Okay, I went north....with a split decision.
I travelled to the south....and still lost.
We'll see how this works. Gotta love my lil' Windage. She's the apple of my eye, a little hellion on two feet, and a shameless flirt. She really digs guys in uniform. Glad she is taken by the right kind (Sorry, AD, she has yet to meet any uniformed Medics).
Swede and I have been teaching her about public safety officials whenever we're out and about. She loves to see fire trucks and police cars (especially with the 'woo-woo's' on!). Windage is always on the lookout for them, and shouts out every time she sees one. She's been photographed on a pumper in the grocery store parking lot, and has received more badges than I have from HPD.
My girl is a human barometer. She knows when someone is good (cops, firefighters, military), and when it is a real 'stranger-danger.' When Swede and I make our family trip to the green grocer every weekend, Windage always wants to stop and say "Hi" to the police officer working security by the entrance. From the state trooper to the two seargants from HPD, they all know her and enjoy getting their weekly hug and kiss from her when she runs up and says, "Hi, Oficifer!"
This leads me into my latest opportunity out west. One of the extra duty officers is a patrol supervisor for a county SO west of town. About the same distance to their station from my house, door-to-door, as the North PD and the South PD. Windage wanted to say hi on an unscheduled stop with me and I got to talking to the deputy. Since "Lawdog" is already in use as a nom de plume, I'll refer to him as "Walker, Texas Peace Officer" or "Walker" for short.
Walker and I are shooting the breeze, and we come up on the subject of hiring, rejection, and my time in the academy. Yeah, I probably steered the conversation in that direction, so sue me. He immediately mentioned that his SO is hiring and needs somebody ASAP. Preferably with TCLEOSE in hand, but I was encouraged to fill out an app and let him know when I did. He was kind enough to offer to put in a good word for me with the recruiter.
Well, it just so happened to work out that I had two days off from the academy this week. Firearms qualifications were going on and I aced mine on Tuesday after Monday's practical course. Wednesday and Thursday were set aside for requalifying by those who worry me when armed.
Being impatient, I drove down to Walker's neck of the woods and walked in the door. Met the FTO (Field Training Officer) in charge and we chatted for some time. He even took me through some parts of the department that weren't in complete disarray. This is a quiet county as evidenced by the ladies in the communications department playing solitaire and facebooking instead of taking calls for service (they are the dispatch, public service, and 911 operators for the county...both of 'em).
I walked away from that encounter with a good feeling about the people in the department. Very open and friendly as exhibited by the FTO Seargant. Didn't see Walker there, nor did I get to meet the recruiting seargant, either. Did that the next day.
Filled out the app in record time, along with making copies of all pertinent documents, certificates and licenses. Don't know, but I probably scored points by having college and high school diplomas and transcripts in hand. The recruiter seemed nice, we chatted about this and that for a while and he answered all my questions about the department. Unfortunately, they are looking to hire someone 'right this second' and I can't get hired because I'm still in the academy. BUT! It is possible that there will be an open position by the time I graduate as one of the deputies wants to go to Iraq and teach them how to police themselves for beaucoup bucks.
I have that good feeling I got from the North PD. I'm not gonna hold my breath any, though. I'm praying daily just the same, and hoping this turns into something positive.
I've worked hard these last 18 months to join the ranks and stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of people like AD, Lawdog and MattG. The countdown is on, and there are only 9 more Fridays until I graduate and take the state exam. I'm looking forward to the opportunity.
*Note: I know AD is a medic, but he's the kind of guy that enhances the image of public saftey officials...police, fire, and EMS. I'd be glad to back him up on a call any day.