Posts Tagged ‘find your career’
The answer is a resounding yes. It is true that single parents face numerous challenges. And for a single mother, policing may seem to be a distant possibility in terms of career options. However, policing may be the stable, meaningful career choice you are seeking.
San Antonio Police Officer and recruiter, Yvonne Padilla, has direct experience and often fields inquiries from would-be cops who are single parents. She notes “if you want it badly enough, you can do it.” As a single parent, becoming a police officer is a big decision. Do your research and look at multiple agencies. Different departments offer different advancement opportunities, incentives, and benefits that will help you support your family and provide the work-life balance you may be seeking.
First Sergeant Kim Chinn of the Prince William County Police Department pointed out that there are many resources available to single parent officers. She had this to say about the topic:
A single mother can easily become a police officer as long as she has child care support. If you have friends, family, or a good day care provider that will help you with shift work, it can be done. Many departments, mine included, will try and help all single parents with child care issues. The first few years may be tough as you go through the academy and the field training program, but once you have a few years under your belt you will be eligible for day shift assignments. You can also work with other officers who have similar issues and care for each other’s children if you are on opposing shifts. There are plenty of options; it may just take some organization and creativity to work it out. Don’t be afraid to let your supervisors know of your child care requirements. They may also be in position to help.
Officer Polly Speed of the Horn Lake Police Department became a police officer after spending time as waitress. The career change proved to be an excellent choice for her and family. You can read more about Officer Speed’s story in the “Real People, Real Stories” section of the Discover Policing site.
So, if you are a single parent and looking for a meaningful career, check out policing. Do your research on the different types of law enforcement agencies and look at the resources available to you.
As discussed in a previous blog post, volunteering for a law enforcement agency is a great way to build up skills for a law enforcement career. Over the next few months, we will take a look at a number of law enforcement volunteer opportunities.
During your law enforcement career, you will likely spend considerable time patrolling the streets of your jurisdiction, and in many Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) programs, citizen patrol is a primary volunteer responsibility. Volunteer patrols are performed in a variety of vehicles and locations – neighborhood car patrols, park bike patrols, ATV beach patrols, downtown foot patrols, and more.
Patrols vary in their day-to-day functions, but often include driving through neighborhoods, shopping centers, vacant properties, or local crime hotspots to keep an eye out for suspicious activity, serve as a crime deterrent, and build relationships with community members. You may also take on additional duties, such as traffic direction at accident scenes, vacation home checks, and code enforcement. Volunteers do not have enforcement duties, but remain in close contact with dispatch via radio or cell phones to report crimes in progress or anything that needs an officer’s attention.
Patrol volunteers receive extensive training in subjects like radio codes and usage, traffic direction procedures, incident report writing, radar speed check device usage, and other topics that will give a head start when you get to the police academy.
As a citizen patrol volunteer, you will gain a better understanding of police patrol duties and experience your community in a whole new way.
Look the following examples of citizen volunteer patrol programs for more details:
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Police Department – Citizens on Patrol Program
- Dayton, Ohio, Police Department – Neighborhood Assistance Officer Program
- Lake County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office – Citizens on Patrol Program
- Douglas County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office – Community Safety Volunteer Program
Search for volunteer programs in your local area with the VIPS Program Directory.