Police officers are responsible for keeping peace and security in a community. They uphold and enforce the law. They ensure that people in their assigned community follow the law. They also ensure that proper sanctions are given out to anyone who does not follow. Some police officers are assigned in the field, meaning they work outside of police stations. Those assigned to police stations are responsible for maintaining administrative matters as well, aside from maintaining peace and order. Police officers are expected to be trustworthy, to work with honor, and to keep their integrity intact.

Police Officer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real police officer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Apprehend violators and log evidence, complete require USAF and DoD forms, and accomplish report.
  • Train in CPR and first aid, radar speed enforcement, domestic violence intervention, pepper spray, and basic anti-terrorism.
  • Gather preliminary investigation information as a first responder to crime scenes.
  • Perform basic patrol functions including criminal and traffic law enforcement, incident reporting and community relations.
  • Complete numerous testimonies at criminal hearings and traffic violations, serve summons, subpoenas and other official documentation.
  • Patrol MARTA trains and bus lines.
  • Provide system security for MARTA assets, internal and external customers.
  • Charge with the safe protection of MTA's personnel and patrons.
  • Respond to both emergency and non-emergency dispatch calls as a first responder or provide assistance as needed.
  • Transport and escorts prisoners, detainees, and mental patients, using handcuffs and other appropriate restraints.
  • Perform CPR and first aid when responding to multiple medical emergencies, some involving major trauma, and death.
  • Educate children by creating PowerPoint presentations regarding the dangers associate with Internet use and the importance of cyber safety.
  • Provide fingerprinting and Livescan services.
  • Prepare and execute search warrants and subpoenas to obtain information relate to criminal investigations.
  • Accompany officers on ride-alongs to observe the early detection and apprehension of criminal violators.

Police Officer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 27% of Police Officers are proficient in Patrol, Public Safety, and Law Enforcement Agencies. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Empathy, and Good judgment.

We break down the percentage of Police Officers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patrol, 27%

    Supervised and led the Community Oriented patrol unit, consisting of daily encounters with individual neighborhood activists and concerned homeowners.

  • Public Safety, 6%

    Earned two District Commendations for reducing armed robberies and improving public safety initiatives in high-crime target areas within the appropriate jurisdiction.

  • Law Enforcement Agencies, 5%

    Developed effective relationships with other municipal, state and federal law enforcement agencies to maximize efforts in responding to criminal activities.

  • Emergency Situations, 5%

    Applied excellent communication skills toward responding to citizen complaints, answering calls, providing customer service and intervening in emergency situations.

  • Field Training, 4%

    Field Training Officer Hostage Negotiator Formulate and execute an investigative plan Proactive Patrol Organized Evidence Division First Response to over 250 Homicides

  • CPR, 3%

    Graduated from the North West Arkansas Police Academy in 2001 with certification regarding: Firearm carry, CLEET, and CPR.

Most police officers list "patrol," "public safety," and "law enforcement agencies" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important police officer responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a police officer to have happens to be communication skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "police and detectives must be able to speak with people when gathering facts about a crime and to express details about a given incident in writing." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that police officers can use communication skills to "radio communications operator ,dispatcher,clets,ncic. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling police officer duties is empathy. According to a police officer resume, "police officers need to understand the perspectives of a wide variety of people in their jurisdiction and have a willingness to help the public." Here's an example of how police officers are able to utilize empathy: "maintain community relations to foster a better understanding of what the needs are of the citizens. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among police officers is good judgment. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a police officer resume: "police and detectives must be able to determine the best way to solve a wide array of problems quickly." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "patrol the installation and check physical security measures such as fences and lighting and insure they are in good working order. "
  • A police officer responsibilities sometimes require "leadership skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "police officers must be comfortable with being a highly visible member of their community, as the public looks to them for assistance in emergency situations." This resume example shows how this skill is used by police officers: "gained significant experience with community relations and effective grassroots communication prior to transition into civic leadership. "
  • As part of the police officer description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "physical strength." A police officer resume included this snippet: "police officers must be strong enough to physically apprehend offenders." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "developed procedures for the emergency response and crisis management, physical security, information protection, incident management and investigation units. "
  • See the full list of police officer skills.

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    What Deputys Do

    The duties of a deputy vary on their line of work or place of employment. In law enforcement, a deputy is primarily in charge of conducting investigations on crimes and arresting criminals, performing regular patrols on streets, responding to calls of distress, and assisting citizens in calamities, disasters, accidents, or any forms of threat. There are also instances when a deputy must serve court documents, transport detainees or suspected criminals, and monitor courtrooms. Furthermore, a deputy reports to higher-ranking officers such as a sheriff.

