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  1. #1
    abom334's Avatar
    abom334 is offline Every Meth Head's nightmare
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    How do you deal?

    Day after day we as Law Enforcement see the worst in people and all the negative things in life. See things that others couldn't bear to see, get spit on, shot at, called every name in the book and lied to by about everyone we come across on the job. "Don't take your work home with you." I hear it all the time, but with this job, it seems impossible. Admin politics, policy and procedure, hyper vigilance mode for 10-12 or more hours. This can really wear you out.

    I had an idea of what I was getting into when I took the oath and put on the badge. What i was clueless about was how it really affected every area in my life, and what could I do to minimize the stresses. This job has changed me. Some for the good, some for the bad. I find myself feeling somewhat isolated and cynical these days.

    I do love this job, don't get me wrong. It was a calling to me just as it was everyone else that wear a badge.

    I ask the long time veterans out there, How do you deal with it all? How do you balance it all?

  2. #2
    Five-0's Avatar
    Five-0 is offline Super Moderator
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    About the Book

    Get the book, read it. Better yet, go to one of Dr. Gilmartin's week long presentations on this subject and leadership.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  3. #3
    abom334's Avatar
    abom334 is offline Every Meth Head's nightmare
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    Thanks for the quick reply. I have emotional survival buried somewhere in the garage that was issued at the Academy. I thumbed through it but never really read it.

  4. #4
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Read it.

    Also, find something outside work to hold your interest. For me, for example, I work out and I do martial arts. I enjoy woodworking, though I'm limited in what I can do there. I like mountain biking, too. And I play with my son...

    At work, seize on the good things. Like the little boy who will be a cop "Wednesday." And accept that the brass will do things that you can't control. Work for an incompetent supervisor? Not your fault, you can't control it, just do what you have to past 'em. Have your schedule flipped for no reason? You can't change it, so roll with it. And -- find something that interests you to develop specialization in. For me, it was crash investigation. I just thing putting the pieces together to see how it happened is cool... Take advantage of opportunities to do something new, too.
    Voting against incumbents until we get a Congress that does its job.

    TASER: almost as good as alcohol for teaching white boys to dance

    "Don't suffer from PTSD -- Go out and cause it!"
    -- Col. David Grossman, US Army, ret.

    All opinions expressed are my own and are not official statements of my employer.

  5. #5
    IMGreat101's Avatar
    IMGreat101 is offline The Butcher
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    Some days I feel like my job is the same as you described. I've had a gun in my face and been punched and cussed at by a few customers. My experience as a department director at Goodwill taught me a lot about the mind and the development or lack of. I know what has gone on in these people's lives and why they are what they are. The daily dose of rudeness and disrespect can be quite a burden. One thing I learned was to pour my self into my hobbies and interests. I try to hit the delete button as I leave my store and only bring the highlights home. And after hacking up some poor defenseless piano with a sawzall for a few minutes I am all better.








    EDIT: A good sense of humor does not hurt either.
    To Live Is To Eat

    IMG could turn a conversation about the weather into a mouthwatering food story. - Cidp24

    And always add bacon! - Shad Kirton, Co-owner/Chef Smokey D's

    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people asking questions.

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Solomon

    We were all born wild. It was up to our parents to domesticate us.

  6. #6
    ChesCopPodz's Avatar
    ChesCopPodz is offline Wandering son
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    I'm one of those sick twisted f&$ks that finds humor in most things, even if it's dark humor.

    Except for things involving kids getting hurt. That's the only exception.

    Im also a shooter. Relieves a lot of stress and is a lot of fun.
    The world would be much cleaner if blind people carried brooms instead of sticks.

    At communion, when the priest says "Body of Christ", I say "Thanks, I've been working out", then I grab the cracker and run back to my seat

    An amateur practices until he gets it right. A professional practices until he cant get it wrong.

    They've got us surrounded? Good. Now we can fire in any direction. Those bastards won't get away this time.

