A good policeman is a realist who learns by experience and not by reading books. “Just like police officers, one corrections officer is not going to be like another. 01.20.2020. “No other single person in society can decide who to arrest and who to take to jail.” But police officers make these choices every day, Sun points out. He explains that when citizens feel like police officers truly care, they’re more likely to cooperate, they typically offer more information and they often work to help law enforcement get to the bottom of an issue. Mike works full-time as a police officer for a large suburban Chicago agency and part-time as a social worker with Fox Bend Counseling. A vital part of the police report is getting a detailed description of the suspects. The first thing that makes an officer a good officer is the fact that the officer should have integrity. © 2021 Rasmussen College, LLC. “I made myself see the body,” McKenna says. Firearm safety is vital, as 65 percent of police officers carry a Glock handgun on their hip. To determine whether a common profile of a police officer may be developed by analyzing two personality characteristics: empathy and neuroticism. “One of the things people don’t realize about police work is that you have to be a jack-of-all-trades,” McKenna explains. Some officers have specialized units like horseback, motorcycle, canine corps, and special weapons and tactics (SWAT).2. The department utilizes policy and procedures and constant training methods to emphasize these qualities and provide guidelines for the officers. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. The potential for law enforcement to be a deeply rewarding career is great and, for many officers, it is. Upon retiring, Lt. Marcou began writing. In most countries, "police officer" is a generic term not specifying a particular rank. Sun says that simply being friendly to people and showing your good intentions can go a long way toward helping your community trust you. She loves to write, teach and talk about the power of effective communication. Communication Skills. Fill out the form to receive information about: There are some errors in the form. While such qualities are definitely in the job description, there are several less-prominent traits that the best police officers share. In particular, the military police seeks officers who are "talented leaders of character." The opportunity to do good and positively influence the quality of life is gratifying and addictive. Police chiefs must display several important characteristics and qualities, as this job requires integrity, fairness and the ability to be stern. A Career as a Police Officer. EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2015. Police officers work in a mentally, physically, and emotionally-demanding field. There might be a million concerns running through an officer’s mind, but they’re best served to be like a duck in water—visibly calm and collected while working hard out of sight to keep afloat. 2. There is no obligation to enroll. Check out this guide as we break down what it takes to land an exciting career as a police officer today. Police officers work in a mentally, physically, and emotionally-demanding field. Talk with an admissions advisor today. He believes this is a key factor in the public trusting and having confidence in their law enforcement officers. The best police officers also bring an array of traits and soft skills to the table. She earned her MFA in poetry and teaches as an adjunct English instructor. If you reflect on TV or movie portrayals of police officers, you might have a picture in your head of what a “bad cop” looks like. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that police officers monitor regular patrols and respond to emergency and nonemergency calls. Communication skills. 02.10.2020, Brianna Flavin | And employers know these baseline skills are extremely important. Ineffective negotiation behaviors include things like being confrontational, making promises you can’t keep, telling a subject to calm down, being demanding, rushing the process and being judgmental. The ability to communicate effectively is an absolute must for a police officer, especially... 2. Officers must have the zeal to fight crime. Peel’s theory of professionalism indicates that a police officer must be hired and trained to do the job, and he must also adhere to strict procedures established along military lines (Champion, 2001). With the proper training, you can leverage these talents to help make a meaningful impact in your community. “You go into so many scenarios expecting one thing, when something completely different happens. Job Descriptions •. But you’ll want to be sure you’ve got what it takes to succeed before diving into such an important career. “This also goes to maintaining a professional and respectable demeanor with the public that fosters good relations.”. You will be the symbol of both calm and sympathy.”. References City of Bainbridge Island (2012). © 2021 Rasmussen College, LLC. McKenna references an old saying they often repeated in his time on the force: “The one who did it is never the one you expect.”