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Old 09-14-2005, 07:43 PM   #1
Troy Archie
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This one goes out to anyone in or was in any of the armed forces, police and fire services...
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Old 09-15-2005, 12:08 PM   #2
Eugene R. Allen
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Back in the late 60's and early 70's I was influenced by such TV shows as The Rookies, 240 Robert and SWAT. I decided I wanted to be a cop and be on a SWAT Team, what a cool and exciting job. I watched Magnum Force and found out the way to get to where I wanted to be was by way of Airborne Ranger/Special Forces training. So I did that. I got out and saw the first Star Wars and though I wanted to fly an X-wing fighter I had to make due with helicopters and became an aeroscout pilot in OH-58's. All of this so I could be best prepared to get hired by some department and get on their SWAT team. So here I am.

The pat answer to the "Why do you want to become a police officer" question is that you want to be part of the solution to the various dangers to society, that you want to help people and a few other thought up odds and ends about using the skills you have developed blah, blah, blah. The secret answer is that you like to shoot guns and drive real fast. The real answer is somewhere in between because both things are true for most of us. There is absolutely nothing in the world more exciting for me (in fact I'm getting butterflies and goose bumps just thinking about what I am about to type) than that few seconds that happen after we squeeze up and Zeus does the knock and announce before a high risk warrant service. When Thor smashes the door open and I throw in an NFDD and we pour into the residence training takes over and the excitement changes to the calm of practiced performance. I live for those moments just before we launch and I am literally shaking with the adrenalin pump and my stomach is doing back flips. Fear, excitement, anticipation, total awareness, absolute focus... there is nothing like not knowing what is going to happen on the other side of that door. Except maybe gunfights. Gunfights really tend to focus one's attention on the here and now. I am where I have always wanted to be, doing what I always wanted to do and it is everything I thought it would be.

God I love my job.
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Old 09-15-2005, 04:51 PM   #3
Ted Williams
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Eugene...no SRT near my office, so no super fun tac stuff for me just yet (hopefully that'll change, as I can't understand why our SAC office in SF wouldn't WANT a SRT team...I mean, EVERYONE has one :proud: )...

My answer of why...I just couldn't take being someone's money b!tch too much longer in the corporate world. I didn't want to be stuck in front of a computer, working my *** off to make someone rich. I wanted to be stuck in front of a computer (or behind the wheel of a car...or stacked up waiting to make an entry on a warrant..etc) making NO money for the gov. :rofl: I also wanted the challenge, and the knowledge that if I do my job right, I can actually seriously mess up some bad people...hahaha...nothing like having folks on your team serving a seizure warrant while you're having a nice interview with Mr Dumbass Criminal...then telling him that you've seized all his money, after he's basically proved up your PC in the interview. Now THAT's a rush...hardass people breaking down and crying, once they realized they've been caught...its as addictive as knocking doors and clearing rooms...and almost as dangerous :lol:

If you're interested in LE...check out the boards at www.911jobforums.com They were invaluable to me in my hiring process.

Now about those tac teams......
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Old 09-15-2005, 06:15 PM   #4
Rafael Mattei
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What Eugene said with what Ted said.. and oh to put dope dealers in jail. Theres no better feeling than to see hardened criminals' knees knoking when you close that heavy solid steel door at the MDC
Squeeze up, ready, hit the door!!!
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Old 09-16-2005, 12:16 PM   #5
Jim Aldridge
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I used to be a full time police officer. Now, I am a fulltime firefighter/emt, reserve police officer, and member of a federal urban search and rescue task force. For me, like for Eugene, it was a mixed bag of noble and not-so-noble motivations. I genuinely wanted to make a difference. I have always seen people who were suffering and thought "That could be my wife, child, mother, father, etc." But I also have a little bit of adrenaline junky in me. I understand what Eugene says about making entry, but in my little world it normally involves kneeling down on the front porch of a burning building, masking up, forcing the door and having flames roll out over your head. The heat forces you downward, your will forces you forward. The feeling of taking control and bringing resolution to the chaos is one of the things that drives both police and firefighters. There is nothing like it. Immediate gratification. No waiting for monthly or quarterly reports. You either win or lose right there.

