Remember being angry when you overheard someone say at the local dinner or coffee shop that "cops must not do anything because they are always sitting here" and you just arrived to eat your lunch four hours overdue and after you answered 15 calls within the last three hours? The public's perception of you can be nothing more than pure stupidity, right? The truth is that citizen who was judging you simply does not know your job, what you are trained to do, what you just did, and how you account for your every hour of your tour. They just saw you sitting there drinking coffee. Now, how many times have you been judgmental to others? I know I have been, too often.
At some point in your career as a cop, you will stop being a cop. We will not carry the badge forever. You will either retire with a full pension, partial pension, or disability. Then what do you do? Well that is up to you, but as that old PI once told me "...one is a natural extension of the other," and when the private sector can pay in the six figure range for well qualified security managers, who wouldn't want to make that transition? My wife and I recently returned from vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands. While at the resort I thought, "what is would be like to be the security manager here, waking up in paradise every morning, earning double what I made as a street cop?" But how would you get there if you wanted to make that change? What's required? Say, for instance, that you did not want to work in the security sector that focuses on a lodging environment. Are there other venues? You bet. There are many different aspects to working as a professional within the security industry. I will not cover them here; this is just the beginning.
About the author: Keith R. Lavery, M.A., is a full-time criminal justice educator teaching secondary education and having taught law enforcement, criminal justice and security courses at the post-secondary level. Keith had a very diverse police career for over 17 years, working in urban and rural law enforcement settings with assignments ranging from patrol to specialized functions, and to stay current in the field, works part-time as a patrol officer in Northeastern Ohio. Keith is currently the Law Enforcement Liaison for the Cleveland, Ohio, Chapter of ASIS International.