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Defining a Good Cop

February 23, 2009

This is the first article in a new Police Ready series called “Defining a Good Cop”. We will be exploring some of the positive traits that you should develop to get a good start in your policing career as well as exploring some of the negative traits that you should avoid at all costs.

What are the traits you do not want to have as a police officer? Well, it seems that from taking apart the tests of unsuccessful candidates, the answer to that would be you don’t want to have these traits – hostility, potential for drug or alcohol abuse, psychoses, paranoia, lack of impulse control and so on. Kind of a mixed bag of things, but none of them considered being winners for applicants to the police force.

Conversely, some of the things that the tests will reveal that are considered to be worthy traits for cops are: being personally effective, assertive, have potential for social mobility or status, have more of a social presence or self confidence, are more accepting of themselves (self acceptance) and are driven by a desire for autonomy to achieve, meaning the ability to achieve goals through independence.

Other prized traits also include: high intelligence, more psychological ability to handle stressful situations, are the epitome of femininity or masculinity and possessed a greater degree of empathy. In a nutshell, what we have here is the idea that successful potential officers have more poise, a higher potential for achievement, are self assured, intelligent, and socially sensitive.

Quite obviously these traits are diametrically opposite to the violent, abusive and cynical cop who thrives on control. You know yourself from having spent time with cops that they are, as a group, not what they may be portrayed to be by the media or in the movies. They are decent human beings working to make their communities a better place for everyone.

At Police Ready we offer you all the tools you need to pass all the required tests and become a good cop with all those positive traits we’ve just discussed. You already have most of these traits, or you would not be here and want to work your butt off to be a good cop.

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