It takes a special type of person to succeed as a police officer. Unless it’s your calling, you’ll have a hard time finding satisfaction in the job and dealing with all the stresses that come with it. People often have misconceptions about what it means to be an officer, however. These misconceptions are often what’s stopping good people from entering the force and you may have the perfect set of traits to be a police officer without realizing it. Here are some clear signs that you’re made for a career in law enforcement.
You Have an Inquisitive Nature
Being curious and observant is a very important trait for a police officer, and if you’re good at reading people’s body language and you’ve always been told that you ask great questions, then you may have one of the most valuable traits for any police officer.
Good police officers can identify patterns, but also go beyond the surface to know what’s really going on. They have to navigate the thin line between criminal profiling and ethnic, racial, or religious profiling. These are the cops who are appreciated both by their peers and their communities and help make both better.
You’re a Humanist
At the end of the day, police officers are public servants. If you’re the kind of person to help others, even when not asked, this is another great trait to have as a police officer. Good police officers don’t only care about stopping crime, but understanding the reasons behind it and preventing it.
If that’s what your vision of policing is, and a career in the force interests you, you should consider enrolling in criminology studies. You could undergo your criminology studies through Wilfrid Laurier University’s BA in criminology and policing. Their programs delve deeper into the psychology of crime and how it can be curbed through a mix of intervention and community policing among other things.
You’re a Great Communicator
Having good communication skills is also very important for any cop. Knowing how to defuse situations and address people with respect and authority is not something that everyone can master. If you’re naturally a great communicator, then this is a skill that will be very useful in the field and may even save your life. This is also what will allow you to get to the bottom of situations.
You Have Great Tolerance to Stress
Working as a police officer is very stressful, and you’ll have to deal with it for most of your shifts, even when nothing is going on. But, if you’re naturally tolerant to it and thrive under pressure, then this is one of the clearest signs that you would make a great cop.
You’re Empathetic and Compassionate
Empathy and compassion are not something everyone associates with police officers, but you can’t be a good officer without these traits. Officers that are too cold have difficulty building trust with the people they serve and stop. These officers also tend to deal with the most resistance.
Officers who can show compassion and empathize with citizens while still keeping a certain level of detachment are those that do the best, and they’re much needed in the force. Police officers have to do a good job of building bonds with communities, and these are the cops who can show a different face of law enforcement. They can act as a liaison between the community and police departments and are better at getting people to cooperate.
You’re Mentally Strong and Resilient
As a police officer, you’ll experience the worst and the best of humanity. You might see some of the most horrible crimes firsthand and you’ll need to be able to work on crime scenes without breaking down. This takes a certain level of mental fortitude that very few people possess.
If you’re the rock of your family in times of tragedy, then this could be a sign that you would make a great cop. Cops often have to deal with death and tragedy, and only those who can handle it will have a long career in this field.
You Have Integrity
Integrity is something that all police officers should have, and, if you have strong principles and are ready to stand behind them, the force needs you. You can’t let the lines get blurred when you’re working on a case, and you will have to abide by a strong code of ethics. You also can’t let your interests get in the way of your duties.
You have to be the same police officer whether you’re having a bad or a good day, or whether it’s the beginning or the end of your shift. You have to be ready to make interventions, even if you know it’s going to generate overtime or even get you the scorn of some of your commanders and partners. You have to do what’s right at all times and do your job thoroughly, even if some of your coworkers think that you’re stirring trouble.
This is unfortunately a trait that we don’t see enough, but you can be the one to change things and hopefully help transform the negative connotations some people have about police officers.
You’re a Natural Negotiator
Having great negotiation skills is also very important for officers. You should only use force as a final recourse, and being able to get people to cooperate or simmer down without applying it is one of the most valuable skills you can have as an officer. The people you work with will also appreciate you for it. Officers who can get results on the ground without using force benefit their community and their department by reducing incidents and protecting their departments from bad press.
If you possess any of these traits, it could be a sign that a career as a police officer might be perfect for you. You should look at the profession more in detail and see what the life of a police officer is truly like to see if it’s something you could see yourself doing.