A friend of mine is getting ready to retire from the police department. He’s been a police officer for almost thirty years and wonders what retirement will be like. Many thoughts are going through his mind. Should I get another job? What will life be like at home? Should we move to a smaller city? He’s afraid he’ll miss the friendships, the policing challenges, and the occasional adrenalin hit from a hot call. Police work gets in your blood and it can be hard to leave when the time comes.
It’s true there’s a lot to sort out as you approach retirement from policing. But here’s the good part: you get to keep the friendships without the police bureaucracy. Your police friends will retire some day too and it’s easy to stay in touch these days. Lots of police organizations have retirement groups that help you stay connected. Join, even if the last thing you want is to stay connected to your police department and you don’t think you’ll go to the lunches or meetings very much. The benefit of joining is a newsletter or contact list from the retirement group that will keep you up to date and connected as much as you want to be.
A lot of us have found, once we retired, that policing was a big chunk of our life, but it wasn’t our whole life. Yes, we identified as being a police officer but as time went by we found other ways to define our lives. Retirement brings many new possibilities and ways of seeing the world. Think of it as a new stage in life, a new start. As a police officer you faced fear. This is a new kind of fear but once you make the leap to retirement you might just find it’s the best time of your life.
Retired police officer (that’s me with my dog on a retired police morning)
Author of Second Careers for Street Cops