Jacks & Jills of All Trades

When a recruit graduates from the Police Academy, he or she takes up residency in a patrol squad and is paired with a more senior officer for the first few weeks or months.  During this time, the new graduate makes the mental and physical transformation from being a ‘recruit’ to being a ‘constable’.

The officer continues to learn with every passing work day, and eventually, the novelty of driving a police car wears off.  The new officer becomes more comfortable in his/her uniform, and ‘the job’ starts to become second nature. 

While all this is taking place, another change is underway.  Regardless of what he or she brought to the job in past work experience, the new constable quickly understands the need to become a ‘Jack, or Jill, of All Trades’, at least in terms of policing.  Where he may have been an expert in computer technology in his past job, the new constable becomes very good at managing tense, emotionally driven situations.  And where she may have been a grade school teacher prior to taking up the badge, the new police woman is physically able to arrest a violent suspect, and mentally prepared to do so.

Being an effective police officer is not about becoming an expert in just one thing.  It means being able to utilize your inherent abilities and learned skills to deal with whatever incident the day throws at you. Sometimes, the work day simply tosses you a pass, and you get dispatched to deal with a shoplifter.  Other times, the work day is not so kind, and hurls the call at your head, full speed, and you have no idea your shift is about to do a hard and fast one-eighty.  You go from having coffee to responding to a home invasion and facing off with armed suspects. 

In all cases, the new constable is expected to perform, and to perform well.  The standard set for the officers of the VPD is high, but with good reason.  Being a police officer is not a job to take lightly – you must be prepared to use all your skills, even the ones just recently acquired.  The police officers of the VPD understand that to be an expert in one field is a bonus, but to be an expert Jack or an expert Jill is what keeps them, and you, safe.

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2 Responses to "Jacks & Jills of All Trades"

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