Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officer Career

Job Description: Maintain order and protect life and property by enforcing local, tribal, state, or federal laws and ordinances. Perform a combination of the following duties: patrol a specific area; direct traffic; issue traffic summonses; investigate accidents; apprehend and arrest suspects, or serve legal processes of courts. Includes police officers working at educational institutions.


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Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officer Career

What Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers do:

  • Direct traffic flow and reroute traffic in case of emergencies.
  • Investigate traffic accidents and other accidents to determine causes and to determine if a crime has been committed.
  • Monitor, note, report, and investigate suspicious persons and situations, safety hazards, and unusual or illegal activity in patrol area.
  • 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.
  • Monitor traffic to ensure motorists observe traffic regulations and exhibit safe driving procedures.
  • Photograph or draw diagrams of crime or accident scenes and interview principals and eyewitnesses.
  • Record facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.
  • Render aid to accident victims and other persons requiring first aid for physical injuries.
  • Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts.
  • Review facts of incidents to determine if criminal act or statute violations were involved.
  • Testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases.
  • Inform citizens of community services and recommend options to facilitate longer-term problem resolution.
  • Execute arrest warrants, locating and taking persons into custody.
  • Evaluate complaint and emergency-request information to determine response requirements.
  • Investigate illegal or suspicious activities.
  • Relay complaint and emergency-request information to appropriate agency dispatchers.
  • Provide road information to assist motorists.
  • Verify that the proper legal charges have been made against law offenders.
  • Notify patrol units to take violators into custody or to provide needed assistance or medical aid.
  • Patrol and guard courthouses, grand jury rooms, or assigned areas to provide security, enforce laws, maintain order, and arrest violators.
  • Drive vehicles or patrol specific areas to detect law violators, issue citations, and make arrests.
  • Patrol specific area on foot, horseback, or motorized conveyance, responding promptly to calls for assistance.
  • Question individuals entering secured areas to determine their business, directing and rerouting individuals as necessary.
  • Transport or escort prisoners and defendants en route to courtrooms, prisons or jails, attorneys' offices, or medical facilities.
  • Serve statements of claims, subpoenas, summonses, jury summonses, orders to pay alimony, and other court orders.
  • Locate and confiscate real or personal property, as directed by court order.
  • Supervise law enforcement staff, such as jail staff, officers, and deputy sheriffs.
  • Place people in protective custody.
  • Process prisoners, and prepare and maintain records of prisoner bookings and prisoner status during booking and pre-trial process.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Holland Code Chart for a Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officer