Well, I did not elect to choose a retirement phase-down option in December, for first the first half of 2016, so the next chance will be in June 2016, for the second half of 2016. This would mean making a very important life decision in the next four months. The difference, in this upcoming time period, is that a significant pay raise in April 2004, plus an upcoming difference in the way the pension were to be calculated in May 2004, prompted many of my colleagues to set, or re-set their entry into a Deferred Retirement Option Plan, a.k.a. D.R.O.P., in April 2004. This means a huge number of my colleagues will achieve a psychologically significant figure in their D.R.O.P. accounts in early 2017. In my case, I reached twenty years of service in late March 2004, so early April was my logical time to enroll in D.R.O.P., anyway.
Secondly, The NFL's Super Bowl will be held in this area in 2017, and many of my colleagues are postponing their retirements until after the Super Bowl. "American" NFL Football is akin to a national religion in the USA, and even though I am totally agnostic toward NFL, it affects us all, to a degree. Many of my colleagues have indicated that they wish to be a part of what they see as a significant historic event, as a finale to their careers. (A smaller, but significant number, wish to retire just before the Super Bowl, as many duty assignments will be for long hours of mind-numbing boredom.)
Combined, these two factors mean a significant exodus in early 2017. If I want to choose my preferred Phase-Down option, receiving my two-plus years' unused leave at half-pay, over four-plus years, I will probably have to beat the crowd, either by retiring in 2016, or waiting beyond 2017, as only a specified number of retirees are allowed to select this most-desired half-pay option, during each six-month cycle. Colleagues with more seniority than me, re-set their D.R.O.P. entry to April 2004, in significant numbers, so the likelihood my being able to choose half-pay Phase-Down is low to non-existent.
How is this related to photography? Well, I shoot crime scene images, being the "camera unit" on night shift, for a patrol division that serves a population of about 170K residents. Retirement means I will not only cease to be a police officer, but will cease photography for official purposes*. (I do not claim the title of "professional" photographer.) On the other hand, retirement means much more free time to travel, and photograph things that are difficult to schedule in advance, such as wildlife or the night sky in favorable weather.
Additionally, I am postponing some significant lens purchases until retirement. A nice bird/wildlife super-telephoto is almost a sure purchase, after a period of renting one or more to be sure I select the best for my needs. A really low-coma ultra-wide lens, for night skies, is also a consideration, if I find my current lenses sufficiently lacking. The increased free time, after retirement, should be a good time for my photography. It is not just the lenses, either, I will be more free to attend training, especially in post-processing, which is where I am at a low skill level. (My forensic/crime scene images must be OOC JPEGs.)
*Actually, an "honorably-retired" peace officer, especially one who continues to attend the mandated biannual training necessary to maintain one's peace officer license, could still act in an official capacity, if requested to do so, under some limited circumstances. (One is only a "peace officer," with the powers of that office, if actively employed by an accredited law enforcement entity; merely maintaining the peace officer license confers no official powers or responsibility.)
Canon 5Ds R/7D2/7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6/D3s/D700/FM3A/Coolpix A. Lens selection undergoing changes; some favorites: Zeiss 2/135 APO Sonnar, Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS and 135L, Nikkor 14-24/2.8G and 200/2 VR.