Careers Advice Blog

Working in the force is more than playing cops and robbers

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If you dream of working with the police and you show that you’re fit for it, then the force is likely to welcome you with open arms. We need more people dedicated to serving and protecting the public. But to make sure that you are, in fact, fit for duty, you have to understand that it’s about more than just fighting crime. That might be an important part of the job and the greatest part of the public’s perception of the force. But you need to be ready for more than just that, too.


Emergency response

The majority of police calls are not about solving a crime and dealing with criminal activity or behavior. In fact, 50% of them involve the police in their role of a social service. Finding lost children, giving first aid in the event of an accident, cordoning off dangerous areas during a crisis. You have to be able to respond quickly and responsibly to crises, from using your cop lights and siren to navigate traffic safely to reassuring and helping someone in pain until the medical services can arrive to give further help. More than anything, a police officer has to be resilient, because they’re going to be the assistance that people look to in times of dire need.


Police aren’t just experts in dealing with crime and difficult situations. They are also a vital part of giving outreach in order to prevent those kinds of situations from happening. If you want to provide a service in your community, you’ll find plenty of opportunities. You’ll liaise with community groups and you could be providing information in schools, universities, and workplaces. A big part of your job might even be helping to deter people from lifestyles that can lead them further down the wrong path. Neighborhood gang members, domestic abusers, potential addicts could be the kind of people that you have to get used to spending time with and trying to help.

Helping people

Outside of emergencies, you might be called upon to help people in danger. The police can be called to help solve disputes peacefully when the individuals involved can see no solution. Patrol officers are often considered a reassuring presence in neighborhoods and areas where people might otherwise be concerned that they are not in an environment where they can rely on that kind of protection. Some of the most delicate yet important work that a police officer can be called to do is talking to people on the brink and helping to prevent suicide. More important than any other quality that a member of the force can have is the quality of being willing and engaged in helping people when they need it.

On a final note, working in the police, you’re going to have to be ready to deal with what some might consider an overwhelming amount of paperwork. So long as you don’t mind a little admin to go with your community good, then you should be ready for a life on the force.

Does becoming a police officer appeal to you? Share what attracts you to the job in the comments below.

Career CamelWorking in the force is more than playing cops and robbers

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