing the same with them.
But most importantly, I think I would enjoy the opportunity to work in a field where each and every day brings something a little different. “Excitement” may not be the best word because I don’t expect things to be like “Lethal Weapon,” but just a change of pace. Being an attorney can be extremely monotonous and not a day goes by that I am not watching the clock waiting for 5:00 p.m. so I can go home.
In sum, I would like to be able to say that I love going to work most days. I cannot say that now and I feel like being a cop would allow me to do so.
A huge downside is that I spent time and money going to law school. I graduated at the top of my class and could have a bright future in law. That’s kind of what makes this career change so difficult. I don’t want to throw all that away for something that I’ll end up hating. Moreover, it would kind of be a shame to let most of my legal knowledge rust.
Anyway, I thought I would start a thread on this issue. I’m sure there are a number of LEOs on this forum. Am I off the mark with the things I see as positives? What sort of negatives have I overlooked?
Two more things:
My question is not necessarily confined to officers in municipal departments. While that is primarily what I had in mind, I would also be interested in hearing from those in other agencies as well (e.g., Border Patrol).
I am from San Diego, CA, and will be moving there in August. If I decided to become an LEO, it would almost certainly be for a city in Southern California or for the Border Patrol.