General Competencies for Police Officers

The following ten competencies are those the applicant must possess and bring to the job.


Ability and confidence to vary between being flexible and holding firm on a decision, depending on what the situation requires; showing leadership by adjusting one’s approach to the demands of a particular task or by taking and maintaining a position in a self-assured manner.


Degree to which someone is honest; has integrity; accepts responsibility for their actions; has high ethical standards; earns the trust of others by consistently demonstrating sound moral principles; does the right thing; reliably fulfills commitments through self-discipline and sense of duty.

Initiative/ Perseverance

Willingness to take action to address needs without being requested to do so; staying on task to completion, particularly in the face of obstacles or other trying circumstances.

Interpersonal Skills

Ability to work effectively with different people and teams of people, by putting others at ease, acknowledging diverse opinions, addressing relevant concerns, minimizing conflict, promoting harmony, cooperating with others, and working toward consensual solutions to achieve group objectives.

Judgment/ Problem Solving

Ability to assess situations and problems; identify possible actions/solutions; and make sound decisions based on facts, logic, and probable outcomes.


Ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills on the job; to observe, remember, and recall significant information and events (e.g., people, vehicles, facts, suspicious behavior, environmental details, etc.)

Organization Skills

Ability to identify and set priorities; to plan and effectively allocate resources; to attend to details so that relevant issues are addressed and high quality outcomes result.

Stress Management

Ability to work well under pressure; maintaining effectiveness and self-control in the midst of any one or combination of stressors, including emotional strain, ambiguity, risk to self, and fatigue.

Valuing Service & Diversity

Sensitivity to client and community needs and perceptions by providing prompt, efficient and equitable service; involving clients and community in the resolution of problems that affect them.

Verbal & Written Communication Skills

Ability to communicate in both oral and written form, including giving (speaking and writing) and receiving (listening and reading) information, in a way that ensures messages are understood.