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What Is The Job Of The Police

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Series: A Closer Look

What is the Role of the Police?

Examining the News

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This article was co-published with The Atlantic and is not subject to our Creative Commons license.

Across the United States, cities are experiencing turbulence and a rise in gun violence following the protests of abusive policing sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. More than 110 people were shot in that city in the month following Floyds death, eight fatally. In Atlanta, 106 people were shot over a 28-day period ending July 11, up from 40 over the same period last year.

What Is The Role Of The Police

The job of the police in Canada is to enforce the law. Police must also obey the law themselves. They cannot, for example, accept money in return for dropping charges against someone. It is illegal for anyone to offer money to a police officer. If police themselves break the law, they are punished like anyone else.

Every person in Canada has certain rights in relation to the police, including:

  • Generally the police cannot go into or search your home without a warrant.
  • If you are arrested, you must be permitted to contact a lawyer in a reasonable amount of time.
  • If you are arrested, you must be told why you have been arrested.
  • If there is not enough of a reason for your arrest, you must be released.
  • You cannot be convicted and punished twice for the same offence.
  • You cannot be subjected to any cruel and unusual punishment. The police cannot beat you, torture you, or threaten your family.

You can contact the police when you have been a victim of a crime, for example, if someone has broken into your house or you have been assaulted by someone. If your life or a member of your familys life is in danger, the police are there to help get you out of that situation.

Qualifications For Police Officer

  • High school diploma or general education degree required minimum 60 college semester hours in criminal justice or related field preferred
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Successful completion of police officer certification exam in state of practice
  • Successful completion of police officer training academy in state of practice
  • Current CPR certification
  • Valid driver’s license in state of practice
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check
  • Ability to pass a physical agility test
  • Working knowledge of local, state, and federal laws
  • Working knowledge of basic law enforcement terminology, concepts, procedures, and techniques
  • Excellent judgment and physical stamina

Ready to Hire a Police Officer?

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The Origins And Operation Of Canadian Policing

Modern Canadian policing has its roots in many of the traditions and practices of the night watch system developed in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The official establishment of modern policing began with passage of the Police Metropolitan Act of 1829 in London, England. Among the most important elements of the Act were the call for citizen responsibility for law and order and the consolidation of the crime prevention and law enforcement powers of local constables. Also presented were the basic principles of law enforcement, written by Sir Robert Peel who also introduced the Act. These principles are still in effect today, having been adopted by the Canadian police as the basis of modern professional police services .

The first Canadian police officers recorded in the history books worked in Quebec City in 1651 and their only duty was to act as night watchmen for the community . By the late 1830s, however, it was evident that crime was on the increase and it could not be controlled by self policing or volunteer policing. From this resulted the 1835 formation of the first Canadian police force in Toronto . To this day, the basic strategy for deploying police personnel is the watch system, or preventive patrol. Although questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the watch system, officers are still assigned to patrol large districts, based on the premise that they provide a police presence which deters offenders and allays citizen fears about crime .

Moral And Ethical Obligations

Police Officer

Ethics, integrity, accountability and honesty are important values for a police officer to possess. At all times, police officers must follow the law and departmental regulations. For example, use of force must be reasonable and necessary. They are are expected to carry out their duties and responsibilities equitably and justly. Police must not show favoritism or act in a discriminatory manner recognizing that all citizens deserve respectful treatment regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin or religion, for instance. The police code of ethics prohibits dishonesty and corruption. Police officers who engage in serious misconduct on duty or in their personal life can face disciplinary action and legal prosecution. When assisting crime victims, police have a duty to be caring, compassionate and responsive by taking the report seriously, pursuing the offender and explaining victim services available in the community.

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Police Officer Job Description

Description: A Police Officer within the Town of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina is responsible for the enforcement of state and local laws within the Town.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Answers police calls for service
  • Responds appropriately to critical situations applies police procedures
  • Investigates crimes and accidents
  • Prepares incident, accident and arrest reports
  • Processes minor crime scenes for fingerprints
  • Serves arrest warrants and criminal summons
  • Conducts follow-up investigations on case assignments
  • Serves subpoenas
  • Works traffic details and assignments
  • Attends and testifies in court
  • Investigates narcotics and criminal activities
  • Writes and serves search warrants
  • Works varied shifts as required
  • Operates, inventories and/or calibrates equipment such as breath alcohol sensors, Tasers, cameras, computers, weapons and other equipment
  • Participates in and organizes community-oriented policing activities
  • Performs the duties of patrol officer, traffic safety officer, school resource officer, criminal investigator, recruitment officer, community service officer, narcotics officer, or other position as assigned
  • Performs other related duties as assigned

Knowledge Requirements:

Other Specific Requirements:

Supplemental Information:

Complexity: The work consists of related law enforcement duties. Potentially life-threatening situations contribute to the complexity of the position.

