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Police Patrol Officer

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What Do Police Patrol Officer Do?

Position Description Patrol assigned area to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, control crowds, prevent crime, and arrest violators.

What Do Police Patrol Officers Do On a Daily Basis?

  • 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.
  • Inspect public establishments to ensure compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Evaluate complaint and emergency-request information to determine response requirements.
  • Testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases.
  • Issue citations or warnings to violators of motor vehicle ordinances.

Police Patrol Officer Skills

Police Patrol Officers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Types of Police Patrol Officer Jobs

  • State Highway Police Officer
  • Motorcycle Police
  • Accident Prevention Squad Police Officer
  • SWAT Team Member (Special Weapons and Tactics Team Member)
  • Safety Instruction Police Officer

Is There Going to be Demand for Police Patrol Officers?

There were about 684,200 jobs for Police Patrol Officer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 47,700 new jobs for Police Patrol Officer by 2026. There will be an estimated 49,500 positions for Police Patrol Officer per year.


The states with the most job growth for Police Patrol Officer are Utah, Texas, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Maryland, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Police Patrol Officer Make?

The typical yearly salary for Police Patrol Officers is somewhere between $35,750 and $101,620.


Police Patrol Officers who work in California, New Jersey, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

How much do Police Patrol Officers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $45,930
Alaska $88,030
Arizona $64,640
Arkansas $39,560
California $101,380
Colorado $72,950
Connecticut $71,920
Delaware $70,000
District of Columbia $74,940
Florida $59,610
Georgia $42,990
Hawaii $74,040
Idaho $53,880
Illinois $75,720
Indiana $55,310
Iowa $58,340
Kansas $48,350
Kentucky $45,600
Louisiana $41,550
Maine $49,840
Maryland $68,230
Massachusetts $69,870
Michigan $56,270
Minnesota $69,060
Mississippi $35,550
Missouri $48,920
Montana $56,230
Nebraska $57,530
Nevada $70,450
New Hampshire $58,120
New Jersey $83,720
New Mexico $51,250
New York $74,860
North Carolina $48,420
North Dakota $57,190
Ohio $61,040
Oklahoma $46,120
Oregon $70,360
Pennsylvania $66,600
Rhode Island $60,890
South Carolina $42,280
South Dakota $48,550
Tennessee $44,600
Texas $61,870
Utah $53,890
Vermont $52,940
Virginia $56,710
Washington $77,670
West Virginia $43,590
Wisconsin $62,040
Wyoming $55,050

What Tools & Technology do Police Patrol Officers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Police Patrol Officers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • SmugMug Flickr
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • National Crime Information Center NCIC database
  • Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS
  • Law enforcement information databases
  • National Integrated Ballistics Information Network NIBIN
  • The CAD Zone The Crime Zone
  • SmartDraw Legal
  • DesignWare 3D EyeWitness

Becoming a Police Patrol Officer

Are there Police Patrol Officers education requirements?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Police Patrol Officers Sector


Police Patrol Officers work in the following industries:


Career changers with experience as a Police Patrol Officer sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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