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  • LE & pesonality types

    In the past couple weeks I have had the comment made to me twice "you must be a cop" or mentioned to a friend "he must be a cop". Not necessarily as a bad statement, but rather just a general comment. I don't know why someone added this additional, but said "you're a "D" personality type". Me being curious did some research to find if this is common in LE as well as what the hell a "D" personality is. I found that the most common type in LE is "A" and generally "D" types are found in high level professional positions such as executives, presidents or CEO's, but Police were also mixed in the list. I definitely fit many of the traits, one being direct and to the point; I don't beat around the bush. I also read that people usually can't be classified as one personality type, but rather exhibit traits of a couple. My curiosity got the best of me to ask opinions on how common do officers exhibit "D" personality traits? I also found that its possible to have a pre-LE personality and personality once working in the profession as well as, not surprising varying between larger cities and smaller towns.

  • #2
    No idea what a D personality is but Meyer-Briggs I'm an INFP.

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    • #3
      https://owlcation.com/social-science...pe-a-or-type-b

      here is an article on the A,B,C,D personality. Its nothing scientific or medically anything, but just a generalization. I've never had a problem with depression. I guess at times can be over cautious, but then again is there anything as over cautious in LE? I have always taken the view that in LE risk is part of the job, but In a prudent rather than reckless way since you can't help if you are a victim yourself. My wife does make comments that I am a little to restrictive on our kids when they want to play on the jungle gym or climb around on park equipment.

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      • #4
        Reading the lists, I'd say I'm type B.

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        • #5
          Type E or maybe F: Rationalizing pychotic pacifist. M-B: INFJ

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          • NW121
            NW121 commented
            Editing a comment
            INFJ is a pretty rare type. Potent intuition, based off my own experiences.

        • #6
          I can't help but wonder how valid these personality types-definitions are. And how useful they can be. 16 types in M-B. That's 4 better, 1/4th more accurate than going by the signs of the Zodiac? Bunko has clearly shown us if you toss in enough platitudes and placations the consumer is ready to swallow the BS wholesale.
          "He could sell rats arseholes to blind men, calling them diamond rings." - Paper Moon.

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          • #7
            I think one has to fall somewhere in the Type A personality spectrum in order to work in law enforcement successfully. A LEO needs to, without effort, instinctively take charge of a situation, force his will, be inclined to react rather than hesitate in a situation requiring action, be organized and have an eye for small details, and take aggressive initiative. I think anyone who enters LE with a full desire to be a law enforcement officer is already Type A in some form or another, which is why they are even attracted to the field in the first place. Some people enter law enforcement because they already are hard charging types who are looking for an adrenaline rush and for a career where they can be in their natural element as an alpha, dominating figure. Others want to serve, they obviously do want the excitement and risk of the job, but being an authoritative individual is something they aspire to be rather than something with which they were born.

            And that IS something that can be learned; there are those out there who were completely different after spending time in law enforcement. I am one of those people. Generally, I'm laid back, friendly, and I avoid unnecessary confrontations. When I started, I couldn't give orders to anyone; either I was weak and unsure or, if I tried to compensate, I overdid it and came across as an *******. But with experience, some tough love from a rough-around-the-edges but good hearted lieutenant, and the support of friends I made at the jail, my demeanor changed and I developed a command presence, as well as the ability to tell someone what's what when I needed to. I know I changed, because I've had many people who don't even know me ask if I am a cop or a correctional officer. I've been told the way I stand, talk, and the way I'm always studying people when I'm talking are all giveaways that I've had a badge at some point in my life.

            From my personal experience, I think guys who are natural hard charging types are best suited for being an urban cop. There's a lot of action, less emphasis on community policing, and for guys looking to be like John Cooper from Southland or Tom Hauk from The Wire, the city is where that personality is going to work. It's tough for guys who are not natural hyper-type As, as the guys that are usually don't accept them. A suburban, small town, or rural department is a better setting for a guy who is more naturally laid back: He'll see action, but he'll have a lot of time to get things done and recover when he does see action.
            "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
            -Chris Rock

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            • #8
              To give an example of how nebulous and inaccurate these personality definitions are, a type D:
              "The studies show that as many as 18 to 53 percent of cardiac patients have type D personality."
              In other words, on average type D can have 7% less cardiac patients than the other three on out to over half. That really narrowed it down. I hope that was a typo.

