What Skills Do I Need To Be A Police Officer?

The main task of police officers is to enforce the law and strive to keep the people and their properties safe. If you want to go into law enforcement and wish to embark on a career as a police officer, it’s not enough that you are physically fit and healthy. It’s also important that you start harnessing certain skills that are going to be necessary for you to be able to effectively discharge your duties.

First of all, police officers must have the ability to solve problems and use good judgment in the course of their day-to-day work. People are going to look up to you as a figure of authority and in many cases, they are going to go to you to seek for help about a problem they have. That can cover a wide range of issues ranging from something as simple as seeking your assistance to have their cat fetched from the tree to something more serious as reporting a theft or act of violence that was committed against their persons. It is your responsibility to take these reports and determine the next steps that should be taken based on your knowledge of the law, the gravity of the situation and your station’s protocol on such matters.

Using good judgment is a skill that all police officers should have because you could be needed in emergency situations where the circumstances aren’t exactly clear-cut and gray areas leave a lot of room for interpretation. Thus, you must rely on your own evaluation of the situation to determine the action that you should undertake. It may be necessary to make these decisions quickly even under the most difficult circumstances, such as during hostage situations.

Police officers must also have leadership skills. You have to be ready to provide guidance to the people who go to you for help. For example, you must be ready to herd people to a place of safety in the event of an attack in the mall or be able to issue orders to evacuate a place in the event of a threat posed by an impending storm. You must also be able to instill calm and order in situations when people are already panicking and the chances of having lives lost as a result of the ensuing chaos are high. In short, you must know how to take charge.

You must also be an effective communicator if you want to become a police officer. The responsibilities associated with this profession require you to talk with, liaise and give orders to others. You will be talking with and meeting fellow police officers, attending meetings and testifying in court about cases that you have handled. You will be interviewing witnesses and ordering suspects to drop their weapons. All these will require you to be an effective speaker and active listener.

Police officers who excel at what they do are also very perceptive. This means that they are able to anticipate the actions of people and consequently, they are able to give the corresponding reaction to it. The skill of perceptiveness is very important in allowing police officers to predict what suspects are going to do next and allow them to craft their next course of action accordingly.

Career Spotlight: Police Officer

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