101 Reasons Why You Should Not Become a Cop is the provocative title chosen by author James Richard Warner. A police officer for over 19 years, Warner has collected experiences and challenges that other fellow officers through the years were willing to share.
While a candidate for other professions might have to consider facing many of the same challenges, Warner believes that the candidate entering police work, drawn into the career because of wanting to emulate his favorite action-packed police drama hero, may become more easily discouraged when faced with the reality of the profession.
Dealing with off duty situations such as involvement in neighborhood disputes, doing favors for friends, family, and fellow cops and linking up with the wrong dating partner could lead to disciplinary issues, as the police accounts suggest. While on duty an officer may run into citizens looking for any excuse to file a complaint or launch a lawsuit, and in an internal investigation the "thin blue line" or code of silence amongst officers, Warner says, does not hold true. Warner's examples also show how stress builds up over other liability issues, lack of supervisory support, judicial misconduct and the use of one's firearm. And Warner's illustrations point out how a police officer's presence is more often than not part of citizens' negative experiences.
Warner cites studies that suggest that the number of years a police officer lives after retirement is far less than the average professional. "Officers don't realize the toll the career has taken on their health until they become stricken with an illness forcing them into retirement," he writes. "Choosing a career as a police officer will most likely take years off of a person's life."
Individuals motivated to pursue a career in law enforcement, according to Warner, fall into three categories: the person who always has wanted to be a police officer, the individual looking for a challenging, unobstructed work environment that appears to offer diverse daily situations; and the person searching for a secure government job. Becoming acquainted with and being able to deal with the 101 reasons for not becoming a cop is Warner's recipe for success.
"I want the candidate to enter police work with a thorough understanding of what to expect," is how Warner expresses his main reason for writing the book. "I have seen too many young men and women enter the field and become disillusioned and bitter," he has concluded.
Day and night classes for the next police academy at Missouri Southern State University, Joplin are scheduled
The Day Academy will meet Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. beginning Aug. 21. The Academy requires four Saturday classes per semester. Graduation will be held Dec. 14, 2006.
Night Academy classes will also begin on August 21. Classes will be held during the evening and on several Saturdays each semester. Graduation will be held May 9, 2007.
Those taking part receive training in Missouri criminal statutes, constitutional law, criminal investigation, patrol techniques, defense tactics training, physical training, firearms training and other skills and abilities deemed necessary by the state for Missouri law enforcement officers.
Financial aid is available for those who qualify.
Those interested in enrolling should contact Wayne Thomason, Academy Director, beginning with the week of May 22, 2006, to set up appointments for enrollment at (417) 625-9684 or by e-mail.