The Patrol Force is the backbone and
action arm of the police department. Its field functions are multiple.
They include response to calls for service, which may entail a wide
spectrum of needs and problematic situations. It's been said that a
good patrol officer combines the knowledge and qualities of an
investigator, physician, lawyer, social worker and family friend.
The patrol officer function has
evolved from a reactive or response mode. The officer must be
knowledgeable and prepared to be the prime component of
community-oriented law enforcement. Assessment of needs and the
ability to be a problem solver are within the patrol officer's range
of duties and responsibilities.
Patrol job performance requirements
and demands have increased as law enforcement deals with a wide range
of drug, alcohol or substance abuse problems and corollary issues.