Qualities Of Highly Respected Police Officers (The Good Guys)

Good Guys Are Accountable

Highly respected police officers sign up for duty with strong sense of responsibility. They know they will be required to justify whatever decisions and actions they take. They also know that they will be held liable and made to answer for misconducts.

Remember, you will be held responsible for your actions and in actions in the line of duty. This quality must always guide your behavior as an officer. There is no alternative to doing the right thing always. Take ownership of the situation and find solutions without blaming others or finger pointing

Acknowledge your reality and make things happen. Whenever there is a breakdown, responsible police officers don’t wait or turn their backs and say it is not their shift.


Good Guys Are Firm And Assertive

You can smile and still arrest an offender or a suspect because from your appearance they can see

Facilitator – Ubong Essien (CSP, Mr. Motivator)

that you are serious and mean business and as a law enforcer you will not hesitate to deal decisively with any situation whatsoever.

It shows you are confident and in charge of the situation and that you also have respect. The firmness and the seriousness to show the people you come in contact with that you are sure of yourself and confident enough to take charge of the situation and that people will fall in line.

You don’t have to fight the citizens or be threatening or menacing or barbaric to be taken seriously. When you show respect for the people you come in contact with and carry yourself with a sense of authority, law abiding citizens will respond accordingly.

You don’t have to be aggressive or go about intimidating people. The law is already on your side – that is why you are the law enforcer. You have to be able to talk to people to be assertive.


Good Guys Are Approachable

Carry yourself in such a way and manner as to make it easy for people to want to come to you – to ask for assistance and to even volunteer valuable information and actionable intelligence.

Don’t carry a menacing look. Make it easy for people to meet you and talk to you. Be friendly and open. Have a welcoming attitude and be helpful to the populace at all times.

Yes, police work is stressful but highly respected officers must learn to put on a smile and look friendly at all times – after all as we say ‘the police is your friend’.

When people have a case and need the police, the first thing they look out for in a police officer is whether he or she is friendly disposed to people and approachable.

If you want people to come to you always, become friendly and easy to come to. Officer friendly presence can be useful in pursuing leads and preventing crimes.

Do you know the major problem the police have in solving crime? Nobody wants to come forward. The reason is because there is often no rapport and trust between the police and the people.


Good Guys Value Human Life

Respect human life and believe in the dignity of others. Highly respected police officers don’t just know that human dignity is the most important human right from which other fundamental rights derive, they believe it.

They view human life as sacred and thus respect people. You can only preserve lives when you first value them. You must understand that you are part of the society you are protecting and you must constantly show empathy and caring.

You will be much more careful in handling firearms and there will be fewer cases of accidental civilian deaths due to unwarranted discharged of bullet from portable guns

Do not use the power of your office to violate the dignity of the citizen. When you value life, you will also be able to display human feelings and compassion towards the citizens you police. You will easily feel their pains and anxieties about their safety and know how to intervene to make them feel safe and secure.


Good Guys Pay Attention To Details

Attention to details can be defined as “being thorough in accomplishing a task with concern for all areas involved, no matter how small.”

Good officers have orientation to details. They know that to be successful in police work, you must pay attention to details. You must take your time to do your work with care and precision.

A good policeman must not overlook little things and say they are not important. The key to cracking or solving the case might be in that little thing you thought was not important.

Police investigation thrives on the orientation of the police officer to the details. Attention to details is very important when it comes to wearing your gear or loading your firearm because it might be the difference between life and death.


Good Guys Can Combine Their Activities

To succeed as good officers, you need to have multitasking abilities. You must be able to juggle activities and have an array of abilities as the demands of law enforcement are constantly dynamic and changing.

You must be able to walk and chew gum. Don’t be a one way, one system police officer. You have to train your senses to be able to handle and cope with a combination of important police tasks while on duty.

You have to be able to while driving in your patrol vehicle, listening to the police radio and at the same time observe human traffic for signs of possible criminal activity and to be able to at moment’s notice spot same and swing into action.

This is what makes you effective and earns you high respect as a police officer.


Good Guys Learn All The Time

Become a lifelong learner and stay knowledgeable. Be humble because you don’t know it all and can never know everything about police work.

The first thing a highly respected police officer does upon a new deployment is to go out of his or her way to study their new environment and the behavioral pattern of the people therein.

