The job of a police officer requires running, climbing, and heavy lifting. Police officers need to build physical stamina by exercising while they are off the clock to ensure that they can perform effectively on the clock. Aerobic exercises (e.g. running, walking, and riding a bicycle) and anaerobic exercises (e.g. weight lifting) are the best exercises for police officers.
Police officers deal with difficult people. At times, police officers may be tempted to go against their ethics (e.g. call people names, use unnecessary physical force, and even steal drugs from the evidence room for their own profit). A police officer enforces the law; therefore, they must have strong ethics and the ability to stand behind them even in times of controversy.
• Strong Mental Health
Hearing and seeing sad stories (e.g. child abuse, domestic violence, people caught in addiction who had a bad childhood, etc.) is a part of a police officer’s daily work. Many police officers fall into addiction and other mental health issues. Police officers need to have the ability to remain positive in their own mind and leave work at work when they go home.
• Team Work
Police officers will have to work with other police officers on assignments and missions. Each police officer will have to contribute their ideas and be open to others’ ideas. People who prefer to work alone and/or always want to use their own ideas should not be a police officer.
• Critical Thinking
Police officers will need to investigate and assess situations. The ability to make connections, think abstractly, and read between the lines is necessary for effective investigating. Evidence does not lead to answer; it only gives hints about the answer.
Police officers need to have a firm attitude, but they need to have compassion as well. They need to have sympathy towards the people who have a sad story, be willing to listen, and be able to see a situation from others’ point of view. Compassion is equally as helpful as firmness.
• A Sense of Humor
Police officers will be a part of community events where the community will want to speak to them and children will want to ask them 50 questions. Having a sense of humor and personable attitude will help the community feel more comfortable being protected and served by them.