Policing in the Modern World
Police Personnel Administration
Dr. Anthony Anderson
Law enforcement work has evolved greatly over the years - from its early introduction in Colonial America with the use of Sheriffs, who collected taxes and enforced colonial laws, to today’s sophisticated large and widespread local, state, and federal agencies. Relative to the evolvement of law enforcement work, the type of candidate that police agencies seek to fill these employment slots has also changed drastically. Today in the United States candidates for police officer positions are put through a rigorous and strict hiring process to ensure strong applicants are picked for the openings. The hiring process is lengthy and usually includes written and physical exams, oral boards, a background investigation, medical and psychological screenings, and a polygraph test. All these steps are designed to remove unsuitable applicants. I feel that I possess several character traits and leadership qualities that would help me as a sworn police officer and a leader. However, there are aspects of my personality that could be improved to better my chances at being successful in that particular line of work.
Some aspects of my character that I think would help me in a possible career in law enforcement are flexibility, intuition, patience, common sense, and I am a team player. Additionally, my leadership qualities, specifically integrity and perseverance would also benefit me in a possible career in law enforcement.
Flexibility is important in the context that you never know what you will be asked and/or required to do. Every call you go on will differ from the last in some sort of aspect. Things could change moment by moment and you have to be able to adapt to those changes to effectively do your job. Flexibility also includes being able to deal with new equipment, new procedures, administrators that come and go, and politicians that come and go. I learned very much about flexibility in the while serving as an Infantry team leader in the Marine Corps. You had to be able to adjust to changing orders and missions on the fly. I quickly realized there was no typical day while deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Learning to adjust to the situation at hand and being ready for anything played a large role in mission success and survival.
Intuition is a quality that is needed by law enforcement personnel. The ability to take in a great deal of information and calculate a conclusion based upon it is extremely important in police work. As a police officer you respond to a call, talk to victims/witnesses, collect statements and evidence, and then form an educated conclusion on what happened all in a timely manner. This conclusion may even lead to the arrest of an individual. A lack of intuition could ultimately lead to the arrest of innocent people or the release of criminals.
Another important aspect that one in a law enforcement capacity should have is patience. Chances are you are going to come across people, both who you work with and come in contact with on the street, which will require you to exercise extreme patience. Everyone has had a co-worker that you just cannot stand to be around. It takes patience to deal with this person and not create a hostile work environment. Then there are the people that you will meet on the streets that will be intoxicated or under the influence drugs. People under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs may act in ways that will test the patience of even the most veteran and seasoned officers. However much you are tested, by some of the people you may come in contact with, it is in the officer’s best interest to approach them in a professional manner and use tact and patience in resolving these situations. Losing your patience and possibly mistreating these people, no matter how...