13 Skills for a Police Officer

To join the police, you must also fulfill additional, non-academic entry requirements, which change from force to force. Before applying for a job with certain forces, you must have resided in the UK for at least three years. Check with individual forces for their entry requirements.

5 Key Skills You Need to Be a Police Officer | Required Career Skills | Start a Career

Common skills for police officers

Here are some beneficial skills commonly used by police officers:

Active listening

Active listening is the process by which someone shows that they are paying attention to the speaker by using nonverbal cues like body language, smiling, nodding, and small verbal gestures. Police officers need to be adept at active listening because it helps them interact with the public and other law enforcement personnel in a productive manner. Additionally, it guarantees that they take note of crucial particulars and information to share with detectives, emergency responders, or legal teams in courts.


A person’s persuasiveness is their capacity to persuade another person of the correct course of action. This occurs through good verbal communication tactics. Every day, police officers use persuasion to persuade people to comply with their orders and uphold the law. Additionally, they employ persuasion to defuse conflict and stop criminal activity.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is the ability to spot small details, correct mistakes, and spot shifting behavioral patterns. Being able to pay attention to detail is crucial when working as a police officer because it enables you to spot potential evidence, stop criminal activity, and locate the right vehicle or suspect connected to a crime.

Physical stamina

Physical stamina is the capacity for sustained running or walking. It also refers to someones ability to lift heavy objects. In order to perform their duties, police officers must be physically fit, as they must be able to chase and apprehend criminals, patrol large areas on foot, and occasionally scale fences and other obstacles.

Community awareness

Community awareness is the process by which people comprehend their immediate environment. This entails being aware of local demographics, poverty levels, crime rates, and other community-influencing variables. When police officers are aware of their surroundings, they can interact with the community in a productive way. Additionally, it ensures that they are aware of the types of crime that are prevalent in the area and helps them support local initiatives that benefit the neighborhood.

Critical thinking

An individual’s capacity for making significant decisions quickly is known as critical thinking. Since they may need to make quick decisions that have an impact on their own health and the health of the general public, police officers need to have excellent critical thinking abilities.

Interpersonal communication

Adjusting one’s communication tactics and language to relate to others and aid in information interpretation is the process of interpersonal communication. Interpersonal communication is a skill used frequently by police officers to ensure clear communication with other officers who have different personalities. To assist the general public in understanding laws and regulations, they also use interpersonal communication.


A person’s morality is defined as their capacity to uphold moral principles in their daily lives. Morality is important for police officers because it enables them to make wise decisions. Additionally, it makes sure that they uphold criminal justice initiatives both within their own unit and in the larger community.

First aid and CPR

A person can assess health issues, treat spinal injuries, or administer life-saving CPR to those in need by using a variety of first aid and CPR techniques. Injured or ill members of the public do call 911, and police officers do respond. Typically, this occurs because an ambulance crew has yet to arrive at the scene. As a result, it’s critical that police officers possess basic medical knowledge so they can care for patients before paramedics and EMTs arrive.


To be empathetic, one must be able to imagine what another person is going through. This allows them to provide emotional support. No matter if they are speaking to a suspect, victim, or someone who has a mental health condition, police officers need to be empathetic. A police officer’s ability to empathize with others can have a positive effect on others’ lives.


The ability to collaborate effectively with others to complete tasks is known as teamwork. On a daily basis, police officers work with other officers they know and don’t know. Their capacity to assume a new role and fit into a group setting affects their capacity to assist the public and catch suspects.


The act of being assertive is the process by which someone asserts their authority and motivates those around them to finish a task. When speaking with suspects, directing crowds of people, or enforcing the law, police officers must be able to assert themselves.


The capacity to carry out tasks that would otherwise be hazardous or terrifying is referred to as courage. Police officers must possess courage in order to detain suspects and assist the public in finding safety in perilous situations.

What are police officer skills?

Police officer skills are a combination of interpersonal and technical skills that enable police officers to successfully carry out their job duties. This entails conducting investigations, cooperating with others, interacting with the public, and being meticulous.

How to improve police officer skills

There are many ways to develop your abilities as a police officer. Here are some strategic methods for improvement:

1. Volunteer at community events

Serving the community and finding ways to make it a safe place to live or work is a big part of a police officer’s job. In a similar way, police officers interact with the public every day to offer assistance and find solutions to issues. These factors make volunteering at community events a great way to meet people in your area and practice speaking with those from various backgrounds or professions.

2. Review local and state legislation

You must make an effort to gain a thorough understanding of local and state laws because police officers are charged with upholding them. This can boost your self-assurance and enable you to assist the general public in better understanding the law.

3. Ask for feedback

You can consult your partner and your immediate superior for feedback on your work performance if you are a police officer currently. They ought to be able to provide you with insightful information about your strengths and where you should concentrate your improvement efforts. Ask your current employer, friends, and family for feedback if you don’t currently work as a police officer.

4. Enroll in online courses that target skills

You can find a ton of online courses that will teach you more about specific skills and how to develop them in everyday life. These could include skills in prioritization, decision-making, verbal communication, or attention to detail.

5. Gain relevant experience in security and safety

If you are not currently employed as a police officer, finding work as a security guard or public safety officer gives you the opportunity to broaden your experience interacting with people, resolving issues, and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity.

Police officer skills in the workplace

The following advice will help you showcase your abilities as a police officer at work:

How to highlight police officer skills

When applying for jobs and in interviews, use the following examples to highlight your qualifications as a police officer:

Police officer skills for resume and cover letter documents

It’s crucial to emphasize your skills in your resume and cover letter when applying for jobs at police stations. This enables employers to assess your suitability for their employment needs. Create a skill section on your resume and pick the skills or qualities you have to offer based on the job description to make sure you are providing the right skills. By including them in your professional experience section, you can also emphasize your skills.

If teamwork is one of your skills, for instance, you could emphasize it by saying: “Worked with other officers in my unit to enforce alcohol laws in the downtown area.” Additionally, your cover letter offers a structure where you can go into greater detail about your skills.

Police officer skills for the job interview

Employers want to assess candidates’ abilities and qualifications for a police role during police officer job interviews. Prior to the interview, make sure you have reviewed the skills section of your resume so you can provide examples if necessary.


What is the most important skill set of a police officer?

Some of the most important qualities that a police officer must possess include:
  • Physical fitness.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Sound judgement.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Strong moral character.
  • Sense of ethics.

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