Police Officer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

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A Police Officer, or Patrol Officer, is a law enforcement professional responsible for surveilling a community, providing emergency assistance and intervening when they suspect a crime is occurring. Their duties include writing down details of a potential case to file a police report, identifying suspects and gathering evidence to complete an arrest.

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Police Officer duties and responsibilities 

The work of a Police Officer encompasses several tasks related to their primary responsibility of protecting the lives and property of members in their communities. These can include:

  • Patrol via foot, vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle or horse.
  • Quickly secure and collect evidence at crime scenes.
  • Respond to calls for help in both emergency and non-emergency situations.
  • Conduct traffic stops and issue citations to drivers violating safety laws or regulations.
  • Use computers in the field to search for vehicle records.
  • Arrest suspects after obtaining a warrant.

Police Officer Job Description Examples:


Police Officer

Under general supervision, maintains high visibility on school property to ensure a safe, secure and nurturing learning environment; and to prevent and respond to crimes against persons and Clark County School District property.

Position Requirements: Education, Training, and Experience: Proof of documentation for all minimum qualifications, and licenses and certifications as cited below, is required at time of application.

1. Must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age.

2. High school graduation or other equivalent [website] GED, college, technical, trade school transcript, foreign equivalency, etc.).

3. Upon hire, must successfully complete the Nevada Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy, and maintain a Nevada Category I Police Officer Certificate during employment.

Licenses and Certifications:

1. A valid driver’s license that allows the applicant/employee to legally operate a motor vehicle in Nevada. If not in possession at time of application, must obtain valid Class C Nevada Driver's License prior to the approval of final selection. Driver’s license and safe driving history must be maintained for the duration of the assignment.

2. Copy of current driving history issued by the Department of Motor Vehicle (within 6 months), is required at time of application/Qualified Selection Pool (QSP) placement and at the time of interview, prior to final selection.

3. Birth Certificate, [website] Passport, Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of United States Citizenship.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $25.58 /hour


  • driving: 1 year (Preferred)

  • armed: 1 year (Preferred)

  • security: 1 year (Preferred)


  • English (Preferred)

    Work authorization:

  • United States (Required)

    Working Days:

  • Monday (Required)

  • Tuesday (Required)

  • Wednesday (Required)

  • Thursday (Required)

  • Friday (Required)

  • Saturday (Required)

  • Sunday (Required)

    Application Question:

  • Must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age.

    Work Location:

  • Multiple locations


  • Dental insurance

  • Health insurance

  • Vision insurance

  • Retirement plan

  • Paid time off

    Pay Frequency:

  • Bi weekly or Twice monthly


  • Monday to Friday

  • Weekends required

  • Holidays required

  • Day shift

  • Overnight shift

    Benefit Conditions:

  • Only full-time employees No
  • ×

    Police Officer

    Police Officer: Los Angeles School Police Department

    Annual salary up to $75,000 – base pay

    We are Los Angeles Unified School District (Lausd). We are at the forefront of innovation in public schools, with the serious work of tailoring the learning environment to better serve our community. Here, you will have the opportunity to exercise your potential in the business of education.

    The Los Angeles School Police Department provides police services to the second largest school district in the nation. The department has operational jurisdiction of 710 square miles, 24 hours a day. The members of this vital department are responsible for the safety of all students and staff of this district.

    The ideal candidate

  • will be able to read, comprehend and interpret written materials and possess exceptional listening skills, work in emergency situations, and handle stressful events well. We are looking for a candidate that makes sound decisions, thinks clearly and logically, and maintains complete and accurate records.

    Benefits: Paid premiums for your choice of several medical, dental, vision, and life insurance plans


  • CalPERS Safety Members Retirement


  • 14 days/year to start

    Paid Holidays:

  • 12 days

    Earning potential: Up to $93,400/year – including longevity and incentive pay

    Paid Training:

  • Paid CA [website] accredited academy.

    Job Duties / Responsibilities:

  • Patrols, responds and investigates crimes affecting District facilities, personnel, and students.

  • Enforces violations of California vehicle codes and penal codes, and all other violations of city, county, State, and federal law and statutes as necessary.

  • Maintains law and order; contacts and cooperates with local law-enforcement agencies in theprevention, control, and investigation of antisocial or illegal activities on District property.

  • Apprehends and interrogates those suspected of committing or attempting to commit crimes.

    Minimum Requirements:

    We are seeking a safety minded individual, at least 21 years of age at time of appointment, with a high school diploma and right to work in the United States.

    Job Type: Full-time

    Salary: $28.80 to $35.90 /hour


  • Health insurance

  • Dental insurance

  • Vision insurance

  • Retirement plan

  • Paid time off

  • Tuition Monthly
  • ×

    Police Officer

    Class Summary:

    The Gwinnett County Police Department is a nationally accredited and rapidly growing police agency located in the Northeastern quadrant of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The Department currently has an authorized strength of 783 sworn officers supported by 280 civilian employees with the responsibility of providing law enforcement services to approximately 800,000 residents within an area of 436 square miles.

    Minimum Qualifications:

  • High School Diploma, or [website];

  • Must be a [website] Citizen to be eligible for Georgia [website] certification;

  • Valid Driver's License from state of residency;

  • Must be 21 years of age, 20 years old at time of application;

  • Must successfully complete a comprehensive background investigation including criminal, controlled substance, credit, driving, work history, and physical agility testing.

