You’re so excited you can’t sleep. You have completed countless training hours through school and your academy in order to be where you are today.  Your uniform is dialed in and perfect.  You are about to start your career.

Your heart is pounding and everything you have learned is running through your mind, today is your first day on the “job”!  Today is the day you have been waiting for your whole life.

You show up early and you introduce yourself to everyone you meet.  It’s “yes sir and yes ma’am” and “no sir and no ma’am”.  You try to keep your mouth closed and eyes and ears open.  You’re taking it all in, enjoying every minute of it. The pride that fills you is overwhelming and numbing at the same time.

Whether you are reporting for road patrol, court officer duty or working as a corrections officer, your first day will be one of the most exciting days of your life.  Your first shift may be eight, ten or twelve hours long and you don’t want it to end. The thing is, the shifts always end.  You have to go home and rest sometime.  Then, the next day you are back at it the same way, eager to get out there and serve.

Then, one day you go to work, and you are not a rookie anymore.  You now have several officers below you in seniority.  You are now watching their excitement. You are one of the officers being called sir or ma’am.  You may be a Field Training Officer now and they are looking to you for guidance and direction.

It’s the part of your career where you are no longer a rookie but still not quite the veteran yet.


The shifts start going slower and the years go by fast.  Some will rise through the ranks and promote to supervisory positions. The guys you worked with throughout the years are now wearing stripes and bars.

Then, you wake up one day and you are on the other side of your career. It’s the point in time when you are considered a “Veteran Officer” and are now closer to retirement than you are from the day you started.  As the next several years fly by, it’s now time to start thinking about what to do in your “life after the job”.


When you think back on all the things you have seen and done, all the people you have helped and bad guys you have taken off the streets, hopefully you will be able to reflect back on a career to be proud of.

Make sure to count the victories and not the losses, always remember them but try not to focus on them.  To quote the slogan, “At the end of the day, it’s all about saving just one life.”

To all those who have served, past and present, THANK YOU!

At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.


Editor’s note:  This is the beginning of a new chapter for CopBlue. With this article we will commence publishing short articles that are mostly penned by our new Contributing Editor: Sgt. Tim McGuckin. They will be published on an unscheduled, contemporaneous basis and will cover issues of the day. We hope you will join us in welcoming our brother, Tim.