Being a police officer is rewarding, but many go at it from the wrong angles. Some like the status that comes with the job, but there is more to this role than just a title. An officer upholds the law and does right by the law—it’s nothing compared to the fictional crime dramas you might see. Although many cop dramas hold some truth to regulations and standards, there is much more to learn. Learn how to be a successful cop with these tips every rookie needs to succeed in the job field.
Make the First Day on the Job Memorable
The first day on the job isn’t the same for everyone; some new officers are overconfident, but some hesitate and don’t participate at all. Still, some individuals in the latest class of officers want to participate and learn.
So, the tip here is to make the first day on the job memorable. Go into your job hungry for opportunities but aware that the academy won’t hand everything to you. Your superiors had to go a long way to get to where they are now, and you will too.
Have an Understanding of Case Law and Code
While on the job, you’re required to know case law and code. For example, case laws established in the courtroom are judicial law. Meanwhile, code law is civil law.
It is common for senior officials to forget the difference because, most of the time, these differences aren’t clear-cut. It’s wise to keep your workbook on case law and code for reference so that you know the difference in every situation.
Go to College To Get More Knowledge
College is a great step to understanding the judicial and civil system before journeying through the law and defense career path. It’s not a requirement, but seeking high education—it doesn’t matter where—can set you up for success and higher chances of promotion early in your career.
Many universities offer degrees in law enforcement, but any major revolving around serving the public is desirable in police work. Majoring in social sciences, psychology, or even social work could pave the path for a career in criminal justice, as the knowledge is helpful in every branch.
Don’t Act Tough—Do Your Job and Be Safe
Acting tough won’t do you any good. In fact, it’s better to remain humble and remember you’re serving the public for the greater good, not pushing them around. This job requires a lot of self-awareness, as you’ll be in situations where it’s difficult to control emotions. No matter what, you need to remain level-headed.
Being safe on the job is crucial, especially when working with law enforcement tactical gear. The gear you use is helpful, but you need to be sure you know how and when to use these items and what the consequences of misuse are.
These are only a few of the tips rookie police officers need to succeed in their careers. Grow your knowledge, stay humble, and don’t hesitate to take on opportunities—these are the characteristics of a good cop.