Police Officer Job Description

What Does A Police Officer Do?

People are quick to mouth off the cops. But little do they know how much work a cop must do. Police officers undergo rigorous training to get where they are today. The duties of a police officer largely depend on the location they are situated at. It also depends on their specialization. However, due to the lower crime rates in rural areas, there is rarely any chance for a person to specialize in any given field. Let us see some of the duties of an average police officer.

Patrolling

The main duty of any cop is to maintain law and order. They patrol the area they are assigned and look for people who are breaking the law. It is their job then to make these people understand that they are breaking the law or to take them into custody. If required they can also call for backup and arrest the suspect causing the nuisance. Thus, as a reciprocal, a police officer is also required to attend calls by other policemen during patrol even if the officer in question is not in his designated area. They present the detainee in the court of law and let them handle the punishment of the criminal.

Provide Security

Many public and private events are threatened daily by some terrorists or some other criminals. The cops are then supposed to provide security and look for criminals in such events. Sometimes they are supposed to protect a VIP or even a group of certain people. Other times they provide security for courthouses or other locations that are of public interest. They are sometimes required to escort a criminal from or to a jail.

Investigate

Many police officers are required to investigate the crimes they come across. For example, if they come across a murder, they are supposed to find out who did it and how it happened. Or if they come across any drugs they are supposed to investigate its source. They are required to bag any evidence they deem fit and report it to their superiors or to the forensics department for further investigation. Sometimes, to get proof, they can lie or deceive a suspect to get a confession out of them. A confession is the best proof any officer can have.

Protect Citizens

One of the major duties of a cop includes taking care of citizens. They are supposed to prevent them from any harm. To do so, they can injure or shoot a possible assailant that might cause the police or the citizens harm. Thus, they have the primary right to bear arms. They can call for backup if the situation gets worse. Sometimes they might also have to deal with explosives and if possible, disarm it themselves.

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Traffic Control

Some officers are required to control the flow of traffic in case the traffic lights stop working. They are supposed to ensure that the cars travel in a smooth flow and do not crash into each other or cause any other accidents. They are also supposed to note down any traffic violations and report the driver to the court. Sometimes they are also supposed to look after parking violations.

Specializations

There are often different units within a certain police station. These act in their own accord. These can be a special operations department, SWAT, forensics department, serial murders investigation, narcotics or anything of the sort. Thus, the duty of a police officer largely depends on which unit he is working with.

Reading Rights

One of the most basic duties of a police officer is to read any suspect they arresting or detaining their rights. They are obligated to call a lawyer for the detainee even if he or she can’t afford one. They are also supposed to work within the scope of the law and ensure that they themselves aren’t breaking any. Any detainee is supposed to be informed why they are being arrested. If said person isn’t being detained, then they have a right to leave if he or she pleases, and it is the job of the cop to let that person exercise that right.

Paperwork

The work of a police officer is not always dangerous (or exciting) as you may think it is. The records department handles all the case files and maintains them along with the evidence. To assist the records department each police officer needs to fill out certain paperwork after every arrest or transfer. They need to fill a detailed report of every case logging in all the evidence that they have gathered. They also need to fill out warrants and get them signed by a judge before they take active action on anything.

Working Hours

The working hours of a police officer varies from case to case. If there is no current case that he or she is working on, then they may go home at the prescribed time. In other cases, they are supposed to follow leads till their curiosity is satisfied for the day. Sometimes they are stuck doing paperwork all night or in a stakeout waiting for a suspect to ‘make a move’. As a police officer, they are supposed to ensure that their judgment isn’t based on race or gender. They are supposed to stay completely impartial. They are also supposed to respect religious sentiments of any suspect even at the time of an arrest.

The jobs and duties of a police officer go on and on. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Now that you know about all of this, I am sure you discovered a new respect for these cops. So, if you plan on ever becoming one, you know what you will have to do.