Why will the demand for police officers always remain high?


Police officers will always be needed to keep the public safe from harm and maintain an ordered society. Their role is not just about arriving to deal with an emergency or ensuring criminal investigations reach a satisfactory solution. It’s also necessary for officers to communicate well with the law-abiding public, providing information or protection as required. Although working in law enforcement can be challenging, it’s an incredibly rewarding career path.

Nevertheless, criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the population is growing and the 911 calls keep coming. As a result, more officers than ever are needed to patrol the streets and improve the quality of life for those they serve. There are many reasons behind the need for more officers, so let’s take a more detailed look at each one.

Law enforcement has many career paths

Along with community policing, there are analyst roles, investigator positions, and more. People who join the force and perform their duties well can advance their careers swiftly and then focus on a specialty if they choose to change direction. At Wilfrid Laurier University, the police and law enforcement degree is aimed at serving officers and those who have recently retired. It prepares students for more senior roles, and because the course is completely online, it is ideal for anyone who has a busy life. This constant movement through the ranks is great for ambitious individuals. However, it also means that new officers are and always will be needed to take on the numerous roles that become vacant.

Police officers need a specific set of personal skills

Police officers are faced with the type of daily challenges that most people will encounter rarely, if ever. Dealing with these difficult situations may leave them feeling frightened, upset, or overwhelmed in another way. They need the competence not just to cope, but to assist others if necessary.

Moreover, they often need to use their knowledge of first aid, as well as law and order, so they can assist in an emergency. Many people may not feel equipped to work in law enforcement, despite possessing the traits and skillsets policework requires. Here is a look at the skills the average officer needs to succeed.

Personal development is a constant  

Officers constantly strive to provide better and more efficient services to their local community. Their work should reflect the needs and concerns of local people. In a multicultural society, law enforcement must remain aware of the different and diverse people they are serving. This is why many states try to recruit people from a range of backgrounds and run refresher courses regularly to ensure an officers’ professional development continues throughout their career.

Technological proficiency is valued

As the rest of society is improved and adapted by fresh technology, so is policing. Anyone who applies to join the force will benefit from expertise in this area, although training is often provided. Once on the job, officers are expected to fight crime by employing big data, artificial intelligence, and smart gadgets, just as businesses and individuals do. Criminals are constantly using data and technology to further their own ends, so the police also need the skills to tackle this new type of crime.

Be a detail-oriented person

From preventing criminal activity to spotting possible evidence and identifying vehicles used in a crime, every police officer needs to know how to pay attention to detail. For many of us, it is a challenge to notice minor details such as changes in a person’s behavior or even small errors in paperwork, but for the police, it is essential.

Crime fighting also involves soft skills

Soft skills are those that don’t necessarily involve any technical or specialist knowledge. Instead, they are more related to the ways people work and how they interact with colleagues and the public. In terms of policing, soft skills will also influence a person’s problem-solving abilities and the methods they use to manage their workload. Not everyone has the soft skills needed to work as a police officer as the work requires many unique abilities.

Officers need to interact well with many different people

The ability to build trust and maintain good relationships with colleagues and the public is essential. Law enforcement officers cannot become aggressive, even if provoked, and they should possess excellent conflict resolution skills. Furthermore, when a situation does become heated, they need to be able to concentrate on the issue at hand without becoming emotionally involved.

Remaining in control of emotions and situations

When the environment seems threatening, officers have to remain confident and focused on exercising their authority. This includes being able to disagree without becoming angry and staying in control, even when they are not feeling comfortable. Crisis situations can be a regular feature of police work, so remaining calm under provocation is crucial. Part of this involves taking a neutral stance when a disagreement is taking place because the law should be equally applied, even when it may be tempting to make a snap judgment.

Police officers maintain secure communities

Early in their career, officers are mainly involved with crime prevention, but they soon take on other responsibilities. Their community work is some of the most vital as it involves building closer ties with locals and taking a preventive approach to crime.

More officers are needed to carry out this work because it helps to keep the peace and successfully manage public safety. Community programs may take the form of information sessions aimed at young people, youth leaders, or businesses. Officers may also participate in renowned programs such as Neighborhood Watch or Block Parents, both of which focus on minimizing local crimes.

