Criminal justice practitioners endure a great deal of stress inherent in the profession. In addition to dealing with criminals, walking into unknown situations, and not having a rulebook to follow, these men and women are under the pressure of society to behave as model citizens. Fair, responsible, trustworthy, and strong are just some of the descriptors used when identifying the character of police officers. There are many reasons someone chooses a career in criminal justice. First, criminal justice practitioners have to be driven from within to act quickly and intelligently, to act with courage, and to recognize the important virtues and traditions of the profession. Next, officers possess a commitment to a noble cause and a desire to make the world a safer place. Finally, police officers’ duties are nonroutine, outdoors, dynamic, and socially significant, and they have discretionary decisionmaking, all of which make the profession appealing. The type of person who enters into a law enforcement career may employ the influence from the media, which shapes society’s perception of law enforcement as crime fighters. Policing is considered a subculture within criminal justice. The primary goal of police personnel systems is to find people who are conservative and traditional: blue-collar, hard-working, middle-class individuals. The selection techniques of law enforcement are based on physical agility, background investigation, polygraph examination, psychological testing, and oral interviews. The most important characteristic is a person’s fit as an honorable agent of the agency and of the profession. The typical qualities found in law enforcement officers contribute to, and exemplify, the professional culture of criminal justice.

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