Is Your Personality a Good Match for Law Enforcement?

By: Zoe Samuel
Estimated Completion Time
7 min
What should you do on your first day on the beat?
Get to know the community and get them to know you.
Kick in the door of the local gambling den.
Discern what crimes are afoot.
Find out which businesses need protection.

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What do you call it when a cop spends most of his day hanging out in one place, like a pizzeria?
Cooping. It's frowned on.
Cooping. It's awesome! Free pizza!
Cooping. It's illegal.
Isn't it just hanging out?

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A sobbing woman approaches you, telling you she was drugged the night before, and awoke in a stranger's home. What do you do?
Bring the accused in for questioning, and search his residence for drugs.
Wave her off. She's probably making things up.
Investigate. Document everything.
Put the fear of God into the man she accuses, but go no further this time.

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A huge man approaches you, cursing at you aggressively. What do you do?
Smile disarmingly and make a joke about nothing in particular. Take him off his script.
Draw your firearm and fire 15 warning shots at him.
Warn him that you will be required to draw your weapon if he continues on this path.
Get ready to tussle.

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You smell gas as you pass a house. What do you do first?
Knock on the door of the house and find out if they know what's going on.
Kick in the door. You have probable cause.
Call the utility.
Walk away.

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You see someone smack their kid in the face. What do you do?
Document it, get their information, and call family services.
Tell him your dad used to do that to you, too.
Try to determine if the smack rose to the level of physical abuse.
Tackle the adult, pin them down, and slap them around.

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You know the local kids are up to no good. How do you approach them, to talk to them?
Joke with them. Tell them you want to make sure they are safe, because there are lots of unsavory people around. Tell them you'll keep an eye out for them to keep them safe.
Rough them up.
Warn them about the dangerous path they are starting.
Tell them that if they need to blow off steam, you'll teach them how to box.

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There is a local drunk, found frequently asleep in front of the local market. How do you handle it?
Scrape him up and put him in the hands of a program that can help.
Kick him until he moves.
Explain to him why what he is doing is against the law and common decency.
Pick him up and carry him to the nearest park bench. Then tuck him in.

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A stolen car was found abandoned after a joyride. Evidence points to a local school's star athlete. What do you do?
Leak the evidence to the local press, and make the collar.
Cover it up. He's a football player after all!
Appeal to the athlete's parent to curb his behavior, and quietly put things right.
Scare the kid straight.

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A sobbing man approaches you, telling you he was drugged the night before, and awoke in a stranger's home. What do you do?
Bring the accused in for questioning, and search their residence for drugs.
I don't believe it. He's a man! He should take care of these things himself.
Question the accused, and look for holes in his account.
Tell the man to handle this himself.

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When do you disobey traffic laws?
When it makes law enforcement easier
Whenever you want. You're a cop!
In code 3 situations
When you can't find parking

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Do you blame insulated communities for their crime rates, when those rates are high?
No. Crime rates are too complicated to base on any one factor like that.
Of course. They made their beds, they can sleep in them.
I don't know enough to make that assertion.
No, I think there's another reason.

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How close must someone with a knife get to you before you draw your firearm?
21 feet
It doesn't matter to me.
Close enough that I feel under threat.
I'd rather do this with my bare hands.

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You pull someone over for speeding, and he refuses to give you his ID or registration. What do you do?
Ask him to step out of the car, book him, and run the plates of the car.
Smash his window and drag him into the street.
Explain to him why he needs to comply.
Take the keys out of his car.

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You arrive at a call, where a large man in a bar is refusing to leave, and angry he was cut off by the bartender. What do you do?
Ask him to step outside with you, let him go, then call for backup after closing the door.
Take him down with a Taser.
Explain to him why he'll be in big trouble if he doesn't cooperate.
Pin him, cuff him, book him.

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You are called to a fast food restaurant, where a child's shake was stolen by a group of older boys. What do you do?
Round up the kids and take them to juvenile hall.
Smack the perps around a bit then let them go.
Buy another shake for the kid who was robbed, and warn the other kids.
Take the perps home and tell their parents what they did.

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A child claims a man tried to lure her into a van. She says he has hair that is white on one whole side, and black on the other, like a cartoon character. What do you do?
Trust what the kid described and put out an APB.
Discount this crazy story. Kids have pretty amazing imaginations, huh?
Assume that it could be true and patrol looking for this suspect.
Call around and warn the community about the described man.

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You arrive on the scene of a drug overdose. What do you do?
Look for evidence of what drug was used, so you can sort out what to do.
Give mouth to mouth
Call a paramedic
Stand back. I don't want a disease.

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Do you give credit to insulated communities for their crime rates, when those rates are low?
You have to, to some extent. Still, it's too complex to know for sure what causes these things.
Sure. Model community.
The optimist in me says yes. The scientist says no.
Yeah. What's the harm in that?

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Do you find you are more likely to believe an accusation of violent crime when the accused is a person of color?
No. Absolutely not.
I'm going to take the fifth on that one.
No, nor should a jury.
I find the very idea of that question offensive.

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Is your judgement influenced by someone calling you names, or threatening you?
Consciously? No. Unconsciously? Probably. We're all human.
Yeah! I'll throw some fists around and then we'll see what people want to call me.
No. I'm impervious to those sorts of threats.
Sticks and stones, man.

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What do you think correlates most strongly to crime rates?
A poor economy
Violence in popular culture
Opportunity
Corruption of institutions

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Is it better or worse for more people to be hanging out on their porches?
Better. More eyes on the street makes crime less likely.
Worse. It spawns gang activity.
It doesn't mean anything.
It makes some things more likely, and others less.

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Would you rather be loved or feared?
Loved. Feared is easy. Loved is hard, and lasts longer.
Feared. Like The Punisher.
How about just "respected"?
I'd rather not be noticed at all, like a ninja.

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How are you with boring repetitive tasks?
I can do them all day long.
I hate them.
I like them more than anything.
I'm just no good at them.

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How organized are you?
Very. Like a Marine.
Not at all. I can't even find my keys.
I'm extremely organized, like a NASA scientist.
I can do my taxes, but that's about it.

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How well do you take care of your health?
As well as my means allow
Not well at all
I try to eat right, but that's it.
I work out a lot but I don't eat that many veggies.

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Do you like the community you would likely be policing?
I love them. They are wonderful people.
I think they're all scum.
I think they're like anyone: deserving of justice.
They're nice folks I guess. I don't really know them.

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How would you feel about becoming a detective?
That would be a great honor.
That'd be so cool. I could wear a leather jacket with the badge clipped to the inside, like the old movies!
Much better than being a beat cop, if you ask me.
I don't think I could handle that.

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How do you try to judge chaotic situations?
Take a breath and try not to let the fight or flight response take over.
Don't judge, just act.
Step back and try to logic through things.
Subdue everyone, then ask questions.

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