To be successful as a Police Officer there are some characteristics that you need. Some of these characteristics include having a level head, being able to think quickly on your feet, and have the ability to work well under pressure. You have to be able to work well with little to no supervision. This is a skill you need when working undercover and in the field. It is also important that you have self-confidence, and confidence in your ability to make decisions and take the lead in what could be a risky situation. Leadership skills are also important because the people of the community look to you to be able to solve issues and crime related issues. Having the capabilities to be a leader comes very important in the job as an officer. The whole community depends upon your ability to be a leader in their eyes.
Its highly important to have the ability to stay calm in highly stressful situations. If you are unable to stay calm in high pressure situations and emotional intense situations it will become hard for you to as an officer to function on a daily basis. Having patience (which can be difficult at times) and a good set of morals are also important skills an officer must have. An officer must be able to handle situations with patience and good communication skills. These come very handy while interviewing a suspect or even dealing with issues in the community. Having a good set of morals are important because as an officer of the law you must set the example and follow the laws yourself and not believe that you can get away with everything because you are above the law, because you are not. You are an enforcer of the law, so to enforce the law upon others you must also obey the laws yourself. You also should have a good sense of right and wrong to be able to encourage good behavior to the public.
The basic requirements to be a police officer are usually about the same, because most follow the civil service regulations when hiring officers. These requirements would include: Being a United States citizen, you have to be at least twenty-one years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent education, possess a valid drivers license, and have no prior convictions. Now these are just the basics, most departments generally have more requirements, for example a lot of departments now require that you have at least an associates degree in criminal justice. Before you can begin working in a department as an officer you are generally required to attend a police academy which you must complete and pass to be qualified as a Police Officer. When you go through the police academy you are generally there from twelve to fourteen weeks, while there you must pass a physical fitness and written exam.
While at the police academy educational wise, you will learn state ordinances and local laws, working with the public, constitutional laws, accident investigation, incident reporting, civil rights, mental preparation for hostility, and criminal psychology. Like most jobs you can learn all you want about a job but, you learn best by doing. Because police jobs are dangerous jobs they require specific training to succeed in the field. Work experience is done under the supervision of a training officer. The on the job training includes: using firearms, responding to emergencies, controlling traffic, CPR and first-aid, self-defense techniques, apprehension techniques, risk assessment, and role playing. All training is essential to be the best you can be at being an officer. All the training that is endured is important for you to be the person the community needs you to be.
There are several opportunities for advancement in law enforcement. The police force ranking is clearly structured and goes as followed: Police constable, sergeant, inspector, chief inspector, superintendent, chief superintendent, assistant chief constable, deputy chief constable, and chief constable. Police constables have to complete a two year probationary period before they can be eligible for higher ranking. When the probationary period is over police constables are then able to apply for specialist units such as the fraud squad, fire arms, drug squad, child protection, criminal investigation department (CID) traffic, mounted branches, dog handlers, and underwater search units.
Becoming a police officer is a process; you are tested physically and mentally. Being a police officer is an important job because those people are there for you, your family, and the community. Not only is education a requirement to being a police officer, but furthering that education will open up more opportunities in that field. To be a police officer it takes a number of skills to be the best you can be at your job.
AGCAS. (2012, January). Police officer career development. Retrieved from http://www.prospects.ac.uk/police_officer_career_development.htm
Education Portal. (2003). Police officer: Educational requirements for police officers. Retrieved from http://education-portal.com/articles/Police_Officer_Educational_Requirements_for_Police_Officers.html
What type of person can succeed in law enforcement. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.communitypolicing.org/law-enforcement-success