Police Officer Career
A police officer (also known as a constable in some countries) is employed in
most cases by federal, state/provincial or municipal governments and has the
responsibility (or duty) of enforcing federal, state/provincial laws along with
municipal/city ordinances. They also have the responsibility of keeping the
public peace. This is usually done by uniformed pra-active patrolling within
their jurisdiction looking for and investigating law breakers, and by responding
to calls for service.
The highest paid police officers earn more than $68,880 a year
Police officers are required to keep notes of all situations in which they take
action and appear as witnesses during both criminal prosecutions and civil
litigation. One of the lesser-known but most time-consuming duties of officers
is completion of documentation of activity ("reporting").
It must be noted that the responsibilities of a police officer/constable are
extremely broad and not in any way limited to the duties mentioned above. Police
are expected to be able to respond in some fashion to any and all situations
that may arise while they are on duty. Also police must act as government
officials in the cases of investigation. In some communities rules and
procedures governing conduct and duties of police officers requires that they
act if needed even when off duty.
People depend on police officers and detectives to protect their lives and
property. Law enforcement officers, some of whom are State or Federal special
agents or inspectors, perform these duties in a variety of ways, depending on
the size and type of their organization. In most jurisdictions, they are
expected to exercise authority when necessary, whether on or off duty.
Uniformed police officers have general law enforcement duties, including
maintaining regular patrols and responding to calls for service. They may direct
traffic at the scene of an accident, investigate a burglary, or give first aid
to an accident victim. In large police departments, officers usually are
assigned to a specific type of duty. Many urban police agencies are involved in
community policing--a practice in which an officer builds relationships with the
citizens of local neighborhoods and mobilizes the public to help fight crime.
Some police officers specialize in such diverse fields as chemical and
microscopic analysis, training and firearms instruction, or handwriting and
fingerprint identification. Others work with special units, such as horseback,
bicycle, motorcycle or harbor patrol; canine corps; special weapons and tactics
(SWAT); or emergency response teams.
A few local and special law enforcement officers primarily perform jail-related
duties or work in courts. Regardless of job duties or location, police officers
and detectives at all levels must write reports and maintain meticulous records
that will be needed if they testify in court.