Alexander Pope once wrote what he called the "ninth beatitude". Blessed are those that expect nothing for they will never suffer from disappointment.
This statement of sarcasm reminds us that our passions determine what we become in life. In spite of low expectations of assistance from employers and supervisors we must identify our own positive attributes and nurture them to reality.
Every police agency has a responsibility to mentor, train and promote the best people within its ranks. Policing has never been good at hiring the already trained specialist because the system too often depends on the ability to create competition. The private sector, however, places great value on hiring the best talent available and laterally moving people into positions where their skills can best be used.
By selecting law enforcement as a career, most of us began a path we felt would fulfill our passion or dreams and challenge what we could be – but what about our unfulfilled passions?
Taking control of your career path means giving your passion a reality check – but it is rarely possible to get a reality check on your policing career. Too many officers end up doing jobs they had no intention nor inclination towards when they began their career.
The first big hurdle is being accepted into policing. After that whatever ambition you gain to further that career must remain dormant until the "school of hard knocks" has taught you its lessons. Annual evaluations flow in and everything hinges on your ability to shine in the crowd and, most importantly, please the bosses. Once past all this, there are only six more hurdles:
• Find the training tailored to your passion;
• Hope there is no scheduling conflicts;
• Hope there is a spot in that class;
• Hope that your agency has the budget to pay for it;
• Hope you get the approval of your superiors; and
• Hope you get a good mark to justify the expense.
Are you still willing to hang on? Are you still hoping, wishing and praying that all the stars will align perfectly for you? Mess up on any of the above and your career expectations "just ain't happ'nin."
This is where you fit into the picture. Bottom line, after all the dust has settled, you are responsible for your own future.
You should be following your dream and fulfilling your passion. You do not have to sit on your hands, wishing and hoping someone will notice this talented little wall flower.
Solutions to all this are abundant in Blue Line Magazine's pages. There are many courses, seminars, colleges and/or universities available to you, and law enforcement and criminology courses abound. With distance education, geography and shift work are no longer limiting factors.
Throughout the year Blue Line Magazine advertisers provide limitless possibilities for fulfilling passion. Offerings in this smorgasbord have included seminars on fraud and homicide investigations, forensic and crime scene analysis, accident scene reconstruction and investigative techniques for the budding detective. On-campus courses abound and distance education courses in police management can be found in every issue.
The Training component of Blue Line's Expo also present opportunities each year to see what tools and services are available to the law enforcement profession, along with training and courses designed to build upon your current knowledge and talents.
These training sessions are a tremendous value, and have helped many to find their niche. For many it was just the edge needed to get that position they had always wanted. Others used the courses as a sampler that provided them with a better insight into what it would take to fulfill their passion or dream.
The Blue Line Expo's training courses include instruction on:
• Truth Focused Interviewing
• Crisis Intervention for first responders
• Investigative Strategies
• Coping With Secondary Traumatic Stress
• Economic Crimes, Detection & Investigation
The courses cost money out of your own pocket, but so does the gas that gets you to work at the start of the day or the pint of beer at the end of the day. This $100 investment can make a big difference between escaping your reality and fulfilling your dream.
These training courses could be the key element you need to take control of your future.
If you are inspired, then register at blueline.ca; if not, take a walk through the trade show – you may just find a new inspiration. No matter what the result, you have at least done something to take control of your future.
I hope to see you there.
The Blue Line Expo takes place April 23 and 24 at the LeParc Conference Centre, 8432 Leslie Street (at Hwy 7) in Markham.
You can register to attend the show for free, or sign up for a training session, through the trade show section of this website.
All attendees get a free one year subscription to Blue Line Magazine. So it is really all about you.