Associate Magazine - FBINAA - Q4 - 2022


F B I N A A . O R G | Q 4 2 0 2 2

“Is There Life After Law Enforcement?”

M ost law enforcement professionals start their careers at an early age and after a career of 20 to 30 years, retire or leave the profession at an age where they can start a second career. Law enforcement is a way of life and not a “switch” that can be turned on and off. The trauma and psychological impact on an officer due to their experience in their chosen profession will stay with them. This can actually make them stronger and able to think critically and in a second career, what seems serious to others will not be to the retired officer whose perspective is shaped by dealing with myriad challenges each day. The skills in leadership, teamwork, and communication required by law enforcement personnel are durable skills that can be translated into multiple career pathways. Investing in retirement not only involves financial planning, but planning for the second phase of their life, which generally includes a second career pathway. Preparation is key and needs to be started early, long before you walk out of the station door for the last time. It includes health and wellness, maintaining a balance of fitness, and wholeness in life, all of which are crucial to surviving a very stressful career in law enforcement and transi tioning into the next phase of life. This preparation and discipline are integral in moving away from a stressful profession into an occupation that hopefully is not as intense and one that continues to provide for their families, allows more quality time at home, without shiftwork or being on-call, and supports the officer with a sense of service, self-worth and challenge. It does not have to involve working in the “security industry” or similar position related to their first career. The psy chological transition is challenging and learning to control traits such as hypervigilance take time, but can be accomplished. Second career pathways for law enforcement personnel tran sitioning can include, finance, business, retail, education or other positions not related to law enforcement. One can also choose to serve as a consultant or non-sworn position and stay close to the field. Regardless, the foundation for success is to start their plan ning early. What are their career goals in law enforcement? Goals in their life after law enforcement? Planning early to align training and education goals with their career pathway is crucial for success. Along the way, maintaining health and wellness is crucial and is not necessarily for “chasing criminals” or action depicted in television or the movies, but to survive a very stressful profession that in volves intense scrutiny and decisions that affect the lives of others. I am not an expert in health and wellness, but have always been athletic and maintain a daily fitness regimen. Fitness or any other outlet in life is also crucial for maintaining a balance to be there for their families. Finally there are many resources that pro vide more information in transitioning to “life after law enforce ment. Remember, “There is no greater calling than to serve others.” Thank you for your service. References Cop to Corporate Emotional survival for law enforcement: A guide for officers and their families. (2002)

Kevin M Gilmartin Ph.D. Life after law enforcement The transition to civilianhood is not easy, even under the best of circumstances ; Apr 11, 2019. Brian A. Kinnaird, Ph.D. https://www.police1. com/police-jobs-and-careers/articles/life-after-law-enforcement-ntEr8LbJlObY3QAy/ Life After Law Enforcement: Career Options for Former Police Officers ; Columbia/ Southern University. july/life-after-law-enforcement/ About the Author: Dr. Ed Guthrie served 29 years in law enforcement starting as a patrol officer and retiring as a Chief of Police. He is a graduate of the 162nd Session of the FBINA and now serves as the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sci ences at Wilmington University. He is a member of the Maryland/Delaware Chapter of the FBINAA, the Delaware Chiefs of Police Foundation Board, IACP, PERF and the American Council of Academic Deans. While there, I visited the three flag poles in front the Administra tion building. I noted there was no indication of the donation source. The next day I obtained a visit to the Assistant Director. I explained the gift from the 91st session. He thought the poles installation was part of the Academy building project, but he would investigate it. Two days later while in class, I was request ed to return to the AD's office. In that visit, I requested that the Bureau place some type of indication that it was a gift from the 91st Session. He told me it was not a budgeted item. I then asked him if he would approve the verbiage I would use for a bronze plaque for installation at the base of the center pole. He agreed. I explained that I was returning to the Academy in six months as a Counselor for the forth coming LEEDS course, and would return with a plaque for installation. The plaque I purchased read: Continued from "The Historian's Spotlight", on page 38

SO PROUDLY WE HAIL Flag staffs presented to the F.B.I. By the 91st Session Academy

September 25, 1972 – December 12, 1972 "May they forever maintain high standards Of our cause…sacrifices, honor and courage"

During my LEEDS visit in April 1994, a brief ceremony was conducted in front of the Administration Building, with the installation of the plaque at the base of the center flag pole. It was attended by assorted FBI staff and representatives from the National Academy. The 91st Session was finally recognized. Ten years later I was going through some paperwork and found the SO PROUDLY WE HAIL file and wondered if anyone knew of the 91st NA gift. I wrote a letter to then Academy Assis tant Director asking if he knew the history of the plaque located outside his office window. He used the story in his next NA graduating class to emphasize the goal of "keeping involved in law enforcement" even after retirement.


Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker