Thursday, 10 July 2008

Growth of Policing

Another amusing email from a mate, an exceptional driver with severe (Police) tourettes and a penchant for home made Aero milkshakes. There have been a few different versions but all ring true in one way or another!

Years of Policing - One to Four.

For most officers, this is their first time outside of the middle class bubble. They have never seen a dead body, never seen life threatening injuries, never dealt with a domestic, never witnessed the shit some people call 'home life', and never really understood the phrase 'Man's Inhumanity To Man' until now. Everything is new to them. You can identify them by the amount of fancy new equipment they carry. A ten billion candlelight power torch, pens that write in the rain, a ballistic vest rated to stop tomahawk missiles, and an equipment bag large enough to house a squad of marines. They love it; they show up early for their shift. They work way past the end of their shift without even considering an overtime slip. They believe rank within the job is based only on ability and those in the upper ranks got there by knowledge and skill in police work only. They believe everyone is competent; everyone is on the same page and working towards the same high minded goals. When they finally go home to their significant other, they tell them everything they did and saw. Some of the more 'eaten up' purchase a police scanner so they can hear the radio calls while at home.

Years of Policing - Five to Six

They now show up for work about 2 minutes before their shift, and they are hiding about 30 minutes before end of the shift, writing reports so they can just throw them in the sergeant's in-box and leave ASAP. Some have to get to their second job to earn money to pay for the divorce that is pending. They bitch about everything, some drink excessively, some chase women, and all hate the public, politicians, and media. They feel they have more in common with the hookers, thieves, druggies, etc. but hate them too. Those pens that write in the rain are no longer needed. Writing traffic tickets can be a lot more trouble than they are worth, even on a nice day. To write one, or to write anything while standing in the rain, is a sure sign of madness. Their spouse is no longer interested in hearing about all the gore and heartache. They get the 'you spend more time with the cops than you do with me' speech. A lot.

Years of Policing - Seven to Fifteen

This is when cops are at their best. They have survived changes in administration and many have survived at least one career threatening incident. They know how the political game is played, both inside and outside the job. They know who they can trust and who they can't. They have select friends within the job, and stay away, as best they can, from the nuts and boot-lickers. They know the legal system, the judges, prosecutors, defence solicitors, etc. They know how to testify and put a good case together. They are usually the ones that the gaffers turn to when there is some clandestine request or sensitive operation that needs to be done right. These cops are still physically fit and can handle themselves on the street. They will stay around the station when needed, but have other commitments, such as a second spouse, a second girlfriend (sometimes both) and most of their friends are non job.

Years of Policing - Sixteen to Retirement

Now the cops have a single objective... retirement and pension. Nothing is going to come between them and their monthly payslip. The boss, the force, the idiots around the station, and the creeps on the street can all go to hell, because they could come between them and 'sitting on the beach'. There is no topic of discussion that can't somehow lead back to retirement issues. These guys are usually sergeants, detectives, scenes of crime officers, community, or some other post where they will not be endangered. They especially don't want some young stupid newbie getting them sued, fired, killed, or anything else causing them to lose their 'beach time'. They spend a lot of time having coffee, hanging around the station, and looking at brochures of things they want to do in retirement.

Thirty years of hell behind them....

The retired cop usually dies within five years of retirement, saving the force a bunch of money.

Of course, nothing is ever 100% true, but if you are a cop, were a cop, know a cop, then you will certainly recognise some of the above statements!!


Anonymous said...

This is dead right. I can see it in myself and my collegues. I am now in the 7-15 band and it fits like a glove. I can also see myself in years gone by in the previous 2.

I love it.

Miss Pea said...

i have been thinking about joining for ages (have even applied) but that's really put me off - so cynical!!

Metcountymounty said...

Miss Pea, becoming cynical and hating most people is the downside (although it is very well deserved in many cases) but the pluses still outweigh the negatives - just. Everyone needs something to do outside of work whether that is spending time with friends/family or a hobby, if you can't switch off then you'll just make yourself ill or worse!!