    We looked at the average police officer annual salary and compared it with the average of a deputy. Generally speaking, deputies receive $1,044 higher pay than police officers per year.

    Even though police officers and deputies have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require patrol, public safety, and law enforcement agencies in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a police officer responsibilities require skills like "field training," "police academy," "criminal justice," and "motor vehicle accidents." Meanwhile a typical deputy has skills in areas such as "transport inmates," "motor vehicle," "human resources," and "emergency calls." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Deputies really shine in the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $53,877. Whereas police officers tend to make the most money in the government industry with an average salary of $53,822.

    The education levels that deputies earn is a bit different than that of police officers. In particular, deputies are 6.3% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a police officer. Additionally, they're 3.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Criminal Investigator?

    A criminal investigator is a law enforcement professional who endeavors to solve felony crimes. Criminal investigators may work alone or as a member of an investigative team whose goal is to uncover the certainty of a case and potentially keep suspects to prevent the ensuing criminal activity. Their tasks and responsibilities depend on various job functions and specialties. They may specialize in the information and evidence of a crime scene, conduct interviews and searches, or perform surveillance.

    Next up, we have the criminal investigator profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a police officer annual salary. In fact, criminal investigators salary difference is $1,882 higher than the salary of police officers per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of police officers and criminal investigators are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "patrol," "law enforcement agencies," and "criminal justice. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that police officer responsibilities requires skills like "public safety," "emergency situations," "field training," and "cpr." But a criminal investigator might use skills, such as, "investigative reports," "resourcefulness," "treasury," and "investigative techniques."

    It's been discovered that criminal investigators earn higher salaries compared to police officers, but we wanted to find out where criminal investigators earned the most pay. The answer? The government industry. The average salary in the industry is $52,921. Additionally, police officers earn the highest paychecks in the government with an average salary of $53,822.

    In general, criminal investigators study at similar levels of education than police officers. They're 4.9% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 3.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Loss Prevention Analyst Compares

    A loss prevention analyst designs and develops loss prevention programs, typically for retail establishments. They are in charge of providing analytical services primarily to avoid or resolve cases of theft and fraud. Among their responsibilities include gathering and analyzing financial and inventory data, inspecting alarm systems and protocols, performing research and analysis to identify the best practices, determining the strengths and weaknesses of current loss prevention techniques, and implementing solutions against vulnerable areas. Furthermore, a loss prevention analyst must maintain an active communication line with managers and loss prevention officers for a smooth and efficient workflow.

    The loss prevention analyst profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of police officers. The difference in salaries is loss prevention analysts making $13,954 lower than police officers.

    Using police officers and loss prevention analysts resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "law enforcement agencies," "emergency situations," and "police reports," but the other skills required are very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a police officer is likely to be skilled in "patrol," "public safety," "field training," and "cpr," while a typical loss prevention analyst is skilled in "loss prevention," "customer service," "data loss prevention," and "camera surveillance."

    Loss prevention analysts make a very good living in the finance industry with an average annual salary of $44,380. Whereas police officers are paid the highest salary in the government industry with the average being $53,822.

    Loss prevention analysts are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to police officers. Additionally, they're 2.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.4% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Loss Prevention Agent

    A loss prevention agent is responsible for averting theft and securing a retail store or similar establishment. They are primarily in charge of monitoring surveillance cameras and roaming around the premises while dressed in civilian clothing, all to observe the surroundings and spot any suspicious behavior. Furthermore, a loss prevention agent must adhere to the policies and standards of the establishment, implement safety and security measures, and coordinate with the police should there be any person caught stealing.

    Loss prevention agents tend to earn a lower pay than police officers by about $16,183 per year.

    According to resumes from both police officers and loss prevention agents, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "patrol," "law enforcement agencies," and "emergency situations. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "public safety," "field training," "cpr," and "police academy" are skills that have shown up on police officers resumes. Additionally, loss prevention agent uses skills like loss prevention, store management, sales floor, and cctv on their resumes.

    In general, loss prevention agents make a higher salary in the retail industry with an average of $31,109. The highest police officer annual salary stems from the government industry.

    In general, loss prevention agents reach similar levels of education when compared to police officers resumes. Loss prevention agents are 3.6% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.6% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Police Officer Does FAQs

    Corrections Officer Vs. Police Officer

    A corrections officer is a law enforcement agent who is in charge of individuals who have been arrested, while a police officer is a law enforcement agent who works in the community to ensure safety.

