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, informed—possibly life-or-death—
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
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 lethal
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 water?
Waiting for, anticipating and reacting to the water.
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
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
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 hesitation.
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
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