OCCUPATION THESAURUS

POLICE OFFICER



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HELPFUL TIP:

How your character makes a living is an important decision. After all, there’s probably a good reason why they chose this career. Think about how they pull on certain talents and skills, have positive or negative traits, and adhere to a specific work ethic to excel. Sometimes characters choose an occupation because of how they were raised, something they experienced, or even an emotional wound, so consider how all of these things will show readers who they are deep down, and why they do what they do.
OVERVIEW:
Police officers serve and protect, keeping the peace, often putting themselves at great risk to do so. In the scope of their duties they enforce the laws and investigate, pursue, and apprehend anyone who breaks them. Officers may enforce traffic laws, resolve community and domestic issues, respond to emergencies, follow up on 911 calls, and investigate suspicious circumstances or crimes that have taken place. They also interview suspects and witnesses, issue tickets, and when the situation warrants it, arrest those who have broken the law.

Police officers are usually assigned an area to patrol and work with a partner. The type of work they do will often depend on where they are located (a small town will have different crimes overall than a big city, for example, and the area one patrols may be more high crime, gang-related crime, “white collar crimes,” etc.). To carry out their duties, officers should be unbiased, highly ethical, and not display favoritism. The work is both mentally and physically tasking and the shift-work can be hard on relationships and make work-life balance difficult. That said, officers help and safeguard the public, work to solve problems and bring about amicable solutions, and deal with people at their worst (drug addicts and people under the influence, thieves, gang members, etc.) and have the opportunity to try and encourage them to make life changes before it is too late. Officers are also in a position to help lift the burdens for victims, helping them navigate difficult situations by showing compassion and empathy and using their knowledge and resources. Making a difference in the lives of others can make this a very rewarding career.

NECESSARY TRAINING:
While the specifics of education and training will vary depending on where your book takes place, generally speaking, a police officer must be a high school graduate, pass a thorough background check, be in excellent physical condition, and attend a police academy (and graduate). There they will learn state and constitutional laws, local ordinances, civil rights, and accident investigation. Recruits also learn about traffic control, first-aid, emergency response and receive firearms and self-defense training. Officers will also need to pass written, physical, and psychological tests, as well as a polygraph. Officers may be trained in special areas and learn special investigation techniques.

USEFUL SKILLS, TALENTS, OR ABILITIES:

HELPFUL POSITIVE TRAITS:
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HELPFUL NEGATIVE TRAITS:
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EMOTIONAL WOUNDS THAT MAY HAVE FACTORED INTO THIS OCCUPATION CHOICE:
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SOURCES OF FRICTION:
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PEOPLE THEY MIGHT INTERACT WITH:
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HOW THIS OCCUPATION MIGHT IMPACT ONE'S BASIC NEEDS:
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COMMON WORK-RELATED SETTINGS:
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TWISTING THE STEREOTYPE:
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REASONS THE CHARACTER MAY HAVE BEEN DRAWN TO THIS PROFESSION:
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