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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been in full time LE since 1989. I've been with my current agency for most of that time. In all of these years, I've been in uniform, and never advanced in rank. The reasons are pretty simple: In my heart, I've always known that I'm just not supervisor material. Please understand, I am quite proficient at being a patrolman, and I require minimal supervision while doing it [why not?! I've had over two decades to get it right]. But, doing a job for 23 years does NOT automatically qualify you to be a leader. The idea of being the guy that other officers look to for answers, and the guy that the brass look to for explanations, literally makes my stomach knot up. The thing is, I must admit that being a slick sleeve after all of this time is really embarrassing. But, to me, the choice is stark and simple: Take the embarrassment of never being promoted, or risk the humiliation of getting promoted beyond my capabilities, and then falling on my face with it. To me, it seems that the lesser of the two evils would be just plain embarrassment. What do you guys think? Should I give in to my self-respect and start trying for stripes...or follow my heart and continue to avoid it like the plague? Any non-LE folks are welcome to chime in too, by the way.
 

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Who cares what others think. If your happy where your at thats nothing to be embarrassed about. Knowing ones limits is a VERY underrated quality.
 

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When you get promoted do you get more pay? If so, it's a no-brainer for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
SrBanjo: Yes, the pay goes up with the promotion...but along with the extra money comes an increase in responsibilities that I want no part of.
 

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Delta2
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While I'm not an LEO I am a dispatcher for a very small department and from what some of the officers on my shift have told me that they strive to be the senior most patrolman as they too wish to avoid having stripes like its the plague. They like being the guys that even supervisors or others officers come to for advise. One even said being one of the senior most patrolmen is like being a supervisor without the responsibility or liability. So I say if you are happy where you are then just keep doing what you are doing. There is no shame in being one of the senior most patrolmen and never gaining stripes.
 

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I am not a LEO but if you feel comfortable where you are than nothing to be embarrassed about. Now saying that I have a feeling you are selling yourself short by saying you are not supervisor material if you know your job and are very good at it then you could definately help your department. Being a supervisor is more than just telling others what to do its also about teaching subbordinates the right way to do things. I am sure in all your time you have seen things that could have been done better or more efficient and the best way to correct problems is from a leadership position. At the end of the day you need to do what makes you happy but give yourself some credit you might suprise yourself what you are capeable of.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Danielmurph: Thanks for the vote of confidence, I really do appreciate it [and all other replies]. However, as the immortal Harry Callahan put it: "A man's got to know his limitations." I wouldn't say that I'm selling myself short; it's just that I do indeed know where my boundaries are. Other officers have tried to convince me to take the promotion plunge, but like I said, the very idea of it makes my blood run cold. The times that on-duty circumstances have placed me temporarily in charge of things [by virtue of my seniority] have been few and far between, and each time was only for a duration of a few minutes. Yet, on those occasions, I found myself feeling almost physically ill. The pressures of leadership are just more than I can take. I promise, I didn't start this thread in hopes that someone would convince me to give it a try..Now that I think about it, I guess what I really want to know is, is there any shame in this choice I've made? I ask that because some people in my profession would answer that question in the affirmative.
 

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I wasn't trying to talk you into it not at all and really what others think shouldn't really matter you should and need to do what makes you happy and also what you are good at. I do agree that not everyone is destined to be a leader and have held a strong belief that leadership is not something that can be taught it has to come naturally. It use to piss me off seeing some of the people getting promoted while serving in the Army, they really didn't have a clue what it took to lead troops but got promoted because they where good friends with the PL or PSG. At the end of the day it should only matter what you want to do and if the others don't like it oh well.
 

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There is no shame in staying in the position that you are in. If you are content with that decision, then stay with it. You can still be a great benefit to your department. You have years of knowledge and experience that you can share with your fellow officers. You can also show the rookies and younger officers what it means to have good ethics in law enforcement. I hate to see what happens to some young officers when they are handed a badge and a gun, then lead in the wrong dirrection early in their career. Enjoy your job where you are if that is where you want to be, and be an asset to your department.
 

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The same thing can happen in any type of job. When I was in the Navy (many moons ago) as a 2nd Class electronics technician I did all the board level repair myself (I like fixin' things). I didn't even take the 1st Class test because that would have been a desk job as a supervisor. I would have given up the very thing that I enjoyed doing the most. Money isn't everything. I say do what makes you happy and live longer.
 

