What are the ideal traits of a police officer?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many traits that are desirable in a police officer.  Of course, not all good police officers have the exact same set of traits.  However, there are some traits that are necessary given the extremely difficult nature of police work.  Some traits that are useful in an ideal police officer are:

  • Ability to deal with confrontation.  A police officer is, first and foremost, an authority figure who is tasked with protecting civilians.  As such, they must be able to be mentally able to confront people in tough situations and not back away from unpleasant interactions.
  • Even temper.  While police must not back down, they must also not be excessively aggressive.  An officer who flies off the handle and cannot control their temper will not do well in all the aggravating circumstances that officers face.
  • Ability to handle stress.  Police officers have a very stressful job.  They tend to have to work irregular hours.  They are constantly exposed to situations that most people never have to deal with.  There are, of course, the inherent physical dangers of their job that must always be in the back of their minds.  These are very stressful things and an ideal officer must be able to cope with them.
  • Ability to think quickly.  Police officers do not always have routine jobs.  They will, at times, be called upon to make decisions very quickly in situations that are tense and which have many variables that are changing rapidly.  A person who cannot “think on their feet” will not do well in these situations.

These are some of the most important traits for an ideal police officer.