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
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
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
Copyright © 2019  Barry M. Baker