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Characteristics that a Police Officer must have

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Characteristics that a Police Officer must have

Post by Mustard_xP07 on Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:51 am

Characteristics that a Police Officer must have

1) Initiative

Officers must have the zeal to fight crime. Although much police work does not specifically address illegal acts, crime can cause major problems in communities and create social unrest. Law enforcement personnel need to remain aware of chances to discover such issues and act accordingly.

2) Sense of Ethics

Law enforcement personnel must strive to behave ethically—to do the right thing. They must commit to proper principles and values as guides to their actions and adhere to the Constitution and pertinent statutory laws. The pursuit of ethical behavior never ends. Police administrators, managers, supervisors, and, most important, patrol officers should consider the promotion of ethical behavior a top concern.

3) Respect and Knowledge of Laws

Police applicants must know and adhere to federal and state laws. The Constitution serves as the founding legal document and provides the basic parameters of much of the activity of law enforcement personnel. It is not negotiable. Officers should appreciate this fact and conduct themselves accordingly. Although they may find it challenging, as custodians of the Constitution police officers must respect its boundaries.

4) Communication Skills

Recruiters must focus on applicants’ verbal and nonverbal communication abilities. Although writing skills are valuable and warrant examination, officers’ ability to effectively relate face-to-face with community members holds the most importance. In the current environment of policing, with heavy emphasis on tactical maneuvers, officers seldom favor training to sharpen their communication skills. However, officers spend much more time talking to complainants, witnesses, suspects, and the public at large than they do engaging in tactical encounters, although all police contacts involve some degree of proper tactics. Clearly, the relationship between the two must be understood.

5) Common Sense

Common sense is “the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions” and “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation.” Synonyms, like horse sense and levelheadedness, coupled with related words, such as street smarts and practicality, sum it up. Officers need to make common sense part of all their decisions and avoid the extremes on either end of the continuum. Having and applying common sense can both solve and prevent problems.

7) Service Mentality

People choose their careers for a variety of reasons. When they select policing, it is critical for long-term success that they want to help people. The internal desire to make the community better by protecting and serving should drive police applicants. Individuals who do not like interacting with and helping people should not explore policing as an employment option. One author stated that “[o]fficers who think of police work as a calling tend to meet and overcome ethical challenges much better than those who view it simply as a job.”

8 ) Humility

This is not meekness or weakness, but modesty and respect for others, as well as a lack of arrogance and bravado about oneself. In short, humble people do not brag or show off. They have confidence in their skills and do not feel the need to boast about themselves. Police officers exercise a prominent role in society and wield immense authority and power. The proper degree of humility can help engender respect and trust from the public.

9) Controlled Temper

In the early 1800s the father of modern policing, Sir Robert Peel, identified this character trait as necessary for police officers. Although difficult to achieve, officers should strive for perfection in this regard. This involves self-control or self-discipline and requires an abundance of competence, confidence, and emotional maturity—desirable traits in their own right. Peel recognized that officers who cannot control their tempers would not be well-suited to properly handle people in the wide variety of circumstances law enforcement personnel confront. When police officers encounter citizens who lose their temper, resolving the contact becomes more difficult. If officers respond by losing their own temper, the circumstances become incendiary and often lead to a less-than-desirable result for both parties.

10) Thirst for New Knowledge

The desire for new knowledge is critical for true long-term success. Like other disciplines, policing continues to evolve and requires practitioners to stay abreast of the expanding knowledge base. Not only do laws change regularly but police practices and tactics evolve too. Most departments provide some level of in-service training to their officers. Although this is appropriate, officers also must seek out new knowledge personally and simply not expect their departments to provide all their training and education. Applicants who have a history of seeking new knowledge in previous occupations likely will grow with the police agency.

Most of all he respects and follows the orders of an Officer who has a higher rank than him. He salutes every time and treats a high ranking officer equally on how he treat his self.


These attributes are not presented in any rank order. All are important for success, and they function in a symbiotic relationship and help produce an all-around top-notch police officer. Such personnel stand out in their departments in large part because they have an abundance of these traits and exercise them routinely. Of course, these attributes are not the only ones of concern when agencies hire an officer. However, they certainly are worthy of attention and likely will enhance the overall quality of the new workforce.
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Re: Characteristics that a Police Officer must have

Post by Luke Lukan on Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:46 am

Nice One "Mustard"

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