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Your Written Exam: How To Think Like A Cop

Sergeant George Gody

The most important Police Priorities will normally fall in this order:

1. Protect Others — Citizens, victims, fellow officers — assist and protect people who are endangered.

2. Secure Public Order — Whether on your beat or during a critical incident — keep the peace.

3. Uphold the Law — Enforce, arrest, investigate, protect crime scenes, and preserve evidence.

4. Provide Non-Emergency Assistance — To non-injured victims, the elderly, neglected children, lost or stranded people, the mentally ill, the homeless — those in distress, but not imminent danger.

5. Maintain Order On Your Beat — Check your beat for suspicious activity. Investigate suspicious persons, potential hazards, etc. Know your beat by becoming familiar with the streets, the buildings and the people, especially the criminal element.

6. Maintain Traffic Flow — Report and ensure defective or damaged traffic signals and signs are repaired or replaced — direct traffic safely and effectively until signs and signals are in place.

Police work continually brings officers face to face with situations that can be fraught with conflicting values. Police priorities are set up to support every officers decision-making capabilities so actions are determined based on accepted values and department-designated priorities.

To further support every officer in making effective decisions, every police department has in place a well-defined list of Police Hierarchy.

Police Hierarchy establishes importance as regards to rank and authority. It will remind you of the Police Priorities list, but the value system behind the Police Hierarchy involves the parameters of orders, regimens, policies, and regulations — and how an officer operates and defines his decisions for taking action within those parameters.

Generally, a departments’ Police Hierarchy list will be as follows:

1. Protect life — Your first action should always be a response to those things that pose a threat to annoys safety and well being: performing CPR, first aid, calling for an ambulance, etc.

2. Obey Orders — Emergency or non-emergency situations demand an officer obey orders. The only acceptable exception to this is when an order interferes with the primary directive: protecting life.


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