What Does A Police Officer Do?
The task of police officers centers on keeping citizens and property safe. They do this by enforcing laws even at the risk of injuring or even losing their lives. As law enforcement officials, police officers may be assigned to patrol various areas in their jurisdiction. For example, traffic police are tasked with ensuring that traffic flows smoothly and that the roads are safe for all motorists. If they see drivers who are speeding, for example, they stop the driver and issue tickets for their traffic violation. Policemen who are on patrol in a certain community are alert for signs of trouble or illegal activities and when necessary, take action immediately.
Police officers work to solve crimes committed in their area of jurisdiction. They conduct investigations, interview informants and research about the persons involved in a crime. Once they have proof that a particular person did indeed commit a crime, they get a warrant from the court so they can make the arrest. They also prepare the case that will be filed in court and if needed, they will also be asked to give their testimony during court hearings.
Policemen are called upon to investigate complaints from residents. Whether it is about a smell coming from a neighbor’s backyard to a car suspiciously parked on the road across a house, they respond to them and conduct the necessary investigations. Police officers may also be called upon to respond to emergency situations, such as a domestic violence case when a wife is already beaten black and blue by the husband or when a homeowner calls 911 from a closet to report that thieves have already broken into her home. They are dispatched to the address immediately and are ready to respond to whatever situation they will encounter there.
Police officers may not necessarily be called upon all the time to deal with life-threatening emergencies. There are cases when members of the community invite police officers to hold awareness campaigns about crime and enlighten audiences. For example, schools may invite police officers to talk about the dangers of drinking and driving and the legal repercussions that it brings.
Police officers usually work with a partner in doing their day-to-day tasks although in smaller jurisdictions, they may do the patrols on their own. In cases when the policemen are the first to arrive at a crime scene, they check if there are survivors and administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation to revive them if the situation calls for it. They will then turn over the task of saving lives to paramedics and EMTs when they arrive. The police officers will then focus their attention on securing the crime scene so that evidence there will not be contaminated.
It is not impossible for police officers to have to fire their guns or do high-speed car chases which can put their lives at risk. This is where their training—combined with a lot of luck—will be playing a huge role in keeping them safe and in enabling them to arrest suspects. These situations will require not only physical stamina but mental alertness as well.
One of the most difficult parts of the job of a police officer is in dealing with death. Whether that has to do with the death of a suspect that the officer has killed with his bullet to save others who are in danger or the death of his or her partner, policemen have to find a way to be able to get past these traumatic experiences and still be able to efficiently discharge their functions. It may also be the job of a police officer to notify family members of the death of a loved one. For example, if they have responded to a car crash and one of those involved has died, it is up to the police to go to the house of the victim and inform the relative about the tragic incident and provide the necessary support.
When police officers are not responding to calls on the street, they are on their desks writing reports about the cases they are handling. They may also fill out forms and make sure that these are filed correctly so that the precinct has a record of each case for cases filed in court as well as a reference for future investigations.
Career Spotlight: Police Officer
A police officer is assigned to patrol a particular area and look out for any activity that is illegal or out of the ordinary. If there are suspicious activities, you investigate. You will usually be [...]