              But anyway, ever heard the expression above and beyond the call of duty? Where someone excels beyond their normal innate capacity? I'll cite a CHP I've known for many years. At home he's a C to D. At work he flips a switch and in solid 100% A. During breaks he can swing the entire spectrum.
              Personally I think the flexible personality makes the best cops. They are certainly the ones that can leave their work OTJ and not pack all that baggage home to dump on their family.

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              • #9
                In hiring we refer to LEO types as "hunters" and "helpers". Hunters get their rush going after the bad guys. Helpers are more community-focused. Every cop (or applicant) falls somewhere on that spectrum...and each will succeed in a different type of agency/community. Someone who's 80% hunter and 20% helper will thrive in a fast-paced high crime urban department. Someone who's 70% helper and 30% hunter is more suited for a suburban or rural environment. Those who lean too far to either side probably won't make it anywhere. Someone who's 100% hunter turns into a menace and a liability...and someone who's 100% helper won't get the job done.

                When we tell someone that they're "not a good fit for our department" we're not just bull****ting them. They may just be too much of one and not enough of the other for OUR department...but they may be a perfect fit for another agency.

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                • #10
                  Be wary. By saying you are a "D" type personality, they might be trying to tell you that cops are d1cks.

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post
                    In hiring we refer to LEO types as "hunters" and "helpers". Hunters get their rush going after the bad guys. Helpers are more community-focused. Every cop (or applicant) falls somewhere on that spectrum...and each will succeed in a different type of agency/community. Someone who's 80% hunter and 20% helper will thrive in a fast-paced high crime urban department. Someone who's 70% helper and 30% hunter is more suited for a suburban or rural environment. Those who lean too far to either side probably won't make it anywhere. Someone who's 100% hunter turns into a menace and a liability...and someone who's 100% helper won't get the job done.

                    When we tell someone that they're "not a good fit for our department" we're not just bull****ting them. They may just be too much of one and not enough of the other for OUR department...but they may be a perfect fit for another agency.
                    Sounds pretty black and white. What criteria does your dept. use in the assessment? How long a period of time is usually involved? I'm thinking of a certain group at ours and many stations where 08:15 and a half dozen cups of Joe they are balls to the walls and come 16:30 you have trouble prying them out of the cruiser.

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by BetteNoireX View Post

                      Sounds pretty black and white. What criteria does your dept. use in the assessment? How long a period of time is usually involved? I'm thinking of a certain group at ours and many stations where 08:15 and a half dozen cups of Joe they are balls to the walls and come 16:30 you have trouble prying them out of the cruiser.
                      It's not black and white -- it's a grayscale. And it's not about (caffeine-induced) energy levels -- it's about inherent personality traits and attributes. We can get a pretty good idea from the oral board and psych.

                      If I were you I'd be more worried about your fellow officers being too lazy to move when their caffeine fix wears off. WTF?

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post

                        It's not black and white -- it's a grayscale. And it's not about (caffeine-induced) energy levels -- it's about inherent personality traits and attributes. We can get a pretty good idea from the oral board and psych.

                        If I were you I'd be more worried about your fellow officers being too lazy to move when their caffeine fix wears off. WTF?
                        Skirting our depts dirty laundry here. You old timers having much more experience than I in this regard. Let's say things have improved lately. Call it a combination of cleaning house with instilling enthusiasm, regular gym sessions and administration taking a much more proactive role in our day to day operations.
                        Worried? Yes. I recently spent some time flying a desk on a medical thanks to an officer that didn't engage. If you recall my zonked out postings thanks to a doc not warning me of potential side effects.

                        To the point, I read about extensive testing done using a form of the MMPI with the test subjects put under differing circumstances. Only get 4 hours of sleep the night before, soft elevator music playing, distractions in the room and so on, and the test repeated with full rest, upbeat lively music, convivial atmosphere etc. End result was a solid 15% variation in the test results. IE, our immediate frames of mind can improve or be detrimental to our capacity to function which can be exacerbated when under stress. Also, our physique, being and feeling fit as opposed to out of shape and dragging yourself through the day can have a significant effect on our mental outlook, positive and upbeat as opposed to discouraged and pessimistic.

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