Patrol officers are the most visible representatives of the Department and they are the first responders to incidents. They respond to events by being dispatched from the 911 call center or by viewing a situation as it is occurring. Patrol officers also get to know the area that they are assigned and the community members they serve within their beat. When not responding directly to calls, or providing backup to other officers, patrol officers use proactive time to combat ongoing crime problems in specific neighborhoods.
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.