  7. #7
    Bjohnson63's Avatar
    Bjohnson63 is offline King of the Shit Bucket
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    I play computer games, do video and photo editing. It gets my mind off it all. People call me a geek and stupid for spending a couple grand building my PC... But they don't realize that besides being my hobby, its what keeps me from getting stressed out. There are of course other reasons but these are some of the main ones.

    Some people hunt alot around here. They spend thousands on this hobby as well, seems to work for them. The thing is, you have to find something for yourself that works for you. Everyone is different. It also helps that I am pretty emotionless (everyone tells me I am cold hearted) and have a good sense of humor, even in the worst of times.

  8. #8
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Still figuring it out.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  9. #9
    warrants 1 is offline Cuffing & Stuffing for 12 years now...
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    I've been a cop/deputy sheriff for the past 15 yrs, and one of the outlets I use is a sense of humor. Another Corporal and I will put an admittedly twisted spin on a situation we experienced. The momentary side-step from reality takes the edge off. I also rely on my days off to either go shooting or, work on and drive my project car. I find the "noise" from both hobbies has a calming effect on me.

  10. #10
    keith720's Avatar
    keith720 is online now Finely Aged
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    One word: Heroin.
















    Seriously, keeping things in perspective, not personalizing things and a sense of humor help me to cope. I also have a wife that I can tell virtually anything to, even though I know there are times when it's best to leave out the details. I also remind myself that work pays for my life: Work isn't my life.
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

    Winston Churchill

  11. #11
    mavriktu's Avatar
    mavriktu is offline Patrol Sgt.
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    Beer,Saints,LSU.a nagging wife.There are distractions ,beleive me.

  12. #12
    Captain America's Avatar
    Captain America is offline Reed and Malloy were my FTOs
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith720 View Post
    One word: Heroin.
    Seriously, keeping things in perspective, not personalizing things and a sense of humor help me to cope. I also have a wife that I can tell virtually anything to, even though I know there are times when it's best to leave out the details. I also remind myself that work pays for my life: Work isn't my life.

    I'll echo what my friend Keith said about the sense of humor and not personalizing the lying , verbal abuse and such. Most of the time that crap is directed at the badge and the uniform. I learned early to compartmentize my life. I leave work at work when I'm home and home at home when I am working. Get some hobbies and interest outside of and not related to law enforcement.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

    Renniger-Richards-Griswold-Owens

  13. #13
    warrants 1 is offline Cuffing & Stuffing for 12 years now...
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    I'll share with everyone another way my stress level drops in this job. I've been serving warrants and locking ppl up for the last 10+ years. Everyone I find is a GOTCHA!!! This gives me wood. In August of this yr I had a CDV 3rd benchwarrant on a guy and thru a lot of intel finally found him! Bad news, I did not practice good procedures and cuff him immediately and he took off on me-foot pursuit. By the time my senses figured what just happened he was out of taser range. Well I had 3 other LE agencies involved trying to find him and no luck. about a week later I requested our State Law Enforcement Division to "ping" his phone. Found him in Howard County Maryland. We contacted that agency and he went out the back door of the house he was in. He got a new phone and his ex gave me the # and SLED pinged it again AND BINGO! got him TODAY!! That folks, made my Christmas! Got an NCIC hit confirmation and we now have a detainer on him. His punk ass is now mine (after he answers to charges up in MD.) This is what I live for in this job. I forget all about the BS I get day in day out. Then, I get to do this all over again tomorrow. Putting a**holes in jail one at a time.

  14. #14
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Congrats.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  15. #15
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    I had a veteran FTO once ask another guy on shift, "How heavy is your backpack?" I asked him afterward what he meant, and he explained it to me this way...

