Mastering Police Work

Mastering Police Work
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Resources
Recorded on: 2019-09-12
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Mastering Police Work
Unit 2 Workbook: Mastering Police Work
Unit 3 Recording: Mastering Police Work

How to master policework and be a great police officer? The concept is abstract but somehow Dr. Jeff Fox is able to provide a crash course. Highlights of the book The Ultimate Guide to Being a Great Police Officer:  A Guide to Professional Policing is dissected into bite-sized chunks that can guide anyone into having a fruitful and purposeful career – whether one is looking at just entering the academy, has recently joined law enforcement, is looking to get promoted, or is leading people in the field.

One of Justice Clearinghouse’s regulars, Dr. Jeff Fox has 27 years’ worth of experience working in different areas of criminal justice and public service. He’s served as a military policeman in the army, in various roles with the Virginia State Police, and was the Incident Management Program Manager for the Virginia Department of Transportation. Since 2001, he’s been teaching and writing about different facets of law enforcement and criminal justice.

On this session, Dr. Fox unpacked things to consider from every point of an individual’s career in policing.

  • Starting your career right by:
    • Observing mindfulness in the company you keep, your communication techniques, and the people who provide you with guidance.
    • Staying positive and being open to learning through constant practice.
    • Keeping yourself marketable and competitive through critical thinking and good discretion.
  • Mastering skills for the profession like:
    • Empathy for the people you deal with daily.
    • Introspection and critical thinking to understand your strengths, limits, decisions, and actions and discern facts over emotions.
    • Undergoing training to expand your skills.
    • Discretion and humility in practicing one’s authority.
  • The importance of fluency in criminal procedure and law by:
    • Reminding yourself that nothing is off the record and to never compromise your integrity.
    • Familiarizing and keeping updated with all the legal concepts necessary to uphold and properly enforce the law.
    • To act in accordance with the constitution and respect its power constantly.
  • Guidelines in maintaining ethical behavior in law enforcement.
    • By demonstrating desired characteristics of hope, honesty, courage and empathy, prudence, good temper, and acting in accordance with the universal rule.
    • Demonstrating loyalty to the ideals of the agency and the constitution.
  • Enhancing communication skills through:
    • Working on verbal and non-verbal cues.
    • Speaking in the proper vernacular.
    • Observing discipline in the use of social media and other online fora.
  • Expectations and behavior on patrol.
    • Observing safety and precautionary measures before, during and after patrol duties.
    • Working on survival skills and being a well-rounded officer.
    • Tips on thoroughly patrolling your assigned area.
    • Guidelines when interacting with fellow officers, civilians, and those with special needs.
  • The inner work required to suppress the ego and instead uphold the law.
  • Guidelines when working on investigations.
    • Responding to citizens’ complaints promptly regardless of the gravity of the incident/crime.
    • Observing proper evidence collection and other preliminary work.
    • Proactively acting against potential crimes and following up exhaustively ongoing ones.
    • Ensuring the integrity of evidence, documentation, and confessions.
    • Treating suspects with respect and empathy.
  • Best approaches when working with juveniles.
  • Best practices for case management and tips on writing thorough and well-written reports.
  • Handling complaints and liabilities.
  • A walkthrough to successfully managing your career, integrating work lessons to life, and planning your retirement.
  • Attendees had questions for Dr. Fox about:
    • Finding work-life balance amidst the demands of the job.
    • Ways to identify the best candidates to hire and retain them.
    • Training for emotional intelligence and incorporating ethics into the curriculum.
    • How to best approach a micromanager.


Audience Comments:

  • “Every topic was thoroughly explained in a short amount of time allotted.” — CHERYL
  • “POLICE OFFICER must always think before they react…. proact so they won’t have to react.” — SHERRY
  • “Another excellent Jeff Fox webinar. I wish Dr. Fox could Lecture at every Academy class.” — Robert
  • “The seminar reinforced many of the qualities and attributes that I have pursued for myself in my own career as well as the qualities and attributes that I have reinforced in the new officer trainees I have overseen as a field training officer.” — W


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