Police Patrol Officers
Also called: Patrol Officer, Police Officer, Police Patrol Officer, State Trooper
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Police patrol officers monitor community safety and respond to calls from the public. Whether on foot, on wheels, or on horseback, the job of patrol officers is to be alert for any threat to public safety, from enforcing traffic laws, to helping a lost child, or responding to an unfolding and highly dangerous situation. Police officers are licensed to carry guns, which comes with great responsibility. They must pass rigorous academic, psychological, and physical exams to prove they have what it takes to balance their responsibilities. Even in life-threatening situations, officers need to stay calm, think clearly and make good on-the-spot judgments. While Hollywood makes police work seem constantly action-packed, most patrol officers will tell you the job is often very routine. Police work requires patience -- and paperwork; documenting every incident in detail. Officers are drug-free and have no felony convictions on their record, and those out in the community are expected to be physically fit. Some departments require a high school diploma, while others prefer a college degree in criminal justice, although other majors are often accepted. Speaking a second language is a plus. Police patrol officers are true public servants who are expected to conscientiously, and courageously “serve and protect.”
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
- sociology and anthropology
- customer service
- 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
- 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
- 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:
- Self Control
- Attention to Detail
- Stress Tolerance
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