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Traits that make good police leaders: identify leadership potential during recruit selection


Police recruit selection is an important process. Few agency cycles for selection look for candidate with attributes that seek the potential of leadership. Generally, selection cycles use a screening out process by eliminating those applicants that do not pass a specific selection phase and are not allowed to move to the next phase of evaluation. This article is  about  the  inclusion  of  leadership  potential  when  screening  applicants.  This  article also addresses quality leadership traits and how they differ from leadership styles. The instrument included four leadership questions asking about potential for future leadership and how important were certain characteristics. Police chiefs who were members of the state police chief associations of their respective states were asked their opinions on the importance of the recruits having the following attributes of leadership: potential, high school and college grades, hobbies and interests, and reading material. How strongly did they believed these attributes should be considered in the selection process for new police recruits. A brief review of the literature illustrates some of the contemporary and classic traits of good leadership. This article also illustrates differences between leadership traits and styles.


leadership traits, police selection, police recruits, leadership potential, leaders, leadership