police professionalism | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Policing

Police professionalism refers to the conduct, ethics, and expertise demonstrated by law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties.

Police professionalism is a set of values, behaviors, and skills that are expected of law enforcement officers as they carry out their duties. At its core, police professionalism is about upholding the law and maintaining public safety while demonstrating ethical behavior and treating all individuals with respect and dignity.

Professionalism starts with a commitment to the principles of law enforcement, including upholding the Constitution, maintaining public trust, and protecting civil liberties. Officers must also possess a wide range of skills, including communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and physical abilities, to handle the demands of their job.

Professionalism also extends to officers’ conduct, both on and off duty. Police officers are held to high standards of behavior and are expected to maintain personal integrity, demonstrate good judgment, and avoid actions that could undermine public trust in the police.

Finally, professionalism involves ongoing learning and development. Police officers are expected to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in law enforcement and to continuously improve their skills and knowledge to serve their communities better.

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Last Modified: 03/13/2023


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