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Police officers enjoy enforcing laws and working with people from all walks of life. They may work indoors or outdoors and travel a lot for work. They work alongside ambulance officers, firefighters, lawyers, prison officials and members of the community.


Police officers may do some or all of the following, depending on their area of specialisation

  • police selected areas on foot or by patrol car
  • help people in a wide range of emergencies
  • investigate crimes, domestic disturbances, serious crashes and sudden deaths
  • interview people and take statements
  • search for and arrest suspected criminals
  • write reports
  • give evidence in court
  • direct traffic and help drivers
  • give talks at schools.

Police officers need to have

  • knowledge of police policy and procedures, including the laws relating to police and traffic work
  • knowledge of how the court system works
  • knowledge of community support services
  • knowledge and understanding of a range of cultures
  • skill in observing human behaviour
  • communication and people skills, including interviewing, conflict resolution and negotiation skills
  • skill in preparing written and verbal reports
  • problem-solving skills
  • record-keeping skills.

Police officers need to be

  • honest and able to keep information private
  • mature and responsible
  • firm and fair
  • friendly, patient and helpful
  • able to remain calm in emergencies
  • good at listening
  • motivated, determined and disciplined
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to deal with a wide range of challenging situations.
Medium_logo_nzpolicesc Paul (Dog Squad)
Dog Squad

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