Friday, June 19, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

I keep you guys pretty updated with my weekly recaps.  I’ve been trying to be a little more detail oriented with how I’m feeling each day and what’s going on and all that jazz.  But, some of the stuff that goes on just doesn’t fit with being included in a weekly recap.  Sometimes you just gotta write a whole post all in and of itself to say what’s going on.
I work in law enforcement, however I am not a police officer.  I work in the jail run by my local sheriff’s office.  Every other year, my agency puts on a Basic Peace Officer’s Class (BPOC).  This is the class where you can earn your peace officer’s license.  This is the license you need, in the state of Texas at least (I have no idea how other states work with their police licensing), in order to be a police/patrol officer/detective/etc.  While I have no desire to actually do any of those positions, I would like to have my peace officer’s license.  It will help me out in so many other ways with my career and even in my regular daily life too.
The class put on by my agency next year runs from January 5th through November 11th.  EEEK!  That’s a really long time.  It’s also about 2 weeks longer than last year’s class was.  I’ve started the process to apply to be considered for the class.  But…yes there’s a big but here…I’m not entirely sure I want to do this.  At least, not this way.  Let me list out pros and cons for earning my peace officer’s license through my agency’s academy:
• free, except for books, uniforms and other incidentals (I already own my own gun and intermediate weapons, so that’s a huge portion of what I would have to pay for taken off the table right there)
• done in less than one year
• doesn’t require I earn a separate college degree before I can take the peace officer’s licensing courses (like the local community college requires)
• excellent physical fitness program
• will help me totally rock the test for promotion
• I have to work 40 hours a week AND go to school 24 hours a week…every week
• I will be tired all the time
• I will have to go to class 4 days a week for 10 months
• I won’t be able to participate in as many running events as I would like to because I simply won’t have the time to train
• not being able to run more than twice a week so I’d have to cram a long run (9+ miles) and a workout run (speedwork/hills) OR median distance (5-8 miles) run into just 2 days every week.
• there’s a chance I won’t be able to go to Oregon for a visit next year (not a big one, but there is a chance because I wouldn’t be able to go until thanksgiving/Christmas time and that’s a popular time for everyone to ask off from work for vacations…so my request for time off might not get approved)
• I have to put up with the wannabe military atmosphere they promote in the agency’s academy
• I’d have to shine my boots and I really, really suck at shining boots
• for the application process: I have to get all the “brass” to sign off on my application, all the way up to the Sheriff and that just kicks my anxiety into overdrive
• also for the application process: I have to do a resume…I haven’t done a resume in OVER 13 years.  I have no idea how to do one
• I won’t be able to work overtime while I’m going through the class
As you can clearly see, the cons are far more numerous than the pros are for me.  I have until the 15th of July to make my ultimate decision on whether or not I’m going to finish the application process or not.  Right now, I feel overwhelmed by everything and am really not sure I want to do it at all.  Part of me wants to really focus on promoting, promote, then go to the community college and earn a 2-year business management degree and then apply to their BPOC program.  As a veteran, I qualify for more grants to help pay for school.  So, really, right now that is looking like the much more pleasant option.  I have a LOT of thinking to do.  I’m going to wait about 2 weeks before I go to get the remainder of the signatures on my application.  I don’t want to waste their time by getting their signatures if I decide I’m not going to go through with it.  They have important administrative things to do and even though it would only take a couple minutes out of their morning to sign my application, I don’t want to do that if I’m going to bow out of the process.  I feel bad because I hyped myself up that I was going to do this and told everyone that I was for sure going to do this and my chain of command is all excited for me that I said I was going to do this…if I end up deciding against it, I am going to feel like I let them all down.  But, maybe they will have signed so many application papers that they’ll forget about me…bah, probably not…I make a habit of being friendly with my chain of command.  Ugh.  But, if I DO decide against it I can just say I put a lot of thought into it and that it just wasn’t the right decision for me to go forward with it at this time, but that I do still fully intend to get my peace officer’s license later down the road.
Okay, now that I’ve gone through the pros and cons of doing my agency’s BPOC, let me go through the pros and cons of doing it on my own through the local community college:
• I can do it at my own pace
• I will be required to get a 2 year degree before I can attend their BPOC so I will end up getting a college degree in the process
• I am a military veteran so I’m eligible for more grants than the average person that will help pay my tuition and other fees
• I can keep up my training with running as I normally would do
• I can participate in all the running events I want/can afford
• no wannabe military atmosphere
• I can schedule breaks and semesters off so that I can take vacations I want to take when I want to take them without jeopardizing my performance in class
• I will not be overwhelmed by the too much at once phenomenon
• I will have to pay for all the classes, books, and other supplies out of pocket
• it will take me a couple years, at least, to complete
• I will have to purchase the uniform that the college requires students to wear to their BPOC classes (if I went to my own agency’s BPOC I would just wear my work uniform)
• no physical fitness program that I am aware of unless I take phys ed classes on my own
• I would have to move because where I currently live is out of district for the local community college
• the community college BPOC program requires a higher score on the licensing exam than my agency does
The con list isn’t NEARLY as long for the doing it on my own option and the pros are better for this option than for the doing it through my agency’s academy.  I will close with saying that right now, I am about 75% against doing my agency’s BPOC program.


  1. Oh man - that's a tough decision! Full time work and a lot of schooling makes for very little LIFE otherwise. I'm thinking you already have your mind made up to go thru the community college because you can still do your running!

  2. I'd be the opposite -- I'd be inclined to have one super-busy kind-of-sucky year and save the money and be done with it, rather than spread it out and pay for it myself. I'm not sure how much study time it would take per week, but 65 hours class plus work isn't really that terrible, especially if there is physical fitness included with some of the classes. But it definitely sounds like you're leaning the other way, and so that's probably the best for you! I think you're right to think about it carefully and take your time over the next couple weeks really thinking it through.


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