About Patrol Work

Patrol work is the backbone of policing.  It is an incredibly diverse, active and exciting job.  Every day is a chance to respond to a variety of calls, interact with a wide spectrum of people, and solve new and ongoing problems.  Working patrol has both the camaraderie of being part of a team, while also giving you a lot of freedom, autonomy and independence.

What many patrol officers say they love about the job is the immediacy of the work - directly helping people with tangible results - yet at the end of the shift you are done with your job and don't have to "take your work home with you".

Because they come across a wide variety of incidents in their day-to-day work, patrol officers are given extensive training in many different skill sets and attend mandatory training throughout their careers. Having a background and understanding of patrol work is absolutely vital before a transition to any other type of police work. Because of this, all sworn officers must work as a patrol officer for at least three years before they can be assigned to a specialty unit or be promoted.


In order to patrol the city 24/7, Patrol Officers work on a rotating schedule. Patrol officers work four (9 hour) days in a row on a rotating schedule which includes working weekends and holidays. Officers are assigned to one of three watches:

  • First Watch: 0300-1200 or 0330 - 1230
  • Second Watch: 1100-2000 or 1130 - 2030
  • Third Watch: 1900-0400 or 1930 - 0430