On the last post's comment section (this is how desperate I'm getting for blog fodder) Scribbler posted this:
"I'm looking for work (again) and there are several postings up for local police positions. It's hardly been on my radar as an option for me, but the more I contemplate it, the more it seems, well, worth the contemplation. You and MattG are, in my mind, what LEOs should be, and what I would be attempting to emulate, should that be a path I take."
The path I recommend to anyone thinking of this line of work in Texas -- is to find a mid-sized Sheriff's Office and sign on with them.
Why a Sheriff's Office?
Two main reasons. Reason the First: A Texas Sheriff, being voted into office every four years, tends to be a bit more responsive to the citizens of his County, than a Chief of Police who holds his office until the City Manager or Mayor finds a reason to hand him his walking papers.
Smaller (mid-sized) Counties tend to be even more so. The Sheriff of Dallas or Harris County will never, ever meet face-to-face with more than a minuscule fraction of the citizens of their County.
The Sheriff of Wise, Childress, Midland, Wichita, or Randall Counties will, in a month (between church, the grocery store, restaurants, child-care, etc.) have face-to-face interactions with a not-insignificant percentage of citizens.
The Sheriff of Dallas County probably wouldn't get recognized in line at the Dairy Queen if they were in mufti. My Sheriff gets to hear all the dirt about his officers, concerns, kudos, and theories by the 90% of the County citizens that not only recognize him, but grew up with him. This is A Good Thing.
Reason 'B': A Sheriff's Office has a wide variety of things to do. Most folks start off in the jail, move to Patrol, try a stint in Civil, run through Courthouse Security, a bit of Inter-County/Inter-State extradition, off to Criminal Investigation ... so on, and so forth. Sometimes all in the same week. City PD -- it's Patrol, then Investigation. Usually.
This is still a noble line of work -- provided you remember and hold to the Peelian Principles; and you bear in mind that most of your work is 40% compassion, 40% common sense, and 20% academy stuff.
MattG will no doubt chime in with counter-points. Read them, think about them -- really think about them -- then come to your decision.