Considering leaving law enforcement? Go elsewhere, young officer, go elsewhere!

If you are a good cop, who in these bad times is thinking of quitting law enforcement, don’t just resign, but relocate and renew yourself and your career


To say a lot is happening around the country in law enforcement would be an understatement. Many officers are finding it unbearable to stand down while incompetent mayors and governors allow anarchists to run amok destroying the cities they once loved. City councils are punishing police departments by taking away funding, positions and tools in a response to offenses hundreds of thousands of officers have not committed.

If I were still in law enforcement, I would never let incompetent politicians chase me from my chosen profession. However, I would consider finding a location to police where I might be better appreciated. With that in mind I asked myself if I was considering such a move now, where would I go where my quality of life inside and outside of law enforcement might markedly improve from this unpleasant situation I am in?

top cities to Live in

I decided a good place to start looking would be lists of the “Best Places to Live in America.” So, on your behalf, I called a few and asked someone at each agency:

  • If an experienced officer were looking for a better environment to police and raise their family, would that officer be considered by your agency to be a good candidate?
  • Why is your city a great place to live and work?

As I initially worked my way down the list one city immediately caught my eye: Myrtle Beach. I thought, “Now that’s the ticket!”

Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) Police Department

At Myrtle Beach Police Department I spoke with Bryan Murphy and asked if, during these times would officers with experience from other agencies who wanted a better environment to live and work in, be considered. He enthusiastically said, “Absolutely!”

He went on to explain that no career in law enforcement is without challenges, and any officer coming to their police department would find a challenging career awaited them. But for the experienced officer looking to find an excellent location to continue their career with another agency would find that “We have several areas where officers with special talents can use those talents to meet their goals.”

If someone were to wonder why Myrtle Beach would be a great place to live and work well…it’s Myrtle Beach.

Savannah (Georgia) Police Department

Pardon me for being a bit selfish in my selection of cities to call, but I have never been to Savannah, but have always wanted to go, so when I saw them on the list I called and spoke with Savannah Police Department Public Information Officer Bianca Johnson. She was quite friendly and when asked, “Would you consider officers from other agencies looking for a better place to work, live and raise their families?" she also answered, “Absolutely! We are always looking for good officers; especially ones with experience to bring to the table.”

She added Savannah is a coastal city, rich with beautiful, historic places. She said, “We have a lot here to offer an officer and his or her family.”

La Crosse (Wisconsin) Police Department

The last person I spoke to was Assistant Chief Rob Abraham of the La Crosse (Wisconsin) Police Department (the agency I retired from). He said they had an open application process there and would “absolutely consider experienced officers from other agencies.” He continued, “We have looked at strategies to recruit experienced officers from other agencies to add to the diversity of our workforce.”

In describing the workload, he said, “There is a varied level of police work so that it is a fun place to work, but not overwhelming.” He said that the city is beautiful, being surrounded by bluffs and situated right on the Mississippi. He added one big advantage of an officer coming here to work is, “It’s a bigger city with a small-town atmosphere and It’s Midwest nice. People coming here from other places are always struck by how nice the people in this Midwest culture are.”

To re-emphasize how much they are interested in experienced officers he described a hiring program where if an officer laterally transfers from another agency, their years of service elsewhere are counted in the consideration of their pay and vacation time. He said, “An experienced officer won’t have to start from square one.”

consider this

I can understand any police officer who has a mayor and city council bending to a mob of anarchists finding being a cop in such an environment untenable. However, think about this before you do anything. These officials’ incompetence is not only obvious to you, but to the people who elected them. Please do consider outlasting the incompetents, or even becoming a leader and change agent on your department, to help your fellow officers navigate through these rough waters. Trust me when I say, things will get better.

However, if you truly believe you must get out, don’t just leave the profession. Realize that you, as an experienced officer, are an essential commodity, becoming more sought after every day by many agencies. Before you leave law enforcement altogether, consider the thousands of cities and counties hungry to hire someone of your caliber and experience.

So, if you are a good cop, who in these bad times is thinking of quitting law enforcement, don’t just resign. Relocate and renew yourself and your career. If Horace Greeley were still alive today, he would tell you, “Go elsewhere, young officer, go elsewhere.”

NEXT: 2 questions to ask before switching police departments

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