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Young Thoughts Vs. The Real Thing

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For this particular assignment, I observed my Criminal Justice and Substance Abuse Education professor, Officer Mark Bushey. Bushey has been placed in several different locations in the police force. He's been part of the S.W.A.T. Team, Crime Scene Investigations, Homicide Investigations, Suicide Special Training, Tactical Ops, and many more, including the job as a regular police officer. Bushey came up with the idea to have a school resource officer in the middle schools and high schools all over Berkshire County. I observed him because I am majoring in criminal justice to become a police officer, so I figured it would be a good heads up as for what to expect in the long run. Bushey knows a lot about the police force, even more than many of the officers on duty today in Pittsfield. I also did this observation to show people that being a police officer is a lot of work and is a very dangerous career to engage in. I asked Bushey a question that, to me, seemed like it would sum up a lot of the questions asked about being a police officer.

"Officer Bushey, put yourself in my shoes. With the knowledge you have so far into your career as being a police officer, what should I be expecting as I enter the police force?"

"Well, to be honest, there's a lot to expect. There's discipline, commitment, respect, and most of all, responsibility. On top of all that, there's loads of paperwork and you have to show up in court for certain cases in which you were part of."

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A lot of people, mostly younger kids, think being a police officer is all about high-speed chases and being able to wear a uniform with a shiny badge. As Bushey said, there's a lot more to being a police officer than the police cars and uniforms. It's not always about the fun things, although there may be some times in which humor comes into play. It's really about safety; not only for you, but more importantly for others.

"What is your schedule on a regular day?" I decided to ask this question to get an idea of what type of schedule a usual police officer follows.

"Well, I work the night shift, 11pm-7am, so I usually sleep during the afternoon. It's sort of a reverse schedule of what most people are used to, but I like it. When I get home, I change out of my uniform and drive to BCC for classes that I teach. After classes, I go home, have a quick lunch, and then sleep usually until 9 or 10pm. I get up, shower, get changed, and then go to work again for 11pm. It's not an easy day; you loose a lot of energy fast and you are constantly moving." The shifts are like most full time jobs, unless you get called in, then you work overtime. Mark said he likes the night shift better because there's a lot of activity on the streets that most people don't know about. He also said that there's a lot of more dangerous activity going on at night than there is during the day, such as theft, DUI's, domestic disturbances, etc.

Bushey stated that among most police officers in the police force of Pittsfield, nine out of ten dread court cases.

"By dread, I don't mean we get nervous or scared to show up; I mean that most of us don't like to go to court because a lot of the times, if it's a speeding ticket or a minor offense, the charge will be dropped and the case will be dismissed immediately. It causes

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us a trip that wasn't needed in the first place, but we still have to show up no matter what. It's not that big of a deal, but after a while, it gets repetitive."

"Is there a lot of paperwork involved in policing?"

"Paperwork is 99% of policing. Without paperwork,



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