Police are trained to develop certain skills and practices to solve problems, whether problems relate to a crime investigation or to department politics and disputes among officers. Because police officers have critical duties to the public community, it is important that they implement effective techniques to solve problems and manage responsibilities. Many police training programs instruct recruits about techniques and skills to solve problems.
A critical skill for problem-solving is the ability to collaborate. Police work is a group effort. Certain assignments require officers to partner with other law enforcement officers, and public safety initiatives require officers to involve the local community to tackle problems, such as drugs, violence or crime. Police training programs stress the importance of officers' developing teamwork skills.
Identiffying the Problem
In order to solve a problem, police officers have first to properly identify the problem. Sometimes, the problem is not readily apparent. For instance, if there is a sudden increase in reports of crime, then police officers need to examine the facts and details of crime reports to locate more specifically the reason for increased reports of crime. Accurate identification of the problem is the first step towards a solution.
After a problem has been identified, police need to use analytical skills to determine the best solution. Important analytical skills require police to critically evaluate the severity of the problem, the nature of the problem and the implications of the problem. These details will help police to decide on the best plan of action to execute. Analytical skills can also be used to assess the efficacy of a response, which may need to be altered or amended to address new problems or issues.
The daily work and duties of the police can take an emotional toll on officers. During training, police officers are taught methods to manage their emotions in a professional and healthy manner. Emotional control is critical to problem solving, since emotions, stresses and impulses can interfere with an officer's ability to approach a problem objectively and with a clear head.