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I've been in full time LE since 1989. I've been with my current agency for most of that time. In all of these years, I've been in uniform, and never advanced in rank. The reasons are pretty simple: In my heart, I've always known that I'm just not supervisor material. Please understand, I am quite proficient at being a patrolman, and I require minimal supervision while doing it [why not?! I've had over two decades to get it right]. But, doing a job for 23 years does NOT automatically qualify you to be a leader. The idea of being the guy that other officers look to for answers, and the guy that the brass look to for explanations, literally makes my stomach knot up. The thing is, I must admit that being a slick sleeve after all of this time is really embarrassing. But, to me, the choice is stark and simple: Take the embarrassment of never being promoted, or risk the humiliation of getting promoted beyond my capabilities, and then falling on my face with it. To me, it seems that the lesser of the two evils would be just plain embarrassment. What do you guys think? Should I give in to my self-respect and start trying for stripes...or follow my heart and continue to avoid it like the plague? Any non-LE folks are welcome to chime in too, by the way.
I think that you have answered your own question, you know what your limitations are, and are good at what you do. Many people who constantly strive for promotion are often way beyond their skill level, and in some jobs such as law enforcement can get some people hurt real quick. Its not like getting promoted at a fast food chain.
In the end I think most people respect a really good private more that than a captain beyond their capibilities.
Do a good job and stay safe.
 

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I worked in four organizations before I retired and every one needed the solid base and stability they got from a few of their senior members. Those that had seen it all and knew what worked and what didn't. If you enjoy your work and know you can do the job the way it should be done then why put yourself in a position to hate going to work everyday. As to the locker room if I heard the whispers I would ask them directly if they had a question to ask you.

Stay safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Lot of good points made. I've been feeling kinda low over this question for some years now, but y'all have helped me get a better perspective. Thanks, guys. :)
 

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Republican!!!
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If you're happy with what you're doing, there shouldn't be any guilt in staying in that position, especially since you seem to be doing a great job at it. On the other hand, we're often our own worst critics. You may have more knowledge and experience locked up inside than a lot of the other candidates. If it were me, I'd take the tests and see if I could at least go that far. As you pointed out in another post, it doesn't sound like your back is going to take what you're doing forever. I had a next door neighbor that was a career CHP and had to retire with severe back issues. They're no joke! They can be crippling and disabling.

But in the long run, you're the only one that can answer your question. With 20+ years, there's bound to be all kinds of things you can teach the new bucks, though sometimes it's easier to do it yourself than rely on someone else to "try" and do it. But that's how the food chain works.
 

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Enjoying your job is far more important then moving up in rank that may make you dislike going to work. I'm a retired Sgt. with a CA. Sheriff's Dept. and I choose never to take the Lt.'s examine because I did not want to fly a desk. I enjoyed working the streets too much.
I had one deputy that would have made a very good Sgt. He would not take the exam for Sgt. I questioned him about it and told him that he was one of the best patrol deputies we had. He informed me that he enjoyed being a deputy and only having to worry about his own job preformance and did not want to babysit some officers as he saw me having to do on occasion. I never bothered him again about taking the Sgt.'s examine as he had it right for himself.
 

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In my profession I worked my way up to a supervisory position.
I was responsible for about 80+ folk on a daily basis.
Stayed there for ten years, then dropped rank and moved to be closer to family.
 

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I'm not a LEO, (by the way thanks for your service), but I am an Operations Supervisor for a major aerospace manufacturer. I've been with my company for 35 years, been a Supervisor for the last 18 years, have 30+ employees assigned to me who I'm responsible for. I "grow up" in the process that I supervise.

I too have been asked many times over the years and I know there are people who wonder why I don't seek a promotion to a Manager's position being the next level up. Well, I don't want it. I am content where I am. I enjoy working with my employees on a daily basis, watching them progress. If I did pursue a higher position besides all the extra bull$#@! that comes along with it I would loose the closeness I have with the people and the product. I'm OK with where I am today.

So NCLEO89 I think you're very much not alone. :eek:

There's more of us out here ;)

Moral of this story is... it's all up to what makes YOU happy. You're the one who has to live with YOU and I feel people should respect others decisions and treat them with dignity accordingly.

Sorry I didn't mean to write a book...

I wish you good luck with your search for peace of mind! :)
 

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Thanks for your service. In my experience the best leaders are the ones who know who/what they are and are happy doing what they do, no matter the position. While my career was not in LE, early in it I advanced regularly but it didn't take long to realize I was happier just being the lowly grunt doing his job. The last several years before retirement the more amazed I was at how much the "Brass" came to me for answers and advise.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Again, thanks for ALL replies, especially from you non-LE folks. Getting fresh perspectives is never a bad idea. To those of you who offered your thanks, you are more than welcome, and it's my honor to serve you. Thanks are never necessary, but are always appreciated. :) I think I can happily remain a tail light chaser with no regrets.
 

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Would you be happier with less money and having a more positive role as a Police Officer ? I know I did ,but finally succumbed to advancement in rank Sargent/Harbormaster in charge of a 15 vessel fleet,I was more rewarding and interacted more undercover with State,County,Coast Guard and Militay in the War on narcotics.
 
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