11.12.2012

Today’s Investigative Special Report – November 12, 2012 “Dealing With Today’s Law Enforcement Specialized Investigations” “How Many Friends Do You Have? Living Inside The World Of A Law Enforcement Officers Life.”



By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc
English: American educator, journalist, milita...
English: American educator, journalist, military and law enforcement officer Arthur Woods (1870-1942) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Forensic Expert – Senior Author
In the law enforcement world the number of friends they have outside their inner professional circle probably range from zero to six. This is not based on any study, but on a reality of living in the law enforcement world. The motivation to seek friendships outside the inner professional circle must benefit the law enforcement officer or the consummation of the potential friendship doesn’t occur.
The inner professional circle has several plateaus of who your friends are and will be. The patrol officers become good friends with those they work with. Generally, the shift work they are required to work, changes every 90 days. For the most part the officers will either remain on the current shift they have been assigned to or they follow the majority of their squad to a different shift. This type of shift rotation creates relationships and friendships amongst the officers who are required to work these types of shifts.
As a detective working in a specialized unit, detectives have the opportunity to work within a group of individuals which generally are of the same personalities. The structure of working as an investigator allows them to work with one or multiple partners. These plateaus allow for friendship and comradery to develop and an inner professional circle is created. Most investigators stay within their specialized unit or receive the opportunity for advancement into a different major crime such as sex crimes or homicide.
Some of the reasons officers become friends with officers is the outside circle of individuals the officer associate with relate from a distance. Once an individual becomes a law enforcement officer his friends he once had generally no longer exist. The number of family members who use to stop by and spend time with the officer and his family no longer visit. It is part of being a law enforcement officer. People are intimidated by those who are part of the law enforcement profession.
There are the stories which are told by many law enforcement officers that once they placed the badge on their chest their so-called friends they had once regarded as a friend no longer have a desire to be associated with them and refuse to answer their telephone when they called them. Shunned by people they loved and wanted to be associated with had nothing to do with the person they are, but the profession they chose.
The officer has no control over who will be or won’t be his friend because of the profession they decided to pursue. Officers will claim that those who no longer are their friend never were their friend or they wouldn’t have behaved in the manner in which they are behaving. Other officers are more care free about their association with their past and tell those who care to listen that it is no big deal; it is their family and friends loss.
English: High School for Law Enforcement and C...
English: High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Español: Escuela Secundaria para Fuerzas de la Ley y Justicia Penal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Stepping into the world (profession) of the criminal justice community is like being a part of no other profession. The stress is out of this world, where the public are demanding, the administration questions every move they take, and their cohorts are their only support system. Spending time with their fellow officers on and off the job is the most enjoyable aspect(s) of their life.
There are more reasons why law enforcement officer belong to this inner professional circle. They are:
1.      Family and friends who are outside the inner professional circle have an expectation that the officer must live by a higher standard than anyone they know.
2.      The officer must live by a higher moral code, which they must demonstrate at all times.
3.      The officer is judged in everything they do by their family and friends who are not in the criminal justice community.
4.      The officer finds commonality with other officers and this is why they pursue relationships with them.
5.      The officer has a sixth sense that on or off the job they have each other’s back and at any time, in time of any trouble, their brother and sister officer will be there under any and all situations to assist and protect them. This invisible bridge of what makes their relationship work is the comradery they feel and believe exists among their fellow officers.
6.      Stress which is a major health issue in the criminal justice community is relieved by knowing that another officer has the same mentality in reference to their job, family, friends, activities, hobbies, and etc. and they can share or be associated with these events with one another.
7.      Being committed to the same principles, belief system, accomplishments, the desire to be the best for other officers, the administration, their agency, and community.
8.      Establishing credibility and reliability among other officers and the administration. Recognized for his ability to handle any situation, under any circumstances, always using his common sense, intelligence, and superior judgment.
9.      After retirement, life may change for the officer, but his inner professional circle will never leave or desert him and his family. Once a part of the law enforcement community there is a lifetime unspoken commitment amongst each other.
10.  The majority of the inner professional circle have the same belief in the mission statement of the law enforcement agency and continually strive to make his agency the best it can be.
It seems clear why law enforcement officers find their best friends within their inner professional circle. The requirements to become a law enforcement officer are not an easy process. Education and training prior to becoming an officer takes several years after high school to apply and take the written, physical, and oral examinations. Also, to be psychologically and physically examined to make sure their health isn’t an issue.
These multiple application steps to become an officer create the mutual foundation of entering into the criminal justice community. New recruits are required to attend a police academy which may be four to six months in length. During this time frame relationships will develop which will carry over after they graduate from the academy.
The next step in the officer’s development as a law enforcement recruit is processing through the field training system where multiple field training officers will evaluate their performance over a specific amount of time. The relationships they build with their field training officer will determine if they continue on to the next field training officer or graduate to where they complete their one year probation.
: Criminal Justice Center
: Criminal Justice Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
During all of the application, academy, field training process, law enforcement recruits will find themselves in awe of their senior fellow officers who have a multitude of training and experience. Senior officers who are seen as their mentors will most likely become their friend and enter the senior officer’s inner professional circle. After a period of time on the police force, the recruit will become the senior officer and have established his own inner professional circle.
The number of friends a law enforcement officer has outside his inner professional circle does not seem to matter to most officers. As long as they find homage in their established inner professional circle which incorporates their immediate family, they are generally satisfied with their socialization process and social network. The difficulties they will experience during their lifetime will not be dealt with alone. There will always be at least one or more officers from their inner professional circle present to assist them through their trials and tribulations. The sacrifices each officer gives to on
e another will only cement the strong and lasting relationship with one another.


Lawrence W. Daly
206-650-0229
onedaly@onedaly.com
Kent, WA



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