Police officers play a central role in the law enforcement system. They monitor criminal activity, take part in community patrols, respond to emergency calls, issue tickets, make arrests, investigate crimes and testify in court as needed.
Serve and Protect
A police officer’s first order of business is to serve and protect. In fact, the phrase “serve and protect” is common in the credo of many law enforcement agencies. Police officers serve their communities by helping citizens in times of crisis and emergency, such as when a natural disaster hits. To protect citizens on the road, they issue tickets to dangerous and careless drivers. To protect them in their communities, they make arrests that deter illegal and dangerous behavior.
Police officers and detectives routinely investigate crimes. When someone calls the police department after a crime is committed, officers in the area respond to the call. They take statements from parties involved in the incident as well as any witnesses to get additional information and statements. Officers also gather up any evidence immediately accessible and help section off areas where the crime occurred so forensic scientists can come and do more thorough evidence searches.
The community involvement facet of a police officer’s duties often gets overlooked. However, many officers are active in service projects and activities. Their public service roles include speaking at schools and businesses, where officers educate people on how to avoid dangerous situations and handle emergency situations. Other forms of community involvement include drug prevention and education and driver safety programs. These duties help create a better rapport between law enforcement and citizens.
Call Response and Emergencies
When on duty, police officers are on alert for radio calls from precincts. While some calls involve major crimes, many involve minor incidents such as noise complaints or traffic incidents. Police officers are also trained in CPR and emergency response systems and show up to aid injured people.