Like Tree18Likes
  • 2 Post By ditchdoc24
  • 5 Post By Scott941
  • 1 Post By David Hineline
  • 1 Post By k9mp4jc
  • 1 Post By mookster
  • 1 Post By asullivan
  • 3 Post By Jeff22
  • 3 Post By Sgt. Slaughter
  • 1 Post By Che

Thread: The grass is greener on the other side.

  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    5

    The grass is greener on the other side.

    question?
    I am looking at saying goodbye to the army. it been great as a Military Police officer but out of the 6 years I have been in, I have been gone for 3 years. I love my family and want to spend more time with my kids and wife. so i was wondering if i could get some insight about being a Police officer. is the role the same as being a MP. do you get more time for family, I think you get paid overtime unlike the Army. Just wondering if the grass is greener on the other side.
    thanks

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    195
    I've never been a MP so I can't really address the similarities between that and civilian LE. I've been in LE now for about 4 years and it's been a good thing. I have a lot more time at home with the family which has been one of the biggest benefits. I work for the same county I live in and my agency has no problem with me stopping by the house for a few minutes during the course of my shift. Law Enforcement is what you make of it. I work for a small agency in a rural area so it's obviously going to be significantly different from LAPD, NYPD or any other big agency. Best of luck to you and thank you for your service.
    k9mp4jc and FinnMac like this.

  3. #3
    (Negative 29...)
    Scott941's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    KC METRO
    Posts
    675
    Just remember this. If the grass is that much greener on the other side -- it could be they're spreading too much manure around.
    sanitizer, Aerohead, FiVo3 and 2 others like this.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    South Sioux City, NE
    Posts
    4,489
    You get housing allowance and total medical coverage for your family now, that's expensive on this side.
    k9mp4jc likes this.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    5
    I have always wanted to be a police officer and yeah the medical coverage might come out of my pay but if I can get a chance to have more family time then it would be worth it. The military has been great but my kids don't really know me and I am not going work 20 years for a pay check and lose my family. Besides I look at it as a way to help people. If I can get a chance to change one persons life i think it would be worth it. so yeah the grass may not be a green as the army when it comes to money but the hope of family time is worth the risk.


    Pro's in my mind
    1. get to drive fast.
    2. more family time.
    3. get paid over time.
    4. get to help people everyday.
    5.I can stay in one place longer than 3 years and no more year deployments
    6. like the army you have a brotherhood with your battle's or co workers
    7. you still get to kick in doors and take down bad guys.
    8. after a couple of years I could go back to K-9

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    195
    Quote Originally Posted by k9mp4jc View Post
    Pro's in my mind
    1. get to drive fast.
    2. more family time.
    3. get paid over time.
    4. get to help people everyday.
    5.I can stay in one place longer than 3 years and no more year deployments
    6. like the army you have a brotherhood with your battle's or co workers
    7. you still get to kick in doors and take down bad guys.
    8. after a couple of years I could go back to K-9
    I hope those aren't in order of importance to you.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    5
    Well if I had to put it in order, It would be
    1 Jesus
    2 Family
    3.America
    4 Texas
    5. Helping people & maybe kicking some doors and having a little fun once in a while,
    the rest will fall in place and thinking because of experience some would give insight on how to prepare from going from Military to civilian life or even better some tips for preparing for the force or something along those lines. "not trying to counsel me." thanks...
    DCounty2010 likes this.

  8. #8
    Off topic poster
    mookster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Wild wild west in AZ
    Posts
    1,125
    Quote Originally Posted by k9mp4jc View Post
    I have always wanted to be a police officer and yeah the medical coverage might come out of my pay but if I can get a chance to have more family time then it would be worth it. The military has been great but my kids don't really know me and I am not going work 20 years for a pay check and lose my family. Besides I look at it as a way to help people. If I can get a chance to change one persons life i think it would be worth it. so yeah the grass may not be a green as the army when it comes to money but the hope of family time is worth the risk.


    Pro's in my mind
    1. get to drive fast.
    2. more family time.
    3. get paid over time.
    4. get to help people everyday.
    5.I can stay in one place longer than 3 years and no more year deployments
    6. like the army you have a brotherhood with your battle's or co workers
    7. you still get to kick in doors and take down bad guys.
    8. after a couple of years I could go back to K-9
    1. Lots of agencies are slowing their guys down and have GPS trackers in cars. No driving fast most of the time.
    2. Rotating shifts and court on your days off. Don't forget getting stuck on graveyards working on the weekends.
    3. What's overtime? Havent's seen that in years.
    4. People hate you and don't want your help.
    5. Hope you like where you go or you're screwed.
    6. We eat our own.
    7. In 6 years I've yet to kick a door and the ACLU screams if you hug thugs too hard these days.
    8. Lots of agencies don't have K-9's.