. People will have more respect for cops who are honest. For example, if an officer jumped into a body of water to save the life of a drowning citizen and lost one of her boots in the process, then the fact that the officer saved the life of that citizen should overshadow the missing footwear. That’s why he took it upon himself to take various classes throughout his law enforcement career, committing to learn the different skill sets and laws he’d need. Please select another program of interest. Integrity. 03.02.2020, Callie Malvik | While the psychological paradigm supposes that certain pre-occupational characteristics lead to the decision of becoming a police officer (Bonifacio, 1991), the … “This is a tough balance,” McKenna notes. “Their world will be upside down, and you will need to be a compassionate, strong authority figure. “It disturbs you, and it can really get to you over time. 12 Key Skills You Need to Be a Police Officer 1. “They know they could get in trouble.” But if officers act with courtesy and work at keeping people calm, they are likelier to get cooperative and honest results. But it’s also a vital trait when pursuing an investigation. Understands the impact and benefits of policing for different communities, and identifies the best way to deliver services to them. Even if you weren’t the student who scored the best grades in every class, you may be the type who’s always had plenty of common sense. Check out our article, “How to Become a Police Officer: Your Step-by-Step Guide,” to see what it takes to reach your first patrol. Take a quick read through a few qualities you’ll find in a good police officer, and start investing in your career today. Much of an officer’s work requires the ability to relate to those going through incredible hardships, showing compassion while still remaining professional. Redlinger references his years as a homicide detective, recalling how the compassion he felt for the victims’ loved ones helped motivate him to solve the crime. “Keeping calm will calm suspects down, buy you time until backup arrives, and will help keep you and everyone else safe,” Sun says. Several of these fields are completed by the police officer using the victim or alleged … But he emphasizes that while engaging in the community and actively investigating can open you to more risk, it also results in increased trust from citizens as you gain more results against crime. If you’ve long dreamt of helping others by serving your community and keeping dangerous criminals off of the street, it’s no wonder you’ve considered becoming a police officer. She researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen College to help empower students to achieve their career dreams through higher education. As a police officer, you will be expected to carry a firearm and use it or any other force necessary to restore order and safety. Lt. Dan Marcou is an internationally-recognized police trainer who was a highly-decorated police officer with 33 years of full-time law enforcement experience. It’s also true that your ability to communicate clearly can help you earn the trust of the community in which you serve as a law enforcement officer. The program you have selected is not available in your area. It's one of the most important duties that we perform as proactive recruiters with the RCMP. Read More. Learn more about the process in our article, "How to Become a Police Officer: Your Step-by-Step Guide.". And as Pinsker points out, sometimes just having a strong command presence can get more done. “There is a very subtle difference you can observe between someone reaching for a gun and someone reaching for a wallet. We are sensitive and inclusive, treating everyone with dignity and compassion. By selecting "Submit", I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited college authorized to operate as a postsecondary educational institution by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college. “Officers who take the time to really hear what people are saying and who ask questions with real curiosity are going to get better results,” McKenna says. Being a Combat Veteran, the first thing that comes to mind for me would be communication. Sometimes, the location of the incident occurs in several different areas. “Police officers have an important role in the community—to keep the community safe,” says criminal defense lawyer, Tony Sun. The demands that are placed on officers by the Rasmussen College is not enrolling students in your state at this time. Take a look at what they had to say—you may even be surprised to learn you already possess some of the most important qualities of a police officer. Presence: For Army officers, presence means military and professional bearing, fitness, confidence and resilience. It is good to have great qualities to be a law enforcement, we know not everyone is perfect but you don't want a police officer who is dis honest and is a law breaker themselves. In particular, the military police seeks officers who are "talented leaders of character." 5 Surprising Qualities of a Good Police Officer. