Becoming a police officer is tough. It requires grit. It requires determination. And it requires a level head under pressure. Thus, it takes a special kind of person to meet graduate from the police academy in one piece.
You might like the idea of becoming a police officer, but do you have the right character traits? Are you prepared to beat someone over the head with an ASP baton? Recruiters are generally looking for the personality traits that tell them that you’re tough enough to join the police force. So what are they?
You Can Lead
A police officer is not somebody who needs constant instruction to get their job done. They need to take the law into their own hands – literally. That’s where leadership comes in.
Great officers know how to resolve difficult situations in the best way possible. Perhaps you’re confronted by a violent gang. Do you risk the safety of your team and try to make arrests? Or do you call for backup and temporarily retreat from the scene, knowing you’ll lose the initiative?
The ability to make split second decisions is not taught. It was a part of the person well before they decided on a career in law enforcement.
Applicants, therefore, will need to show their capacity to take on responsibility. They’ll need to demonstrate that they’re not afraid of doing hard work and organising a team. And they’ll have to prove that they’re not scared of taking on even the most challenging of situations.
You Are Honest
In many states, the word of an officer is treated as sound evidence in a court of law. This gives police officers a tremendous amount of power.
If you’re somebody who is honest and upright at all times, you are an excellent candidate to join law enforcement. But if you’re someone that loves to laud it over the helpless and get people thrown in jail for crimes they didn’t commit, stay away. Ultimately you’ll be discovered and charged with perverting the course of justice.
You Can Communicate
In tough situations, communication is vital. Poor communication can lead already tense situations to spiral out of control.
Great officers know that they can only do their job with the support of the local community. That’s why officers constantly have to see law enforcement issues from the point of view of their community. If you want to become a police officer, you’ll have to convince the Academy you’re able to understand the needs of the community.
As an officer, you’ll encounter some tough situations. There will be times when you’ll find people who have been killed or raped. The scene of a crime can often be harrowing.
It takes a certain mental toughness to look past some of these horrors and get on with the job. Just think about what it must be like dealing with the aftermath of a mass shooting or a terrorist attack.
This is solemn stuff. If you’re somebody who can’t deal with situations like these, then a career in the police is probably not for you.