    Benefits Offered:

  • Health, dental, vision, prescription drug insurance plans

  • $2000 Hiring Incentive FOR Newly Hired Police Officers

  • Out of State Relocation Reimbursement up to $2000

  • Flexible Spending Accounts for Medical and Dependent Care

  • HSA/HRA available

  • Basic, Optional and Dependent Life Insurance

  • Short-Term and Long-Term Disability

  • On-site Medical Wellness Center

  • Holidays: 12 holidays per year

  • Annual leave (vacation): 13 days/year at hire; ascending thereafter

  • Sick leave: 13 days/year

  • Immunizations (Flu Shots, Tetanus, etc.)

  • Wellness Incentive Programs

  • Annual Wellness Fair

  • 529 College Savings payroll deduction

  • Financial Education Programs

  • Funeral Leave

  • Longevity Pay after 3 years (full-time status)

  • Tuition Reimbursement after 2 years (full-time status)

  • Employee assistance program

  • Uniforms and equipment furnished

  • Employee discount programs

  • Retirement Benefits include:

  • Defined Contribution Retirement Plan

    Job Type: Full-time

    Salary: $39,801.00 to $42,189.00 /year


  • High school or equivalent (Required)


  • Driver's (Required)

    Work Location:

  • Multiple locations

  • On the road


  • Health insurance

  • Dental insurance

  • Vision insurance

  • Retirement plan

  • Paid time off

  • Relocation assistance

  • Tuition reimbursement


  • Monday to Friday

  • Weekends required

  • Holidays required

  • Day shift

  • Night shift

  • 12 hour shift

  • Overnight shift


  • What does a Police Officer do? 

    Police Officers complete administrative and research tasks at a police station and go out into the field to supervise areas of their city, complete investigations and arrest subjects. They drive around to supervise traffic and pull over drivers who violate a law. They may also patrol on foot, looking for signs of criminal activity. Some Police Officers go undercover to collect information about a potential suspect and perform sting operations.

    Police Officers help investigate reports from citizens, interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence and applying for search warrants. They issue citations or arrest suspects depending on the severity of the crime. After an arrest, Police Officers take suspects to the police station for questioning or processing.

    Police Officer skills and qualifications

    Candidates applying for Police Officer positions must be a citizen of the United States and, in most jurisdictions, be at least 21 years of age. Other qualifications and skills include:

    • Communication skills 
    • Empathy 
    • Good judgment 
    • Perceptiveness and quick decision-making skills
    • Flexibility

    Police Officer salary expectations   

    A Police Officer makes an average of $53,711 per year. This salary may depend on a candidate’s education, level of experience and geographic location. 

    Police Officer education and training requirements 

    Education requirements for Police Officers may vary significantly depending upon their jurisdiction and variations in specific job duties. A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum requirement for most jurisdictions, with many requiring or preferring candidates to have additional education from some college courses. 

    Candidates for Police Officer positions typically must successfully complete police academy training. Police academies generally have education, physical and personal requirements for entry. Police academy training includes classroom courses covering subjects like law and ethics. Candidates also receive practical training including first aid, firearm use, emergency response and traffic control, among other field-specific courses.

    Police Officer experience requirements 

    Working for a private security firm can offer some related experience that helps prepare for police academy training programs. Experience in a regular Police Officer position can be the basis for advancement to higher positions. This advancement can be within their current precinct or to positions in a larger community. Advancement in various state or federal police departments is also possible.  

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    Frequently asked questions about Police Officers


    What is the difference between a Police Officer and a Detective?

    A Detective is a type of Police Officer that holds a leadership role and focuses on investigating specific cases, giving them different responsibilities than standard Patrol Officers. Patrol Officers are entry-level Police Officers who maintain a general presence and provide security in a certain area, book criminals, manage traffic and respond to emergency situations. They stay alert to see signs of suspicious activity around them.

    Patrol Officers can apply to become Detectives, who decide how to conduct an investigation into a crime. They can specialize in areas like homicide, fraud and narcotics. Detectives carry out interrogations and follow-up interviews with witnesses or victims of a crime. Detectives collaborate with forensic experts to examine crime scenes, collect data and track down suspects with active warrants.


    What are the daily duties of a Police Officer?

    Police Officers have different daily duties depending on their rank and specialty. Police Officers can work day or overnight shifts to patrol the streets and arrest suspects. Police Officers monitor police trackers and respond to requests for backup in their area. They help deescalate conflict and respond to calls about domestic violence, robberies, car accidents and other urgent crimes or emergencies. 

    After interacting with a suspect, Police Officers record evidence, write up descriptions of incidents and may testify in court about their behavior. Police Officers reach out to victims of a crime with information about identifying a suspect and whether they are pressing criminal charges.


    What are the characteristics of a successful Police Officer?

    To successfully apprehend criminals and respond to emergencies, Police Officers need to able to manage highly stressful situations and stay calm under pressure. They must be aware of the law and proactively protect the rights of all citizens, including the ones they arrest. Police Officers should have tact, conflict management and persuasion skills to convince suspects and witnesses to cooperate with a police investigation or confess to a crime. Successful Police Officers are brave, selfless and dedicated to protecting everyone in a community.


    What are the different types of Police Officers?

    There are many different ranks of Police Officers who work for different policing institutions to keep the peace, but there are three main types of Police Officers: Federal, State and Local Police. Federal Police Officers include many members of the FBI and DHS who investigate crimes committed at the federal level. State Police include State Troopers, Highway Patrol, Fish and Game Wardens and Police who work for the state’s investigative board. County Police have a smaller jurisdiction with various duties depending on their community.

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