14 October 2010

Hire the best you can find....

From the Cop side: When I got out of the Regular Army in the late 1970’s, I figured I could get one of a few types of jobs. Since I had been a highly trained soldier in the Infantry, and as a truck driver, I started looking at:

1.) Being a hit man for the Mafia

2.) Being a truck driver

3.) Being a cop.

I found out the cops had a better medical and retirement plan, so that’s the route I took. …but I had no idea how to get a cop job. So, I asked a few of my buddies from high school who were going to the local Junior College and taking Administration of Justice classes. They said the classes were easy and you could meet girls there. I looked at them after a few minutes of thought and asked: “you mean you’d want to go out with a girl who wants to be a cop? She might kick your ass or something.”

So, using the GI bill I went to college. When I first started, I had no clue what I was getting into. After a few semesters, I started filling out applications for different agencies. In those days, there were lots of departments hiring and even more people trying to get hired.

One department I applied for had 6 openings. The Saturday of the written test there were about 600 people standing outside the room waiting to get in and take the test. I remember this old crusty police sergeant standing in front of everybody and yelling out: “Now listen up. If you are here to take the written police exam, raise your hand.”

All the hands went up. Then he said: “If you have ever been convicted of a felony crime, stand over there.” He pointed to another officer. About 50 people walked over and were told to go away.

Then the sergeant said: “If you have been convicted of the following crimes (he listed a few) or have ever been a drug user, dishonorable discharged from the US military, then step over there.”

About another 100 or so walked over and were told to go away. Then the sergeant said: “If you have any missing fingers, eyes, ears, toes, loss of hearing, vision less than 20/100, have had any of the following illnesses (he read off a few) then step over there.”

A bunch more walked over and were told to go away.

That got it down to about 200 of us to take the written test.
I past all the test, but that department found better people than me to work there...but I didn't give up.

Now days, we have 2 openings and we’re lucky if 10 qualified people apply. Then half of them have mental problems and will never work in police work. We try to pick the best (which makes me wonder how in the hell I ever go hired.)


Coffeypot said...

I think it would be hard to be a cop now days with the media and civilian groups watching and waiting for a slip up. Also the local government will not back a cop up from rear of the media fallout. It is a different time now than back in the 70's.

Jay said...

You got in because whoever was doing the hiring that day saw you had what it takes. The fact that you are still in proves them right.
Coffey's comment would have to ring true as the trial, verdict and hanging can be all over by the 6 o'clock news. I also think community attitudes have changed a lot and not, in my humble opinion, not for the better. That also would make it hard to be a cop.
Your view on that could be an interesting post for later on. After your years of service what's your perception of community support comparing past and present and by community support I mean Mr & Mrs average not the bad guys you chase.

CI-Roller Dude said...

When I train new cops, I tell them to assume that a video camera is watching everything they do or say. In many cases, some of us now carry our own digital recorders and or mini video cameras (that we buy out of our own pocket- to prove we're doing the right thing).

I still enjoy the "job" and I'm proud to do it.

Saker said...

I'm interested in Jay's question too- do cops get much support?

Also, there's nothing wrong with a girl who can kick your ass. :D

Momma Fargo said...

I was wondering how you passed the psyche test. LMAO. Just kidding. You were born to be a cop.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Support? We get paid. Some citizens love us, some hate us.
Some we "save" some we take to jail. Guess which love us and which hate us.

MF, I surprised a few folks when I returned from Iraq and PASSED the psyc test all over again. (kind of surprised myself)

Hogday said...

I was talking to an army recruiting officer about competing with the police and other public services agencies for the best recruits. I asked him if he'd noticed a difference in the standard of recruits over the decades and found we had similar observations. He said that the modern army recruits are OK, once they've been taught that its OK to `have an adventure`. By this he meant that there's a generation of kids who, unlike our era, haven't been allowed to climb trees (and fall out of them)etc etc. When we were kids on a weekend, we'd be out of the house after breakfast and wouldn't be back until we were hungry. We'd come home grubby as hell and covered in cuts and bruises. He went on to say that they had to teach the newbies that its OK to go camping into the woods in the dark (over 50% of army ops are conducted at night, as you know). Once they'd given them the idea that its alright to have `adventures`, they seemed to get the idea! Oh dear, what happened?

CI-Roller Dude said...

When I teach advanced weapon stuff to either Army or Police officers, it takes a little explaining to let them know it's OK to move with a loaded weapon and not wait for commands to reload.

When I took some of my guys shooting in Iraq, one had never fired the M4 on Auto (3 round burst)...I thought he was going to explode with joy.
Yep...and they don't want to get dirty.

Anonymous said...

I grew up climbing trees as a young lass. Getting the wind knocked out of you should be a pre-requisite for life.
Someone offered free range instruction to me once. She said, "You'll be rolling on the ground, shooting from prone position and rolling in the dirt, you OK with that? ...and you'll have to clean your own firearms"

I made sure my kids got dirty. ...they ate bugs too and we didn't even run to the ER. Can't grow up right without bugs and dirt. ...and guns.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Annonm...like the Army and Police work...we got paid to shoot! The Army we rolled in the dirt, not so much in police work---some cops hate to get dirty.
when I was a small lad, we'd go out early in the day and not come home until it was dark or we needed to eat...we'd be covered in dirt or mud, scratched, torn clothes and we had a good time.