The importance of community programs

New and innovative programs are regularly launched to ease the tensions that can exist between communities and build trust in the force. This form of policing allows officers to interact with people in a relaxed way, not just when a crime has occurred. Therefore, the number of interactions between law professionals and the public grows, but critically, these tend to be positive interactions. To ensure this vital area of policing continues to flourish, officers are continually in demand.

What kind of programs need officers on a regular basis?

Each community program has different aims, but they all involve listening to participants and taking their concerns seriously. Once a relationship has been established, people in the program are more likely to trust the force and call an officer when they have an issue.

Examples of pioneering programs include the Citizen Police Academies, in which the public can learn more about policing; National Night Out, where officers attend fun local events; and Cops and Barbers, which involves officers chatting with people in their local barber shop.

Every area of policing is crucial to public safety

The public feels safer when they see police on the streets, and research shows that having more police leads to lower crime rates. However, because much of the work done by law enforcement is very hands-on, there is no way to cut corners and still provide the same standard of care. That means new officers are always in demand. They are essential in reassuring the public and keeping them safe in many areas of life. In practice, their work includes the components listed below.

Community policing

In the United States, community policing has been around since the 1980s. Its longevity proves how well this gentle strategy has worked in enhancing the social environment and preventing future crimes. It refers to a partnership between local officers and the community they serve. Although it is often carried out by recruits, community work is believed to be one of the most important aspects of policing, with a positive reach that even extends to homeland security. It allows residents to let their law enforcement team know which types of crime are most common so police can prioritize their workload. This type of work can also involve day-to-day law enforcement duties, such as patrolling, making speed limit checks, and watching over properties to check for suspicious activities.

Responding to emergencies

Frontline officers are expected to handle complex situations quickly. They are called upon to remain professional and take control as soon as they arrive. This might involve administering first aid or assessing an immediate threat.

After the initial stage of an emergency subsides, the responder’s job is still crucial. Before leaving the scene, they have to update their colleagues and senior officers, record any important information and retain evidence that may be important to a future investigation.

Specialized policing

During special operations, officers must be ready to manage situations that are out of the ordinary or require expert skills. The work can be dangerous but also exhilarating. The kind of circumstances they work in might be hostage situations, suicide prevention, or explosive handling. They may also be called upon to defuse bombs or manage explosives.

Carrying out criminal investigations

Investigators carry out many different roles depending on what is required by their current inquiry. The most qualified investigators will have a personal caseload made up of complex cases and serious crimes. Newer investigators will often be supported by their more experienced colleagues and may have a lighter caseload.

The work mainly involves investigating crimes and building a case. Sometimes these may be crimes the police think are being committed but for which they have no hard evidence. They commonly focus on murder, theft, online scams, and terrorist plots. In each case, they support a safer society by identifying criminals or criminal activity and ensuring the perpetrators are tried in court.

Officers ensure the judicial process runs smoothly

The police shoulder the responsibility for dealing with crime and apprehending people who break the law. Once they have a suspect in custody, it is also up to the police to ensure the correct protocols are followed. They perform multiple roles during this period, from gathering evidence to interviewing potential witnesses and writing up reports. Once a trial begins, their contribution can be just as necessary. To support a case, police officers often appear at judicial proceedings and give evidence to the court.

Surveillance helps to keep our country and our streets safe

Surveillance is a key component of police work. It helps to protect the nation from terrorism and delivers important intelligence to law enforcement services. Undercover officers can also infiltrate city gangs or prison gangs to collect evidence about individuals.

With more technology than ever at their disposal, the police can use surveillance to locate offenders and deter people from committing crimes. They may focus on an object of value, a person who is thought to be at threat, or an entire geographical area. However, if this technique is to reach its full potential, more officers are needed to monitor, record, and report in this specialist field.

Synchronizing law enforcement services  

Veteran police officers are often tasked with organizing vital police services. This role is important in maintaining a coherent message through each department and keeping the extended police family in touch. They work to advance new programs in crime prevention and produce public information for talks and presentations. It may not be the frontline of policing, but in this type of role, officers get to share their wisdom and ensure it is passed down through the ranks. As each veteran moves on to retirement, their place is taken by another experienced officer. Therefore, recruits are constantly needed to fill the positions that have been left vacant.

A constant and reassuring presence

The police play an essential role in sustaining an ordered, law-abiding society. In addition to supporting their local community, officers work tirelessly to reduce the risk of serious crime and reassure the public. However, to maintain a high standard of service in existing and new areas of policing, additional officers will always be needed.