Questions to Ask Yourself as a Police Hopeful

I recently had a conversation with a colleague of mine about what we should communicate to people considering a career in law enforcement.

My colleague, who helps with recruit training, said the following question should be asked of all police hopefuls:

“Why do you want to be a police officer?”

Most will give the appropriate answer of wanting to help people, of wanting to give back to their communities, and of wanting to make a difference.  While all of these answers are just and true, and are all issues any new/prospective recruit should be thinking about, the real answer lies in how the question is answered.

There should be some element of wanting to catch the bad guy.

Yes, you read that correctly.  For all the political correctness in this world, there remains the need to put bad guys in jail.  To do so, a police officer has to think like a bad guy to catch one, and has to educate him/herself on how crooks commit crime, how bad guys flee crime scenes, as well as the patterns and nuances of actual crimes.  I covered this in some detail last year with a post about mind set, but it is important enough to bring up again.

Another question that any new officer or prospect needs to ask themselves is whether or not they are ready/willing/able to use force when it is required.  Much of policing utilizes an officers skill at verbal judo, but there are times when force is a necessity.

So, if you are a police hopeful, ask yourself the following:

  • Are you ready to protect yourself and others by using the appropriate level of force to control the situation?
  • Are you ready to use lethal force to protect yourself and/or others from grievous bodily harm and/or death?

This means looking at who you are as a person.  Look deep down inside. 

For all it’s job security, policing is a job that requires quite a bit of courage and a readiness to do battle if called upon.  You need to be able to step up and take control of volitile situations, verbally or physically, and you have to have the maturity and where-with-all to explain why you took the action you did.  You have to expect to be challenged, to be confronted, to be physically and verbally assaulted.

If these are questions you can answer in the affirmative, then law enforcement just might be the career for you.

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