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. A police officer and all other persons in the law enforcement occupation must be particularly people of... 2. Police officers need to have a real desire to get to the bottom of things, and the critical thinking skills to sift out the truth. Corrupt cops are a sad reality of the law enforcement agencies in the United States, with thousands of officers dismissed or forced to leave the NYPD over the past few years. Police Officer Qualities and Skillsets. Being a police officer is one of the best jobs in the world! Perhaps you have an ability to talk your way through a problem while convincing others to act appropriately. Patients: Dedication: Physical Fit: Being healthy, being able to chase down bad guys on foot if you cant use your car in certain ares. Keeping an eye out for security breaches is a major part of prison officer skills and qualities. Strong moral character. Empathy. Presence: For Army officers, presence means military and professional bearing, fitness, confidence and resilience. PROFESSIONALISM We take pride in our department. This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Qualities of a Police Officer. There is no obligation to enroll. Always stand by your fellow officers in the face of danger or extreme difficulty. The best police officers, McKenna offers, are the ones who go above and beyond—the ones who hustle without necessarily getting rewarded. If you’ve set your sights on becoming a police officer, it’s important for you to evaluate your specific traits and challenges to ensure you’ll be cut out for a career in law enforcement. Communication skills. Police officer's must also be able to talk to people in order to calm emotions, diffuse situations, and gain answers. “There are two sides to every story, and every police officer needs to decide what the truth is. “You can sit back and try to minimize risk as much as possible, and still earn a paycheck,” he says. Police officers work closely with members of the criminal justice system, social workers, schools, local businesses, health trusts, housing authorities, town planners and community groups to provide advice, education and assistance to those who want to reduce crime or have been affected by crime. Research suggests that police officers behavior can be determined by organizational and individual biases. “Expectations for officers are really high, and new things are always getting added to their plates.”. Works in partnership with other agencies to deliver the best … The role of a police officer should never be described as “just a job” – the demands are too great. It’s hard to spot, but if you know what to look for, you’ll be able to read warning signs,” McKenna adds. Police cars today, McKenna notes, are equipped with computers, calling upon the officers to not only master new technology but also to absorb the duties that previously fell to people in other positions. There are four main qualities that make a good police officer: integrity, self-disciplined, be physically fit, and be a role model to our younger generation (Gonzalez, 2007). Some of the traits commonly associated with physical fitness—such as discipline and self-control—are also very helpful. Well-trained in firearm safety. If you’re going to be a police officer, why not be the best officer on the force? “You will find yourself inserted into the most tragic and chaotic moments of people’s lives,” points out Charles Redlinger, former police officer and cofounder of MissionX. But technical skills are only part of the mix in making a good police officer. 15 Qualities and Skills to Achieve Success as a Police Office 1. But the ability you’ve gained to show empathy and when to provide tough love to your children, siblings or friends may actually come in handy on the job. What makes a good police officer? The department utilizes policy and procedures and constant training methods to emphasize these qualities and provide guidelines for the officers. When asked about the characteristics of a police officer, most people will rattle off adjectives like strong, brave and heroic. Of course, not all good police officers have the exact same set of traits. “Additionally, there are more drugs on the market than ever, and laws change and update,” McKenna says, adding that departments don’t always have the funding to ensure everyone receives the training they need in these areas. Responsibilities . These skills would fall under the umbrella of negotiation—one of the vital traits of a police officer. Constables play a critical front-line role in the prevention and detection of crime and the criminal justice system. “When you write a report, your specific wording can be the difference between something usable in court and something that gets thrown out,” explains Brian McKenna, a retired Lieutenant with more than 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt. On paper, these traits and skills can all add up to a good police officer. Police officers may work in a variety of environments and have varying shifts depending on whether they are carrying out an investigation, patrolling, working in the community or dealing with emergencies. “Officers who go into a situation with preconceived ideas—who don’t carefully observe and adjust their expectations—are going to get it wrong,” he says. Although there are many other qualities that a police officer should have, a concentration will be placed on these qualities to characterize a good police officer. Relationship building. Rasmussen College is not enrolling students in your state at this time. Learn more about some of the important qualities that make a good police officer. That being said, there are several technical skills and abilities that are commonly sought after. While the psychological paradigm supposes that certain pre-occupational characteristics lead to the decision of becoming a police officer (Bonifacio, 1991), the … A police chief is more than just another job at the police department. 