Many aspirants to becoming a policeman usually know the basics of what it means to be an officer of the law.
However, this guide would like to recommend prospective candidates interested in pursuing a career in the force to learn more than the actual police officer job description.
One way he can learn more about the cop’s duties is to spend a day on the field with a policeman.
Since the nature of the job implies not putting civilians in danger, the alternative is to check the police officer forums and guides and see what an average day looks like.
The Broad List of Duties
The simplified version of a police officer job description available across the US is as follows:
- Patrolling a specific area by foot or marked/unmarked motorcycle or car
- Answering to radio calls and investigating complaints, collisions or disturbances
- Issuing traffic citations to pedestrians and motorists
- Investigating minor crimes and making arrests if necessary
- Identifying and protecting evidence
- Securing crime scenes
- Providing court testimony
- Transporting prisoners/criminals
- Assisting in riot controls
- Directing traffic and escorting convoys
- Serve warrants and subpoenas
- Write reports, bulletins
- Providing first aid for the injured
The law enforcement officers need to act efficiently and fast in most circumstances and hence, the scanner codes play an essential part in quick reaction and force mobilization during rescues and emergencies.
Even though the role of the codes is to keep communication confidential, they are also extremely useful in sending multiple signals in a rather short and prompt manner.
While they are not explicitly presented in the police office job description, as they can contain variations from one department to another, the scanner codes are an integral part of this profession.
Here is a small list of the most common codes:
- Code 2 – Requesting urgent assistance, no lights or sirens
- Code 10 – Requesting further assistance with SWAT back-up
- Code 10-71 – Shooting in progress
- Code 10-56 – Suicide
- Code 10-200 – Drugs involved
Some Clarifications on the Extent of His Authority
In theory, police officers have the right to enforce the law at all times with the condition that they identify themselves as law enforcement agents.
Consequentially, even when being off-duty this professional has the authority to arrest offenders and carry concealed weapons; with the distinction that he can place them under citizen’s arrest and wait until an officer on duty arrives.
However, most police departments will strongly discourage its agents from exerting their authority while not in uniform, unless the circumstances are life threatening.
As the key to performing these actions is identification, it is worth mentioning that off-duty police officers typically have the same rights and limitations as private citizens.
Police Officer Job Description at the Work Environment
Even though the risk level for this profession is generally considered dangerous, take note there are many variables that decide just how perilous it really is.
For instance, police officers working on night shifts are exposed to more danger compared to those on the daily shifts, as the crime rates tend to be higher during the nights.
Another criterion that determines the level of risks involved with the profession is the location, as metropolitan areas are more hazardous compared to suburban areas.
The general idea that being a police officer is synonymous with living on the edge usually comes from the Hollywood blockbusters.
However, as it can easily be seen from the daily duties, the job is rather more stressful than dangerous.
Having to be present at various domestic quarrels, constantly seeing abuses, working with the hostile public and getting to see the various faces of death firsthand are not elements anyone can take easily.
Do you think you have what it takes to live on the edge?