Character Matters: Five Pillars of Character in Law Enforcement Assessments
Assessing employees has been part of our work since 1955 but never before have we felt so compelled to incorporate employee character assessments into our evaluation process. We have witnessed and felt the tremendous pain public servants can inflict when questionable character gives way to unquestionably unacceptable actions. These public servants should never have been hired, but unfortunately, some have slipped through the cracks of the selection process. We have built our own identity as a company around values of character like Service, Integrity, Teamwork, Quality, and most importantly, Accountability. It should come as no surprise, then, that we feel accountable to the agencies we serve to make one message clear through the assessments we conduct, the questions we ask, and the recommendations we make.
Character matters. Above all else.
What Matters: Defining Character
What do we mean when we say that character matters? Well, to frame it in terms of our new Strength of Character Assessment and the areas it measures, we mean that:
- Understanding the people you serve matters
- Being open-minded matters
- Seeing things from perspectives other than your own matters
- Showing courage when doing the right thing instead of the easy thing matters
- Being honest matters
- Being one with the community matters
- Demonstrating fairness matters
- Staying disciplined matters
- Making an impact by what you say and do matters
- Being humble matters
Where it Matters
We read and hear about too many places where lacking character amounts to deadly consequences that devastate far too many families and communities while discrediting the hard work of dedicated public servants who devote their entire careers to doing what’s right. We also recognize that for every place where a critical lapse in character is brought to the public’s attention, there are countless other places where it’s showing up unnoticed or unchecked. With that in mind, our assessments account for character in every “where” a potential officer is faced with character-based decisions; out in public, amongst colleagues, on-shift, before shift, and after shift, those places where everybody’s watching, those places where nobody’s watching, and all the places in-between.
When it Matters
Character matters most when the pressure and the stakes are high. However, it’s the patterns people learn and repeat before these critical incidents that will often dictate the way they respond when people’s lives and well-being are on the line. Our assessment approach is designed to uncover the behavioral patterns that give rise to strong, mediocre, and poor character before it shows up in the line of duty.
Who it Matters To
Our focus on character matters to the candidate, of course, whose career in law enforcement can depend on the outcomes of our assessment. More important than that, though, is every family, every citizen, every victim, every perpetrator, every colleague, every child who will never forget the character this person showed when it mattered most to them. Not a day goes by without us deeply respecting how much it will matter to them.
Why it Matters
We take our process and conclusions very seriously because we know our judgments and recommendations have the power to be part of the problem or part of the solution. We live and work in communities just like the ones these law enforcement professionals will serve, and when the going gets tough, we hope the people we rely upon to serve and protect us will stand for the same message we have vowed to take a stand on from here on forward.
Character matters. It always will.