A police officer’s primary purpose is to protect and serve the public. Despite the negative reputation that many police officers have to prove wrong, thanks to associations like The National Police Association, people are becoming more and more aware of the positive impact that police have on our communities.
Yet some policemen stand out more than others as heroes. This is often thanks to certain personality characteristics that suit the career better than others. So what sets apart the good police officers from the great ones? Here are some of the most essential qualities that make a great cop.
First and foremost, at the core of every great police officer is someone with unwavering integrity. It’s up to law enforcement’s job to uphold the law, and in order to do that you have to have a great moral character. The best police officers are the ones who act with total transparency and adhere to the ethical principles demanded of them.
They’re the ones that can’t be corrupted to do anything that may be reinterpreted as dishonest. For these kinds of people, there is no gray area between good and bad. They know what must be done in order to defend the public’s interest— even if that means it’s not always necessarily in their own personal best interest.
One of the most important aspects of leadership is practicing compassion. Understanding where everyone in a situation is coming from is crucial for helping resolve conflict and finding a solution that works for everyone. Policing is not just about enforcing the rules, but also about explaining why the rules are there to exist.
A harsh tyrant who simply barks the rules at people rather than explaining the purpose behind them will often lack efficacy. However, connecting with people on a human level fosters positive relationships between law enforcement and the public, And ultimately encourages people to follow the rules more willingly.
There is no shortage of challenges that come along in a law enforcement career. This is why adaptable people make the best police officers. They’re able to adjust to a wide variety of circumstances and continue with resilience even when things are difficult. From late hours to dangerous situations, to pesky stereotypes constantly thrown at them, resilience is essential. Officers face all sorts of adverse circumstances and stress on a daily basis so being able to adapt to the challenges that arise is critical in order to stand the test of time.
Effective communication is a must when it comes to successful policing. Great officers know the art of communication on a verbal and non-verbal level, which doesn’t just strengthen their relationship with the public. This skill can also help anticipate trouble before it even has the chance to begin. Because of their thorough understanding of communication, they can de-escalate tense situations through meaningful dialogue, and ultimately encourage peace and understanding in tense situations