Anonymous said...


seen this before but as i am in the bottom of the sections and am still a response officer i have seen and can tell the difference between all the differing brackets. its just a shame that all my shift (barring the SGT is in the bottom bracket!!!)

just a side topic

do you take the banner pictures?? think they are very good, well done


Blue Eyes said...

Off topic - Mr Metcountymounty what is your police-eyed-view of the current "spate" of high-profile violent crime in the capital? Is it just media hype or is it worse than usual?

Metcountymounty said...

SYP - yes I have taken all the ones I've used so far except the current one, the one I took of Tower Bridge wasn't as orange but I know exactly where it was taken so if I have a free moment at work then I'll try and get one when I'm next on nights!

Blue Eyes - media hype. The level of knife crime has been increasing largely 'off radar' as Police officers have said for years. There has been a huge increase in the use of blades during robberies and gang fights where the targets are arms/buttocks but as the more fights occur the number of deaths are going to inevitably increase.

An awful lot go unreported to the Police - let alone the media - as people take themselves to A&E who in turn don't report it to us because of patient confidentiality. I've heard though that they are going to have to report them to us as they do with shootings.

Blue Eyes said...

Thanks MCM. I shall walk safer tonight :-)

Anonymous said...

Have to chuckle, as our new skipper falls flat into Cat 1.
Apart from the probies most have 4-7 in and we have a very strong team. Apart from the probie skupper (not a typo).
Still Mrs Angry putting up with the VSA and all so I consider myself lucky.
Angry, Just Angry

baz said...

So, you still see yourself being a ordinary PC in 20 years time? No promotion?

Metcountymounty said...

Angry, likewise, the majority of my team fall into the 6-7+ and work really well together and all our skippers have been round the block and in a few specialist posts so dry ears all round which is nice!

Baz, goading aside.... I certainly have no intention for going for promotion for a while yet. I know PC's who can and do take home more than Superintendants, and with a bit of work I can easily take home more than a Sgt with the same level of service in my old force so money isn't the issue. There are more opportunities and a variety of training available to PC's than supervisors which is why every decent Sgt I've ever known has recommended getting as many skillsets as possible before going for promotion after 10-15 years and to actually enjoy the job.

blueknight said...

You have to move around a bit or do some squad attachments or 30 years will feel like 130.
It depends where you are of course, but being a Mutual Aid trained Officer gives you days away from your current environment and overtime as well (Hunts, Raves Demos, Football, etc)
Attachments to squads is guaranteed freedom from being a radio slave.
The secret is not to peak too soon by going for an indoor job to early in the career. Nothing worse than having 15 yrs in then doing a year of 9-5 with weekends off then having to face another 14 yrs on the street.
Depressingly the average life expectancy after retirement was quoted as 6 yrs. This was a while ago but although the shift system may have improved from straight sevens, there is more stress in the job now than there ever was

Anonymous said...

We still do straight 7's. Love it!

You have to compare it to other jobs really, like 35-40 years stuck in an office. I know what i'd rather be doing.

Anonymous said...

I want to get the exam and role acting done early - I really don't fancy all that learning when I'm well out of the habit of study - but once they are in the bag I want to spend plenty of time enjoying a specialism and really learning the craft. Especially seeing what the PS and A/Ps put up with on the group.


Anonymous said...

I did 22 with Betty Windsor's Flying Circus, and your Growth statement works pretty much the same in the non commissioned ranks. Nicely written!

SOHB said...

Very apt. Indeed you could almost apply the same maxim to Army Officers.

Anonymous said...

the countdown of years is right, especially in the last 10 when most of us are not as fit as we once were. I was fortunate in that I got posted to custody as a gaoler when I had about 26 years in. Hours regular, no wet weather but then again no sunshine. Didn't get bothered a lot by senior officers. Sometimes (very seldom) no prisoners to look after! All good things have to end and they civilianised the post so out again to a rural beat for the last year and a half. retirement has a lot to recomend it