Skip navigation

Police Patrol Officers

Also called: Patrol Officer, Police Officer, Police Patrol Officer, State Trooper

Where in the Coast Guard? In the Coast Guard: Maritime Enforcement Specialist; Port Security Specialist; Tactical Air Control Party (TACP)

What they do:
Patrol assigned area to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, control crowds, prevent crime, and arrest violators.
On the job, you would:
  • Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts.
  • Provide for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations.
  • Record facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.


Safety and Government
  • public safety and security
  • law and government
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Math and Science
  • psychology
  • sociology and anthropology
  • customer service


Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
  • understanding people's reactions
  • bringing people together to solve differences
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
  • do two or more things at the same time
Visual Understanding
  • see hidden patterns


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Self Control
  • Attention to Detail
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Leadership


You might use software like this on the job:

Data base user interface and query software
  • Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS
  • National Crime Information Center NCIC database
Graphics or photo imaging software
  • Computer aided composite drawing software
  • Microsoft Visio Hot Technology
Spreadsheet software
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
certificate after high school
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Training Find Certifications Registered Apprenticeship

Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
per year, on average
Check out my state Find Jobs

Explore More

See more details at O*NET OnLine about police patrol officers.