police working personality | Definition

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

Police working personality refers to the pattern of behavior and attitudes that police officers develop due to their occupational experiences and socialization.

let’s break down what “police working personality” actually means. When we say “working personality,” we’re talking about how someone’s job shapes the way they think, act, and feel. For police officers, their job involves enforcing laws, dealing with emergencies, and interacting with people who might be dangerous or uncooperative. Because of this, they often develop a unique set of attitudes and behaviors that help them handle these challenges.

So, what’s special about a police officer’s working personality? Above all, it can include traits like being cautious, skeptical, and always alert. Officers can’t afford to be naive; they have to be ready for anything. Additionally, they often value loyalty and camaraderie with their fellow officers because their safety often depends on teamwork.

Factors Influencing Police Working Personality

Several elements shape an officer’s working personality. On-the-job training is one of them. New officers learn the ropes from more experienced ones. This process, called “socialization,” involves picking up the skills, values, and norms that are part of police culture. After that, ongoing experiences like dealing with crime, emergencies, and community interactions further shape their working personality.

Another factor is the work environment itself. If an officer works in a high-crime area, their approach to law enforcement might differ from an officer working in a low-crime community. In high-crime areas, they might be more vigilant and prepared for confrontation, while in low-crime settings, community engagement may be more emphasized.

Impact on Decision-Making

The working personality of a police officer significantly impacts how they make decisions. For example, an officer who is particularly cautious might be more likely to call for backup in uncertain situations. Likewise, officers with a strong sense of loyalty to their fellow policemen may prioritize officer safety over other factors when making quick judgments. Both caution and loyalty are important, but they need to be balanced with other considerations like community well-being and individual rights.

Public Perception and Community Relations

How the community views the police is hugely influenced by the working personality of its officers. If people perceive officers as approachable and fair, they’re more likely to cooperate with law enforcement. On the other hand, if officers come across as overly aggressive or indifferent, public trust can quickly erode. Therefore, it’s essential for police departments to consider how the working personalities of their officers affect public relations.

Challenges and Criticisms

Police working personality isn’t without its challenges and criticisms. One concern is that this mindset can lead to an “us vs. them” attitude between police and the community. This can be particularly problematic if it fosters excessive force or unfair treatment. Additionally, if a working personality emphasizes cynicism or suspicion, it might negatively affect an officer’s well-being over time. Therefore, many advocate for ongoing training and mental health resources for officers to mitigate these issues.

The Role of Training and Policy

Both training programs and department policies play a crucial role in shaping the working personality of police officers. For instance, training that emphasizes community policing can encourage officers to see themselves as part of the community they serve. Policy changes, like requiring body cameras or community oversight, can also impact an officer’s approach to their job.

Why it Matters

Understanding the concept of police working personality is important for several reasons. For police departments, it helps in tailoring training programs and policies. For citizens, understanding this concept can offer insights into why police officers act the way they do. All in all, it’s an essential term in the field of criminal justice that can help us make sense of complex interactions between police officers and the communities they serve.

Learn More

On This Site

On Other Sites

[ Glossary ]

Last Modified: 08/26/2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.