How to Write a Police Officer Job Description Sample

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Police Officer, or Law Enforcement Officer, is responsible for ensuring civilians obey the law. Police Officers also provide emergency services such as responding to calls. A police officer’s main duties include patrolling assigned areas to ensure civilians are adhering to the law, investigating crimes or accidents, and arresting criminal suspects.

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What does a Police Officer do?

A Police Officer is mainly responsible for enforcing the law and protecting the public. Police Officers detect and prevent crime in particular areas and complete assignments from their supervisors. They might also participate in community safety programs, which are preventative methods to stop crime. A Police Officer fills out and files reports after an incident has happened on their watch. Police Officers can be employed by municipal or federal government bodies, provinces and tribal nations.

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Police Officer Job Description Examples

Police Officer duties and responsibilities

When writing a job description for a Police Officer, it’s important to specify the main functions of the role. Some of the most important duties and responsibilities required by a Police Officer include:

  • Enforcing laws
  • Ensuring the safety and security of the public by responding to emergencies, providing assistance to victims, and reducing or preventing involvement in crime
  • Building relationships with the community while helping to contribute to the health and safety of vulnerable populations 
  • Creating community awareness by using crime prevention methods or intervention initiatives
  • Conducting investigations by interviewing suspects, witnesses, and collecting evidence at crime scenes
  • Participating in and testifying at court hearings when required
  • Processing incident reports with accurate detail and factual information

Police Officer skills and qualifications

A successful Police Officer candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications required for the duties of this job, including:

  • Open to working various shifts such as evenings, weekends, nights, and holidays
  • Ability to stay calm in stressful or high-risk situations
  • Ability to deescalate situations and prevent harm from occurring
  • Skilled at solving problems and using critical thinking
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Capability and desire to work in a collaborative manner with a wide range of people
  • Strong negotiation and adjudicating skills
  • Developed analysis skills for researching and investigating

Police Officer experience requirements

Police Officer candidates don’t necessarily require previous experience for entry-level positions if they have completed a relevant training program. For higher-level positions, candidates should have two or more years of experience in a policing role.

Payroll Specialist education and training requirements

Police Officer candidates are required to have at least a high school diploma. You may prefer candidates that have a bachelor’s degree in law, security, or a related discipline. A four-year college diploma in a relevant discipline is also suitable. Police Officer candidates need rigorous physical, agility, strength, and fitness training and testing to qualify for the role. They may also need a certain level of vision and hearing abilities.

Police Officer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Police Officer is $76,350 per year. The salary can vary depending on many factors, including experience, location, or the company that is hiring.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Police Officer position isn’t quite what you are looking for, other related job descriptions include:

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Police Officer job description FAQs

What should you look for in a Police Officer's resume?

When reviewing applicants for a Police Officer role, it is beneficial to look for someone who has experience working in at-risk communities. This experience can be in the form of volunteering or a professional job. Additionally, a good Police Officer resume will have some kind of experience in leadership or crisis management, such as working as a Security Officer or University residence leader. You can also determine whether they have any specializations, such as de-escalation strategies or dog training, which can be helpful in their role.

What qualities make a good Police Officer?

A good Police Officer will have excellent communication skills, especially verbal communication. Successful Police Officers are also able to handle stressful situations and act calmly at all times. A good Police Officer applicant should be able to speak English or French fluently. Depending on the role, officers may need to be bilingual. Additional languages may be beneficial, depending on the communities the role is intended to serve. Great Police Officer applicants enjoy working with diverse communities and protecting others.

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

There are some duties that overlap between a Police Officer and a Security Officer, such as maintaining the safety of an area. A Police Officer enforces the law and will typically patrol a neighbourhood, city, or province. A Security Officer, however, is not able to enforce the law and is generally only responsible for patrolling private property. When a situation becomes illegal or is too much for a Security Officer to handle, they must call on police aid.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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