As anyone in law enforcement knows, hiring new police officers is an increasingly difficult task as of late. That is why it is even more important to hire the BEST candidate. Here is a list of 5 of the best traits to look for in a new hire!
A Healthy Ego - This is arguably one of the most important qualities to look for in a new hire. Whether this is a certified police officer or a completely untrained person, their ego can make the biggest difference. Focus on the finding the candidate that builds their ego around being a learner, not being right all the time. We've all been around the person that needs to be right all the time and it's exhausting. That is NOT what you need in a new officer. Find someone eager to learn, not to prove themselves right or be the smartest person in the room. This will go a long way in their ability to respond to training and accept critical feedback.
A Realistic View of the World - I think every new officer starts with the idea that they are going to save the world and everyone in it. (Don't you wish you could go back to those days?) This is a nice sentiment for a new officer to have, but it can be destructive down the road when they realize they can't singlehandedly save the world. Manage this expectation and get a good idea of how they view the world. Do this by hearing about their life experiences and have them tell you some stories about managing a setback in life or a challenge they recently overcame. You want them to have a good attitude, but not have their head in the clouds. ***Remember: we all need to deal with the world the way it is; not the way we wish it were.
Responsible in their Personal Life - This is one of the best questions to see how the officer will act as a baseline. Ask yourself; are they responsible in their personal life? A lot of this is covered in the background check, but look at some of the finer details too. Give them the usual check for criminal records, traffic tickets, bankruptcies, etc. but look at the rest of their life too. Now some of these things you may only glean a little information from, but it can help paint a clearer picture of a candidate. Here's just a few examples: Do they have a reliable car to get them to and from work? Do they have goals planned further than a year from now?
Do they seem normal? - Easier said than done.... we know. This is as simple as it sounds, but also one of the hardest things to put your finger on at the same time. Ask yourself, does this person seem relatively normal? Normal is subjective of course, but in general, you should get a feeling this person is either a good fit for the job or they're not. Cops generally have a pretty good sense when it comes to their gut instinct. If something seems off, it probably is. Don't misunderstand the point here, we're not advocating you pass on someone just because they're a little odd. The point is, it may warrant some further exploration into the candidate. Ask some more questions, expand on their history a little more, etc. Figure out why they strike you as odd and determine if they're a good fit for the job they're applying for. The best time to identify a problem is before it becomes an issue.
They ask Good Questions - This is one of our favorites. Every new candidate is going to have questions. However, it is the quality of their questions that can tell you a lot about them and how they view the job. For example, if all their questions revolve around pay, time off, and sick policies, it might be a red flag. Trade that for the candidate that asks about the pension, additional training opportunities, and how the court process works. The more specific to the job their questions are, the better. Their questions can be an insight into their interest level and their motivations for being a police officer in the first place.
This list is far from comprehensive, but it should help you look for a good candidate in a sea of other mediocre ones. Share this with your fellow administrators and anyone in the police hiring process!
Taction USA is an LEO owned and operated forensics supply company. ALL products are designed and curated by active duty LEOs and CSI professionals, for their fellow men and women behind the POLICE tape line. They have better prices and don't have any of the restrictions the traditional forensic supply companies have. No minimum order size and no crazy long shipping times or fees. Get only what your department needs and get it with Prime shipping!
***If you like this content join our Facebook Group here for more product announcements, exclusive discounts, and more!*** https://www.facebook.com/groups/tactionusa