Congratulations on taking the first steps toward a very rewarding career! I guess the big question I would have is why your family members are not supportive of your decision to become a Police Officer. Are they afraid of the current atmosphere? Are they concerned about your ability to carry out your duties? Do they not like the agencies you chose? Or is it something else? I've been a background investigator for many years and definitely have met many parents and relatives of prospective Police Officers in my time. Most of the major concerns center around safety and dealing with all the nefarious characters out there. I have yet to meet a family that completely puts the thumbs down on a Police Officer applicant, but I do understand their concerns.
Don't give up on talking about your career choice as it is your choice to make. Just because you're getting negative feedback, don't tune your family out. Be a good listener and listen to what people are saying as opposed to listening to respond. When push comes to shove, especially after a critical incident, you'll definitely need their support. But, do your research and make sure you understand what the job entails. Like Kim, I'm wondering if you've talked to other law enforcement officers at the agencies you've chosen. Have you gone on ride-a-longs? Have you talked to your college instructors? There are so many good sources of information out there that can help you on your journey.
As Kim says, you have to try to compartmentalize your feelings and not take family problems to work and vice versa. Your head has to be in the game in both places. I always found it good to de-stress by working out, or taking a walk or talking to friends. There's also no shame in talking to a professional...been there done that after a critical incident or two. The job can really adversely affect your family life if you let it. Again, be a good listener and don't take anything personally, especially on the street. My golden rules were to always do the right thing for the right reason and to treat people with respect.
Who knows, as you continue on your career path, you family may warm to the idea?
I hope this helps. If you need further advice, feel free to contact me also.
Robert recommends the following next steps:
- Do your research and really get to know what the job entails.
- Talk to your family about what you've learned.