Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Saturday, November 17, 2018


I spent last weekend in an annual reunion of Army buddies, the Council of Colonels. I've written on this group before, and the host made a good point more than once, "We ain't getting any younger." No, we're not, and several members are retired now. And a few asked me when I will join the retired members, and I think that should happen in ten years. Thirty years in the police, twenty-three in the Army. I am looking forward to more time to travel, spend time with family and friends, etc.

I found this article and it's brings up a subject that occasionally comes up, police pensions. Some people do question why cops get pensions after 20-25 years, while most people must wait until their sixty's. The fact is many agencies (like mine) require you to put in more to the pension then I would have put into Social Security. Also, like most "qualified pension plan" participants, I am not in Social Security from my primary job (although I did particulate in my time in the Army Reserves).

But there are other reasons police get pensions sooner than others, and here are a four of them. Comments mine.
4 Reasons Cops Retire Before You

It’s just not fair that cops retire before me

...If I had a nickel for every time someone said how lucky I am to be being able to retire at age 50! I usually respond with a smile and patronize them with “if you say so” or even better ” you’re right, I’m one lucky dog”.

After that I continue the conversation but fall into my own thoughts at the same time.

Initially my brain jumps right to “idiot” or “moron” or “did they really say that or are they just being an a$$#@!e?” This all happens within a matter of seconds. As I walk away, my own self-doubt creeps into the logical side of my brain and wonders.

Am I lucky to retire at such an early age? Do I deserve to retire at an age well before most are allowed to get their gold watch?

These thoughts quickly vanish as I contemplate the absurdity of these questions.

Here are just 4 reasons why cops get to retire “so young.”


You would think that this one would be a no brainer. There are people out there that think they have stressful jobs.

Unless you are a front line combat grunt, air traffic controller or a skydiving instructor.

Everyone else, please sit down.

“But you don’t know man, I’ve got deadlines and a lot of pressure on me at my job, why do cops retire before I get to?”

And I get that. I really do.

But C’MON man.

I will spare everyone the same ole we face armed felons and don’t know if we are going home at the end of our shift mantra.

It should be blatantly obvious to everyone. Oh and I’m quite sure if you screw up, or have a perceived screw up, at work it won’t cause the city you work in to riot or change your industries culture on a global level.

Just sayin.’


It sucks.

I’m not talking about the Mothershippers (Cops who work at Police Headquarters).

I’m talking about Cops. Detectives.

The grunts of police work.

It absolutely kills me when citizens ask, and I’m not making this up, if we are open on Sunday’s. This is why I know that there will always be a fantastically wide disconnect between your average Joe and us.

I have worked days and nights, holidays, birthdays, elections, hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, and high school football games. I have worked 30 hours without sleep and have come back to work 20 more with only 2 hours of sleep in between.

Oh, and then I go to court on my days off.

Not to mention getting verbal abuse for how we handle a suspect, or eating lunch or taking a break, as well shown in the scene from the show Southland. Fiction, yes, but accurate.

The uniform

I distinctly remember getting into my car and driving to work in full uniform one day. I had been a detective for several years prior to this day and had decided that I wanted to go back to uniform patrol.

I was beginning to doubt my decision with every passing second during my drive in that morning.

I had forgotten how ridiculously uncomfortable it was wearing a bulletproof vest and 30 pounds of police gear. I remember being sore for a week until my body became used to wearing all of it again.

It is nice to see that police departments are now going to outer vests and suspenders. Hopefully this will alleviate all of the back problems that all of us suffer from over decades of wearing the uniform.

My chiropractor would have to agree with this reason why cops retire early.

Knee, hip and back problems, common for patrol.
The exposure to unspeakable suffering

Back in the day (Queue the rookie eye roll) when I was a field training instructor, one the first things I would ask my new guy was if they had ever seen a dead body. Other than their grandma at her funeral, most had not.

There are things in this world that humans are not meant to see.

Or experience.

Bottom line, cops see bad s#!t.

As mentioned from reason #1, law enforcement is a highly stressful and dangerous occupation. New cops arrive in this profession with an eagerness that is almost unrivaled in any other job.

“I’m going to change the world, one arrest at a time”.

Until they see their first dead baby.

The seduction of becoming a cop and serving the greater good enables the rookie patrolman to overlook the inherent dangers and traumatic scenes that he or she may face or see.

As they become fully immersed in the police culture, the old life they had prior to becoming a police officer begins to fade away. The things they experience as a cop forever change them.

A couple of days ago, an old photo of me popped up on my Facebook feed from a group I belong to. In the photo I had been a cop for about three years. Other than looking ridiculously young, I noticed something else.

I had the biggest smile.

And I think this may be the last photo of me smiling this big.

Something I've told many people, a requirement of policing is a detachment, for lack of a better word, to the suffering of others. If you don't have that, you will go nuts and not be able to function. Dealing with dead people, parents who have lost children, children who have been abused. No one should have to endure the...or witness it.
– Bart Proctor has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Strategic Intelligence from Liberty University with close to 23 years experience as a police officer and violent crimes detective. He also served as an intelligence officer within his police agency and received extensive training from the FBI and The Department of Homeland Security...

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