Police Officer Traits

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There are two types of personality trait designations that are used to describe police officers. The two types are the unique traits viewpoint, and socialization and experience viewpoint. Those who believe in the unique traits viewpoint are often referred to as predisposition personality traits. Also in this viewpoint, it insists that law enforcement attracts a certain type of individual to the job. Within this viewpoint, some of the traits included are authoritarianism, cynicism, racism, hostility, secretiveness, and loyalty. (Dantzker, 2003). These are the type of qualities that law enforcement agencies and security companies do not wish to have. The other viewpoint, socialization and experience, also known as occupational personality, suggests that these personality traits are developed through the socialization and experiences of policing. Both views can be persuasively argued.
Unique Traits Normally becoming a police officer automatically makes an individual an authority figure, authoritarianism is a pertinent personal element. It is not difficult to believe that such an individual may possess authoritarian tendencies and
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Some individuals even suggest that the socialization process begins before the person actually becomes a police officer. In either view, the authoritarian trait, if preexistent, is reinforced through the police experience. When the police officer puts on a badge and gun, that sense of authority is enhanced many times over. There is no doubt an intimidation factor in the policing role allows the authoritative characteristic to grow. It has been argued that authoritarianism and cynicism are pertinent parts of the police personality. As for being preexistent, the authoritarianism is generally acceptable, but the cynicism is not. (Dantzker,

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