Police work is the forced evolution of your
perceptions of the human condition.
Every moral code, belief and preconceived
deal of socially appropriate behavior will
be assaulted, shaken and taken to the
turf in a law enforcement career.
Police work rattles your adrenalin cage,
slaps you in the face with raw reality and
gives you 3 seconds to make rational,
Imagine this: your work day is
punctuated by having 20 tons of water
dropped on you—sometimes someone,
or your intuition, shouts a warning,
sometimes not. The water is a threat to
you, to those around you and to your
fellow officers. It is inevitable and
inescapable. You must deal with it every
day—every time it happens.
So…do you train to become strong
enough to drop to the ground and
endure the water's onslaught? Do you
train to become agile enough to leap out
of harms way?
Or, do you train yourself to become an
arrow that pierces the water, splitting
and deflecting its' power, while you
remain steadfast and totally aware of it—
even while surrounded by its' potentially
If your only need is to survive the deluge
and continue on, any of these training
options might be acceptable. But what if
self-preservation was only conditional?
What if every work day centered on
waiting for, and being prepared for, the
Waiting for, anticipating and reacting to
Ever ready, ever alert, ever prepared.
Police work demands being prepared to
act—and that demand creates
tremendous anticipation of action. You
watch, you wait, you review action
options. You listen, learn and wait some
more. And eventually you see that
anticipation of action has to be
controlled, regulated and educated—so it
becomes a finely tuned and accurate
trigger for adrenalin-induced action.
The toll of maintaining this level of
awareness can be staggering to officers,
but with experience comes an ability to
balance perspectives and accept the
realities encountered. Police work is a
daily parade of people in crisis. And every
crisis is unique to the people involved,
but may be based on a conflict common
to many. One shift may include a dozen
domestic disturbances, all caused by
families in crisis, but all unique due to
thedifferent individuals involved.
Experienced police officers accept that
every person encounters times of crisis in
their lives and that most people are not
accustomed to crisis and don't react well
to it. Emotions can be excessive,
responses out of character and
judgments impaired. The police officer
becomes the critical incident expert
during those times of crisis. Their
uniform, badge, weapons and vehicle are
tools that reinforce this role, but their
demeanor and actions establish their
authority as a welcome reality within the
unreality of the critical incident.
Officers are expected to know all the
rules; render fair, impartial judgments;
rebuild realities and read minds. While
others scream in agony, reel in horror or
become enraged—the officer must take
actions that protect all, enforce the law
and resolve chaos. Regardless of
personal injury or threat to life and limb,
police officers are expected to perform
their duties professionally and without
The tragedy and human suffering that
touch an officers' life takes a special
fortitude of spirit and mind to keep that
touch from creating wounds in personal
realities and personalities. In times of
trial, the camaraderie borne of this
specialty fuses to become a bond that
brings officers, and balance, back—safe in
body and sound of mind.
|Why Police Employment
May Be For You
|Sergeant George Godoy (Ret.) is a 22
year police veteran. During his police
career, Sergeant Godoy served for 5
years as a police recruitment specialist
where he personally tested over 1,000
potential police recruits.
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