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Police Patrol Officers

Also called: Patrol Officer, Patrolman, Police Officer, Police Sergeant

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:
  • 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.
  • Monitor, note, report, and investigate suspicious persons and situations, safety hazards, and unusual or illegal activity in patrol area.


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
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
  • do two or more things at the same time
Visual Understanding
  • see hidden patterns
  • quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen


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


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
  • DesignWare 3D EyeWitness
Spreadsheet software
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • Microsoft Excel


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
associate's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about police patrol officers.