The police force is a profession that requires you to engage with people and work in high-pressure environments. In the 1970s, a study of more than 500 police officers found that introverts were just as likely to be successful in law enforcement as extroverts.
Although society has changed since then and the pressures are different now, it’s still possible for an introvert to succeed as a police officer if he or she takes steps to manage their natural tendencies so they can thrive in this demanding environment.
So if you’re wondering if an introvert can be a police officer? the answer to your question is a definite yes!
In this article, We will tackle down why introverts make good cops as well as tips and resources to thrive in this profession.
Why introverts are good at police work and make great cops
Although there’s no reason why any personality type shouldn’t be able to cope with police work, if you’re an introvert, you do have some special strengths and talents that can make you a good cop. For one thing, your ability to focus on problems for long periods of time will probably be invaluable in police work. Where it often takes several hours or even days to solve crimes. you, being an introvert and having a tendency to process information deeply without interruption can make you come up with good solutions much quicker than others. The fact that you prefer working alone also makes you a good candidate for police work. In fact, one survey found that many introverted cops said they liked their jobs better because they didn’t have to chat with people all day long. They could focus on doing what was necessary instead of wasting time socializing.
The idea that you need an outgoing personality to be a good cop is nothing but a myth-a misconception created by Hollywood and perpetuated by too many TV shows and movies about police work. The truth is, most good cops are very introspective individuals who do not like being around large groups of people-especially strangers-and who prefer working alone or with one or two partners.
Another strength we have is that we’re gifted with is being natural listeners, which will come in handy if you’re a cop.
Introverts are wonderful listeners and have a knack for getting people to open up about their problems, without being judgmental. We introverts also have deep insights into human nature-which is essential when you’re trying to figure out if someone is lying or telling the truth and why.
Introverted cops are also good at working independently on cases-they cherish the peace and quiet that comes from focusing entirely on a particular problem. Since they do not have a need to be the center of attention, introverted officers are often overlooked by supervisors who still think you have to be an extrovert to make it in law enforcement.
Tips for introverted officers to be successful in this profession
1. Don’t be offended
if you are not assigned to large or busy departments. be sure to consider the needs of your agency; in small communities, an officer may be expected to patrol alone and investigate crimes. (example: you will have more opportunities to work as a detective or with a K9 unit in a smaller department).
2. Adapt, don’t change
Find ways to use your natural strengths on the job instead of changing who you are. If you’re an introvert who prefers to work alone, be sure your supervisors know that so they can give you assignments that let you do what you do best.
3. Follow your preference
If you prefer working in small communities. Find opportunities for training and advancement in very small agencies or rural communities with limited resources. Many introverted police officers find it easier to advance their careers in smaller, less competitive agencies.
4. Don’t worry about promotions
Don’t worry about the long, fast-paced campaign to become a detective or be promoted to other positions in larger departments. It’s going to take longer for you -but if you are patient and determined, your patience will pay off. Because even for a competent introvert, a promotion from sergeant to lieutenant is going to be difficult and time consuming.
5. Don’t feel pressured to attend all the social events at work
While it’s true that police forces are still pretty much a “covert” society, you don’t have to do everything that your fellow officers do. You can be a social introvert who enjoys the company of others on an as-you-need-it basis-if at all.
6. Focus on what is important and don’t get sidetracked by side issues
Introverts have a tendency to think things through very carefully before making a decision or taking action. This can be an advantage when you’re on the job, especially if you have to make quick decisions under pressure. But your ability to focus in this way can also get you sidetracked from what really matters-and keep you from getting your work done. The key is to learn how to focus when you need to but also know when you don’t need to be so intense – especially at work.
7. Be assertive without being aggressive
Introverts are sometimes shy and passive. This can be a problem when it comes to dealing with other people, especially if you’re an authority figure in your job. But part of being a good police officer is knowing how to stand up for yourself without alienating others. There will be times when you have to stand firm on important issues but be careful about choosing your battles. It’s better to ignore minor issues than to get into a confrontation over them.
Resources for introverted cops who want to improve their skills and thrive as an officer
here are my top 3 recommended resources to improve your skills and thrive as a cop
- The introvert advantage by Marti Olsen Laney. This book is a great read to understand and learn about yourself so you can be more successful on the job. Not only will this book help your career as an officer but in all areas of life when it comes to being an introvert, leadership, teamwork, relationships, and more.
- Introverts in law enforcement: Building relationships through understanding and respect by Jack Schafer – a more practical guide on being an introvert in law enforcement and how to deal with others in this profession.
- The introverted leader: building on your quiet power by Marti Olsen Laney.
The above mentioned book focuses on making the introverted leader more effective in their position both as an officer and as a person.
Lastly, If you’re an introvert who wants to be a police officer, it’s not impossible. We’ve provided some tips on how to succeed as the quiet person in this profession and still thrive in your career. You can find more resources for introverted cops here that will help you improve your skills and deal with others better at work. And remember-if law enforcement is what you want, there are plenty of other opportunities and enough space out there for people like you to thrive too!