A Call to Serve
Few careers offer more opportunities for self-fulfillment than service as a law enforcement officer.
Sworn officers play a vital role in maintaining safety and welfare at all levels of government and across the country, but law enforcement is a service career at its core. Policing is as much about helping people and maintaining community quality of life as it is about enforcing laws and apprehending criminals. While crime fighting is an essential role of law enforcement, it is not the most prevalent, and in the view of many, not the most important. Officers spend far more time engaged in the provision of far ranging non-law enforcement services. Those who are looking for a career filled with the type of daily edge-of-your-seat excitement depicted on television will be disappointed. While the dangers of the job are real, and you will be expertly trained to respond to any situation, the heart of policing lies in daily interactions with citizens.
Today, many law enforcement agencies subscribe to the community policing model, which views community problems, rather than specific crimes or incidents, as the core of police work. Many of the issues officers face are community problems in need of a solution often best achieved outside the criminal justice system. By hearing and understanding the causes of community concern, dedicated peace officers find workable, sustainable, and cost effective resolutions to issues as minor as a noise disturbance or as complex as a mass protest or demonstration. Law enforcement officers are the only community servants in continual touch with the community they serve. This requires officers who are adept at fostering relationships and building connections between people and groups. Today’s officers should come prepared to think and solve problems with a broad community focus.
Law enforcement officers must tend to quality of life issues in their communities with an eye to homeland security and disaster preparedness. Officers should be connected with the community in such a way that facilitates their ability to collect, analyze, and share critical information and resources. The threat of terrorist attacks and natural disasters requires officers to remain vigilant and ready to respond at any time with a coordinated effective response.
Policing is a job that will bring out the best in you and make you more than you are right now. It is a job with serious responsibilities, but the reward is having a job that really counts. Policing will ask a lot of you, but it will give you so much in return including:
- Having a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day,
- Knowing that your presence conveys peace of mind,
- Serving as a community role model,
- Being a first-responder to a person in crisis,
- And much, much more.
Your job as a Law enforcement officer puts you in a very important and responsible position. Law enforcement agencies are the only social service agency deployed every day of the year and around the clock. While in uniform, you are the embodiment and face of your community. You will protect citizens from those who wish to do them harm. While the responsibility is great, the rewards are unrivaled.
International Association of Chiefs of Police
Law Enforcement Oath of Honor
“On my honor, I will never
betray my badge, my integrity,
my character or the public trust.
I will always have the courage to hold
myself and others
accountable for our actions.
I will always uphold the
constitution, my community
and the agency I serve.”