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Policing Practice

The process of hiring police officers is very costly and time consuming. Many unwanted and inexperienced people apply for the job which makes it harder to screen the best. The latest methodologies of hiring new people for the police force are more complex and screened. There are five basic qualities that the hiring team looks for in applicants. They are openness, neuroticism, extroversion, conscientiousness, and agreeableness. These qualities affect the overall performance of the officer.

The screening of having these traits has become important because the officials felt that there are many applicants that do not have a military background and the required experience (Twersky-Glasner, 2005). Another problem was that the ineffective training sessions and insufficient supervision led some officers to have hatred for the law. (Twersky-Glasner, 2005) The police are called Street Level Bureaucrats (SLB’s) because they interact with different people and have the permission to be a little discrete about their decision (Shafritz, 1980).

It is therefore necessary to recruit people who have great interpersonal skills, control and independence, emotionally sound and tough minded. The hiring rules look for traits that are strongly related to the job description. In this manner, interpersonal skills are agreeableness, control becomes extroversion, independence becomes openness, emotional adjustment is linked to neuroticism, and tough minded means to be conscientious. (Strack, 2006) The success of an officer is not guaranteed by simply these five qualities.

The persona pointed out by Lorr and Strack help a trainee to have a better chance of completing his training rather than being a drop out. They tend to get more polished with experience and time. From the five basic qualities of a police officer, there are four traits that need to be high in order to be good. They are openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, and agreeableness. They all are strongly related to an officer while working for the public and serving as a SLB. The final trait left is being neurotic. The quality should be low in order to be acceptable.

Being neurotic would have a bad impression of the officer on duty. In my opinion, the most important trait that is linked to the overall performance is conscientiousness. This helps the officers to be bold and confident in their decisions. They don’t require supervision in the field. An officer learns to take even a small task as a challenge and complete it with honor as he would do in front of his supervisors. This does not mean that officers should not be neurotic at all. A slight degree of neuroticism is also important to fool criminals.

However, being conscientious is important because the job of a police officer is very delicate and a small wrong move can risk someone life. References Shafritz, J. M. (1980). Street-Level Bureaucracy: The Critical Role of Street-Level Bureaucrats. In Classics of Public Administration. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. Strack, M. L. (2006). Personality profiles of police candidates. Journal of Clinical Psychology , 200-207. Twersky-Glasner, A. (2005). Police Personality: What Is It and Why Are They Like That? Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology , Volume 20, Number 1.

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