Ask the Chief: How do you stay positive in this profession?
Friday, October 29, 2010 at 5:01AM
Elvin G. Miali in Ask the Chief, Ask the Chief, Attitude

Q. “How do you stay positive in this profession?”



A.We graduate from the academy and enter the realm of Law Enforcement. All of a sudden we face an enormous amount of negativity. For instance: we hear all of the complaining from our peers on just about every subject possible: we read and hear negative media reports often times from reporters that have very few facts correct in their stories: we feel extremely depressed when we don’ t make the promotion we have anticipated: and we often deal with hostile citizens who really don’ t want us around. So why do we still stay in this profession and remain positive? Because we love it and not everyone can do it. We are a special breed! Think about it. How many candidates started in your academy class and how many graduated and how many of those that did graduate are still in the profession today?

Every career you enter will not be perfect but that doesn’ t mean that it is not a great career for you. You must look past the negatives and find the positives and that is exactly what we must do in Law Enforcement.

If you think about it our job is mostly dealing with the negatives in peoples’ lives. The burglaries, robberies, homicides, suicides, etc all have a negative impact on the victims lives as well as ours. And if you don’ t look on the positive side of these calls you will also fall into a very negative depression.

Now looking on the positive side is sometimes easier said than done. Remember this job has no conscience and will chew you up and spit you out and not think twice about it! So now we must work on becoming positive in our thoughts and actions. Anyone can sit around and complain and we all know that misery loves company but it takes a special individual to stand up and become a positive influence.

Now don’ t get me wrong, I am not saying that I was never a negative influence on certain things hell, I have been in Law Enforcement 37 years but I learned that when I changed to a positive outlook, situations on the job looked a lot better.

I always state “ stay positive,” both in your professional and you personal life. Don’ t look at just the fact that a burglary is negative incident, turn it into a positive interaction with the victim. Demonstrate that you are there to assist them and hopefully apprehend the suspect and if at all possible return some if not all of the missing property. This is not necessarily a “ pipe dream,” you are there to make them feel safer in your community, that is your job. Feel good that they called you for help. Out of all the people in your community, you are there to assist. What a great feeling, not everyone can say that.

If you don’ t make the promotion you wanted, it is ok to be upset but don’ t let it linger, “ get over it” and move on making sure that the next time you take a promotional exam you “ ace it.” This is when you turn a negative experience and make it work for you by being the best candidate on the list and make it difficult for the Chief not to select you.

Sure I know that there are times that everything turns south and it is almost impossible to stay positive, but that is when you have to dig deeper inside yourself and find that positive influence and work with it when you are with your peers and the citizens of your community. Don’ t let others dictate your feelings. You be the positive role model and have the “ can do” attitude. I guarantee that you will feel different about yourself and your profession. And soon others might just change their attitude and improve the work environment. It is worth a shot, what do you have to lose.


Stay Positive!

If any of you have any other ideas or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Also if there are any topics you wish to discuss, let me know by using our "Ask the Chief" form at the top of the page.

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