    For every frustration, fear, burden, physical pain, and indignity you suffer in this job, you add a rock to your emotional backpack. Unless you figure out a way to unload it from time to time, it just weighs you down to the point that you can't bear under the weight. When I think back over the years through the injuries I've sustained, the tears I've privately shed, the scenes of carnage, the waste of life, the destruction of the faith that good still resides in the heart of at least most people, the times I've watched even those most had considered "good" do dirt to one another, and the times I've been ridiculed for performance under stresses that those sitting in judgment couldn't even imagine to understand, I admit I've wondered how in the hell I've maintained personal sanity at times. I have, though, and through it, I've managed to veil and compartmentalize the darkest and ugliest parts into a place that prevents them from ready access to my conscious, daily mode of operation. I've borne the hatred and I've still kept the faith, and I've always remembered that I am dealing with individuals rather than any collective, and that these individuals are only products of their often limited perception of the reality of life. We are all products of our environment, as filtered by our perception and understanding, after all. Our reality is different from most. Our reality features the frailty of life and the depravity of the darker side of man.

    We, as law enforcement officers are arguably the purest form of optimists. We cast ourselves into dealing with the worst that life has to offer, and frequently dealing with the worst in man and his condition, yet do so undaunted; persevering in the faith that there continues to be good in the world, for if indeed we didn't, what would we be defending but ourselves and our loved ones? We believe that we can (and sometimes even, do) make a difference. If we did not, we simply couldn't continue.

    So, how do we unload the backpack? My old vet friend said that for each of us, the answer differs. There are harmless, even life-enriching means, like reading, music, family, sports, physical conditioning... and there are potentially destructive escapes as well; sexual promiscuity, alcoholism, substance abuse... Although we often refer to them as hobbies, they have to be recognized as what they are; escapes from the negative impacts of our reality upon us. One is rarely enough. For me, a wide array of interests seem to work better. Whatever we choose, its best to keep the job completely away from it. The mistake is to pollute the refuge, and get no time away at all. We should choose wisely, for obvious reasons. If we are going to unload our backpack, there's no use replacing a rock with a barbell.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  16. #16
    Xiphos's Avatar
    Xiphos is offline I Void Warranties
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    I'm a cynical misanthrope. I have few friends outside my family. I spend my off duty time with my family and enjoy my kids. I do my job professionally but emotionally, the world can burn for all I care now. If I have a call with an actual victim, I will break my back to help them. But if you got jumped and robbed trying to buy Crack, you are an oxygen thief and you'll get the exact amount of effort needed to keep my boss off my back. Leaving your keys and wallet in your car, unlocked, is a civil dispute in my world, not an auto theft. I can't help actual victims because all the "Stupid" are wasting my time.

    I do this job now because I can't make as much money doing anything else. I've found a great place to work now where I have neat toys like airplanes so there's fun in the job that doesn't involve human beings.

    Burn out much? Yeah.

    It may be a ticket to you, but it's therapy for me. Heh.
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

    That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.

    If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.

    I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones

    Hunt the wolf, and bring light to the dark places that others fear to go. LT COL Dave Grossman

  17. #17
    abom334's Avatar
    abom334 is offline Every Meth Head's nightmare
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    Thanks for the responses. reading each one helps me realize there are others out there that go through the same BS. It's hard to talk to co-workers out there in fear the gossip could get around to the wrong people.

    Thanks again. This is a great board and I see it's full of great people.

  18. #18
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    I see you ID yourself as a LEO. Submit your information so we can get you verified. You can then have access to the LEO forums as well.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  19. #19
    sgtbear111's Avatar
    sgtbear111 is offline retired
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    Abbreviated version of the AA Serenity Prayer: F.I.D.O. (F**k It Drive On).

    Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.-- Anonymous

    Old People, like me, may not be around to witness the destruction of our Nation. The rest of you may not survive the collapse. We all have the sworn duty to prevent it.

    The light of hope burns brighter than the fires of doom.

  20. #20
    abom334's Avatar
    abom334 is offline Every Meth Head's nightmare
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    I see you ID yourself as a LEO. Submit your information so we can get you verified. You can then have access to the LEO forums as well.
    It's in the works right now

 

 
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