Being a police chief requires one to have in place a team of police officers who will do their utmost best to uphold admirable service while on or off duty. As an officer of the law, one needs to display the highest standards of good character in order to be best suited to serve in any police department. Police officers interact with people from different walks of life on a daily basis (Roufa, 2015). Most of these people have a negative attitude towards law enforcement officers that can be due to past experiences with a different officer or stories that they have heard from people who had altercations with officers previously. Dealing with such an individual can be extremely challenging. It is, therefore, important that an officer of the law equips himself with the required set of skills to handle the situation. Skills alone are not enough to make a good officer. Other than the training, one should display the best set of attributes necessary to be in the field of duty. Based on my research, an ideal police officer should have a certain set of attributes to fit in well with the force.
Attributes of a good police officer
An officer should have good communication skills for him to be able to handle any civilian in the best way possible (Lawrence, 2010). Good communication comes in two dimensions that entail not only talking but being a good listener as well. In any scene where an incident has occurred the people affected are always in a foul mood. This makes the quality of their testimonies and statements very questionable and inaccurate. As such, when in a similar situation, the officer should listen to all the witnesses and victims carefully before drawing any conclusion. The initial impression upon arrival at a scene may not be as accurate as one may presume. Addressing the victims in a calm and collected manner is the key to unlocking the truth as to what exactly happened in the scene.
A good officer should also have a thirst for acquiring new knowledge. For one to be successful over an extended period of time they need to be ready and willing to learn new things and explore new ways of addressing problems around them (Capps, 2014). The nature of policing is on a constant path of revolution and for an officer to remain relevant and competitive they need to keep in touch with their surroundings and the changes within. It is in light of this that a number of police departments provide learning platforms for their officers. However, a competitive officer should not be dependent on the knowledge offered by the department rather; he should venture out and seek more knowledge on his own.
Compassion is an essential attribute that can be of great benefit to any police officer. According to Xu (2015), compassion can be the best driving force for an officer when solving a crime. Being able to put oneself in the shoes of the victim helps understand their predicament and fuels the drive to get justice. A similar situation can apply to an officer who is investigating a crime that is the same to what he or a relative, perhaps someone he knows may have gone through. Compassion towards the victims makes them trust the officer more and this serves to the best interest of the case being investigated.
In the profession of law enforcement, the core duty is helping those who may be in need of any form of assistance. An officer should always display the motivation to help others and offer protection whenever called upon (Qualities of a Good Law Enforcement Professional, 2018). Commitment helps keep one on track as they continue serving the society. The commitment of an officer is made manifest in how they keep true to the cause whether in good or bad times. On many occasions, law enforcement officers have always been on the receiving end of unfair criticism from both the media and the very community that they took an oath to serve. False allegations have also been labeled against officers in an unfair manner. Normally, any human being may be compelled to relax while on duty following all the negative criticism that may demoralize them. However, a good officer should be able to rise to the occasion and stand out to be counted as a committed professional who does not bow to what others say or thinks about him. Criticism from the public may not be the only reasons that can make an officer relax while on duty. The working conditions can contribute to laxity on the officers part. Poor working conditions may be due to inadequate resources in the workplace or a hostile work environment. A professional officer should be in a position to overlook all these and carry out his duties properly.
In conclusion, being an officer has its fair share of challenges. It requires a special set of attributes for an officer to be in a position of being loyal to serving the community. This essay has highlighted some of these attributes which include good communication skills, commitment, compassion, and thirst for knowledge, which when put together can produce the best out of any professional officer.
Capps, L. E. (2014). Perspective: Characteristics of an Ideal Police Officer. Retrieved from https://leb.fbi.gov/articles/perspective/perspective-characteristics-of-an-ideal-police-officerLawrence, N. (2010). Good Characteristics of a Police Officer, Synonym. Retrieved from https://classroom.synonym.com/good-characteristics-for-a-police-officer-13583856.htmlMore, H. W., & Miller, L. S. (2014). Effective police supervision. Routledge.Qualities of a Good Law Enforcement Professional (2018). Retrieved from https://www.careerprofiles.info/law-enforcement-proferssional-qualities.htmlRoufa, T. (2015). 7 Must-Have Soft Skills for Police Officers. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/police-officer-soft-skills-974900Xu, E. (2015). The No-Nonsense Guide to What Makes a Good Police Officer. Retrieved from https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/justice-studies/blog/what-makes-good-police-officer/
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