What choices in life?

This is a discussion on What choices in life? within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Let me lay it out for you. I'm 22 years old (male, duh), and I should be done with my BA degree in Public Safety ...

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Thread: What choices in life?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array MilitaryPower's Avatar
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    What choices in life?

    Let me lay it out for you. I'm 22 years old (male, duh), and I should be done with my BA degree in Public Safety Management in the spring or late winter. My plan is to apply to the city police department, work there for at least a couple years, and then maybe go somewhere else and do something bigger. The thing is, I don't think that I would be best used as a beat cop for a career, but I could see myself going up the ranks if I stayed. I would like to sometime in the future have a part in passing laws (like CC and self-defense laws). Federal law enforcement doesn't sound bad either.

    My dad wants me to pursue a degree in law. I don't know what that kind of degree would do for me. What could I do with it? I almost have a degree that will help me in just about any government job, local, state and federal. I don't want more school. I DO NOT want to be lawyer, as if I know that someone is guilty, I wouldn't be able to represent them. But I don't know much about that kind of thing yet. I know that many lawyers have miserable lives but have expensive cars, and get a bad rap for being jerks and letting bad guys free. My dad wants me to do something where money won't be a problem, like it was for him (I think all fathers think that). He thinks that I would be wasted as a cop. He doesn't want me to start off at the bottom of the food chain and have to work hard to make progress. I go to school and work retail at a box store, so being a cop is not the bottom of the food chain for me. Sure they don't make a lot of money, but they make a whole lot more than what I make now. And I figure that having a background in LE could help me down the road, if I move on. My best friend worked with me where I work now, but now he is with the PD, so I am very jealous and can't wait to make something of my life. I want to stop and assist whenever I see a traffic stop, LOL.

    My dad is a almost retired firefighter and a part-time bailiff for the SO. I also have two uncles that one is the fire chief, and the other is a sergeant detective for the SO. So I have public service in my blood.

    What do the smart people have to say?
    Gun control can be blamed in part for allowing 9/11 to happen.
    "Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum" (Latin)- "If you want peace, prepare for war".

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  3. #2
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    How about six years as an officer in one of the Military Branches as a career enhancer. For one, it will dramatically increase your level of maturity, leadership and responsibility. Also you will be serving your country with no small measure of self sacrifice, and from there, you can run for public office after you leave the military.

    I already thought you were a veteran or active duty since your forum name is MilitaryPower... I guess I shouldn't have assumed. lol
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Senior Member Array MilitaryPower's Avatar
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    I was going to originally join through ROTC, but my life has sorta changed. I wanted to be an MP and then get out and be a civilian cop. This is my tenth year in the Civil Air Patrol (U.S.A.F. Auxiliary), it is a civilian volunteer para-military organization, so I do have some experience. As a cadet I reached Lt. Col. in the organization and am now a 1LT (as an adult) and have served in many leadership and managment positions. I don't know, I just don't feel the military at this point in my life. I have my family and friends and with being a cop, I could stay here with them. Plus I have a disabled sister, so my parents need help with her. I'm sure they could manage without me, but it is easier with me.

    I really like guns, knives, flashlights, bad guys being put away, and good guys winning, just laws, blah, blah, blah.
    Gun control can be blamed in part for allowing 9/11 to happen.
    "Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum" (Latin)- "If you want peace, prepare for war".

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    If I had my life to do all over again, I would get my degree, spend about 10 years in the military, in a law enforcement job, and then go for a federal law enforcement job, possibly the NCIS. Stable and pretty good pay....

    Don't do what I did and "miss your calling" just to make good money. I had a great career, but now that my career is at an end, I wish I would have done something different....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MilitaryPower View Post
    He thinks that I would be wasted as a cop. He doesn't want me to start off at the bottom of the food chain and have to work hard to make progress.
    I got news for ya, you start at the bottom and work your way to the top no matter the route you choose.

    I used to think the same way as you are right now, but I soon realized that I am nothing special and everybody goes through the same thing.
    If you want to be a cop, be a cop. You get one shot at life, you have to do what you want, not what somebody else wants you to do.
    Florida has some great opportunity in L.E., and a lot of growth in the field right now. You can do very well financially as a cop, you just have to learn how... and be patient to get on with a good department; Florida has lots of 'em. Taking this route does not close any doors for a future career move, in fact, it will open a lot that were never open for you before.

    One thing I think would be worth looking at for you is the USCG; it will give you both a taste of LE and military credit/experience and chances are you can stay close to home. The service time earned will be more valuable than your degree should you decide to pursue federal L.E.
    Last edited by SIXTO; July 24th, 2008 at 11:50 AM.
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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    I'd recommend getting the law degree. It'll serve you well even if you never practice a day in your life!

    If you want, talk to any of the service branches and they'll be happy to pay for law school in exchange for a commitment after you graduate.

    Another option would be to go it on your own and when you graduate, go talk to any of the Federal LEA's......especially the FBI. They'll likely be thrilled to hear from you!
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

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    If you want to go into making laws the law degree will help you immensely, then you can be a judge, or try to start getting elected to state offices.

