I have witnessed so many law enforcement officers doing so much extra for the communities and neighborhood they serve. Many of them try to get really involved in the communities they serve by taking the time to get to know people and listen to their problems in concerns.
They are the silent heroes that no one ever talks about because they do not make good TV news. I think that if you are going to attack bad apples you must also acknowledge the good ones.
William Smithson CWP
In the midst of grief, justified outrage, and gruesome behavior at the murders of African Americans, many citizens want to understand the reasons behind this senseless police mayhem.
Due to these unfortunate incidents, the police are now under the radar of all citizens, but that is not how police should be portrayed.
Suppose you compare the personality of a police officer with what is shown on television or movies. In that case, you might have a glimpse-idea of what a “bad cop” looks like.
On the other hand, most people only interact with the police when matters go out of hands, and even then, it isn’t easy to know which qualities make a police officer shine brighter than others.
Do not throw stones at the police only because one of them hassled a black man to death, as there are plenty of badge-wearing heroes that are honest to their duties.
Of course, it isn’t easy to ignore the violent protests and unethical movements coming from various areas of America, but have you ever thought of how our country is still safe from major chaos? The credit goes to the good police officers.
Qualities of a Good Police Officer
Indeed, law enforcement officers tend to be physically fit and very brave. Apart from that, there is a lot more to being a good police officer. Below are some vital qualities that make a trustworthy policeman.
1. Relationship Building
Other than having the ability to communicate and help people, a trustworthy person officer must know how to develop long-term relationships. Merely showing your good intentions and being friendly with people can go a long way toward building a community that trusts you.
Attending to all community matters can strengthen public relations as well. Over time, even the tiniest of relationships in the community can change conditions that might otherwise be adversarial.
2. Friendly Communication Skills
For police officers, emotional intelligence, people, and communication skills play a crucial role in being effective at their job.
The reason why emotional intelligence is required is that it is vital for defusing potentially unpleasant situations and preventing things from escalating. It relates t maintaining a fair and professional demeanor with the public that creates sweet bonds.
Furthermore, every interaction, from a traffic stop to confronting a crime victim, knowing how too respond nicely and peacefully can bring a change.
3. Self Control
A successful and loved police officer is the one who practices self-control. When situations go out of hands, suspects try their best not to get caught; hence, people become emotional.
When officers want to de-escalate a situation, the quality of keeping their reactions and emotions in check can create a huge difference. The officer can undergo a lot of concerns, but they are best served to be visibly calm and intact while doing everything they can to keep trouble out.
4. Perilous Thinking
No person in a community can decide who to take to jail, but the police officers. That said, good police officers must have the craving or desire t seek the truth, as other people’s lives depend on your hands.
In the event of an illegal investigation, a lot of suspects lie. Even the people who are not suspects can feel intimidated and start to lie. Therefore, police officers must have the desire to learn the truth.
Jumping to conclusions is never the right way to discover the truth. As we all know, there are two opinions to every story, and it is an actual skill to determine what is the truth.
5. Physical Appearance
Having the perfect mentality required to investigate a scene is vital, but a stiff physical appearance matters as well.
Some officers have specialized vehicles and units such as motorcycles, horsebacks, special weapons, canine crops, and other tactics to tackle problems in their community.
Most of the time, officers are expected to handle situations on foot, meaning physical. Officers who have a better grip at physical fitness will have a better chance of beating the odds.
Other traits related to fitness include discipline and self-control.
Examples of Good Police Officers Helping their Communities
· Coffee with a Police Officer
Officer Zachariah Hastings from the Dayton Police department loves to work with young people in the community.
A few of his regular duties include spending Fridays at the K12 Gallery contributing to the students from City Day Community School to provide shoes for the Shoeless program and Coffee with a police officer.
Coffee with an office is a chance for him to know some of the residents at Ghost light Coffee on Wayne Avenue.
The students ended up like him a lot, so they invite him to have lunch with them regularly.
· A fire victim entitles police officers a “hero.”
There came a terrifying situation in 2012 when a Middletown officer Tim Meehan saw flames and smoke coming from a house.
There were five residents inside the house, including a 6-year old and a grandmother. The police officer started to knock on the front door.
The harsh knocks woke up everyone in the house, and all were able to escape safely. However, the grandmother and the officer were treated for smoke inhalation.
The family felt thankful and convinced that if police officer Meehan were not there, they would not have been alive today.
· Preble County Sheriff
A family saved money for their son to go to the Boys Scout camp. Still, unfortunately, all the money was stolen when their home was burglarized.
The Preble County Sheriff’s department decided to pitch in and help the kid and his family. An anonymous deputy called the family to inform them that the camp money was paid in full.
The West Alexandria family considers the Preble County Sheriff’s department an angel in disguise.
· The strangers that saved a little boy’s birthday party
The police department in Osceola County, Florida, found out on Facebook that no one showed up to a 6-year-old’s birthday party. They made sure the little boy’s birthday was a celebration he would never forget.
Police Community Relations
The community is a rightful place to live. As far as the improvement is concerned, everything is average—average levels of education, average crime, and average income. Unfortunately, the citizens of the community and the police have always had a not-so-pleasant bond.
The people do not trust the police, and most police officers have even received threats. The key to implementing successful law enforcement is to promote good police-community relations.
Good police-community relations are crucial for developing trust between the citizens and police. Without this trust, police work cannot fulfill. Even if the police officers are doing their best to prevent crime, the people may still object because there is no trust.
Most of the time, officers are fighting an uphill battle, trying to make communities work by reducing crime and other related incidents. Therefore, every community needs help to improve police-community relations.
Ways to Improve Police-Community Relations
As this profession shifts from one generation to the next, a lot of officers are struggling to maintain community relations.
The following are some tips that must be practiced to maintain great connections between police and the community.
- Promote Transparency
The first step to maintaining a good bond between police and the community is to build transparency, access, and visibility to police business.
The people need to know what the police are doing, and the effort to make this information accessible goes a long way. Giving the public access to police documents on the departmental website, creating an apparent physical presence, and hosting open-forum community discussions will help to increase public relations.
When people feel like they know what the police are doing, it is much easier to develop trust between the two gangs.
- Improved Training
Every police department should support increasing training for officers. In many communities, training has not kept pace with society’s requirements.
Making split-second decisions on unauthentic information in matters of life-or-death requires medical emergencies, discussion with people in a crisis, intervene in family, rather than taking actions unannounced.
Therefore, police need to undergo proper training programs to facilitate their communities. Most citizens don’t even go to their community police departments because of inadequate supplies and staff. Hence, training is vital for the improvement of relations.
- Community Policies
Earlier this year, the U.S. Conference of Mayors published a report on police-community relations. The first recommendation they had in the forum to build trust between police and communities was to focus on community policies.
According to the report, community policy is a philosophy, not a program. Additionally, police officers must interact with the policies daily.
- Collect useful data
For police officers, the best way to acknowledge what is going on in their community is to gather useful and more data.
As a local government manager, you can promote programs that require real-time data, such as the racial backgrounds of motorists pulled over by the police, to supervise, improve, and monitor your police department.
Furthermore, any changes regarding how the community handles policing must be a collaborative effort between the city council, police union, community groups, and local government manager. CWP
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