There has been a sharp increase in the number of career-driven people looking for a future as a police officer. When you think about what the emergency services do for our community you may consider them to be extremely brave, trustworthy, and a true source of safety for the public.
As much as this is true, it doesn’t mean the job comes easily to those seeking this profession. If you’re currently an unhappy employee in your job right now, then it may be time to take a step back and reconsider a career in the police force.
Characteristics and qualities of a police officer
Before you take this leap, you may want to consider all of the characteristics that a police officer usually possesses. As well as keeping criminals off the streets and protecting local citizens, you will also need to possess excellent communication skills and teamwork abilities in order to thrive.
Meeting the high demands of a police officer job in 2022 is no easy task. There can be a lot of stigma regarding this type of role in emergency services. However, this should not stop you from chasing your career aspirations to be a police officer. One simply needs to consider all of the qualities and characteristics to be fully prepared for your journey.
Willingness to make a lifestyle change
Police officers work around the clock to protect their local communities and prevent dangerous criminals from harming others. This means putting yourself in danger and potentially altering the way you live your life.
Instead of putting on your suit and tie and heading into the office for the day, your morning ritual may involve putting on your lightweight level 3 body armor to prevent you from potential harm whilst tracking down criminals.
As well as wearing industry-specific clothing, you may also have to work evening shifts and overnight shifts. It may affect your social and family life in the long run. Being aware of the many lifestyle changes you may need to make will help you to prepare for the job and many tasks at hand.
Excellent communication skills
As a police officer, you need to be able to communicate with the people around you quickly and effectively. Whether you’re negotiating a criminal away from a dangerous situation or you’re reporting an issue and requesting back-up from your team, you need to be able to make yourself clearly heard when you’re out on the job.
Obviously, you are going to be put into some situations that can test your problem-solving skills instantly. Knowing what to do when you’re faced with certain circumstances is what makes a good police officer. These types of aptitude tests are often carried out when you do your police officer assessments. It’s worth thinking about the types of problems you may need to solve when you’re a serving officer.
Respect for others
Police officers are supposed to be professional, respectful, and helpful. They should be people that will go out of their way to protect others. Being able to showcase your respect for others and your non-discriminatory viewpoints will take you a long way.
Initiative and perseverance
As a police officer, things won’t always come easily to you. You will face numerous difficult situations. Showing strong mental strength, initiative and perseverance will help you to climb the ranks and do the best possible job. If you are the type of person to throw in the towel or give up easily, then becoming a police officer may not be the best idea for you.
An interest in law, ethics, and the community
When you choose the career path of a police officer, it is important that you respect the law and take an interest in everything that surrounds it. Wanting to serve and protect your local community is extremely important. Demonstrating your knowledge of this will help you during the initial stages of recruitment.
Like other advertised job roles, there are a number of specific qualifications you need to possess. Requirements vary by state. However, there are two major criteria: U.S. citizenship and applicants must be over the age of 21.
There are other requirements to consider. You must pass a full background check and have a valid driver’s license for your state. You should not have a felony conviction. The bare minimum education you should have is a high school diploma or GED.
Once you have met these criteria, you must then pass a written entry test. If you score a pass the test, the process is not over. You must complete an interview, a psychological exam, and a physical fitness test.
Preparation for the police force
If you truly see yourself pursuing a career in the police force, then you may want to pursue a college degree relating to the specific police officer qualities mentioned above. From ethics to law, you would be of high regard if you took any of these subjects as a degree.
Similarly, you may also want to consider communications courses that handle events such as public speaking or report writing. These are also skills in the police force which would give you a head start in the recruitment process.
As you can see, there are a number of qualities, characteristics, and skills you will need to possess in order to become a police officer. It will take several years of training and a lot of dedication for you to get to where you want to be. However, the process is extremely rewarding and you will soon get to see how your hard work as a police officer can benefit the general public and your local community.