What Should We Expect From Our Police Officers?

images-5Qualities of Police in a Free and Democratic Society

As members of a free and democratic society, these are the qualities we should expect from those who police us:

  1. Accountable to the people, their elected representatives, and the law for their actions, and be as transparent as possible in their decision-making.
  2. Collaborative, as appropriate, with community members and other organizations in settling disagreements, choosing policing strategies, and solving policing problems.
  3. Educated and well-trained. They should begin their career with a broad and advanced education in the sciences and humanities. Training should consist of rigorous and extensive training courses in an adult- learning climate that teaches both the ethics and skills of democratic policing.
  4. Effective and preventive; continuously seek to handle their business more effectively and fairly, emphasizing preventing crime and disorder and not merely responding to it… applying research and practical knowledge, using problem-solving methods.
  5. Honesty and good ethical practice are essential… Only those police candidates who have demonstrated good decision-making so far in their lives should be selected.
  6. Model citizen; police officers must not only be good police officers, but good citizens as well.
  7. Peacekeeper and protector; as gatekeepers to the criminal justice system, police must see themselves as defenders and protectors of human rights, especially for those who cannot defend or care for themselves.
  8. Representative; members of police organizations must be demographically representative of the communities they serve.
  9. Respectful; police officers should treat all persons with unconditional courtesy and respect, and be willing to listen to others, especially to those without social power or status. Likewise, police leaders should treat their workers with courtesy and respect.
  10. Restrained The preservation of life should be the foundation for all police use of force. Police officers should continually prepare themselves to use physical force in a restrained and proper manner, with special training in its application to those who are mentally ill.
  11. Servant leader; every police officer must simultaneously be a good leader and a good servant. Servant leaders use their authority and influence to improve others’ welfare.
  12. Unbiased; police officers recognize that they can and should train themselves to reduce their biases and deal with all people fairly and without regard to their race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic condition, national origin, citizenship status, or sexual orientation.


  • More about these qualities and how they were developed HERE
  • For more see, How to Rate Your Local Police.
  • The following post will be “What Should We Expect From Our Police Leaders?”


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