The personality of a police officer is important in enforcing the law and order. It is difficult for a non authoritative police officer to execute his job functions effectively. The essential requirements for a police officer personality are Authoritarianism, Suspicion, Hostility, Insecurity, Conservatism and Cynicism. “Although the data remain limited, existing evidence argues that identified personality traits such as cynicism, racism, and hostility are the result of the policing experience” (Neblonde) Authoritarianism
“It is commonly accepted that police officers tend to be authoritarian, dogmatic, and conservative” (The police personality) Authoritarianism refers to some kind of dictatorship. The police officer must have the authority of a dictator while dealing with specific problems. A democratic approach may not be always successful for a police officer. A criminal will never co-operate with a police officer if he adopts democratic methods. So authoritarianism is an essential component of the personality of a police officer.
Normally becoming a police officer automatically makes an individual an authority figure, authoritarianism is a pertinent personal element. It is not difficult to believe that such an individual may possess authoritarian tendencies and wish to expand them by becoming a police officer. (Neblonde) Police Personality 3 Suspicion Suspicion is another quality required for a police officer. Only through suspicion the police officers can conclude the actual things happened. All the indifferent behaviours and conversations of the public must be watched with suspicion to prevent violation of laws.
The recent Mumbai terrorist attack has been labelled as the intelligence failure because of the lack of investigation conducted by the security agencies though they received prior suspicious information from the terrorists by capturing their telephone conversations. Even the September 11 th trade centre attack also reported to be the result of avoiding the secret information from Israel’s security agencies. So suspicion is an unavoidable quality a police officer should possess. Hostility Hostility is an unavoidable requirement for a police officer.
Though the modern century is discussing about non hostile community police system, hostility cannot be avoided fully from the armoury of a police officer. Criminals will never agree their crimes in front of a soft police officer. Though scientific methods such as ‘Narcotic analysis’ and ‘Brain mapping’ are used widely to establish the crime, a hostile approach should be the first weapon when tackling the criminals. Police Personality 4 Insecurity The police officers must be anxious to prove the truth of an incident. Lack of confidence in other’s activities will lead the police officer towards the truth.
Uncertainty over certain things will lead the police officer in concentrating more on such issues and hence an unhealthy incident can be avoided. For example in the modern world nobody can predict the actions of terrorists. So uncertainty in such things will make the police officer more vigilant. Feeling of insecurity about the job should never interfere into the police activities. Such feelings will prevent them from effective functioning Conservatism The modern scientific methods argue that a police officer can find out the truth by proper interrogation of the culprits using the modern techniques.
But such arguments cannot be justified in all cases. The conventional methods such as hostility authoritarianism, suspicion etc cannot be neglected completely by a police officer. In that sense conservatism should be the part of the police officer’s personality. Cynicism It is a state in which police officers lost faith in people, society, and eventually in themselves as well. “They develop into a cynic because of their experiences as a police officer. The longer the length of service the more cynical they get. If they are denied promotion and they have a college degree they become quite cynical” (Principles of Law
Police Personality 5 Enforcement). The job of a police officer will be controlled by political leaders in most of the countries. In most cases they cannot exercise their duties impartially because of political interferences. Such experiences will lead them to a state of cynicism. The police officers must be aware of it and should never succumb to it. Conclusion An ideal police officer should be authoritative, suspicious, and hostile. Feeling of insecurity should never keep him away from the truth. Conservatism in methodologies sometimes brings better results than the scientific methods.
The police officers must be well aware of cynicism and should take preventive measures to overcome it. Police Personality 6 References 1. The police personality http://homepage. ntlworld. com/gary. sturt/crime/police%20personality. htm Accessed on 13/1/09 2. Neblonde – Police Personality Essay http://www. oppapers. com/essays/Police-Personality-Essay/159371 Accessed on 13/1/09 3. Principles of Law Enforcement http://209. 85. 175. 132/search? q=cache:KctlLFAe-ccJ:www. augustatech. edu/criminaljustice/ATC%2520Courses/Prin%2520of%2520Law/Principles%2520of%2520Law%2520Enforcement%2520Chap%25206. ppt+insecurity+for+police+person