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What does a Police Officer do?

Having been a cop for 19 years I thought I could easily answer, “what do the police do?” I have even written a book on the subject (awaiting it’s release date – “1554”) however there was no definative list. The core job of a cop is to reduce and detect crime, however when more thought is put in that statement is so broad that it covers every single job that has ever been created, in the aspeect of ‘prevent’ and ‘detect’!

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All I could do in my book is to provide a flavour of a cops life, what is expected and what affect it has on the individual whilst doing the job. Recently I was thumbing through Facebook and a non-credited post came up, I so wish I can find its author as it is a close as to what the expectations are on a cop. #HelpFindThem

I wish to stress that this post was not my work and do not wish any credit for it, however it is so good that I have to share it. Spread it far and wide people. The submission is to help those understand the pressure that is placed on a ‘single crewed’ lone officer, who’s office is a constant moving car and who is permenantly connected to their work by a radio clipped to their chest, never taking a break because the next job is too important to ignore.

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What do the Police do?

Since I joined the Police, way, way back when, I have learned much and performed many, many roles. Some of them easy and some of them not so easy. I have been:

  • a marriage guidance counsel
  • an acting veterinary nurse
  • a teacher
  • a babysitter
  • I’ve listened to advice from knowledgeable and experienced people
  • I’ve also listened to advice from people who do not have a clue what they are talking about
  • I’ve been an odd job man
  • a translator
  • a wrestler
  • a boxer
  • a fight referee
  • a vehicle repair engineer
  • a traffic controller
  • a dog catcher,
  • a nightclub doorman,
  • a member of the sprint detention team,
  • a person who delivers unfortunate and unwanted bad news
  • a person who sometimes delivers good news
  • I have entered with a key, without a key through an open door and sometimes kicked or forced that door that prevents entry
  • a writer of fact,a listener of fiction
  • I have been a cook
  • an arbitrary decision maker
  • a companion
  • I have not told lies to cover someone else’s backside
  • I have been a friend
  • a plan or map drawer
  • a walking encyclopedia
  • I have seen over-promotion for strategic credibility instead of policing credibility
  • I have seen countless guidelines and recommendations ignored because it suits someone else’s agenda
  • I have been a good Samaritan
  • a walking street-map
  • a local information centre
  • a medic
  • an emergency plumber
  • I have been spat at, punched, kicked, head butted, verbally abused, had things thrown at me or been threatened with a bladed instrument ( formerly a knife)
  • I have seen many fine officers frustrated by those who appear to have forgotten that they were once a 24/7 police officer.
  • I have been a taxi-driver
  • an unwanted guest, a welcome guest
  • a listening ear
  • a mind reader
  • I have walked many a whole night shift in the freezing night air, in the pouring rain or in the humid, sweltering muggy heat dressed in a uniform that was not suited to allow me to do some of the things I was expected to come across
  • I have been a surrogate and temporary parent
  • I have been someone’s worst nightmare and I have been someone’s saviour
  • I have seen someone take their first breath as well as their last breath
  • I have been a one man cordon
  • I have been one of a small group against a far larger group
  • I have been very, very, very patient, tolerant & understanding
  • I have been considerate, restrained and hidden my true feelings
  • I have been accused of being a liar
  • I have saved lives and I have failed to save lives
  • I have seen and smelt death
  • I have comforted and reassured
  • I have always learnt from what I have done
  • I have been an emergency fireman
  • I have been the last person someone wanted to see as well as the first
  • I have been loved, hated, admired and despised in varying amounts
  • I have always tried my best,I understand that those who police and those who manage/lead are fundamentally different because of the roles they do
  • I have buried colleagues
  • I have gone home at the end of my shift because my colleagues have been there with me
  • I have been scared for my own safety
  • I have acted without fear for my own safety but to protect others who are in fear themselves
  • I have always been judged by those who do not do the same job, take the same risks or work under the same accountability as I
  • I have listened to countless politicians talk about how they want to improve my role, how they need to show how I am accountable and how they want to make my job easier
  • I have rarely seen a politician improve my role, or make it easier, in fact most often it’s the opposite
  • I have protected life and property
  • I have the respect of my peers
  • I have listened to countless senior management talk about how they are improving my role only for them to move on and the next in line change things to support their own career aims and not to support or complement the work done by their predecessor
  • I have wasted far too much of my time and effort completing statistical information for other people to justify their own position or to show how well they are managing what I do, yet none of these people know me
  • I have listened to countless senior management talk about how they are improving my role only for them to move on and the next in line change things to support their own career aims and not to support or complement the work done by their predecessor
  • I have wasted far too much of my time and effort completing statistical information for other people to justify their own position or to show how well they are managing what I do, yet none of these people know me
  • I have repeated the last two things because they have probably had the most negative effect on me during my service.
  • I have learned about tolerance, compassion, that there are a lot of nice people out there but still some people who have no social conscience and will burgle your house or even kill someone and not care one bit about doing so
  • I have seen the victim not see justice all too often
  • I have seen colleagues fail to get the recognition they deserve
  • I have seen repeat offenders not get custodial sentences
  • I have seen Policing become a brand to be promoted at every available opportunity, some of them totally inappropriate
  • I have experienced poor vehicles because they are cheaper
  • I have been ‘advised’ because I have not reported enough people or submitted enough admin for people to measure
  • I have experienced death in many forms, from violent, unexpected and unpleasant to peaceful, calm and dignified
  • I have led a varied and rewarding career.
  • It is not a game or a fair weather trend… It’s for keeps.
  • How many can say that?
  • – Unknown –

To the person who wrote this, please get in contact with me I have a whole heap of praise to give. #Respect

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