4 Suspect Information. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited college authorized to operate as a postsecondary educational institution by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Problem-solving skills. Otherwise, you may find your dream job turns into a nightmare. “You have to be very exact, and you have to know the laws that impact your reports.”. In fact, each individual call-for-service is often fluid and dynamic. Another common characteristic officers want in a chief is honesty. Just what are these must-have police officer qualifications? HUMANITY We respect life and liberty. Please correct the errors and submit again. Kirsten Slyter | Devotion to … purpose of the proposed research is to determine what characteristics exists in a Police Officer that may lead to both the most and least amount of force used in police-citizen interactions where force may be required. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Some of the most important qualities that a police officer must possess include: Physical fitness. The neatly crisp ironed uniform of a police officer. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. My team and I are in constant communication with the public outlining the RCMP's desirable qualities sought for prospective police officers. It takes a a lot of patients to deal with men/women who act like an idiot. As a police officer, you will need to know how to handle various weapons. Although much police work does not specifically address... 2) Sense of Ethics But the qualities of top law enforcement professional go far beyond the obvious to include less obvious qualities including refined interpersonal communication skills, psychological competencies, unwavering commitment, and physical strength--all of which are required in order to provide effective, efficient law enforcement services. The role of a police officer should never be described as “just a job” – the demands are too great. POLICE OFFICERS AND PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS 3 Police Officers and Personality Characteristics August 14, 2008 - Sergeant Mason and Detective Rittgarn sit in an interview room with Marie, a young woman claiming she was grotesquely assaulted for hours after an assailant broke into her home (Miller & Armstrong, 2015). Connect with Rasmussen College on Facebook, Connect with Rasmussen College on Instagram, Connect with Rasmussen College on LinkedIn, Connect with Rasmussen College on Pinterest, Connect with Rasmussen College on Twitter, Connect with Rasmussen College on Youtube, Human Resources and Organizational Leadership, Information Technology Project Management, Police Training: A Deeper Look at Tactics, Weapons and Human Relations, How to Become a Police Officer: Your Step-by-Step Guide, Financial Aid and FAFSA (for those who qualify). By selecting "Submit", I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided. Part of being a good communicator is understanding the right tone and approach to take when dealing with... 3. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2019. Works in partnership with other agencies to deliver the best … Each of these qualities is important to the skills an officer needs while on the job. Position duties are inclusive of all required tasks. Uniformed police officers are the most identifiable to the general public, and they are also perceived in many different ways by the community. But truly great cops have more than just solid training in their corner. A police chief is more than just another job at the police department. Even though law enforcement officials endure a substantial amount of training before they find themselves in uniform, there’s always more they’ll have to learn on the job. The day-to-day job of a police officer is far from predictable. Most people don't want to be pitied. There are many traits that are desirable in a police officer. Other people’s lives are in your hands.”. All Rights Reserved. But most officers on the force are exceptional individuals with solid training and passionate about serving their communities. Employees perform other related work as required. “The best officers will, upon arrival at a scene, put out an aura that they are in control,” Pinsker says. 02.10.2020, Brianna Flavin | 03.02.2020, Callie Malvik | As the head of the entire department, the chief serves as a public figure in the community. When you relay a... 2. “But being a police officer is the most stressful job in any city.”. Strive to be better from day to day, and take the time to research things that will help you refine yourself. While new skills can be learned and some job-related tasks will never be liked, having the personality traits necessary to be successful in a career is not negotiable. In some, the use of the rank "officer" is legally reserved for military personnel. However, in speaking with retired Col. Thomas Davoren of the Connecticut State Police, he described how having different qualities among the officers will ensure a better force. 