Such officer knows that knowledge is power so they go all out to learn as much as possible. Learning strengthens intelligence and with intelligence you can more easily preempt and decode criminal activity.

Great police work is best done intelligently and not aggressively. Humble yourself and learn as much as you can. Read wide, ask questions, make inquiries, observe and make mental and physical notes. Challenge yourself mentally so as to constantly have the edge and beat law breakers in their criminal enterprise.

Because you will be posted from time to time to various locations, you must learn to be as open-minded as possible to enable you learn as much as possible from one beat and utilize the lessons in your future posting.


Good Guys Show Good Courage

Courage is the iron quality of highly respected police workers. You must be brave as the lion to be able to face down criminals and criminality in the society.

That is why police personnel are the true heroes of the society. Your courage is the reason why the society sleeps soundly at night.

Your courage is what gives confidence to law abiding citizens to go about their regular business because they know that in the unlikely event of a criminal contingency, there is a strong likelihood you are duty bound to emerge and have the situation under control.

Your courage is very often the deterrence factor to criminality in many cases. It is because of your courage that we call on you in distress. Courage is what earns the law enforcement profession its ultimate respect and honour.


Good Guys Are Level-Headed

Level-headedness is the calm you need to manage the daily scrum of unpredictable police work.

Police work is pressure work. You must master your emotions under very stressful circumstances.

You must keep your head calm in every emergency. Difficult situations must not destabilize you. When facing challenges, highly respected police officers keep calm heads to enable them think first before they respond. There will always be crises and emergencies, so train yourself to think before you act.

Recently in Lagos, a police squad patrol vehicle crashed into a civilian vehicle, rather than pull over to assess the situation and ensure the occupants were safe, they reacted and sped away from the accident scene.

You don’t let your feelings drive your actions. You are to be non-impulsive no matter what happens – as you seek to have all the facts, allow reason to prevail in your decisions and actions.


Good Guys Show Good Judgment

Good judgment is for dealing with daily issues and policing solving problems.

Every day presents problems that policing must solve in the society. Highly respected police officers are very perceptive and know how to read situations very well.

It is good judgment that will guide your ability to decide when or how much force is needed to control a given situation thereby preventing wrongful or excessive usage of police power.

Good judgment will enable you to better manage the use of your intermediate and lethal weapons; you will need good judgment to know how best to handle and defuse explosive situations.

Make it a habit to think through the possible consequences of your actions and use facts, objectivity and common sense to make your decisions.

Be balance, be fair and never allow your sentiments and biases becloud your judgment. Good judgment is also about the experience and learning from your past mistakes.


Good Guys Stay In Good Shape

Prioritize your physical fitness and work hard to stay in shape always. You must strive to be fitter, faster and sharper than the criminals you will be going after, an overweight officer is a burden to the system.

Chasing fleeing suspects, intervening in altercations, effecting arrest of uncooperative culprits are some of the many physically demanding activities of the highly respected police officer.

To keep up with these demands, the good guy cop must pay serious attention to their physical well-being.

He or she must build their capacities for speed, coordination, mobility, agility, reaction time, power, energy, flexibility, and overall physical endurance.

It can be embarrassing and frustrating watching a policeman in pursuit of a petty thief pausing to catch his breath after running barely a hundred meters or watch helplessly a criminal successfully scales a fence to escape the law while he hesitates upon arriving the very fence.

A good officer must make the personal commitment to the regular physical workouts required to keep them in tip top shape. The highly respected police officer’s fitness watchword should read; ‘beware of your belly and watchful of your waist’.


Good Guys Are Very Resourceful

Be resourceful. Make sure you are constantly developing relationships with people in the neighborhoods you serve in because the ultimate police resource are relationships and contact people.

Highly respected police officers use their contacts in the society to get things done. Have quality relationships you can leverage on for the benefits of ensuring a safe environment.


A Policeman’s Prayer

Lord, I ask for courage;
Courage to face and conquer my own fears…
Courage to take me where others will not go.
I ask for strength;
Strength of body to protect others…
Strength of spirit to lead others.
I ask for dedication;
Dedication to my job to do it well….
Dedication to my community to keep it safe.
Give me, Lord, concern;
For all those who trust me…
And compassion for those who need me
And, please, Lord, through it all; be at my side