Life After Patrol: 4 Ways to Earn Money and Still Make a Difference

Job After Retirement

Life after police work

(Article updated 5/12/2018)

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

One day I woke up and I only had 5 years left until I could retire. I already knew that I wasn’t going to spend one more day in this job once I was eligible.

It’s not that I hated the job but some serious changes were beginning to take place in policing back in 2013-14.

What was I going to do?

What job could I get to offset my retirement and also pay for the ridiculous health care coverage that will ramp up once I turn in my badge?

Look, I know that every cop who nears retirement has a different financial situation.

Also, not to be a Debbie Downer, most of us have seen minimal raises since the housing collapse back in 2008 which has greatly impacted our calculated retirement pay.

You can sit there and bitch about the problem all day long but I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Nobody cares.

Meaning the “care fairy” is not going to swoop down and show pity on you for the great financial injustices you have endured.


It’s what I see all the time.

A cop in my agency that could have left years ago hasn’t left because he or she has failed to prepare for their financial future after police work.

They also think that the “job fairy” will wave their magic wand upon their head and poof, I nice salaried job will appear at their doorstep without much effort on their part.

It just doesn’t work that way.

Life is going to ask you one simple question.

What value can you bring to make me money? Or, what value can you bring to make yourself money?

One of the most important things that you should remember when preparing for your second career or side hustle is this.

Leverage your strengths.

Forget about your weaknesses and how to improve them (and yes, I stole that from Gary Vaynerchuk).

As a cop you have developed certain skill sets and strengths that you could capitalize on when leaving police work.

Here are 4 that could make you money while still bringing value to the world…

This post contains affiliate links.

1. Blogging

Yes, blogging.

Without even realizing it, you have spent the better part of the last 2 or 3 decades writing.

A lot of writing.

More writing than some novelists will accomplish in their lifetime.

And guess what? You are better at it than the average guy on the street.

A lot better.

How do I know this? Because over the past several months I have read hundreds of your comments on social media and also The Salty Sarge website.

Many of you are so good that you should be getting paid to write.

Just like me.

Okay I’m not getting rich by any stretch of the imagination but many who know me personally are surprised when they find out.

Like space, the internet has a vast and almost infinite reach.

If you are able to provide quality and interesting content, and it doesn’t need to be police related, then the potential is almost limitless what you can earn.

It truly is one of the best side hustles there is and has the capacity to earn you a sustainable income.

If you are serious about starting a blog, HOSTGATOR, in my opinion, is the easiest and best hosting option for new bloggers. (I’m not kidding, you could be writing your first blog article in less than 20 minutes it’s that easy)

2. Consulting

When it comes to physical security or any field that requires this specific skill set, cops are hands down the experts.

You have essentially lived and breathed security for well over 20 years.

Many of you have even attended schools and training making you even more viable to this ever burgeoning industry.

I know, we all make fun of the guys and girls who work in crime prevention at our PD.

But in all seriousness, some of the certifications and training they get are hands down the best you can get in law enforcement.

 “Great Cop’s and the 4 Traits All of Them Possess”

With the sad state of the world and the increasing threat of terrorism, many large events now lean on former cops who have experience dealing with large crowds and how to manage them.

You could either work for a consulting company in this niche or start your own consulting company.

It all depends on you.

3. Sales 

This one is a no brainer.

You may be thinking that you haven’t a clue on what it takes to be a salesman.

Oh how wrong you are my friend.

You have been selling your entire career without even realizing it.

My Dad was a salesman his whole life. I always said growing up that I wanted to do something different than my old man.

Little did  I know that police work is all about selling your authority and your confidence to those who you engage with.

Still not fully convinced that you could be a great salesman?

Let me break this down for you.

If you can convince someone to admit to breaking into house, stealing a car or killing another human being, I’m pretty sure you could sell them that 2012 Chevy Cobalt sitting on the lot.

4. School Teacher

Before you roll your eyes and think that the Sarge has lost his mind, hear me out.

Being a teacher is what you have been all along, minus having your summers and every holiday off. Just like your service in law enforcement, teaching is another noble profession that many look up to.

Some of you may not wish to teach full time. That’s okay.

Another option would be as a substitute teacher. The pay isn’t the greatest but it does, in most cases, allow you the freedom to work when you want.

Also, if you have a bachelor’s degree your pay bumps up in most locales. Just working a few days a week can offset some of the gap in your retirement pay.

I mean, do you really think your back will hold up enough for you to play golf everyday?

You can find other ORIGINAL articles like this one and more at The Salty Sarge Facebook Page.


  1. The decades of writing as a cop allowed me to land the perfect retirement gig of working as a newspaper (not the town I worked for) reporter covering city government – you don’t think we’ve had experience that operation?
    Here I was, now able to cover city hall events and ask those figures who, for decades, forced issues down our throats with unlikely spins. The investigative aptitude paid off also. As cop[s we know, how to interview, sources of information. managing tips or leads, and the ability to snoop things out.
    I also covered some crime stories and was one of those rare beings – an advocate for the cops while working in the news media.
    The pay was marginal, but was a nice supplement to the monthly retirement check.

  2. Holy shit!!….what a site! As I’ve pulled myself to retirement, we’ll not ACTUAL retirement, but rather pension-secure-time-to-LEAVE datell, I’ve struggled mentally and physiologically. I ran into this site by mistake and what a lifesaver it’s been; and we’ve just acquaintedon’t ourselves in the last hour ?. I’m nearing 6months to go yet only @50working shifts after I utilize time off. Thanks for these articles and how do I contact The Salty Sarge???

  3. Excellent thoughts … I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in my own career and have been doing some research. It would be an interesting article to take this one step further, that retiring from an identity driven profession like law enforcement takes conscious planning and “re-inventing” yourself. Even if you’re not going to work, you don’t want to end up watching TV until 0300, sleeping till noon, and repeat.

  4. I retired in ‘97 and went to work for the federal gov’t for another 10 years, just enough to get a small pension & health care. I saw/did it all in my 30 years, but the tons of writing prepared me for life as a fed.

  5. Very apropos Sgt. I was actually brainstorming “the next chapter”. Thank you, as always, for your candor and willingness to share sundry and/or sanctifying snipits!

  6. I retired in 2014 after 32 years and felt lost for about 2 years. It’s not easy, but I finally got over the hump and enjoy my time now. Not working, just enjoying my grandkids, family and lots of hobbies and outside interests I never had time for. The key is to prepare yourself financially, worrying about $$ will put you in the grave way too early!

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