    If you don't think that the military is for you, then don't join. It's not for everyone, and you don't want to be stuck with a 4 year commitment in a job you hate.

    Do what will make you happy, I bet your parents would rather see you happy with a low paying job than miserable with a high paying one.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    Do what you love and you will never have to "work" a day in your life.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

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    Although I would recommend getting the law degree, you have stated that you do not want to go that route; SO DON'T.

    There are plenty of honorable ways to make a living, and a modest income doing something you like to do is a better deal than a great income in something you hate.

    Your dad means well, but here are some things you should think about.

    1) There is a big risk in going to law school. Not everyone gets to actually pass the bar exam.

    2) Being a lawyer isn't necessarily a nice job. It can be tedious, monotonous, and you are dealing with other people's troubles all day.

    3) I don't have any statistics, but it seems to me that a high percentage of lawyers eventually screw up and either lose their license or go to jail.

    I don't know if it is higher or lower than the general population, but stories about things like this are in the paper all the time.

    High profile-- The lady who defended the blind sheik; The guy in California who's dog killed the neighbor lady

    Low profile-- A lady in town now is on trial for fraud; a couple of years back another one was charged with selling children but acquitted.

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    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    I'm a little confused. If you love law and want to get to a point in your life where you can help pass sensible law, then I would think a law degree would be something you could really emerse yourself in and enjoy. Having a law degree would apply in so many other areas than just being a lawyer. I would guess it would be invaluable in a job as a law inforcement officer or on a resume when applying for that "bigger" job you speak of in the future. Just think how your resume would stack up against another individual without one. It shows committement and drive to have gone thru the college and obtianed that degree.

    I understand how you may have a feeling of wanting to get on with your life and start doing something that may feel more meaningful than just staying in college. I felt the same way. Now in my 30's, I wish I had more college.

    Good luck to you whatever you decide!
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

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    Senior Member Array Sergeant Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilitaryPower View Post
    I don't think that I would be best used as a beat cop for a career
    SOMEBODY has to be there, on the street, to stand in between the wolves and the sheep.

    I COMPLETELY disagree with the notion that the "best" cops would best be utilized as one type of white-shirt-and-tie wearing administrator or investigator or another.

    We need the BEST cops on the STREET, "in the bag", lugging around 20 lbs of crap on their bodies to get the job done.

    I know you probably had no intention of "dissing" street cops, but that's the way that statement played in my mind, along with a healthy dose of "being just a simple STREET COP is below my destined station in life."

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    Good point Segeant Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by Sergeant Mac View Post
    SOMEBODY has to be there, on the street, to stand in between the wolves and the sheep.

    I COMPLETELY disagree with the notion that the "best" cops would best be utilized as one type of white-shirt-and-tie wearing administrator or investigator or another.

    We need the BEST cops on the STREET, "in the bag", lugging around 20 lbs of crap on their bodies to get the job done.

    I know you probably had no intention of "dissing" street cops, but that's the way that statement played in my mind, along with a healthy dose of "being just a simple STREET COP is below my destined station in life."
    Very good point. Very well made. I'd just defend this young man a tad because I suspect he really didn't mean to be anywhere near as demeaning as he appeared. He is just struggling with some tough decisions and likely didn't realize what he wrote.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Very good point. Very well made. I'd just defend this young man a tad because I suspect he really didn't mean to be anywhere near as demeaning as he appeared. He is just struggling with some tough decisions and likely didn't realize what he wrote.
    Agreed for the both of you, the best cops stay street cops.

    I took it in the way Mac did too, but I figured the OP will figure out what Mac said soon enough on his own should it ever really matter to him anyway.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array Sig sauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergeant Mac View Post
    SOMEBODY has to be there, on the street, to stand in between the wolves and the sheep.

    I COMPLETELY disagree with the notion that the "best" cops would best be utilized as one type of white-shirt-and-tie wearing administrator or investigator or another.

    We need the BEST cops on the STREET, "in the bag", lugging around 20 lbs of crap on their bodies to get the job done.

    I know you probably had no intention of "dissing" street cops, but that's the way that statement played in my mind, along with a healthy dose of "being just a simple STREET COP is below my destined station in life."
    +1

    My opinion is that the best police officers stays in the field.

    Not everyone can take the heat on the streets, but most people can pull off a desk job at any precinct. Some people in the force look down on "beat" cops. In my opinion, that are people that couldn't handle it out on the field.

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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    I will recommend the law school route. You are at a time of life that is fleeting. It is very difficult to go to work and later decide to complete law school. The opportunity presents itself now. And, no matter what happens later you will never regret completing a difficult challenge whether you use the degree or not. Most importantly, a law school education will force to you learn how to think logically and how to make sound decisions. That is a lifelong benefit. As others have stated, it is invaluable on your resumé in whatever field you ultimately choose to pursue.

    Even if you want to get out and start working, which I understand, and school is hard, which I also understand, the long term benefits of school will absolutely outweigh any argument against. Now is the time. Don't slam the door on opportunity. I think it is wise that you are soliciting advice here. But also talk with your parents, your mentors, your teachers, and others whose opinions you respect.

    Best of luck in your most difficult decision.

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