Police officers are responsible for enforcing the law in our society. A police officer’s typical day is usually less exciting and less dangerous than how it is portrayed on TV; most spend the majority of their time either patrolling neighbourhoods or on traffic duty.
Officers patrol areas on foot, motorcycle, bicycle, or in a police car. This allows them to accomplish a variety of objectives: discourage crime through their high visibility, maintain community relations by speaking with the public, and become familiar with the area where they work and with any problems that exist.
While on patrol, officers are always prepared to respond to calls for service. They may be called to any type of situation where people have been injured, the public peace is being disturbed, or a crime has been committed. Common occurrences they are called to include assaults, domestic disputes, barking dogs, car accidents, fires, and noisy parties.
When arriving at the scene of an incident, police officers use their own discretion to quickly take control of the situation. Their primary concern is to help crime victims and injured people by administering first aid and calling for any necessary assistance. The next concern is to re-establish order by calming people, isolating a crime or accident scene, and restraining any violent individuals.
In situations where criminal activity has occurred, or is suspected to have occurred, officers begin an investigation to find out exactly what happened. This may include talking to witnesses and looking for evidence, such as weapons that may have caused injury to victims, or broken furniture in a home indicating a struggle. They may instruct the forensic team to take fingerprints that can be used to identify suspects later.
Some police officers can specialize and become experts in areas such as chemical and microscopic analysis, or handwriting and fingerprint identification. Others may work with special units such...