But having a career in law enforcement can make your life incredibly fulfilling. It's definitely not for everybody, but if you can handle tough situations, you won't find many more rewarding careers out there. Here's some of the main reasons people pursue careers in law enforcement.
You don't want a job where you feel meaningless in your everyday life. You want to do something that excites you and makes you feel like you have a purpose. As a police officer, you could save somebody's life every day you're out on duty. From pulling a victim out of a burning car to providing first aid to a victim before the paramedics get there, you're out there saving people daily. Even your presence, if it's well intended, can help prevent violent crime.
Improve People's Decisions
Usually, if a police officer encounters a person, it's during a bad situation. You don't see people when they're at their best, but you can help get them there. Drug addicts, abusers and abused people, thieves, gang members, and other people in unfortunate times in their lives need somebody to help them out. As the person who intervenes, you have a great deal of influence on these people. You can help push them in the right direction by opening their eyes to reality and teaching them to respect themselves.
Get Access to Cool Equipment
People in law enforcement can, in some cases, get access to some of the best technology out there. Even if your department doesn't have the best budget, you still get access to equipment that civilians don't. Even the things that civilians can legally have, they have to pay for; you get it for free. From tasers to cool tactical gear, you get to experience some interesting gadgets.
Gain Diversity in Your Workday
Every day that you work can turn out different from the last. The day can change in an instant; you never know what could happen in the town you're working in. It's a perfect environment for people who don't want to endure monotony at work.
You can also work in several different departments with a range of positions. If you don't like doing patrol anymore, try investigations. If you're sick of investigations, become a K9-officer. If you're motivated, you can switch between a variety of jobs, testing out your skills in different areas of work.
Corruption has and always will continue to be an issue in government and law enforcement. You can only affect this by changing the system from the inside. Corruption has led to police officers in some areas disliking their job, and fighting to change this by speaking out and spreading the word. You can act like a good cop and work your way up the ranks to a position where you can create change and hold people accountable, making law enforcement better for everybody.
No matter where you work in law enforcement, every day forces you to challenge yourself, both physically and mentally. You have a lot of control over how far you take your career, how seriously you take it, and how much work you put into it.
You have to chase people down, outsmart the bad guys, and balance pressures from all kinds of angles. Essentially, you have to solve problems of all sorts daily. You might not have any idea what kind of problem will come up next. You can use these problems as opportunities to learn and grow as a person, as well as help those around you to the best of your ability.
Like all government jobs, you can feel safe with the benefits. The salaries don't always match that of private sectors, but the amount of benefits you get can more than make up for it. Not only do you get great benefits, your opportunities to advance make it all worth it. Since it's such a stressful job, you can usually retire after only 20 or 25 years of service, meaning better benefits earlier in life.
Those who work in the field know that they've got one of the most intense but potentially helpful careers out there.