Useful Skills for Aspiring Police Officers

There is much more to being a cop than running around chasing bad guys with a pistol. In order to be an effective police officer, one must develop certain skills which can be used on a daily basis. Officers are heavily involved in listening (to victims and superiors), writing & typing (criminal reports, tickets & citations, court info.), making snap-judgments (whether or not to use deadly force), among other things, and will need to polish certain skills if they wish to perform at an optimal level in order to achieve regular promotions. Some of these skills may not be needed for admission to the police academy or to even apply, but they will come in handy sooner or later in this particular career path. Another great skill to seek after is learning another language. Most states (particularly California) are quite diverse and filled with people who speak many different dialects, which usually means that law enforcement agencies get excited when one of their own is bilingual.

What You Can Do:

  • Learn basic fighting/disarmament techniques, such as jiu-jitsu
  • Develop good communication skills (speech, listening, & writing)
  • Take a college course in public speaking and/or communication
  • Learn a foreign language, particularly one used in your location (Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese)
  • Learn how to be a good driver and keep your record clean
  • Learn basic first-aid & CPR
  • Develop a good memory and be able to recall locations, people, names, details, etc.
  • Learn to make good decisions in a timely manner
  • Learn basic computer skills (Microsoft Office, email, & typing) for generating reports
  • Strive to have a typing speed of 60+ WAM
  • Consider learning American Sign Language

Continue Learning: Find out what life is like in the police academy training facilities.