    Now my counterpoints aren't universal but $10 bucks sez that there's a passing resemblance for each agency out there. I never had the privilege of serving in the military, I went into corrections and then patrol. I would never want to do anything else but don't assume that the grass is greener here.

    Think it through, weigh the pros and cons. Do some ride alongs and try to find real flesh and blood people you can knock a beer back with and they can tell you what it was like for them making the transition. They may share some things and challenges in person that someone won't tell you over the internetz.

    Best of luck.
    calmonte likes this.

  9. #9
    Professor of Stuff
    asullivan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    O.COM, Sector 69
    Posts
    14,911
    Quote Originally Posted by k9mp4jc View Post
    Well if I had to put it in order, It would be
    1 Jesus
    2 Family
    3.America
    4 Texas
    5. Helping people & maybe kicking some doors and having a little fun once in a while,
    the rest will fall in place and thinking because of experience some would give insight on how to prepare from going from Military to civilian life or even better some tips for preparing for the force or something along those lines. "not trying to counsel me." thanks...

    So your say'in Ya' wud' let somethang or some country etc. blow America off tha' face of the earth to save your family?
    Last edited by asullivan; 03-06-2013 at 01:13 PM.
    mookster likes this.
    From da' land O' nervous sheep.
    Quote Originally Posted by crass cop View Post
    who cares....was she hot??
    Quote Originally Posted by mookster View Post
    Sully, usually I hafta glance over your posts cuz my brain would have issues with the imagery you portray, however with that one I get it. And I agree one hundred percent with ya.
    Quote Originally Posted by CityCopDC View Post
    I swear to god you are not human. I have seen enough episodes of X-Files to know a rogue VI (Virtual Inteligence) when I see one.
    Currently Being Ignored by

    1) NYC Queeny.
    2) Officer retired.

  10. #10
    Che
    Che is offline
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    829
    Quote Originally Posted by k9mp4jc View Post
    .. The military has been great but my kids don't really know me and I am not going work 20 years for a pay check and lose my family.
    Think about it. I am a divorcee, most of my police friends are divorcees. Being a former MP I wanted a lot of action. After 30+ years in 20/20 hindsight, Petticoat Junction PD or Mayberry Sheriffs with Andy and Barney might have been a better choice.

    Think about this, you think being the new guy you will get Saturday and Sundays off? It took 7 years for me to get "Day Shift". Day shift with weekends off about 20 years seniority. Now in the MPs we had rotating weekends off. So there I had two weekends off a month and that was true for everyone in my platoon including the PFCs. You think the rookie gets his choice of vacation period? Seniority rules and the old timers want their's for the holidays and summer. So rookies get the off season BUT the children are in school. You got Oct 1-15 off as vacation so you paint the house and on the weekend take the kids to Six Flags.

    Good luck YMMV

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    238

    things to consider when selecting a law enforcement agency to apply for

    Everything in law enforcement depends on where you live and what agency you work for.

    When researching for an agency, here are some things to consider (in no particular order):
    (1.) Find out what they pay. What’s the cost of living in that locality?
    (2.) How much VOLUNTARY overtime is available?
    (3.) How often might you be ordered in or held over? It happens to all of us sometimes, and in some places, because of the staffing level and the amount of calls for service it happens A LOT. That makes it difficult to plan anything outside of work and can interfere with daycare.
    (4.) Do they rotate shifts or do they work straight shifts? Some places have you rotate from days to evenings to midnights. Some places may have you rotate in relief between two shifts, and others just have straight shifts.
    (5.) How does the days off rotation work?
    (6.) How easy is it to get time off and how much notice do you have to give?
    (7.) Do shifts get picked on an annual basis, or do you get hired and put into a spot and don't have an opportunity to move until there is a vacancy?
    (8.) Do you have a union? How detailed is your contract?
    (9.) How much leave time do you get in a year? How much sick time? Does sick time accumulate?
    (10.) Being a cop means nights, weekends, and holidays. Depending on circumstance and your expectations, that can be really hard on family life. Or not that big a deal.
    (11.) Rookies in most places start on the midnight shift. If you can't get accustomed to working the late shift, being awake at night and sleeping during the day, maybe being the police is NOT a good idea for you.
    (12.) If you work the evening shift you won't see your wife & kid much.
    (13.) What kind of arrangements can you make for child care?
    (14.) How well is the agency staffed? How well are they equipped? Do you have a reasonable opportunity for specialized training? Do they pay education incentive for your degrees?
    (15.) How is the retirement program?

    It's hard to make any kind of blanket statement about police work as a career because there are WAY too many variables from agency to agency and from one part of the country to another.

