If you're smart, you'll take advantage of
the opportunities to increase your
income.  If you're really smart, you'll use
that extra income to eliminate debt and
begin a tax deferred retirement fund
separate from your police department
pension fund.  I know, that's so far into
the future that you can't even think
about something which seems so
abstract at this point in your career.  
But, you can eliminate debt right from
the beginning.  Don't listen to people
who talk about tax deductible interest.  
Interest is a killer…unless, you're the one
collecting the interest.

Unless your  family is loaded, you've
already experienced money stress,
because you're young and your earning
power is still in its infancy.  As a new
police officer, don't expect the sudden
increase in your income to change
everything just as suddenly.  If you're
single, you'll probably just enjoy the
extra cash.  If you're married with a
family, you'll have to be much more
responsible.  Either way, if you just sit
back and think about how to responsibly
handle your finances, you'll do just fine.
When it comes to money, nothing is ever
really simple.  There are so many things
that can cause you financial crisis and the
accompanying stress.  You can do a lot
to discipline yourself; however, things
can happen over which you have no
control.  That's why you have to
immediately act on things like insurance
and savings.  While you may not be able
to control future events, you certainly
can prepare for them.

As a police officer, you'll have no natural
immunity against financial stress.  But, as
a police officer, you'll experience the
results of financial stress on a frequent
basis.  You'll respond to countless calls
for domestic disputes.  Nearly all of those
domestic disturbances will be a result of
alcohol or money or both.  You'll see first
hand how many people are totally
incapable of managing their lives, so it
should come as no surprise that they're
incapable of handling their money as well.
As a police officer, you have a number of
ways to increase your income.  If you do
your job, and you arrest a lot of bad
guys, you'll be spending a lot of time in
the courtroom.  When that time in the
courtroom is apart from your regular
tour of duty, you'll be earning your salary
on an overtime rate which is typically time
and a half.  When I started my career in
1971, officers received $2 for district
court and $5 for criminal court no matter
how many hours you spent on the court
appearance…talk about things changing.

Today, police departments spend a lot of
money on overtime for any number of
activities.  If you want to invest the time,
you'll have plenty of opportunities to
increase your income over your base
salary.  Of course, spending a lot of time
on any job can increase stress relative to
the extra hours.  The one big mistake
police officers make is the same mistake
any number of other people make.  When
a person increases income, that person
often begins to live within the means of
the higher income.  Even when overtime
is available and plentiful, one should
never consider that circumstance as a
permanent situation.  Additionally, the
physical stress associated with working
extra hours catches up to anyone at
some point.  
Money and
"Even when overtime is available and
plentiful, one should never consider
that circumstance as a permanent
situation." ~ Barry M. Baker
So, what else is new?  Everybody
experiences stress when it comes to
money.  However, everybody should
know that living within one's means is the
first step to lessen, or eliminate, stress
caused by money issues.

Historically, police officers were vastly
underpaid, but that has changed
dramatically.  Few twenty-one year
people can begin a career earning a salary
better than that of a new police officer.  
It's still true that you'll never become rich
on a police officer's salary; however, the
way you manage your earnings can
change that picture on a long term basis.

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Copyright © 2021  Barry M. Baker  
Becoming a Police Officer
An Insider's Guide to a Career
in Law Enforcement
There are Five
Indispensable Truths
for a Successful Police
Page 1
Alabama to California
Page 2
Colorado to Idaho
Page 3
Illinois to Kentucky
Page 4
Louisiana to Massachusetts
Page 5
Michigan to New Jersey
Page 6
New Mexico to North Dakota
Page 7
Ohio to South Dakota
Page 8
Tennessee to Washington-DC
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