25 September 2020, Friday, 10:38
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Ex-Policeman: I Quit, I Don’t Regret It

Ex-Policeman: I Quit, I Don’t Regret It

How a policeman left the law-enforcement bodies, seeking a dream job and an inner balance.

The Instagram account of the 27-year-old snowboard and wakeboard instructor Kanstantsin (the hero asked not to reveal his last name - edit.) displays photos from the mountainsides alternate with images from trips to Europe. Only the recent post where he is wearing the police uniform stands out: Kanstantsin used to be a criminal investigator for two years, and he highlighted the things he disagreed with in the work of the law-enforcement bodies. The Minsk instructor talked about why he chose mountains and extreme sports for himself, and how hist former colleagues reacted to the post-message, writes tut.by.

“I was seeking no hype when I wrote that post”

-I would not want to talk much about the police, - Kanstantsin begins. - I was seeking no hype when I wrote that post. Against the background of the events taking place in the country, I turned to the current officers of the security forces to recall the oath more often, and think about why the police in Belarus are not as prestigious and revered as they were before.

Such a reaction - 27.7 thousand likes and 1.5 thousand new subscribers - turned unexpected for the guy, even though such support pleased him. He read all the comments. He didn’t delete opinions that differed from his position: to doubt and disagree, the former policeman is sure, is normal.

- Did your former colleagues write?

- Only those who are no longer in the force structures. There was no negativity, no threats. But the current employees refrained from commenting, there has been almost complete silence. Apparently, they were afraid that if you like or comment on such a post, there may be problems at work.

Kanstantsin himself is glad that now he is much freer in terms of expressing views and opinions: he quit the police in 2017.

He recalls that he decided to enter the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the 11th grade at school. Once a schoolboy, he had to call the police, and the district police officer helped a lot. So the 17-year-old guy praised the work of the law-enforcement agencies.

- When I chose a career, I wanted to help people, get a decent higher education and get a dynamic job: I do not like to sit still. I didn’t think much about any material issues, although I knew that the salary in the police was decent.

Kanstantsin worked in the police for a little more than two years. Leaving was not spontaneous.

-I don't want to complain. I just decided that it wasn’t mine. The lack of freedom of opinion, time for leisure and self-development, as well as the need to fulfill sometimes not the most reasonable orders, played a decisive role in this.

It was not possible to leave by agreement of the parties: Kanstantsin, like all cadets, had a 5-year contract. The policeman warned the team - and stopped going to work.

Relatives showed understanding with regard to this decision.

- Now I have a debt to the state, which I pay, giving 50% of the current income. I knew that it would be so, and this option suited me more than continuing to work in the law-enforcement agencies. I know many good guys who did the same - and do not regret it. In general, I do not know anyone who would be sorry.

“Income did not bother me as much as the inner balance”

Who to be next? The decision came by chance

- At that time I was called to Bukovel as a tourist. I asked: “Can I work for you?” It turned out that there was a vacancy of the person accompanying groups.

At that time, Kanstantsin went in for snowboarding for more than seven years. He rode mainly within Minsk, gradually acquired his equipment. The new work in the mountains was very inspiring; he spent the first winter as an accompanying person. In spring, he went to the training courses in Moscow, passed the international exam for a snowboard instructor.

- Income did not bother me as much as the inner balance and the ability to fully express myself in my favorite pastime. For example, the police did not find the use of my knowledge of English. I saw many talented guys whose abilities were “buried” by the system.

Someone would consider the work of a snowboard instructor to be extreme - but Kanstantsin calls it safe: first of all, he teaches people. But he had injuries. True, the instructor connects them with his own sports and race for results. In general, work on the hillsides means meeting new people, and having positive emotions. In the police it is different: the flow of crimes, the criminal contingent ... The guy admits: because of this, it often seemed that the world was a complete negative.

- The most pleasant memory after the change of profession is the first working day. I then climbed a lift to one of the highest points in Bukovel, and realized that life would now be like that.

True, in the first spring, the snowboard instructor had to think about working out of season. He tried to accompany the groups of tourists to Europe. Without a certain demand and recommendations, the load was small. He had to earn extra money by driving a taxi. But gradually the tours became regular. For two years, Kanstantsin traveled to 17 countries.

- At the time of graduation from the Academy, I was only in the countries of the CIS and Montenegro. For two years in the police, no trips were possible, the work took almost all the time.

Kantstantsin dispels the myth that many believe in: the job of an accompanying person cannot be called a complete vacation. You don’t get enough sleep, you have to spend a lot of time on the bus. Physical education on trips is not enough - you need to catch up. And there is a high level of responsibility:

- I must make sure the people are satisfied with their vacation. And sometimes I am in charge of their life. During one of the trips, a tourist became ill: he fell, began to suffocate. The foundations of medical knowledge that I received at the Academy came in handy.

This summer, while tourism is paused, Kanstantsin teaches people kitesurfing and wakeboarding. Now such work is especially in demand: many wake parks are opening in Minsk, and Belarusians are actively mastering these skills, because it is much easier to get on a “water” board than on a snowboard.

“I realized that not everyone has a positive attitude towards police officers”

Kanstantsin says that he didn’t tell around that he worked in the police. Therefore, the photo in the uniform surprised some of his acquaintances.

- I tried not to mention this episode of my biography: there were fears that people would have a biased attitude. During my studies and work, I realized that not everyone has a positive attitude towards police officers. Not everyone is ready to understand what motivates people to go to the law-enforcement agencies.

At the same time, the service, the instructor is sure, helped him to harden and develop critical thinking. To learn a discipline with which he did not have the most friendly relationship since childhood. The qualities obtained through the work in the police helped not to be afraid of difficulties in a new place.

- The work in tourism is seasonal, and now the coronavirus has superimposed on it. Isn't it scary to live without stability?

- I am repaying the debt, but I have enough for life: I don’t spend money on travel, as this is part of my work, equipment for snowboarding, kiteboard is provided by the employer. The police do not have such a big salary, as they say. Also, money alone cannot make a person happy. But the opportunity to realize myself in my favorite business, to earn a living with my hobby makes me happy.