There is also a common strand that runs through ever emergency worker that is "worth his salt." When most of the world sees bad things happen, a little voice inside of them says, "SOMEBODY ought to do something," and their first instinct is to put distance between themselves and the crisis. For every good police officer or firefighter that I have ever known, when the bad things happen, the little voice screams at them, "Man, I'VE got to do something," and they find themselves drawn toward the crisis, so much so that the have to consciously make a choice to slow things down enough to size the scene up first and not get tunnel visioned. That doesn't mean that "normal" people are cowards or somehow lesser people. It only means that their God given gifts and talents lie somewhere other than in the emergency services field.
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Old 09-16-2005, 05:20 PM   #6
Mike Yukish
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Naval aviator. I heard that landing on carriers was the hardest thing a pilot could do, and I wanted to see if I was good enough. And can you believe they paid me to do it?

If I hard to do it all over again, I'd do it all over again. Wish I could.
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Old 09-16-2005, 06:32 PM   #7
Brian White
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Awesome thread. I originally had the inclination to become a Marine when I was about 9. I went to our town's Memorial Day parade, and watched a Marine honor guard fire the salute in their dress blues. After the parade, my family took me to the American Legion, where one of the Marines presented me with the shell casings they'd fired, after the entire group came out of the back singing the Marines' Hymm at full volume. I still get chills remembering the scene.

As the years went by, I wavered in the big "What do I want to be" question, but always kept the Marines near the front of my mind. During my senior year of high school, I finally decided I was going to do it, and never looked back. If I had to verbalize my reasons, I'd say it was a number of things:

A desire to be part of something bigger than myself.

A desire to "live up" to the intangibles that make Marines what we are, to see if it really was in me to be part of this amazing brotherhood (I use the masculine term out of tradition, not to exclude our sisters-in-arms).

A knowledge that there is evil in the world, and a desire to do something about it.

Looking at my younger brothers and sisters, a desire to look the "bad stuff" in the eye and face it down so they wouldn't have to.

Oh - and the fun. Some of us in the world are predisposed to a life seeking adventure. When we're lucky, we find it in pursuits that benefit others. I have been extremely lucky in that 12 years later it's still fun. Granted, firefights are a less than pleasant experience, and I could really do without the homemade bombs in this part of the world, but even that provides an adrenaline dump that can't be matched any other way. I don't care how many planes you jump out of, bridges you fall from with big rubber bands tied to your ankles, or how high you jump your dirtbike, nothing compares to testing yourself against other men with everything on the line.

I guess to sum up, I joined because I knew the Marine Corps was an organization made up of very special people, and I wanted to find out if I had the mettle to stand and be counted among them. Once I became a Marine and started experiencing what it means to be one day in and day out, I knew beyond any doubt that I belonged nowhere else.

And did I mention they GIVE you a gun, and PAY you to shoot it, over and over? Not to mention the dress blues, I still get a kick out of heading out into town from the Marine Corps Ball every year and seeing the reaction that uniform gets. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, looks bad in that uniform. I'm told the ladies think it looks pretty good, too.....
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Old 09-16-2005, 07:15 PM   #8
Jim Aldridge
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Awesome, Brian. I've never met a Marine I didn't like/admire. I was not a Marine myself (one of my life's biggest regrets) but I am lucky enough to count many marines and former marines among my friends. They are the craziest and most loyal people I have ever dealt with.
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Old 09-19-2005, 10:55 AM   #9
Stephen Solano
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Great posts and thread.

I grew up in the barrios and biker towns of Los Angeles. Like Eugene, I used to watched the old SWAT and Adam 12 television shows and was inspired. This was sort of an escape from where I was. I remember our apartment getting burglarized. I telephoned the police. LAPD arrived and I remember the safe feeling they gave me by just being there. I would wish they could stay. Anyways, they rolled on and I thought, even at age 10, that is what I want to be.

I hope I leave that same feeling to others that have gone through some of lifes troubles.

Then there is the thrill of the job. Making traffic stops and discovering dope, gang sweeps, probation and parole searches or serving warrants.

I too love my job.

Great Post, All.
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Old 09-20-2005, 04:17 PM   #10
Ed Ryan
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For me it's running into burning buildings or ripping doors off of smashed cars or knowing that someone is going to spend time with their family again after a rescue. Everyone has that one thing that drives them; that defines them. Mine happens to be saving people and playing in fire. And doing it in the military where I can do it overseas and serve my country, is a double bonus.
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