All too often, you only hear about the downside of working as a police officer. But that’s absolutely not the whole story. There are many great sides to being a cop and several practical and altruistic reasons for one to decide on a career in the police. And, the job itself can be rewarding and fun a lot of the time.
Along with the opportunity for excellent pay, great employee benefits and the chance to make a difference in people’s lives, the job can be very enjoyable. Even celebrities have worked as cops. So, if you’re trying to decide whether or not it’s the best choice of career path for you, here are some of the best things about being a police officer.
Cop cars; need we say more? Working as a cop means you’ll get plenty of chances to drive fast cars and even better, you can do so lawfully. You’ll be able to take additional driving courses so that you know how to safely put your sirens on and get through busy traffic.
A lot of police departments allow you to take your car home, so there’s no need to go to work and switch cars in the morning – you can check-in and start your shift right from your driveway. And even if you work for a department that uses pool cars, patrolling the town from your mobile office can be a lot of fun.
As a police officer, you’ll get to work with a lot of gadgets. Your utility belt will be as close to being Batman as you can get. Your indispensable tools of the trade will include things like:
- Stun guns
- High power flashlights
- Collapsible batons
- A well-performing gun, depending on your department
As a cop, you’ll be working hard and training even harder. Once you graduate with a relevant degree, such as this one from Wilfrid Laurier University, you’ll need to go through rigorous training to know how to best protect yourself and others. Although it’s hard work, it’s definitely a lot of fun – and you can get a fantastic workout in the process. Cops also need to go through training in:
- Pursuit driving
- First aid and CPR
- Many other specialty areas, depending on the department you’ve chosen to work for.
Ongoing training is especially important when you’re working as a cop. You could even decide to go down the career path of working as a training officer or police instructor and put new recruits through the initial training process. Police training ensures that the skills you need to do your job well are fresh – and teaches you skills that, hopefully, you won’t need to use outside of the training environment but are good to have just in case.
The best part is that the training stage means that you get to have all the fun, without any of the paperwork.
Plus, training doesn’t just mean improving the skills you need for the job that you’re already in. Working as a police officer means that there’s plenty of options to change your career within the law enforcement industry if you wish. You could move up the ranks and become a detective and specialize in fighting certain types of crime, or if management is more your thing, progress to becoming a Lieutenant or Captain. There really is no end to all the options that you might want to consider when it comes to career progression.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling that you’ve been able to make somebody’s life or even their day a little bit better. For most people, encountering a police officer on the job means that they’re probably not having the best of days. But a good cop knows that they can have a huge effect on the outcome based on what they do or how they treat people.
Whether you’re helping somebody who’s been injured, showing some compassion and empathy at a traffic accident scene, helping see that justice is done for the victim of a crime or even helping somebody change their tire at the side of the road, many police officers take the job because they love the idea of work that allows them to help others on a daily basis.
Helping others goes above and beyond the norm when you are a cop; saving lives is something that you’ll do every day and it’s just part of the work. Sometimes it might make the news, for instance when a cop does something heroic to protect innocent people, but there are countless other times we might never know about. Cops are behind:
- The driver who changed their habits behind the wheel because of a traffic ticket they were given
- The drunk driver who was banned from driving before they crashed into a vehicle
- The robber or mugger who changed their mind because they saw a patrol car drive by
Even in the smallest actions that they take, police officers are saving lives every day, and it doesn’t get much more satisfying than knowing that’s just part of your job.
There may be a notion that police officers band together and protect their own to allow for corruption and double standards, but while this does sometimes happen and the problem certainly shouldn’t be ignored, there’s a far more positive side to the teamwork and friendship that you will experience when you work as a cop.
Working in law enforcement is difficult to understand if you’re not a part of it. When you work as a police officer, you’ll find a sense of belonging and family spirit that’s near impossible to find in many other career options. Police will always band together to help their fellow officers; you’ll always have somebody willing to be there for you whether you’re simply having a bad day or something serious has happened.
It can often feel like everybody hates police officers until they need one. But that being said, cops do enjoy respect in their communities from law-abiding citizens. Regardless of a cop’s rank or status, they are often looked to as leaders and good examples to be followed within their circles of friends, families and other community involvements.
As a police officer, it’s a huge amount of responsibility and it reminds you every day of the high ethical standard that you are held to in your line of work. Plus, there’s nothing like the way that your kids or your mom will look at you with pride when they see you wearing your uniform.
Most police officers are well aware of the authority that they hold and take great care to treat it with respect, as there’s tremendous potential to abuse the kind of authority that police officers have. When it’s used properly and with the best intentions for others in mind, it allows officers to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
As a police officer, your authority allows you to:
- Be able to tell people to do something and have them listen
- See problems and be able to fix them
- Know that people will usually support you in the decisions that you make
A lot of people want to spend their life working in a career that matters. We all need to work, but there’s something to be said for being able to work in a career that means something and truly makes a difference, and being a cop is one such career option.
The incredible amount of responsibility that comes with working as a cop is a reward itself; officers do make a huge difference to the people that they serve and although it can sometimes feel like a heavy burden to carry, knowing that you’re able to do some good in the world through your work is a great feeling.
Working in law enforcement isn’t exactly how it’s made out to be on TV; half of the time you’re going to be bored or sat in the office doing paperwork. But the other side of things is often pure, adrenaline-fueled excitement. That being said, most cops aren’t thrill-seekers. The exciting moments will often be some of the most frightening experiences of your life, as well.
When a hot call comes in, it’s time to get to work and calm and clarity will take over; the excitement that comes with it is indescribable. There’s a massively rewarding feeling that comes with being in a potentially dangerous situation and being able to take control calmly and bring it to a successful end without anybody getting hurt.
Police officers might get a lot of flak in the news, but the truth is that the right people in this job makes a huge difference to the communities that they serve and the world as a whole. And it’s a huge amount of fun!