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What is an entry-level police officer do?

How can a police officer remain competitive?

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Joel’s Answer

In addition to what most people are including in their answers, I appreciate what Michael B from Boston said above about proactive patrol. This is the one area that separates us from all other first responders in my humble opinion. We are able to conduct enforcement stops, and what I believe to be critical interdiction for all sorts of crimes of possession or transporting of illegal contraband. Police officers on the streets are trained to notice abnormal behavior of people who we talk to or stop. I personally don't like to park for very long (unless I'm behind on reports of course). Instead, I enjoy engaging in small talk with citizens, especially in parts of town where people are not used to seeing police officers or carrying on a non-confrontational conversation with a police officer. I like to complement kids on their wheelies or kids doing tricks on their skateboards over my PA system . The more I talk to citizens, the more I notice someone who might be hiding something from me that may be used to hurt/victimize someone else. One of my best proactive cases was from a lady pointing out someone parked in a handicapped spot. I backed up my patrol car and discovered a meth pipe in plain view, then dispatch gave me the license plate info saying they were lost or stolen. I detained the driver and the passenger and was able to solve a burglary of a shipping container by the same suspects several days prior. If I wasn't talking to citizens, I would never have been able to intervene in that situation.

When citizens call us for a crime that is either in progress or already taken place, a police officer gathers statements from the victim and witnesses, video footage is collected as evidence for an unidentified suspect. The case is then forwarded to the investigating detective who attempts to exhaust all leads to identifying and locating the suspect. I like to do as much of this for the detectives as I can, and they have noticed.
Usually someone with a tactical or undercover title will apprehend the suspect later once identified and there is probable cause to arrest, or a warrant for the arrest has been coordinated and approved through a judge.

To apply to be a detective or special operations, one must set themselves apart from their peers in investigating crimes and making a scene safe in a dynamic, rapidly-changing, stressful environment. A few years on regular police patrol (proactive stops and calls for service) usually results in the necessary experience to reach a point of applying and interviewing for those opportunities which includes SWAT team, undercover officers, intelligence, narcotics, and a few others.
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Wendy’s Answer

An entry-level police officer will start with a field training officer after graduating a state approved police academy. The length of a field training program will vary widely from department to department but upon completion, the officer will normally begin on patrol. You will answer a wide variety of calls for service from animal complaints to domestic violence, burglaries, sexual assault, homicides, and more. The patrol officer is responsible for securing the scene, rendering aid to any victims, gathering witness information, writing the initial report and referring anything needing further investigation to the investigations unit (or calling them to the scene) but even if you call them to the scene you are the one responsible for completing the initial report. You will learn more about report writing in the academy and field training but my advice is always remember how important documentation is. Always be as detailed as possible but stick to the facts don't add in your opinions or hear say. Chances are when or if the case goes to trial you will not be able to remember all the details but can always reference the report during testimony. Use spell check and grammar check!!! I know that sounds petty but trust me you don't want a sub par report going public and being blasted all over the media. People will use anything they can get to make you look bad in court. Listen to the veterans on the force and your FTO try to learn something from everyone you work with and apply it to your own style of policing. Keep up your physical health and learn how to "disconnect" from the job in your off time it will save a little of your sanity later on. Last but probably the most important, when you start answering calls and making traffic stops on your own, let your gut guide you. You will be given the training and resources to make good decisions and develop a good working knowledge of the law make sure you follow it no matter what someone else might suggest or even "order" you to do. At the end of the day you're the one who will have to testify in court to justify your actions no one else. Not gonna say it won't mean your gonna have to look for another job but you will walk away from it with your integrity and your conscience clear and that's what matters! Do what you know is right, if you aren't sure air on the side of caution, you can't unviolate a person's civil rights after the fact.
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Sigrid’s Answer

1. Entry-level police officers are law enforcement professionals another words (¡¡"COPS" THE GOOD GUYS!!) who have already completed
Cadet School (police officer training) and have completed and passed State certified Test, but still need on-the-job training (OJT) under a senior officer. They might also need to complete a probationary period to demonstrate what they learned and where they need to improve in order to be a successful Officer of the law.

2. In order for anyone no matter what career you enter you always want to be ahead of the game. Always strive to achieve your ultimate goal. If that's by furthering your career by attending a college or University in your field of work. Always remember that your greatest critic and your worst enemy is you. So whatever career you chose just make sure that you are loving what you do and not doing it to just collect a paycheck.

I hope I answered all your questions sorry for the late response I was out on vacation for a week just got back. Happy Holidays!!
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Michael W.’s Answer

Entry level police officers usually are assigned to a particular shift.
They then fulfill a specific time frame of training with a Field Training Officer (veteran officer).
Once training is complete, they usually patrol in a marked police 1 or 2 person car.
Between calls for service, they will enforce vehicle laws, and also park the cruiser and speak with area business owners and civilians in the area they are assigned to patrol. They also back-up other officers on their calls for added safety.
A large part of the job is paperwork unfortunately. Fortunately technology is slowly helping cut down time doing paperwork. Many police cruisers have laptops in them which allow the officers to stay on the streets, park, and complete paperwork on the computer.
Always be aware of your surroundings, and know where you are at ALL TIMES. If "doo-doo hits the fan", you need to be able to call for back-up and give a precise location, so they find you! Remember, always treat people like you would want to be treated, in the same circumstance! Never think a question is stupid. The ONLY stupid question that exists is the one you were afraid to ask!
Once your a patrol officer for a while, keep your eyes open for available special assignments ...

Wish you the best!
-Michael-
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