Police patrol officers protect citizens’ lives and their property. They keep order in a city-wide jurisdiction investigating calls for help, pursuing and arresting persons who break the law, or issue tickets and citations for lesser misdemeanors.
Police officers physically patrol their jurisdictions, watching for any suspicious behavior or danger. They may patrol in squad cars, on motorcycles, on bikes or on horseback, and are usually the first point of contact between the general public and the law. They may intervene in situations by responding to calls, or by noticing illegal activity during their daily patrols. They may also be called on to help with directing traffic or assisting at the scene of accidents.
Their duties can include:
- Responding to emergency calls
- Mitigating between parties
- Intervening in dangerous situations
- Pursuing or following suspects
- Making arrests
- Filing daily reports
- Issuing tickets and citations
Law enforcement agencies are organized by geography. Police departments are the most localized branch, charged with protecting cities or towns on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis. Law enforcement also exists at other levels, including county-wide (sherriffs), statewide (state troopers) and nationwide (FBI).