Is Your Personality a Good Match for Law Enforcement?

Zoe Samuel

Image: PeopleImages / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

The idea of a "police force" is a very new concept. In the 1800s, civil libertarians worried incessantly that a police force would just be another way for the state to oppress the people. In the UK, it took Jack the Ripper to make the idea of a police detective a palatable notion. In America, many cities did not have police until the 20th century, either because of the cities' sizes, needs, budgets or levels of corruption.

Unlike professions like soldiering, being a police officer does not have that many decades of knowledge and thought behind it. Thus, police have to rely on the latest science and the long-held belief that certain behaviors and approaches will help them do their jobs effectively, and without causing unwanted confrontations.

Thus, being a police officer is about a lot more than being able to shoot straight. A police officer needs to be able to instantly develop a rapport with people they do not know, or, failing that, assert themselves in such a way as to diffuse volatile situations before they explode. Police need to be able to stifle their egos, but at the same time, totally dominate out of control suspects. Do you have the right balance of virtues to be a cop? Take this quiz to find out.

What should you do on your first day on the beat?

What do you call it when a cop spends most of his day hanging out in one place, like a pizzeria?

A sobbing woman approaches you, telling you she was drugged the night before, and awoke in a stranger's home. What do you do?

A huge man approaches you, cursing at you aggressively. What do you do?

You smell gas as you pass a house. What do you do first?

You see someone smack their kid in the face. What do you do?

You know the local kids are up to no good. How do you approach them, to talk to them?

There is a local drunk, found frequently asleep in front of the local market. How do you handle it?

A stolen car was found abandoned after a joyride. Evidence points to a local school's star athlete. What do you do?

A sobbing man approaches you, telling you he was drugged the night before, and awoke in a stranger's home. What do you do?

When do you disobey traffic laws?

Do you blame insulated communities for their crime rates, when those rates are high?

How close must someone with a knife get to you before you draw your firearm?

You pull someone over for speeding, and he refuses to give you his ID or registration. What do you do?

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?

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?

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?

You arrive on the scene of a drug overdose. What do you do?

Do you give credit to insulated communities for their crime rates, when those rates are low?

Do you find you are more likely to believe an accusation of violent crime when the accused is a person of color?

Is your judgement influenced by someone calling you names, or threatening you?

What do you think correlates most strongly to crime rates?

Is it better or worse for more people to be hanging out on their porches?

Would you rather be loved or feared?

How are you with boring repetitive tasks?

How organized are you?

How well do you take care of your health?

Do you like the community you would likely be policing?

How would you feel about becoming a detective?

How do you try to judge chaotic situations?

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