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Policing Takes Patience and Brains


Officer David Sessum, Traffic Division, Portland Police Bureau, OR

I had a whole different career path in mind after high school, but as I started to become more aware of law enforcement, it just grabbed me. That’s what I do today.

When I was finishing up my associate’s degree, I had to write a term paper, and I chose the topic of community policing. I learned that Portland was a trend-setter in community policing and decided that Portland was where I was going to be a police officer. Community policing is developing relationships with the public and businesses and working together to build and maintain safe neighborhoods.

My current position is with the Traffic Division as a motorcycle officer. I love what I do. I get paid to ride motorcycles for a living; you can’t beat that. I also get to meet a lot of people through my job, particularly young people. I enjoy talking to them about their choices and about what they are doing; it is the best part of the job.

We get a lot of discretion and independence in what we can do as police officers. We have so much freedom working with the public, and it allows us to accomplish a lot of things. It is a good feeling to get things done and know that you are making a difference.

If you are interested in becoming a police officer, it takes patience and brains. You need patience because the application process can take some time. And you need brains, because police officers have to think their way through a lot of situations to achieve successful and safe results.

Learn more about Portland Police Bureau at: http://www.portlandonline.com/police/

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