Summary Report for:
33-3051.01 - Police Patrol Officers
Patrol assigned area to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, control crowds, prevent crime, and arrest violators.
Sample of reported job titles: Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent (ALE Agent), Law Enforcement Officer (LEO), Officer, Patrol Officer, Peace Officer, Police Officer, Police Patrol Officer, Public Safety Officer, State Trooper, Uniform Patrol Police Officer
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts.
- Provide for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations.
- Record facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.
- Render aid to accident victims and other persons requiring first aid for physical injuries.
- Review facts of incidents to determine if criminal act or statute violations were involved.
- Monitor, note, report, and investigate suspicious persons and situations, safety hazards, and unusual or illegal activity in patrol area.
- Testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases.
- Relay complaint and emergency-request information to appropriate agency dispatchers.
- Monitor traffic to ensure motorists observe traffic regulations and exhibit safe driving procedures.
- Photograph or draw diagrams of crime or accident scenes and interview principals and eyewitnesses.
- Evaluate complaint and emergency-request information to determine response requirements.
- Patrol specific area on foot, horseback, or motorized conveyance, responding promptly to calls for assistance.
- Investigate traffic accidents and other accidents to determine causes and to determine if a crime has been committed.
- Direct traffic flow and reroute traffic in case of emergencies.
- Issue citations or warnings to violators of motor vehicle ordinances.
- Inform citizens of community services and recommend options to facilitate longer-term problem resolution.
- Provide road information to assist motorists.
- Act as official escorts, such as when leading funeral processions or firefighters.
- Process prisoners, and prepare and maintain records of prisoner bookings and prisoner status during booking and pre-trial process.
- Inspect public establishments to ensure compliance with rules and regulations.
- Data base user interface and query software — Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS; Microsoft Access ; National Crime Information Center NCIC database; National Integrated Ballistics Information Network NIBIN (see all 6 examples)
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — DesignWare 3D EyeWitness; Microsoft Visio ; SmugMug Flickr ; The CAD Zone The Crime Zone (see all 6 examples)
- Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer; Web browser software
- Map creation software — Crime mapping software; ESRI ArcView
- Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect Office Suite; Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — IBM Lotus 1-2-3; Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Alcohol analysers — Breathalyzers
- All terrain vehicles tracked or wheeled — All terrain vehicles ATV
- Automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles — Automated external defibrillators AED
- Binoculars — Surveillance binoculars
- Biological evidence collection kits — Blood collection kits; Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA collection kits
- Biometric identification equipment — Fingerprint scanners
- Body armour — Body armor
- Bullet proof vests — Bulletproof vests
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR protective shields or masks — Cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR face shields
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Digital cameras
- Diving instruments or accessories — Scuba diving equipment
- Ear muffs — Hearing protectors
- Emergency medical services first aid kits — First aid kits
- Fingerprint equipment — Suspect fingerprinting equipment
- Fingerprint latent print kits — Fingerprint evidence kits
- Fire extinguishers — Multipurpose fire extinguishers
- Flares — Road flares
- Flatbed trailers — Equipment transport trailers
- Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers
- Hand sprayers — Pepper spray
- Handcuffs — Metal handcuffs; Plastic handcuffs
- Handguns — Electroshock weapons; Semiautomatic pistols; Service revolvers
- Hazardous material protective apparel — Biohazard suits
- Lasers — Laser trajectory pointers
- Masks or accessories — Filter masks
- Measuring wheels for distance — Distance measuring wheels
- Metal detectors
- Military rifles — Police rifles
- Narcotic test kits — Drug testing kits
- Night sticks — Nightsticks
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers; Mobile data computers
- Personal computers
- Personal motorized watercraft
- Police or security shotguns — Police shotguns
- Police vehicles — Police bicycles; Police motorcycles; Police patrol cars
- Protective gloves
- Radarbased surveillance systems — Radar speed readers
- Rescue ships or boats — Police boats
- Riot batons — Side-handle batons
- Riot helmets
- Riot shields
- Rulers — Crime scene rulers
- Safety glasses
- Snowmobiles or snow scooter — Police snowmobiles
- Sound measuring apparatus or decibel meter — Noise meters
- Speed stoppers — Tire deflation devices
- Still cameras — 35 millimeter cameras
- Surveillance video or audio recorders — Audio recording equipment
- Tape measures — Crime scene tape measures
- Teletype input devices — Teletype terminals
- Traffic signals — Remote traffic signal controllers
- Two way radios — Base station radios; Police car radios
- Ultraviolet UV lamps — Ultraviolet UV lights
- Weapon or explosives detectors and supplies — Explosive detectors
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Explosive Strength — The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
- Speed of Limb Movement — The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
- Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Detailed Work Activities
- Respond to emergencies to provide assistance.
- Apprehend criminal suspects.
- Maintain public order or security.
- Prepare investigation or incident reports.
- Administer first aid.
- Investigate accidents to determine causes.
- Communicate situation details to appropriate personnel.
- Investigate illegal or suspicious activities.
- Maintain surveillance of individuals or establishments.
- Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
- Maintain operational records.
- Record information about suspects or criminals.
- Monitor access or flow of people to prevent problems.
- Relay information about incidents or emergencies to personnel using phones or two-way radios.
- Determine operational procedures.
- Interview people to gather information about criminal activities.
- Record crime or accident scene evidence with video or still cameras.
- Patrol properties to maintain safety.
- Direct vehicle traffic.
- Issue warnings or citations.
- Inform the public about policies, services or procedures.
- Recommend improvements to increase safety or reduce risks.
- Assist motorists or pedestrians.
- Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with security or safety regulations.
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 94% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 90% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Deal With External Customers — 88% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 84% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 75% responded “Extremely important.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 72% responded “Very important results.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 62% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Telephone — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 59% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 59% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 60% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 45% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Letters and Memos — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 46% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 37% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 38% responded “More than half the time.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 43% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 31% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 55% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Interest code: REC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers.
Employment data for Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers.
Industry data for Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers.
|Median wages (2019)||$30.36 hourly, $63,150 annual|
|Employment (2018)||687,100 employees|
|Projected growth (2018-2028)||Average (4% to 6%)|
|Projected job openings (2018-2028)||52,900|
|Top industries (2018)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018-2028). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.