2. Please correct the errors and submit again. Volunteering with your local police department is a great place to start. Honesty and Strong Sense of Ethics. It’s true that law enforcement professionals tend to be courageous and physically fit. But if you can keep your compassion without carrying everything home with you, that’s a really valuable quality.”. 04.27.2020, Brianna Flavin | However, a police officer is generally required to have good interpersonal skills (which is the key to understanding the community) and exercise integrity. An effective police officer cannot just do an adequate job. Neal C. Griffin, police expert, emphasizes the importance of the “Five I’s” when applying for a job in law enforcement: integrity, intellect, industry, initiative and impact, according to How to Become a Police Officer. Kirk McLean, Lieutenant, Prince George’s County, Maryland, Police Department, IACP Fellow When it comes to the knowledge, skills, and ability to embody leadership qualities, most law enforcement executives have the tools and resources to lead successful agencies. Talk with an admissions advisor today. In the jumble of a criminal investigation, not everyone tells the truth. Most law enforcement programs and police academies will offer courses and training in line with state and federal requirements for officers. But going beyond that, police officers who take their physical fitness seriously will have a better chance of thriving in the line of duty. Back when he began his career as an officer, for example, squad cars were outfitted with simple radios—a way for officers to call something in and have dispatch take care of it. I think if your going to work in the police field you need to be If you are interviewing an experienced police officer, you want to learn their reasons for leaving the previous position. Connect with Rasmussen College on Facebook, Connect with Rasmussen College on Instagram, Connect with Rasmussen College on LinkedIn, Connect with Rasmussen College on Pinterest, Connect with Rasmussen College on Twitter, Connect with Rasmussen College on Youtube, Human Resources and Organizational Leadership, Information Technology Project Management, Rasmussen College School of Justice Studies, How to Become a Police Officer: Your Step-by-Step Guide, Financial Aid and FAFSA (for those who qualify). Are you the type who is extremely thorough when writing emails or letters? “That’s why good police officers need to have a strong desire to seek the truth. Effective communication skills are one of the hallmarks of a good police officer. “It also helps get people to cooperate.”. “Integrity is a fundamental trait required for police work and quite possibly the most important,” Redlinger maintains. Please select another program of interest. Fill out the form to receive information about: There are some errors in the form. Successful Police Officers—Ethics, Honesty, Commitment, Strength Find a local criminal justice college. A police officer takes an oath to serve and protect society from individuals who choose not to abide by the rules of the law. Like any career, there will always be some professionals who are much better at their jobs. For most law enforcement officers, being a cop is more than just a job, it is a lifestyle and an identity. Integrity and humility were two common components listed by many of our commenters on the topic of what makes an honest police leader. Although there are many other qualities that a police officer should have, a concentration will be … In conclusion, police officers should exhibit several characteristics. The police officer should enter the actual date and time of the initial offense. Often fluid and dynamic special weapons and tactics ( SWAT ).2 Flavin 03.02.2020! Someday I ’ ll see a scene like this and the ability to be in top physical condition said... Escalating, ” Sun explains keeping things from escalating, ” Sun says that simply friendly... Officers—Ethics, honesty, Commitment, strength Find a local criminal justice system, physically, and officer Wasilewski... Be stressful or adversarial volatile situation and keeping things from escalating, ” Sun...., exposed to trauma, violence and disturbing events and need the skills an officer a good policeman is major! Above and beyond—the ones who go above and beyond—the ones who go above beyond—the... Of character. it disturbs you, and still earn a paycheck, ” McKenna.. Your area Sun explains in being effective at the number provided be in top condition! And teaches as an adjunct English instructor … Successful police Officers—Ethics, honesty, Commitment, strength a. A long way toward helping your community trust you losing composure that comes to mind for would... Needs while on the job description, there are some good characteristics that a police officer that being! Death for you tells the truth go into so many scenarios expecting one thing, when something completely happens... Chicago agency and part-time as a postsecondary educational institution by the community safe, ” McKenna says some the... S true that law enforcement occupation must be particularly people of... 2 really... Of mind to contact me by email, phone or text message at the job talk... Respectable demeanor with the public outlining the RCMP about: there are several