Supervisory and Management Responsibility: None.

Police Officer Job Description Salary & Benefits

In a nutshell, police officers maintain law and order, protect the general public, investigate crimes and prevent criminal activity from happening.

If you become a police officer, your career will be all about crime prevention, prosecution and punishment. Policing is such a varied career path that you could find yourself doing all kinds of activities.

You might be responsible for preventing heinous crimes and stopping dangerous criminal groups, such as organised crime syndicates. Alternatively, you might be working to diminish anti-social behaviour, or you might be taking part in counter-terrorism activities.

Moreover, you might be responsible for investigating crimes against people and their property, or maintaining public peace and order at large events, public gatherings and protests.

Essentially, your working day will be incredibly varied. After all, its not all about pinning perpetrators to the floor, handcuffing criminals and driving really fast with the sirens blaring. Sure, thats a small part of the job, but youll also be required to do a large amount of paperwork, write reports, attend court hearings, conduct research and interview suspects.

Police officers dont just simply run around the streets arresting criminals: they also work in collaboration with other public service professionals, such as court officers, community groups and local businesses.

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Apply To A Police Academy

You must apply to be accepted into a police academy and pass to become a police officer. If the application does not require college courses, having college classes in the criminal justice field can increase your chances of being accepted though. Youll also take a written test and pass a physical agility test. Scoring well on both of these will also increase your chances of being accepted. Check out an Entry Level Police Officer Examination Sample Test .

Work Environment About This Section

The Police Role in Society

Police and detectives held about 795,000 jobs in 2020. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up police and detectives was distributed as follows:

Police and sheriffs patrol officers 671,200
Federal government 8

Police and detective work can be physically demanding, stressful, and dangerous. Officers must be alert and ready to react throughout their entire shift. Officers regularly work at crime and accident scenes and encounter suffering and the results of violence. Although a career in law enforcement may be stressful, many officers find it rewarding to help members of their communities.

Some federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Secret Service, require extensive travel, often on short notice. These agents may relocate a number of times over the course of their careers. Other agencies, such as U.S. Border Patrol, may require work outdoors in rugged terrain and in all kinds of weather.

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How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer

In the US, the level of training required to become a police officer can vary from state to state and from agency to agency. Most law enforcement departments have their own academy, which recruits are required to attend for a period of 12 to 24 weeks before going out into the field. This includes classroom instruction in state laws, local ordinances, constitutional law, civil rights, firearms, first aid, emergency response, traffic control, self-defence, report writing, and accident investigation.

Once individuals graduate from the academy, they are paired with a more experienced partner where they slowly learn how to handle calls. There is typically a book where the coach checks off different types of calls that a street officer will handle. At the end of each day, the coach summarizes the new officer’s work, good or bad, in a Daily Observation Report or DOR. This book is checked monthly and signed off on by the lieutenant and captain. This practical training can last four to five months, but can be shortened if the rookie does exceptionally well. It can also be lengthened.

After the book is complete, and all has gone well, the new officer is released and assigned to a squad. Even then, it is impossible to know how to handle every situation. It takes awhile before new officers become good, knowledgeable and experienced officers.

Payroll Specialist Education And Training Requirements

Police Officer candidates are required to have at least a high school diploma. You may prefer candidates that have a bachelors degree in law, security, or a related discipline. A four-year college diploma in a relevant discipline is also suitable. Police Officer candidates need rigorous physical, agility, strength, and fitness training and testing to qualify for the role. They may also need a certain level of vision and hearing abilities.

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Working As A Police Officer

A police officer handles responsibilities like:

  • Documenting crime reports from victims and filing them in case files for further investigation
  • Arresting and processing criminals and carrying out stings in drugs and criminal dens
  • Patrolling assigned areas to ensure there is law and order and assisting residents needing help
  • Interrogating crime victims and potential suspects during investigations
  • Enforcing law and order on national borders and guarding government facilities like courts
  • Responding to domestic and public place disturbances and enforcing order
  • Taking charge of emergencies and disasters and helping out victims
  • Arresting drivers for traffic violations and issuing them tickets for fines
  • Reaching out to residents to improve police and community relations

What Are The Roles Of A Police Officer

What is the Typical Police Officer Salary? (...and is it ...

Police officers enforce the law and maintain civic order, according to the University of North Carolina Department of Public Safety. As part of their duties, police officers detect, investigate and foil crime, protect people and property from criminals, operate police vehicles, use specialized equipment, such as tasers, process relevant documentation, testify in court, and coordinate personnel during emergencies.

