Bryant R. Camareno’s Answer
The answer to your question is; there is no easy answer. I completed 21 years as a police officer. One of the first things I learned from the police academy was that there is no such thing as routine patrol, and no two days are alike. Depending on where you work, sometimes you are busy and sometimes there can be so much down-time, you are just wishing the radio will go off and you'll get an assignment. The only consistent thing about policing has to be your attitude. When you come to work you have to clear your thoughts and remain focused. Day to day life and outside influences that cause stress that have to get hung up in your locker along with your civilian clothes when you get ready to report to work. While working, you have to remain attentive and vigilant. Sometimes people will be happy to see you and they will generally express an appreciative attitude towards your presence and what you represent. Most people like to see and be around the good guys. But sometimes you are showing up to calls where someone has already been hurt or suffered in some way. Sometimes your presence can represent consequences. Showing up to a domestic argument where one family member has beat up another family member means you will have to take someone to jail. In instances like these, most often no one (victim or suspect) wants to see you and their attitude and actions can be hostile and uncooperative. No matter what the situation, you have remain focused on being a professional and a good listener. Sometimes people just want someone to listen to their problems and make them feel like they were heard and their feelings matter.
Some days, you could be sitting with your partner (hopefully you have at least a few who you are very close with and maybe even a best friend too), laughing and having a nice meal break together - only to be interrupted by a frantic and scary radio transmission where someone is screaming for help. You have to be able to transition (not freeze) into a productive and protective mode where you know what to do to help the situation, while still protecting yourself and your partners that go to help. Some days, the calls can stack up on you where you are constantly working from the moment you first turn on your radio till the last moment before you turn it off at the end of your shift. Other times, you could literally go an entire shift without hearing a single call (sometimes I would check to make sure my radio battery had not died on me).
I've had people try to physically fight with me, and then in the next hour I was doing CPR on an infant. Other times I've had to hug and console a grieving parent while they cope with the loss of their child or family member, and in the next call for service I was locking up a person, knowing they were going go prison for years and would not be able to be with their family anymore. In one particular month, I received a commendation/award for helping with a homicide investigation and just a few days later I was serving 3 day suspension for crashing a squad car.
When you're around hostile people, don't let their words or actions get you down. They're not really mad at you, they're mad at the situation they're in. When you're around nice people, enjoy their presence but don't let your guard down. A nice person can turn into a bad guy very quickly and without warning or reason. Whatever kind of day your having during your police shift, just remember why you took that job in the first place. You want to help people and serve your community. If you can remain focused on that (one day at a time will turn into a decades long career very quickly), it won't really matter what your day at work looks like.
Stay safe buddy,