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What in the criminal justice system did you feel that you were not prepared for or wish you knew more about before entering?

What in the criminal justice system did you feel that you were not prepared for or wish you knew more about before entering?

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Alan’s Answer

I came from the military after doing a tour in Iraq so i was more interested in excitement and a fun agency. Now that I'm 15 years in I wish I would have actually compared different retirements. For example working as a sherrif in the state of Florida you are in FRS. You can work at any sherrifs office in the state and you're retirement continues. I work for a police department, if I go to another agency my retirement starts over unlike the sherrifs office where you can jump around to different parts of the state if you so choose.
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David’s Answer

Probably the biggest thing that basic law enforcement training failed to prepare you for was mindset. You have to have a very particular mindset to function well in the law enforcement system. For example, where I work, many cases are summarily dismissed and the "default" bond is a written promise to appear in court. This can be frustrating for newer officers, as people they arrest will often times actually beat them back to town from the jail. For example, one of our "regulars" has been arrested 12 times by us just this year so far. He's done less than a week in jail for these arrests. He is becoming such a problem that residents are calling to complain about him specifically, and are blaming officers for failing to act.

Having the mindset to not become discouraged by things that are out of your control, and to continue to provide the highest quality of service available in the face of the failings of the criminal justice system as a whole, is huge. This is a major contributing factor in high burnout rates among newer officers.
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