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5 Qualities of a Great Police Officer That May Surprise You

Police Officers Job Description-

What kind of person is cut out for a career in police work? You might have an idea of who you imagine the perfect officer to be – strong, fit, authoritative, and able to face the most dangerous situations. But it takes more than physical qualities to be a police officer. Police are meant to be leaders, no matter what duties they perform from day to day, and to be successful at such a harrowing job, you also have to have a certain emotional strength and integrity. You might think police work is rigid and structured, but you’d be surprised how often police men and women must think outside the box, keep their cool, and be able to inspire and motivate others. If you’ve ever considered police work, you’ll want to assess your mental qualifications as well as your physical ones. This is what you need to be able to do.

1. Treat Everyone Equally

police officers job descriptionIt almost goes without saying that a good police officer isn’t prejudiced. But police officers need to be open to everyone in the community, regardless of both ethnic group and social class. Anyone can be a victim of crime, even the homeless or someone addicted to drugs. And anyone can be a criminal, no matter how affluent or seemingly normal they appear. Studies have shown that after their first year on the force, police officers can develop stronger prejudices against certain marginalized groups in society due to their negative experiences. A great police officer will be able to look past these experiences and adhere to the presumption of innocence in every case. Everyone’s a suspect, but nobody is automatically guilty.


2. Control Your Emotions

As a police officer, you never know when you might face a potentially dangerous situation – even when you’re just writing traffic tickets. There are a lot of emotions that can come along with the job, but to be good at your work, you have to keep them all restrained. You will likely witness violent and tragic circumstances, but you can’t allow yourself to be affected. It isn’t that you won’t care for the victims, but your main purpose is to help keep them safe and to pursue justice for them and their families, which can only be done with a clear head. It’s also important that a police officer not have a quick temper. Criminals can attempt to get a rise out of you, but an officer must remain professional. Police officers must set an example, not only for the community but for the other officers they work with.

3. Communicate Effectively

Most people don’t think about how essential communication is for police officers. You can find yourself conducting interviews, taking witness statements, or even trying to reason with or disarm a criminal. Every officer could benefit from showing their humanity – being able to talk to people and relate to different members of the community in a way that makes them feel protected and safe, while also conveying to them the gravity of their situation. Successfully communicating with a criminal can help an officer avoid being attacked or injured. Police officers are also good at reading nonverbal signals, to spot the red flag clues that someone is lying or scared. Great police become experts in the ways people behave and how to illicit a positive response from them.

Many police officers are former Military personnel it often seems like a good fit for Military training and experience. Military training helps teach you self-control and the other skills necessary to be an effective police officer.

If you are currently in the Military and are considering a civilian position you might consider a position in Law enforcement. Above all, a great police officer is a true leader. Their integrity serves as a model for the community, and they are comfortable in a position of authority without abusing that authority. A strong body is important, but a strong character? That’s what is irreplaceable.

Note: If you are in the Military, TurboTax wants to remind you that your tax preparation needs are unique and TurboTax provides special Military Tax Preparation features.

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From Amazon:

 Great Jobs for Criminal Justice Majors (Great Jobs For… Series)


About the Author:

Gary Leonard writes for several education sites and suggests getting information about an associate’s degree in criminal justice online program. Job Hunting Success: How to Make Yourself More Employable