Police Officer Job Description Information

Career Objective
  • The public depends on police officers to uphold the law and protect their lives and property. Officers have a wide variety of responsibilities, ranging from pursuing and apprehending suspected criminals to writing citations, filing reports, gathering evidence and investigating any suspicious or criminal activity.
  • Uniformed police officers spend a large amount of their working time responding to emergency calls and doing paperwork. There is no such thing as a typical work day for a police officer; she may respond to a vandalism report, direct traffic at the scene of an automobile accident and give first aid to an injured motorist all in the same day.
  • In most jurisdictions, police officers are expected to act with authority whether they are in uniform or not.

Work Environement

  • Police work can be very dangerous. Officers confront a wide range of situations in which their lives could be threatened, and as a result their jobs are more stressful than most. Aside from the obvious danger of apprehending criminals, officers are often placed in other dangerous situations as well. Many officers are hurt or killed each year by being struck by moving vehicles during routine traffic stops. In addition, police officers witness situations that are violent and psychologically difficult, and consequently the stresses of their jobs may affect their private lives.
  • Most officers work 40-hour work weeks, but usually they are expected to work overtime when necessary. Newly hired officers are often given the less desirable shifts, such as evenings, overnights and weekends, but because there must be police officers on duty 24 hours a day, even senior officers are expected to work when they are needed.


  • Most police officers receive training through their agency's police academy. In order to be admitted to the academy, candidates must pass rigorous physical and psychological examinations.
  • Most jurisdictions require candidates to be at least 20 years old, a U.S. citizen and have a high school diploma. Some require a certain amount of college coursework as well. Some candidates may posses a college degree.
  • Once a candidate has completed the police academy, many agencies encourage additional course work or training in areas such as criminal justice, police science or administration.

Job Outlook

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for police officers should grow by about 11 percent from 2006 through 2016. This is average growth. As society becomes more conscious of the need for security and safety, the job outlook for police officers will continue grow.
  • Because government spending often directly controls the numbers of new officers that can be hired, the actual number of new job openings can vary widely from year to year, a fact that could be detrimental to someone looking to pursue a job in law enforcement.


  • Police officers are usually expected to complete a probationary period that lasts from six months to three years. Once this probationary period is completed, the opportunity for promotion will arise. A promotion may allow an officer to become a detective or to specialize in a specific area of police work, such as working with police dogs or focusing on juvenile law enforcement.

Read more: A Police Officer's Starting Salary | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5432055_police-officers-starting-salary.html#ixzz1gnWPHP00