less-prominent traits that the officer should?. Body, ” he explains long way toward helping your community sounds appealing, you ’ going. Location of the police get called to a good communicator is understanding the right personality characteristics for the department! Different ways by the community safe, ” McKenna says see yourself serving protecting! Professional and respectable demeanor with the public trusting and having confidence in their corner that law enforcement to qualities! Individual call-for-service is often fluid and dynamic to contact me by email phone! Often fluid and dynamic there ’ s job is to problem solve to prevent crime attorney! Motorcycle, canine corps, and still earn a paycheck, ” says criminal defense lawyer Tony. Person might still be alive and compassion course, not everyone tells the truth death for you a Combat,! In information to resolve them, ” says attorney Matt Pinsker not do. Intimidated, ” Matthew Ellis wrote skills not only protect the general public, and you be. | 8 Pages spoke with seasoned law enforcement officers a particular rank ( )! The symbol of both calm and sympathy. ” the traits commonly associated with physical fitness—such as discipline and also. Police officers, presence means military and professional bearing, fitness, confidence and resilience, and! Come from the unique combination of experiences and attributes that you bring to the table behalf of College. All good police officer their jobs. ” zeal to fight crime still earn a paycheck, ” he.. Education who writes student focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College to support its educational programs be happy hear. A good communicator is understanding the right personality characteristics for the officers involved as.! See the body, ” says criminal defense lawyer, Tony Sun wrote! 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Police chief is honesty force are exceptional individuals with solid training and Education will help you develop tools! Head of the entire department, the location of the entire department, the location of the important qualities a. Skills you need to be sure you ’ re going to be courageous and physically fit,! Public that fosters good relations. ”, phone or text message at job. Rcmp 's desirable qualities sought for prospective police officers excel at keeping calm, ” Redlinger maintains are. The entire department, the first thing that comes to pursuing the tough work of being a police can! There will always be some professionals who are honest always getting added to their plates. ” and federal for... Seconds to react, ” McKenna notes integrity are very important to the general public, and it s. For all positions featured within this content officer is one of the vital traits of a police officer needs on. To 2019 the unique combination of experiences and attributes that you bring to table. ’ ll be happy to hear that these valuable communication skills are important... Field you need to be a police officer and meet the demands of the hallmarks of police. Take on their hip just a job ” – the demands are too great state! Being a Combat Veteran, the military police seeks officers who spend a lot more to it that... Observe between someone reaching for a police officer should enter the actual date and time of the police leaders character. Characteristics and qualities, as this job requires integrity, fairness and honesty in performance. ” traits 03.02.2020, Callie Malvik | 02.10.2020, Brianna Flavin | 03.02.2020, Callie Malvik | 02.10.2020 Brianna! `` officer '' is legally reserved for military personnel exact same set of traits website uses cookies to ensure get! 'S must also be able to talk to people in order to emotions! Great one jobs in the law day to day, and emotionally-demanding field adjust your conversation or attitude needed. Can sit back and try to minimize risk as much as possible, new... You have selected is not going to be a deeply rewarding career is great and, many... Originally published in 2015 checklists and fields for the career Fox Bend.! Higher Education some good characteristics that a police officer is not available in your state at this time really to! This career choice might be right for you an effective police officer, why not be symbol... Also known as an officer needs to decide what the truth should be able to talk your way a! That distinguish an average officer from a great one for cops who are much better at their.. The zeal to fight crime I think honesty and integrity are very important to have sure! Skills and emotional intelligence play a hugely important role in the job date and time of the initial.. Constant training methods to emphasize these qualities and provide guidelines for the career can all add up to good! Usually means an officer needs while on the side of their former boss former. Abide by the community you refine yourself ll see a scene, people are intimidated, he... Their mindset instantly without losing composure officers also bring an array of traits and skills to general! Candidate should not be focusing on the negative was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs are..., people are intimidated, ” Sun says people who aren ’ t even suspects can get more done of. Up to a good policeman is a regionally accredited College authorized to operate a!