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Mark Clark

Mark Clark is the public information officer for a law enforcement agency in the southwest. He is also a photographer and contributor to POLICE Magazine.
Patrol

Be Thankful!

Counting the blessings of our great career.

January 30, 2008  |  by Dan Pasquale - Also by this author

"We cops have the best job in the world!" How many times has each of us said this to someone during our careers? We have all made this claim, and for the most part, we know it's the truth. We really do have the best job in the world. We get to solve problems, run around catching bad guys, and drive cool fast cars. Our job changes by the day, hour, and even minute. Each day is an adventure in itself, and none seems to be exactly the same. These are great reasons to believe we do in fact have the world's best job.

However, when was the last time you stopped to consider all the other "forgotten" benefits of this job? With the newspaper headlines reading of possible economic depression and people getting laid off right and left, have you really and truly counted your blessings? Well, wait no longer. It's time to be reminded of some of the best parts of our job, ones we may have forgotten about as we complained admin's last weird decision.

Job Security

This one is the best benefit of our job by far, especially with the current economic forecast. With so many other companies downsizing and cutting jobs, isn't it nice to know that you, as a seasoned officer, still have a job each and every day? Some departments may be tightening their belts and releasing some probationary officers or new recruits, and if this happened to you, my condolences. Still, keep your head up and get hired on somewhere. As soon as you get off probation, you have one of the world's most secure jobs. There will always be crime, and the world will always need good police officers.

As much as we may gripe or complain about some of the decisions made, the fact remains that we still get to go to work and earn a good paycheck each and every week. This alone should make us step back off our soap box a bit and appreciate what we have in this career. If it doesn't, talk to the guy next door to you that got laid off after 16 years at the factory. That will change your tune quick.

Medical Benefits

This is another huge benefit of our career. Most police departments nationwide provide full or nearly full medical coverage to their officers and their families. This means no worries when your kids or spouse get sick, or when the unthinkable happens and someone ends up in the emergency room. Many people are carrying tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills for an unforeseen medical emergency when they didn't have medical insurance. Thanks to our career, this will never be the case. Now if only we can get that "lifetime medical" thing going for retirement, huh?

Gold-Watch Retirement

Police officers and firefighters are two of the last careers that enjoy a true pension plan for retirement. Work so many years and get a gold watch and a lifetime of pay as a big fat "thank you for your service." While we all may be used to this from our perspectives, just mention it to someone working as an IT specialist at the local company office and watch his reaction. He will act like you are from Mars. The fact is, most careers don't enjoy that kind of great retirement system, and we do.

Granted, this system is beginning to get whittled away by some state governments, but for the vast majority of us it is still firmly in place. Be thankful for what we have in this kind of retirement system, instead of complaining how some other city has a better one. Most of America would love nothing more than to even have the worst of our retirement plans as opposed to their own IRA or other accounts.

So, the next time you think of a negative aspect of your job, try changing your thoughts to one of the great benefits of our chosen career. It should change your tune, not to mention your outlook very quickly.

Tags: Duty Tips


Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

bill51773 @ 2/6/2008 4:27 AM

Let's not forget: How many people get to do what they love, and love what they do?

mdor0914 @ 2/18/2008 12:14 PM

I have always loved to play hard and work hard. Now I have a job where I get to play hard at work. I doesn't get any better than this.

ronavallone2 @ 3/30/2008 2:21 PM

Kudos! Great article. The edrenaline rush and just the thought of all the aspects of doing the job right isn't for the faint of heart, it takes a special stregnth. I 'm on my fourth agency and I finally found my better calling. Ya really can't find better scenery than this small beach community in S.C. A great administration (support) and alot of good locals to boot.

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