It’s normal to get a kind of “sticker shock” when you’re confronted by the initial amount of money that you’ll be making as a new LEO, but you should know that it is possible to live a comfortable lifestyle while doing the work that you love! More
Working as a law enforcement officer is one of the most challenging jobs available today. Between the long, rotating shifts, and the risk of physical danger around every corner, it takes a certain person to be willing to put their life on the line for their fellow man. This is particularly true when you consider that law enforcement is generally one of the lowest paying professions out there.
In a way, the low salaries of entry level police officers can actually be a good thing. The lack of money discourages people from choosing this line of work for the wrong reasons. A person who is motivated primarily by money is probably not the person you want watching your back on the graveyard shift. Also, the initial salary is often offset by longer-term benefits, such as a defined-benefit pension plan and long-term job stability. For these reasons, law enforcement tends to attract career-minded individuals, rather than people seeking just another job to make ends meet.
It’s normal to get a kind of “sticker shock” when you’re confronted by the initial amount of money that you’ll be making as a new LEO, but you should know that it is possible to live a comfortable lifestyle while doing the work that you love. In fact, I’d say that money management is one of the most important skills for a young police officer to learn. Having a solid financial footing will certainly increase the enjoyment you get from your job, and will help you avoid some of the most common pitfalls that sabotage a law enforcement career.
With that in mind, I put together a short guide to help you get started on your financial management plan. It’s far from comprehensive, and I certainly don’t claim to be a financial guru, but it does contain a few pieces of helpful advice geared specifically towards new LEOs. This is the kind of stuff I wish I’d understood when I started my career so many years ago, and hopefully you’ll use it to get off on the right foot!
As a new cop on the beat, you’re going to work a lot of long, hard shifts. It doesn’t make sense to let the salary that you’ve sweated for slip right out of your fingers, so take the steps necessary to protect what you’ve earned!
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