Police Personality Position

Essay by lovelyrissaUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2008

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A topic over the term police personality has been an issue for discussion. The debate whether this is considered a predispositional model personality, or is police personality "created by the nature of the work itself (an occupational socialization model)" (Twersky-Glasner, 2005 Police Personality, ¶ 1)? In this paper the concept of police personalities will be discussed, focusing on unique traits versus socialization and experience. These traits will be defined and a viewpoint will be chosen with an explanation.

Unique traits can be referred to by some as predispositional personalities insisting that people who tend to apply for positions as a police officer attract individuals with certain personality traits, such as hostility, authoritarianism, racism, cynicism, secretiveness, and loyalty. These are the types of qualities law enforcement agencies do not wish to have. Socialization and experience which is also known as occupational personality mainly suggest that these traits are developed over time through socialization and the experience of policing (Dantzker, 2003).

Socialization and Experience ViewpointPolice officers learn their socialization personality from training and through exposure to the demands of the job. If police officers become cynical or rigid, this is in not because of their existing personality, but because of the demands of the job and the shared experiences of others.

Police are members of a subculture which provides officers with a working personality whom learn from experience on the force. Some would call this type of subculture a unique occupational subculture (Twersky-Glasner, 2005).

This paper discussed a debate of two different police personality traits. What was discovered was the fact that everyone generally comes into the force with the same personality traits and when choosing a career as a police officer or any law enforcement position for that matter, individuals' personalities continues to shape itself and ultimately, the...