    (I'm fortunate. I've been on straight 11p-7a BY CHOICE since 1977, because I'm a night person. I like the flexibility of working nights. My evenings are free to do things with family & friends and to do recreational things EXCEPT that I can't drink before going to work. We have rotating days off, reasonable pay and benefits and reasonable opportunity for voluntary overtime. As much as a few of the guys at my PD bitch and whine about everything, we have it pretty good, and they're too dumb to realize it)

    If you're married and have a wife & child, then you also have responsibilities as a husband and father. Which means you need to be home sometimes. Don't make the mistake lots of guys do, and get hired on, work evenings so you don't see your family much anyway, and THEN get on specialized units like SWAT or Search & Rescue or Narcotics or something, which places even more of a demand on your time. Take a good interest in your career, feel free to pursue interesting training & education on your own time and at your own expense once in a while, but don't let the job become your life. If you have kids, having a job assignment where you have to carry a pager and be on call all the time may NOT be a good idea . . .

    Lots of guys work all night and then babysit all day, and then try to catch a nap before going back to work at 11pm. They spend their whole life all jet lagged and burned out, and they never get to see their wife. Try to avoid that at all costs if you want to be effective at work and stay married.

    And if your non-police friends become uncomfortable or act weird around you because you're a cop, you probably need new friends . . .
    Che, dk4363 and calmonte like this.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    238
    Another thing to consider might be continuing on in the National Guard or the Reserve. Maybe not right now, but in the future. You've already got 6 years of active duty in -- 14 more years as a weekend warrior and you've got a pension when you hit 60.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Sgt. Slaughter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Nod
    Posts
    14,253
    BTDT - wish I'd have stayed AD. Mookster's #6 is a very real, oft unspoken garish truth. I haven't found the brotherhood bond like I had in the Corps. That's not saying it's not out there, just that I haven't run across it.
    USMC_MP, Che and Andrew_Neal like this.
    NRA Life Member

    The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. - Sir Robert Peel

    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Ex Army MP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,150
    Quote Originally Posted by mookster View Post
    1

    6. We eat our own.
    And even if you didn't the DA's office would make sure that you did.
    Sometimes I think life is just a rodeo,
    The trick is to ride and make it to the bell.
    But there is a place, sweet as you will ever know,
    In music and love, and things you never tell.
    You see it in their face, secrets on the telephone,
    A time out of time, for you and no one else

  15. #15
    Che
    Che is offline
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    829
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff22 View Post
    Everything in law enforcement depends on where you live and what agency you work for.
    That was very well done. Potential cops really need o think about it.

  16. #16
    Che
    Che is offline
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    829
    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Slaughter View Post
    BTDT - wish I'd have stayed AD. Mookster's #6 is a very real, oft unspoken garish truth. I haven't found the brotherhood bond like I had in the Corps. That's not saying it's not out there, just that I haven't run across it.
    1000% true. Former Marine 0311/5811.

    I have been on four different departments since 1981. The brotherhood in law enforcement is more like the 'good old boy network'. Depending on who the Chief and/or Captain was; One year, "officer of the year" next year after a power struggle, "smart*****". I think most of us just want to be good cops.
    dk4363 likes this.

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    northeast
    Posts
    734
    Everyone else on here has pretty much hit all the points, but it's been said elsewhere that policing is regional.

    My department has rural, suburban and urban areas. I'm fortunate in that my current assignment allows me total flexibility to do what I want, when I want within reasons. But it took a while to get to that position. Depending on your agency you may never see your coworkers except for super hot calls because of distance. Could you tolerate day in and day out of "copy a past vandalism" for the next 20 years if you get on with a small department?

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    elchorizo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    The lightning strike capital of the U.S.
    Posts
    406
    Quote Originally Posted by k9mp4jc View Post
    Well if I had to put it in order, It would be
    1 Jesus
    2 Family
    3.America
    4 Texas
    Wait a tic....I know you.
    president-george-w-bush-hook-em-horns-hand-gesture.jpg

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    5
    Thanks Guys, Years of wisdom and all for the taking. As for me there is much to think about and consider when making my decision . In truth I will be getting out and looking at Central Texas to call home. What department, not for sure yet. I do know that you guys have given me a lot to think about when deciding what department to apply for. thanks.

  20. #20
    Civillian
    jannino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    6,879
    The war is winding down so why now? Have you looked into a different MOS?

    Mookster countered all your points perfectly. Spend some time browsing the site.. you will see that public safety is very fluid and subject to the political climate (local and national).

    There are number threads on the topic of MP vs civilian LE and you will see they can be vastly different.

    Best of luck to you

  21. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    99
    I think you should probably stay where you are. The longer you are at one job, the more benefits and perks you rack up. And you may also end up getting more vacation days to have more time to spend with your family.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Click here to log in or register