What Do Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Do?
Patrol officers have the essential duty of protecting their communities from various crimes. They are responsible for maintaining order and enforcing local, state and federal laws. You will have jurisdiction over a certain area, and you will need to patrol that area for any wrongdoings. Additional tasks can include issuing citations, investigating crime scenes and arresting suspects.There is expected to be plenty of growth for this particular position in the coming years, and over 24,000 job openings are projected to be created every year. That means the number of patrol officers in the country is going to increase by 6% every year.
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Skills and Abilities
The most important skill you need to possess if you plan on entering this field is knowledge of public safety ordinances. You should also have an in-depth understanding of relevant laws and legal codes that need to be enforced. It can also be useful to have a little bit of knowledge concerning human psychology to better understand why certain crimes are committed. You will be interacting with the general public quite often, so you need to know how to provide good customer service. Critical thinking skills are crucial in this line of work because you need to determine what course of action to take at a moment’s notice. You constantly need to be aware of your surroundings, and you need to be able to monitor the actions of civilians and your fellow officers.
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Duties
In addition to enforcing laws within the community, you will also need to simply patrol the area to make sure everything is going smoothly. You may be tasked with monitoring traffic conditions to ensure everybody is driving safely. In the event that something happens, you will need to respond and assist with whatever the situation is. If the crime involves a victim who has been injured, you will need to make sure he or she gets the proper care. You will also be responsible for appearing in court to testify during proceedings. You may also need to provide information to the proper agencies depending on what exactly the crime was. You will also need to provide emergency information to civilians and direct people away from a crime scene. Other essential tasks include:
- Gathering evidence at the scene of a crime.
- Monitoring surveillance equipment.
- Interviewing people.
- Maintaining records.
- Inspecting buildings.
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Tools and Technology
There are numerous items you will become familiarized with once you become a patrol officer. You will learn the proper way to use handcuffs and handguns. You will also learn how to operate a patrol vehicle and your radio system. It is also advantageous to learn how to use a biological evidence kit.
Education and Training for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers
Although some officers choose to pursue a college degree, you generally only need a high school diploma to get started in this field. However, no matter what you are coming in with, you will still need to go through training while you are on the job. Taking various law enforcement instructional programs can also prove to come in handy.
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Salary
There are various ranks within police departments, and the amount you make is generally related to how much experience you have. Rookies can expect to make around $33,000 a year, which is the low end of the scale. More experience officers can make as much as $92,500 annually.
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Jobs by Geography
Every state depends upon police officers, but the states with the highest concentrations of professionals in the population are the District of Columbia, Mississippi and Alabama. This is a noble career path to pursue, so learn more about opportunities in your state.