5 answers
Asked Viewed 294 times Translate

on a scale from 1 to 10 how hard is being a police officer and why?

I am a junior in high school going to be a police officer later on in life. #law-enforcement #police-officer #police

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you
100% of 6 Pros

5 answers

Updated Translate

melanie a.’s Answer

It would be in your best interest to speak with a local police officer. You'd be surprise at how much they'd appreciate your interest and give you an
honest assessment on whether or not this is a hard job. They may also be able to inform you about local programs for Junior High School
students who have an interest in being a police officer such as yourself.

Call your local precint and ask as well if someone would speak to you or if you can stop by with a guardian. Also, see if your
very own school is involved ina a community outreach program that would involve interacting with a police officer.

Fun idea - organize a pancake breakfast for community members to serve officers breakfast as a token of appreciation for their work.

You're on the right path by just asking the question. Keep us posted on what you find out and what you believe your next steps will
be after speaking with an officer.

And remember, to keep asking questions!!! :)

Good luck!

100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate

DENNIS’s Answer

Thomas: I am a lawyer who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. A few of my friends became cops. I can tell you from their experiences that being a police officer it is a very tough job. You need to know the law and often make instant life or death decisions to protect yourself or your community. Plus EVERYONE second guesses you. You need to follow the book but follow it with your heart - often a tough balancing act. The most important part of the job is getting home safe and sound after every shift. Thomas, being a police officer is very tough job, but if it is in your blood follow your heart and take the training. As an aside, I was in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Watching those police officers run in while telling us all to get out is a memory I carry every day. As a police officer you are on the front line of your community. Stay in school, get as much education as you can and get as much experience as you can because all those little interactions will help you relate to the people you protect and serve. Thomas, good luck and please stay safe!

Updated Translate

David’s Answer

As a 20 year veteran of law enforcement the answer to your question is very subjective. The type of person you are will determine how hard the job is. The one most useful attribute of a successful Police Officer is common sense. The second most useful is your drive to help others. If you possess these two attributes the job will be challenging and gratifying rather then hard.
Make sure you understand and control the job. Don't let it control you. Everyday you are dealing with other's challenges in life. whether it be a burglary, injury, argument, fight, addiction or depression. This is the job and you are there to help. Although you are a Police Officer 24-7 you have to drop these negatives at shift's end.
Most departments have ride-along and explorer programs. I would recommend you take advantage of these programs and go out with officers. Every shift is different so experience them all. Talk to seasoned officers.
I hope this helps. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Updated Translate

Michelle’s Answer

If you become a police officer...the academy which is typically several months long, can be tough. Lots of running. If you pass that...then you have about a month with a Field Training Officer, usually on the night shift. Once you get through that phase, you are on your own on patrol. After a year or two of that, then you are eligible to move around to other sections that are more specific (traffic - the special traffic investigators, crime scene (some police departments use officers and some use civilians), or narcotics and the like. But you may find that these areas may take more time out on patrol.
If you go into the Sheriff's Office as a Deputy, there tends to be a different process. I work for a Sheriff's Office in west Texas, and I know that in order to be a Deputy, you have to start as a Detention Officer. That academy is tough and is not just exercise, but learning basic crime scene in corrections, current legislature, fingerprinting and booking, mental health issues and observation in regards to inmates and so on. Once you pass the academy, you must be a Detention officer for at least 2 years. Then you are eligible to apply for the Patrol academy...and if you pass that (which is very similar to the police department academy), then you do several months with an FTO. Again you must be out on patrol for several years in order to progress or apply for other sections. SWAT, STI (traffic investigators), Narcotics, School Resource Officers (SRO) - in the elementary and middle schools, Community Service, etc.
How hard the job is, is up to you.
I would suggest going on Ride-Alongs with your local law enforcement...and volunteer with them. You can move around the department and learn what it entails to be a police officer, work in the department, be a Deputy, work in several sections or tour a Detention facility. But you will have a better idea of what you would do in law enforcement if that is your goal. Good Luck.

Updated Translate

Kim’s Answer


It sort of depends on where you work and how many calls you get. I worked at an airport, and, honestly, most of the time it was pretty boring. But, when something went down, we got busy. The difficult thing about working in a jurisdiction that is not busy with "police" calls is that, when something happens, you are supposed to know how to handle it! Like, we had one stabbing, one robbery, and two apparent sudden deaths in my 25 years on the force!

Even when I was on the force, which was over ten years ago, there were people who had previously had bad encounters with police officers. Consequently, when I encountered them, I was judged as being "one of them" rather than given the benefit of the doubt that perhaps I was a good police officer. That made it difficult. It's only gotten worse in the past ten years.

Today, you must assume that everything you say and do is being recorded. That makes it difficult, even if you are a good police officer. There were times that I gave people a break, such as allowing them to throw away alcohol, marijuana, and an illegal knife. Those types of actions never made it into a report, and were not in accordance with policy. I could get fired for doing those things. So, you would not have the freedom to do that.

Another thing that makes it hard is when you see a situation that isn't right, but, it's not illegal, so, you cannot do anything about it. I once had to let a child go with a parent who had legal custody, even though the non-custodial parent was a much better parent to the child. That sort of thing is difficult.

On a personal level, you will probably start off with bad days off - like Tuesday/ Wednesday. If you like to go out with your friends, they will be going out when you are working. This often causes you to drift away from your current friends, and start hanging out with other cops. As you marry and have kids (if you do) the shift assignments make it difficult to see your kids (sometimes) or attend their games/events. I found it pretty easy to find other officers to trade with, but, you need to repay the favor for them at some point. If your wife works 8 am -5 pm and you work 2 pm to 10 pm, you won't see her very much, except on days off. This could put a strain on a relationship.

The really great thing about being a cop is that you and your fellow officers really look out for each other. When you are on a "hot" call, by yourself, you will know about how long it will be before they show up, so you can act all cool while talking to someone rather than let them know you intend to arrest them, for example. It's also good that parents still teach their kids to respect cops, and you can have some meaningful interactions with children.

You can adapt to all of this. It takes effort, but people do it. Other things that make it hard is that the laws are constantly changing. You will get training on most of it, so that will help. Staying physically fit can also be hard, if you ride around in a squad car all day and eating fast food.

I cannot rate it on a scale of 1-10, because, well, it all just depends! But, I hope I gave you some ideas of what to expect. Let me know if you have any more questions!