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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

March 6, 2009

Since we’re still discussing what other traits make a good cop, we will be taking a look at a couple more of these in this posting. Being a cop is about being a complete human being with a set of traits that make you suited for the job at hand. If you don’t have all of these traits, that is not a big deal, but suffice it to say that it would be a good thing if you had quite a few of them.

Do you go out of your way to assist people in need, and that includes not just your peers and other officers, but members of the general public? If you restrict yourself and only do what you absolutely need to do to get by, policing isn’t a good choice of career for you. Most officers will go above and beyond the call of duty, because that is a part of who they are and what they do. They just do what needs to be done. Holding back because you have other things to do, places to go or people to see just won’t cut it in this lifestyle.

If you’re going to be a cop, you need to be a total cop and not a half way committed one. So, do some thinking about this aspect of the job and ask yourself some more tough questions. Would you take the time and energy to help someone else, no matter whether or not you were on duty, about to go off duty or were doing something else at the time?

You’ve likely heard this expression and it applies in police work as well: “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” meaning pick your battles, fight for what is important or focus on what counts and leave the small stuff alone. All of us have no doubt found ourselves in situations where we can’t seem to see the forest for the trees. Talk about spinning your wheels trying to solve something that, if you stand back and take a good look at it, doesn’t matter in the overall scheme of things.

You have to be able to ignore problems that don’t count or ignore obstacles by going around them. Every day you are a cop on the job, is a day that has the potential to present you with numerous frustrations. Are you able to handle the little things that build up and hold your temper? Are you able to see the forest clearly and focus on it and not the trees? Or do you tend to over-react to small things and blow up?

Another set of tough questions right? Answering them will give you a good idea of who you are, and will even better prepare you for the B-PAD test. So, give it a whirl and see what you get for answers. Nobody knows you better than you do.

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