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Do I still want to be a Police Officer?

Hello all,

I'm 22, newly graduated from college, and looking to enter the workforce. For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a cop.

I chose my degree (political science) partially because I wanted to be a cop. I went through ROTC and into the military as a reservist partially because I wanted to be a cop. I kept my nose clean, made physical fitness a life priority, and did well in school partially because I wanted to be a cop.

My point is, for the last eight or so years, everything I've done has been preparation for my career as a LEO. Now, I'm on the verge of being offered a position with a great department in Maryland...but I'm not sure I still want to do this job.

Society is largely turning against the police, you have almost no support in the highest reaches of government, people now believe it's just "ok" to find and kill cops.

I've always felt called to this career. It's what I banked all of my life on so far, but I'm having a hard time reconciling a reason why I should put my life on the line every day for a public that isn't grateful for that service. Do I really want to go to work every day sitting in my car having to constantly be scanning my surroundings because some punk might decide that he wants to make it on the news today by putting a bullet in my head?

So that's just kind of a general concern. More specific questions: do y'all think this anti-police attitude will sway back in favor of support for law enforcement any time soon? How do you (and your families) handle rotating shift work in terms of living a relatively normal life (relationships, friendships, social life, etc)? Are you more concerned for your safety now than at any time in your career, or has it been worse before? If you had to go back and do it all over again, would you still become a cop and why?

As you can imagine, I'll be making the biggest decision of my life (to date) here in about a month or so as long as nothing crazy happens, so I would appreciate any wisdom. Thanks.


  • You did all the work, might as well try it out at least.
  • I say go for it! I love the job!
  • I would say.... YES!
  • This is a job like no other. Despite the costs that you pay, both physically and emotionally, the rewards are boundless and extremely fulfilling. It is, without doubt, the best job in the world.
  • First, nothing in this life carries a guarantee. You have prepared yourself well. You will receive plenty more training, and since it is a brotherhood you won't be in this alone. You are doing the right thing by asking us and not relying on the media. I say follow through, work hard at it and see where you go. Better to come to realize it is not for you than wonder what might have been. How you manage your personal life will all fall into place. Best wishes for a great future!
  • The fact that you are considering walking away from a career you have worked your entire adult life for is kind of baffling. You sound like what is needed to help offset the negative comments that have been put forth. To Serve & Protect with Pride, Integrity and Honor...what more could a person ask for in any employment position? The further training will open many other employment avenues for you should you decide that Law Enforcement is not for you!
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