Life after policing is different for each of us. It might look the same to those still in an active police career, but when we finally leave policing, it’s not as simple as it looks to have a meaningful retirement. A retired detective I know told me: “John, you can only play golf so long.”Some golfers might disagree with that but he had been retired a few years and was looking for a way to give back to his community.
Volunteering is one option. I’ve met retired police officers who volunteered their time at everything from coaching sports teams to helping out at animal shelters. One took some specialized training in hospice care and spends his time with those in that final stage of life.
Want some ideas about where to volunteer? Check out Encore.org at https://encore.org/ It’s an organization dedicated to making the world a better place by using the skills of those in their encore, or second, careers. You’ll find lots of stories about people who made valuable contributions to their communities by using the skills they learned during their work life.
Volunteering can also lead to learning new skills and even into new paid work. You might find your second career by venturing into a field different from police work but still making use of your police skills. Paid or not, you’re likely to find meaning and satisfaction from spending some time volunteering. As a retired cop, you have a lot to offer your community.
Retired Police Officer
Author of Second Careers for Street Cops
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