Understanding what one is about to embark on as a police officer recruit occurs the day the academy received the application. Those who have been in this job for years will question the physical as well as emotional health of the candidate. Expectations are high for todays recruits, so should be the screening. Follow a candidate through the initial application process through to the end of the process as he or she is accepted into the next academy.
Keywords: job analysis, performance appraisal methods, reliability and validity
Job Analysis Paper
Police Officer Analysis
The job of any type of police officer comes with tremendous responsibility as well as many risks. There are many avenues that follow on the career path of a law enforcer. There are mental challenges one faces, so it is imperative for someone who’s looking to begin a journey in this field knows exactly what he or she will be faced with. There are several requirements that they must go through to be considered a candidate. Some of these requirements are mental capacity, strength, and endurance. A candidate run thought these assessments will guarantee that he or she is psychologically and physically capable of doing the job as a police officer.
Many organizations use various types of job analysis to define a specific job. At the beginning of a new job the employee should receive a list of the job duties. Receiving this list will not only aid the new employee in knowing what tasks need to be completed. The job selected is that of a police officer and how the job-analysis will define the right candidate.
A work-orientated analysis examines the abilities, skills, knowledge and other knowledge or KSAO’s (Spector, 2008). The physical side of a police officer compensates the majority of duties. Using KSAO’s method, those incapable of maintaining any level of the rigorous training will be excluded from the position of police officer.
An applicant needs to be physically fit when considering the position of police officer. A candidate must pass a written examination, physical abilities test, background investigation alongside a polygraph examination, be reviewed before a prescreening board, have an oral review, and a psychological examination and a physical exam before even considered a slot in the academy (City of Virginia Beach, 2011). The written exam consists of a bunch of questions that will test the knowledge of the candidate in his communication skills.
Evaluate the reliability and validity of job analysis
There is special equipment someone who’s interested in law enforcement needs to be well trained on. Items like two way radios, handcuffs, baton as well as the completion of reports and forms all help making his or her job safer and easier. By using the KSAO this ensures that a potential officer will know what is expected of the officers during their shift. Securing the right data, and the information is dependable is solely based on person responsible for collection methods (Competency and Position Analysis Questionnaires, 2012). After the data is collected, discussing the results with the employee will ensure that he or she is in agreement with his or her observations. It is often noted that not very many supervisors know all that an employee handles on a daily or weekly basis to provide adequate answers to various questions that may arise during an analysis. Someone who studies how to assemble information related to various jobs have to be trained. He or she needs to know what questions to ask, what information needs to be imputed, over other items that someone may feel needs to be ignored. Most analysts have a vast background. They receive training from already trained job analysts (Competency and Position Analysis Questionnaires, 2012). Some organizations can supply training to someone who is looking to be the in-house analyst.
Performance Appraisal Methods
There are several avenues that can be used when looking to evaluate someone seeking employment as a police officer. The physical evaluation is crucial for a police candidate. The aspirant needs to not only be physically fit, but also needs great eyesight and hearing which will aid the officer in remaining safe on the streets. The applicant also needs to have upper body strength and the ability to run at least a mile and a half based on the Occupational Handbook for Police and Detectives, 2009. Endurance, dexterity and, strength are all physical tests given to the potential officer to ensure he will excel at his position (Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, 2009). Staying physically fit throughout his career will prevent him from emotional or physical trauma.
Communication assessment is also another form of appraisal. This method is used during the prescreening interview as well as oral review board. Communication is vital when dealing with the public manner. Not just verbal communication, but written communications are just as important. The officer will be required to write reports based on encounters he or she has had with victims, suspects, and witnesses. Having someone who is an excellent writer will help prosecutors when cases are tried in court (Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, 2009). Another valuable skill that an officer needs to hold is that of decision-making and judgment skills. Listening skills do not fall to far behind these two either because it will be needed when faced with the myriad of situations one comes across in a career in law enforcement. Being able to communicate both verbally and manually is highly effective in law enforcement.
The other two processes that will accurately evaluate a police officers performance are objective measures, and subjective measures. Objective measures are used to count a specific behavior, such as how many times does an officer respond to a call for service. Information collected by called received at dispatch can be transferred into statistics kept for reference. Subjective measures are evaluations performed by someone who has extensive knowledge of that person’s job performance, such as his shift supervisor (Spector, 2008). Evaluations done by an officers supervisor is based on performance in common practices.
The demands of a police officer are physically as well as psychologically challenging. Because of the psychological impact an officer faces it is imperative that an officer candidate undergo as many evaluations as possible to make sure he or she is not a risk to himself, or the community the officer serves. The physical tests ensure that the safety of the officer will attempt to keep him or her as well as the public from harm. Having a job analyst come in to review policies and procedures ensure that each new recruit is on top of his game will not be a sad statistic of those caught in the life of fire.
City of Virginia Beach. (2011). Virginia Beach Government. Retrieved February 11, 2012, from What are the Steps to Becoming a Police Officer?: http://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/police/profstanddiv/Documents/stepstoa pplyingtobecomeaVBPDpoliceofficer.pdf
Competency and Position Analysis Questionnaires. (2012). PAQ Services. Retrieved February
11, 2012, from JOB ANALYSIS : http://www.paq.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=bulletins.job- analysis
Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections. (2009, December 17). Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition. Retrieved from Police and Detectives: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos160.htm#training
Spector, P. E. (2008). Industrial and Organizational Psychology 5th Ed. . Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. .