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Your Written Exam: How To Think Like A Cop

Sergeant George Gody

Preparation for judgment/situational test questions on the police written test may seem daunting, but in reality, you need to capture only one thing — the mindset of a police officer.

Thinking like a police officer is not simple, yet the elements that make up a police officers mindset are simple, straightforward and support effective, correct actions and decisions in situational dilemmas.

Preparing yourself to view situational questions with the mindset of a police officer involves establishing a solid analytical foundation based on three fundamentals:

1. Common Sense

2. Police Priorities

3. Police Hierarchies

When these fundamentals are combined and applied to police situational questions, they become a single, skilled viewpoint that ensures the most effective and equitable actions and decisions. Using these fundamentals as your primary information filters; you can approach any situational problem and determine an effective and appropriate course of action.

Common sense is knowledge acquired through trial and error, experience and commonly accepted animate and inanimate behaviors, and the laws of physics.

For example: Is it safer to talk to someone involved in an auto accident in the street or on the sidewalk? Common sense indicates: Sidewalk. If you were knocking on someone’s door, would you stand in front of the door or off to the side? Common sense indicates: Side. If you’re pursuing a traffic violator at a high rate of speed through downtown traffic, do you continue the pursuit or let him go? Common sense indicates: Let Him Go. The risk of injuring innocent people is too high versus upholding the law by stopping a traffic violator.

Another example: What would you do if you saw a naked man walking down the street with only a cell phone in his hand? Arrest him? If so, on what charge? You should first ask questions and determine what happened. He may be a victim of a crime, so don’t jump to conclusions.

In police work, and in police situational test questions, using common sense to evaluate the situation means basing actions and decisions on knowledge that is generally common to everyone, but is occurring in a situation that involves a need for police action.

Common sense should temper your reactions, allowing you to control the urge to jump to conclusions before gaining all the available facts. Often the set of circumstances seen at first glance seems to warrant a certain conclusion, however, common sense allows us to see where circumstances simply could not coexist in certain situational conflicts.

Police Priorities are defined by each law enforcement department in particular, but can also be identified in general for the purposes of preparing for police situational test questions.

Assessing a situation and the information pertaining to it requires relying on your common sense and using Police Priorities to determine the most effective, appropriate course of action.

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    OMG, thank you so much for the advice. I always wanted to know the mindframe of a cop and how to apply it when taking the test.

  • Fallenherobadge-3_max160_max600_max160_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    thanks for the tips ill be sure to remember it

  • Hpim0634_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    thank you for the advice i will follow it and use it to become a cop

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago

    Be smart, be safe.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago


    may our heavenly father bless you and your family...may you continue of being instrument 2 d' pipol hu'd like to join in force..its a great help for all of us.Gud day!

  • Caronstar_20_2__max50


    almost 6 years ago


    Sgt you make good points and if an applicant will follow your suggestions they will do much better at the interview and during their career.

  • Bobcop_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    This reminds us all to think before acting.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago


    thanks 4 putting this out there, im just starting out in school and i found this most helpfull

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago

    Thank you, makes perfect sence.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago

    Well, for one thing having been a cop and I've taken alot of tests since then and I think that I might of missed 1 test in which I didn't pass and even that is questionable as I might of passed all of them, I forget.

  • 2010-ford-police-interceptor-concept-front-side-view_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    wow this Is very good. this is very helpful. thanks for publishing this!!

  • Moto_0019_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    very informative and helpfull thanks for the send. when i take the quiz again im sure ill pass. and meybe a little more prepaired for the future

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