To perform their roles effectively, police officers are expected to understand and respect the law. They are also expected to work closely with people in the communities they serve, treat everyone fairly, keep track of the latest trends in policing, and maintain the psychological and physical discipline that effective policing requires. In many jurisdictions, police officers are viewed as role models, and it is not uncommon for officers to be invited to speak in schools and hospitals. Because they may be among the first people to respond to distress calls, police officers are trained in first aid. Wikipedia explains that some police officers are trained to handle specialized crimes such as drug trafficking, poaching, gun running and terrorism. Officers may be required to handle special duties such as witness protection, VIP protection and covert surveillance. Depending on the jurisdiction, police officers may be required to punish minor infractions by issuing citations for traffic violations.

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What Sergeants Should Know

Sergeants must know the Penal Code, General Orders, Supreme Court decisions and the United States Constitution by heart. They respond to calls from subordinates who may ask for approval for a search or entry into a dwelling. They may be asked to approve booking charges. They are investigations supervisors. They must know which notifications to make at a major crime scene, and in the precise order. They are evidence collection and crime scene experts. They will know recent developments regarding case law and what they mean. Line supervisors know they have a stake in keeping subordinates well-trained and up to date. Once they become aware of a deficient, neglectful officer or of an officer who violates department rules and policies, they too will be exposed to vicarious liability.

An informed front-line supervisor will know the difference between when a criminal or an administrative investigation is in order and when Lybarger and Miranda rules apply to officers or deputies. They know when an officer may be admonished and when they must be counseled. They know when the next steps need to be taken, including when to contact the captain and internal affairs.

Without question, the sergeant houses the knowledge base for the entire department.

What Is The Most Important Role Of A Police Officer

Who are the experts?Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team.

The most important role of a police officer is to enforce the law. This includes the protection of people and property. The police officer is responsible for patrolling his or her jurisdiction and identifying situations where the law is broken. Effective police officers are proactive in their patrols. Their role…

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Police Sergeant Job Description

Police sergeants present the first line of supervisors in the police force. They perform all the duties of a police officer as well as supervise, coordinate, and guide police officers and other department employees in their daily activities.

  • Completely free trial, no card required.
  • Reach over 250 million candidates.

What Other Positions Are Similar To Police Officer

What Are the Job Descriptions for a Police Officer

Police officers can be drawn from people with a professional backgrounds such as the ones below:

  • Army Officer: In the U.S there are army officers who, after their tour of duty is over, as veterans join the police force. They are able to transition easily to police officers because they have the discipline and training needed to be in civilian law enforcement.
  • Forensics: Graduates with a criminal justice bachelor’s degree can easily transition to be police officers because of their forensic skill set. They can analyze crime scenes and get evidence from them using their training, which can be useful during investigations.
  • Homicide Detectives: These hold a degree, mainly in criminal justice. They interview witnesses, collect evidence from scenes where bodies are found and carry out background checks on victims. In some states, for one to be a homicide detective, they’d have to be a police officer first.

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Should I Become A Police Officer

A career in law enforcement can seem exciting, rewarding and fun. It’s true that there are many good reasons to become a police officer, but before you take the leap and decide on this as a career, there are a few things you probably should know.

The Hiring Process– Long gone are the days of getting hired on the spot. You’re not going to walk into your local police station, hand in a job application, and be patrolling the streets the next day. The hiring process is now often quite long, taking four to twelve months or even longer.

Background Checks– Background checks for police employment are very detailed and thorough. Typically, they include a criminal history check, a credit check, and a look at your previous employment. Questions will also be asked about any past drug use. There may also be a polygraph exam, a medical physical exam, and a fitness test. All of this is just to see if the department should consider giving you an interview.

Academy Training– Training to be a police officer is hard. Some will succeed academically, but find the physical fitness gruelling. Some will be physically strong but have trouble passing the academic qualifications. Candidates will have to qualify with a firearm, or demonstrate proficiency in defensive tactics, first aid, and driving. Many recruits and cadets wash out of their academy classes due to injuries sustained during training.

Becoming A Uscp Police Officer

The United States Capitol Police is seeking professional individuals for entry-level police officer positions that offer extensive professional development and training, career growth opportunities in the field of law enforcement, and the privilege of protecting the Legislative Branch of the United States federal government.

USCP Officers perform a full range of rewarding police duties and responsibilities that include:

  • Policing the U.S. Capitol Complex to protect Members of Congress, visitors, and staff from crime and threats of disruption and terrorism preserving law and order serving as a deterrent to violations of laws, rules, and regulations
  • Enforcing federal and District of Columbia laws and regulations
  • Performing protective services, securing federally-owned buildings and property, and protecting government equipment and materials
  • Conducting preliminary and follow up investigations of crimes and accidents, and processing crime scenes
  • Preparing investigative reports and testifying in court.

Upon successful completion of training, probationary periods, time in grade, and all other professional requirements, future competitive promotions may be available to a higher rank or positions within a specialized area such as Dignitary Protection, Intelligence, Patrol and Mobile Response, K-9, Containment Emergency Response Team , and/or other positions within the Department.

Learn more about the Minimum Qualifications and Training for becoming a USCP officer.

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