Police Officers don't all grow up in the same environments and with the same exact parents and family backgrounds. There's many different reasons why a person may choose to become a cop. If you were to take a look at any large population in the world, you would see that there are many different types of people in that group. The same could be said about police officers. They come from all different corners of the earth and they are all different colors, not just ethnically, but mentally. Not all cops are thinking the same thing and have the same goals in life. So not all cops sign up for the same exact reasons. Let's take a look at some reasons why some people want to become police officers.
To Make Society Better
Some people who decide to join the police force are genuinely good people and sincerely want to help people in their communities and get paid for it. Some of them may feel very passionate about getting criminals off the streets and defending victims. I've met female police officers who were once abused by their husbands and decided to become cops to help out other women and victims of these types of crimes. There are also people out there who may come from a long line of police officers in their family, and it's a very proud thing for them to do the same and serve their communities. For police families, this is the ultimate occupation when it comes to valor and courage, much like military families.
To Have an Exciting Job
For some, the thought of a 9 to 5 job punching a clock or sitting in an office cubicle is too mundane for them to even imagine. These types of people may have grown up watching cop movies and TV shows, such as CHIPS, Starsky and Hutch, or Miami Vice. For them, it's all about the excitement of a job on the streets, catching bad guys and making busts. These types are sometimes very ambitious, but at the same time, many may become disappointed when they realize it isn't exactly like the portrayals they've seen on TV. But then again, it all depends on what department a person is working in. The gang task force in most departments is probably a very exciting job when compared to other cops who may get stuck filling out paperwork or traffic duties. Even a Homicide Detective will probably have to spend a lot of time each day filling out paperwork while they work a case.
To Hide Behind the Badge
Sometimes the best place for criminals to hide in life is out in the open, or behind a badge. Some people who are looking to do criminal deeds, may actually apply for jobs with the police or pursue law enforcement careers. If you've never heard of the Rampart Scandal, you should definitely do some research on this incident that happened in the 90's. Over 70 police officers were implicated in acts of misconduct, which included everything from bank robberies to framing people for crimes they didn't do. At the center of the scandal were a couple police officers by the names of Nino Durden, Rafael Perez, Kevin Gaines, and David Mack. All of them had known ties to the Blood gangs in Los Angeles. So for them, becoming a cop was just a way to gain access to the evidence locker and an opportunity to commit crimes without having to worry about getting caught for them.
I'm sure you've heard of people refer to a police officer now and then as a "pig on a power-trip". Well just like a job with the government, there are people who seek out law enforcement employment opportunities mainly for the sense of power that comes with the position. It's a position of authority, and those types of careers will always attract the types who are thirsty for power and control. This doesn't mean that every single cop out there on the streets is a power-hungry bully that is looking to victimize people or manhandle them. But it would be impossible to have these types of jobs in a community, without attracting a few of those types.
When it comes to jobs closest to the military, nothing probably comes closer and is more similar than careers in law enforcement. For this reason, many people who serve time in the military may want a safer job than what they were doing in the army or the marines, but one that is still somewhat similar and carries the same type of respect in the community. So once they leave the military, they may start to think about working as a cop, and the training they've already received in the military usually comes in handy for these types of positions.
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