Working in any type of job that puts you in situations where you're constantly having to de-escalate scenarios is emotionally draining, which is a big chunk of the kind of what law enforcement requires.
Having to maintain equanimity when individuals are at their most angry, depressed, violent, despondent, drunk, etc. is extremely difficult, especially when you hear horror stories of officers being gunned down by suspects during routine traffic stops.
However, de-escalation training has proven to be an effective tool in not only minimizing violence but further charges for the individual in question. If police officers are able to calm a scenario down, that's a powerful skill to have. As of 2021, 21 US states still don't require police departments to implement de-escalation training as part of their curriculum.
And according to Justin-Brown Woods, a former police officer+current teacher, he said that his police training program demonstrated an almost schizophrenic view on handling pressurized situations. In a now-viral Twitter thread, he delineates his reasons for becoming a police officer, and why he ultimately decided to get out of that game after only 10 days.
For Justin, pursuing a career in law enforcement was a way for him to connect with juveniles and help direct them on paths/practices that were more conducive to their long-term goals/dreams.
After applying he decided to do as much studying as possible, checking out episodes of Live PD (before it was taken off air) and studied as many materials pertaining to officer protocol and local laws as possible.
Justin was hopeful that his new career path would ultimately make a difference in the lives of his community.
However, he felt that the tactics taught by his superiors were deceptive, dishonest, and designed to entrap individuals into being criminals, as opposed to helping them out.
He highlighted the milk crate example as a "probable cause gateway" into searching potential suspects for...well...just because.
He goes on to talk about the experiences he has with superiors in Academy. The screaming, and physical contact he endured during a scenario re-enactment left him with one big lesson: that he never wanted to act or sound like the "local cop" he referred to in the tweet.
Just went on to rattle off all of the acts of kindness he performed while in Academy, and that he made quite the impression on fellow recruits and individuals from external programs. For Justin, he didn't think he did much: he just tried to be compassionate.
He ends up getting hired by a dual-service department, with shift rotations between being a firefighter and police officer. And at first, everything seems great, until he starts getting taught defensive tactics.
He also couldn't believe the violent rhetoric that was being relayed to new recruits and pointed out that one of the more aggressive personalities on the force ended up being sued in a court of law for stealing money and drugs.
Justin also couldn't reconcile his personality with the "boys club" attitude he encountered from many of the police officers, like the one officer who told him he didn't trust him as he wouldn't "listen to veterans."
He also highlighted instances where cops would abuse their power for personal sordid entertainment.
On the fifth day of his new job, he had to get tasered, which he describes as "not fun" as well as listen to discriminatory comments about Latino drive whose car had an expired registration.
It was at this point that Justin was really struggling with the idea of being a cop full-time. He called up his family members and discussed the prospect of quitting. He thought he'd be able to "act" his way through it but couldn't.
He went home and prepped his notice and vowed that if the following day was just as bad as the rest, he would submit it and quit the department.
He responded to a tow truck situation involving a former relationship between one of the officers and a woman who was having her car towed.
Justin said the officer displayed "zero class" throughout the debacle.
Justin decided enough was enough, he turned in his gun and badge and said that he didn't want to be a police officer anymore and received a classy response from one commander and a not-so-classy response from another.
After quitting the force, Justin immediately started substitute teaching as a stop-gap solution, but ended up discovering that being a teacher is everything he's wanted to do. He said that he feels as if he's making an actual change in his profession.
His Twitter thread received tens of thousands of interactions and people were shocked to see some of the behavior exhibited by the officers Justin spoke of.