21st Century Police Officers

diverse copsHow would we describe 21st century police officers? What are they like? What should citizens expect of them?

Today’s police officers know deep-down this is the work they should be doing. Policing is not just a job, it’s a calling.

Modern police officers see their work as the logical extension of their life experiences, training, and academic learning. They are informed, knowledgeable, and well-rounded. They know how to be kind, decent, truthful, and manage their emotions, predispositions and biases.

They know the nature of their work is to serve, to help and protect others. They embody Plato’s concept of “the guardians;” the best of society’s citizens who exist to protect others and the republic itself. They model society’s values. They know all human persons have worth, are to be accorded dignity and respect, and treated fairly. They see the diversity in their ranks as a strength. They honor and preserve human life; human persons are to treated at all times with kindness, care, and compassion, especially those who are most vulnerable among us. Modern police officers are dependable, self-regulated, and help one another to be better; that is, to achieve excellence.

When modern police officers have to use force, it is always measured and proportionate. They do not over-react, they safeguard, and give needed care to those in their custody.

They are good listeners and problem-solvers. They know that crime and other disorder is best addressed by collaboratively working closely with members of the community on their solution.

Modern police officers are well-trained, physically and mentally fit. They strive to continuously improve all that they do. They take care of themselves so they can be caring and compassionate in their work with others, their fellow officers, and at home with their families and neighbors.

Modern police officers know the work they do is noble. The authority they are given by the community is a sacred trust — never to be abused.