    Public Safety Officer Vs. Police Officer

    A public safety officer serves the public to ensure the protection of persons and property, while a police officer is responsible for maintaining public order, enforcing the law, and preventing and detecting criminal activity.

    State Trooper Vs. Police Officer

    A state trooper is an officer who works for the state, while a police officer works for a specific city within their state.

    A state trooper serves as highway patrol or as part of other state-wide agency programs. They are responsible for ensuring that people abide by state and federal laws. They also help protect the governor and state capital complex. Their primary goal is to reduce the number of collisions and promote safety on the roadways.

    Can I Become A Cop With A Felony?

    No, you can not become a cop with a felony. All law enforcement agencies in the United States prohibit the hiring of felons. This includes individuals who were convicted of a felony and had their record expunged.

    How Many Hours Do Police Officers Work?

    Police officers work a wide variety of hours, depending on the police department and the officers' rank. Most police officers work full-time hours with long daily shifts.

    Certain departments have the standard 40-hour work week policy for patrol officers, with five days worked in succession, and eight-hour shifts for each of those days, followed by two days off.

    How To Reduce Police Burnout

    To reduce burnout in police, check in with yourself, push for what you need, and manage stress. For a more detailed look at these strategies and others, reference this guide:

    1. Check-in with yourself. Being a police officer can be extremely emotionally taxing, so it's important to know your limits and recognize when to change before it gets out of hand.

    2. Push for what you need. Success as a police officer is often tied to proper support and equipment availability. If something is missing or broken, it is important to stand up for yourself and ensure everything is in working order.

    3. Connect with others in your field. Connecting with those around you is beneficial as you have someone who can support you and knows exactly what you're going through. You may also find it beneficial to have allies to work through difficulties and find solutions if needed.

    4. Manage Stress. Burnout is high for police officers because of the consistent stress in their careers. Finding positive ways to manage stress, such as therapy, exercise, yoga, or simply spending time with loved ones, can be beneficial.

    What Are The Benefits Of Being A Police Officer?

    Maintaining your fitness level, the brotherhood bond, and never having the same day twice are benefits of being a police officer. Cops are active at the time and are expected to maintain a minimum level of fitness. Being fit both mentally and physically is crucial for a police officer.

    What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being A Police Officer?

    The pros and cons of being a police officer include ones relating to helping people, dangerous working conditions, and salary. Here is a look at the pros and cons of being a police officer:

    What Degree Do You Need To Be A Cop?

    You do not need a degree to become a cop, although an associate's or bachelor's degree is preferred. A high school diploma or GED is the minimum formal education that is needed to become a police officer. Most applicants also need to...

    What Do Entry-level Police Officers Do?

    Entry-level police officers undergo training while completing reports, document complaints, and complete patrols for designated areas. Police officers must first complete training at a police academy before they can begin working in their field.

    What Hours Do Police Work?

    Police officers typically work 12-hour shifts. These shifts can occur either during the day or at night. While there is no set rule for how all police stations function, many of them have shifts that go from 6:30-6:30. This could either be an overnight shift beginning at 6:30 pm, or a day shift beginning at 6:30 am.

    What Is A Typical Day For A Police Officer?

    A typical day for a police officer may involve patrolling an assigned area, answering calls for service, writing reports, and testifying in court.

    Police officers must be able to handle stressful situations and make quick decisions. They also need to be aware of their surroundings and able to think clearly under pressure. Officers must be physically fit to respond to emergencies and chase suspects.

    Deputy Sheriff Vs. Police Officer

    A deputy sheriff is a lawman that works for a county's sheriff's department, while a police officer is a policeman in a police department of a specific town or city.

    A deputy sheriff is a law enforcement professional who enforces the laws of a specific county within a state. They are tasked with investigating crimes, arresting criminals, and responding to emergency situations within a specific county of the state.

    Peace Officer Vs. Police Officer

    A peace officer is someone who can be a member of a police force, while a police officer is someone who is always a member of a police force.

    A peace officer is a type of police officer who enforces laws and ordinances. They may also investigate crimes. Most peace officers' tasks are making arrests, conducting investigations, and issuing citations for traffic violations. Responding to emergency calls, such as domestic violence incidents or fires is also within a peace officer's purview.

    Sheriff Vs. Police Officer

    A sheriff is a law enforcement professional that works for a county's sheriff's department, while a police officer is a policeman in a police department of a specific town or city.

    A sheriff enforces the law in a specific county within a state. Their duties include investigating crimes, arresting criminals, and responding to emergency situations.

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