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Attributes of a Police Officer

Every member of the Police Force is a guardian and servant of the public.  He or she is there to help and protect members of the general public and treat all persons with unfailing patience and courtesy, regardless of their social position, and answer all their questions with civility, no matter how trivial that they may seem to be.  Saying good morning, thank you, please, would you mind, excuse me, I beg your pardon, cost nothing but leaves a positive and professional impression on the public.

The approach of a police officer has a great effect on the attitude of the public. That is why the use of tact and persuasion instead of force is encouraged.  You will find that members of the public will comply with direction more willingly when they understand the situation or the event that took place.  Insisting on the right of your authority instead of using tact will run you in the risk of having your authority challenged.

It is very important that you have confidence in yourself and know exactly what you intend to do.  A true knowledge and understating of your powers is needed.  As long as you use your powers properly and fairly, you will have no fear of any consequences.  Always make sure that you understand your orders properly before performing your duties.  If you do not understand, you cannot expect to direct the public properly. 

It is essential and very important to maintain an even temper when dealing with the public.  Never allow yourself to become excited by threats of insolence, which can result in you losing control of your temper.  The steadier minded you remain the more control that you will have in exercising your ability to think clearly.  You cannot control a hostile situation if you have lost control of your temper. Remember, you can be firm without getting into a rage.

A police officer must be impartial in executing his duties.  Never let prejudices, family and friend or political sentiments influence your decisions. Always try to carry out your duties faithfully no matter who is involved.

A police officer must always be strictly honest and truthful.  If you make a mistake, please do not try to hide it, but admit it so that it can be rectified as soon as possible.  The life or liberty of a person may depend on your word, so your evidence must be absolutely truthful. A police officer whose truthfulness is open to suspicion is useless to the force and his senior officers, and is unfit to exercise the responsibilities that are delegated to such an officer. 

Loyalty means allegiance to the force and to our country as a whole.  A police officer is a member of a team, and the job can only be done effectively if each team member does his or her share. A police officer carries out his or her duties faithfully, never failing to help another who is in need because it is not known when they might need someone’s loyal support.

Initiative means the ability to realize that something needs to be done, and then to do something about it without the need of direction or guidance from someone else.  Police work is so wide in its scope that no training system or textbook can cover every possible circumstance. To be a good police officer you must be able to apply common sense when performing your duties and distinguish between those things that you should attend to and those that do not concern you, even though you may not have been given a specific instruction.

There are two types of courage, they are:
Physical Courage, which means you have the will to face danger in whatever form without regard for your safety.
Moral Courage, which mean having the strength of character to stand on your feet when difficulty and perhaps unpopular decisions have to be made, and to stick to principles and conduct that which you believe to be right no matter what pressures are put upon you to act otherwise.

Conscientiousness is a sense of duty and the will to carry out duties without supervision. A police officer must always work to the best of his or her ability, no matter how menial some tasks may seem to be.  An officer should not be motivated to work because he or she expects to be monitored by supervisors.

Being a police officer, you must be able to set a good example on and off duty.  For example, you should be aware of drinking too much liquor if you are known to be a sober person; people will respect you for it.  Remember, a police officer is never off duty and must be of a sober mind to perform his or her duties competently at any time you are called upon.  If you allow yourself to become drunk, you not only discredit yourself, but also the organization.

Obedience to Orders
Orders or direction is given by senior or supervisory officers either in a written or verbal form.  Orders given should be reasonable and practicable and in such case are intended to be carried out by subordinates without argument.  A person who cannot obey orders willingly and with respect will never be fitted to command others.