For anyone considering a career in law enforcement, it is important to be clear on the job requirements and the official job description before applying for a job as a police officer. The average person has no idea what entails being a police officer and very few people understand what is expected of them. Keep in mind, this is merely a general description, some towns/cities/states vary widely from others. To completely understand what is required for this job, you will need to procure a job description information packet from an intended employer.
Basics: Protecting the People
The basic description for their jobs is something of an umbrella statement. Police officers are required to patrol both residential areas as well as business establishments. In doing, they are to provide, when requested, protection of citizens and their property, the security of these people and businesses, and last but not least, emergency assistance.
From location to location, duties will range from the routine to the unexpected, but certainly are not limited by something as cut and dry as a job description. Because the world is ever changing around us, and communities are growing, these duties are constantly growing and morphing to fit the needs of the community and the people in them.
- First and foremost, police officers are expected to maintain peace and lawfulness wherever they are. They are meticulously trained to be constantly aware of their surroundings, and to be knowledgeable of all the current laws. The are required to observe and apprehend any people that attempt to violate the law, either in traffic, or general law. At all times they must be observant of any criminal activity around them, and be able to handle it as is legally expected. Through the duration of their respective shifts, they are to practice individual decision making skills in relevance to each incident they encounter during this time, and following a full shift they are required to draw up a full report on their activities during their shift and of all situations as they occurred. Along with these incidents in their Activity Report, they are required to fill out their respective state’s Incident Form pertaining to each incident, whether traffic stop, or criminal activity.
- When processing evidence, each officer is required to complete all forms mandated by the respective department, as well as logs or summaries that are included in the process. They are responsible for keeping the information up to date in any ongoing investigations, as well as logging new evidence as it may arise. Once all of the above paperwork has been completed, the officer is required to make necessary decisions regarding the placement or contact of individuals to/about the city’s Social Services Department, or any other organizations, both public and private, that may assist in the current situation. In concordance with local law, each officer is responsible for appearing in court to justify his or her decision in cases brought before a judge.
Along with the previous requirements, all police officers are also required to perform, to the best of their ability, any other duties that might be assigned to them by their superiors. These may include, but are not limited to, policing duties, community duties, and other duties as well. These are simply the general listings, as with any other information, they will vary from department to department.
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