Are You Interested in Becoming a Police Officer?
Working as a police officer is interesting and different every day. Given the various challenges that those in law enforcement can face on a daily basis, a number of qualities are needed to effectively fulfill the duties of a police officer. The questions below will give you an idea of whether this occupation is a good fit for you.
Can you answer 'yes' to the following?
|Do you have great communication skills?||Yes or No|
|Are you a very empathetic person?||Yes or No|
|Are you comfortable using your independent judgment?||Yes or No|
|Are you a natural leader?||Yes or No|
|Are you good at reading people?||Yes or No|
|Do you have excellent physical stamina and strength?||Yes or No|
|Are you available to work at all hours?||Yes or No|
|Are you able to handle stress well?||Yes or No|
|Are you really good at working with people?||Yes or No|
|Are you interested in learning laws and codes?||Yes or No|
|Would your friends describe you as someone who loves helping others?||Yes or No|
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How Do These Qualities Make for a Good Police Officer?
Do you have great communication skills?
Police officers must be able to gather facts by questioning people, translate that information into written reports, and sometimes testify in court proceedings. They need to be able to clearly and concisely explain situations that may be complicated.
Are you a very empathetic person?
Police officers must show that they care about victims of crime. They must put themselves in others' shoes to recognize their viewpoints.
Are you comfortable using your independent judgment?
You will need to be able to de-escalate situations as a police officer, and make quick judgment calls to solve problems. Often, there won't be time to check in with a supervisor.
Are you a natural leader?
Police officers need to be able to take charge of situations, because the community turns to them for assistance in emergencies.
Are you good at reading people?
It helps, when you're questioning a witness, to get a sense for whether or not that person is lying. Sometimes police officers are called on to predict a perpetrator's next actions. It will help you solve crimes if you understand why people do what they do.
Do you have excellent physical stamina and strength?
The job may require chasing perpetrators on foot and physically detaining suspects of all sizes. You'll need to be in good shape if you want to do your best at this job.
Are you available to work at all hours?
Police are needed to patrol 24 hours a day, and swing and night shifts may be required. Police officers also often work a fair amount of overtime.
Are you able to handle stress well?
You will be in the center of the action, which can be exciting! But police officers may also be put in dangerous situations, as well as witness the distress, misery (and possible death) of others, which can take an emotional toll.
Are you really good at working with people?
You must be able to draw people out and listen carefully to witnesses and suspects. You may also have to ask appropriate questions and be courteous and professional with witnesses, suspects, and members of the public.
Are you interested in learning laws and codes?
Police may have to complete training at a police academy, where they will learn the laws that govern their actions as officers, as well as the local laws and ordinances that they will enforce. Additionally, they have to learn the codes their department uses to transmit information over radios.
Would your friends describe you as someone who loves helping others?
Police officers help people and their community every day. Officers need to have the desire to protect and serve.
Does This Sound Like You?
If you answered 'yes' to most of the above questions, a career as a police officer might be right for you. In addition to possessing the above qualities, you will also need to pass a criminal background check along with written and physical examinations, and complete training. Requirements are different in each jurisdiction, but you may also need some college education.