I am not in Law Enforcement (yet), but I am looking into the requirements for joining either the Houston Police Department or the Texas Department of Public Safety (State trooper);
I do have a couple of questions for working LEOs who are 'out' on the job; 1) do you have any concern about whether or not your brothers & sisters in blue have "got your back" slightly less because of your 'out' atheism and 2) how does it impact the way you relate to members of the public, witnesses and suspects? I've seen police on shows like the First 48 make overt appeals to the religiosity of suspects and was wondering what you think of such tactics? I know that police are allowed to lie during interviews with suspects, but would you fake personal religiosity to try to get a suspect to open up to you, or ask a partner to help who actually is religious?
I am "out" to friends and family, but on the job I tend to keep mum, unless I find out that a co-worker is non-religious; I used to work for AIG, Inc. and one of the MDs on staff was an "out" atheist and we enjoyed chatting with each other during our down time. I let him borrow some of my books on tape by Richard Dawkins, et. al. But when religious co-workers would go off on religious tangents, we'd usually just smile and nod and say nothing, or turn away and roll our eyes.
Also, I just turned 39, and I realize most new police officers start much younger in life, but do you think 39 is too old? My friend with HPD says he doesn't think so, but he's a friend so may be biased. What do some of you think? I've got some work to do meeting the physical standards but I'm making good progress on those goals. I've also got 2 Master's Degrees (MA - German; Master of Library Science) and will probably be regarded as an "egghead" by other cadets.
After High School as an undergrad I wanted to be a Navy officer and even won a 3-year NROTC scholarship to Texas A&M but later lost it because my eyesight was so bad (I've since had Lasik and see 20x20 now). I don't know why I didn't look at other ways to serve, like going to law school and becoming a JAG, or checking out local Law Enforcement then trying to get on with something like NCIS or FBI. After my Navy ambitions dried up I guess I felt kind of lost for a number of years. Thought Librarianship was my thing, but after 2 Library jobs that career path seems to have fizzled and I'm just trying to think outside the box and hit upon Law Enforcement...
Anyway, thank you for all that you do, and for taking the time to respond if you choose to do so.