Patrol Officers

Patrol Officers are not assigned a case to try and solve. In most major cities police departments have enough personal to cover every aspect of a crime, however, the role of the patrol officer during investigations has increased. On page 23, in the book, under the patrol officer as an investigator, it mentions that the role of the patrol officer has been limited, however, as time continues that same role seem to increase. The role of the patrol officer has taken over some of the same responsibilities as the investigators have.
Such as providing immediate assistance to victims, locates witness, and interviews both victims and witnesses. Also, the patrol officer has the authority to initiate and complete investigations of certain classifications of crime. With all of the changes to the role of the patrol officer, there have been numerous benefits that have been noticed, such as, the cases are handled expeditiously, relations within the department have improved, morale problems have decreased, and an increase in the investigator productivity because they have more time to focus on high profile cases.
The benefit that really stands out to me is the fact that the investigator can really focus on his case loads, because he is not overwhelmed, which results in a benefit to the community as well as the entire department. The last thing a police department wants to do is give enough time for the same crime to happen again, causing the community to really question if the police can protect them. With crimes being solved a quick basis, it sends a message, if you want to do the crime, you will get caught and put in jail. The job of a patrol officer is to patrol an assigned area to protect the members of that area from any crimes that may occur.

I was reading through the book and searching online, it seems to me that the patrol officer do most of the leg work in solving the crime. Let me explain, what I mean is that the patrol officers are the muscle, and the detectives are the brains of the operation, which in many ways it make sense. I am not trying to say that patrol officers would not be able to solve the crime, but the standard patrol officer does not have the time to run down potential suspects or witnesses, they are to busy patrolling there assigned area and protecting those citizens from future crimes.
In fact, I went online to the following website, http://law. jrank. org/pages/1655/Police-Criminal-Investigations-structure-criminal-investigations. html, and on the end of the second paragraph, they had mentioned that the patrol officer will go and make the arrest, but they are not the one solving the crime. How can they? They come to work every day and patrol a assigned area, if there is a murder that happens or crime of any sort, there job is to fill out a report and turn it over to someone that qualified or trained to handle those type of crimes.
As I was reading the article online, it was very informative in the role of the patrol officer. The patrol officer really doesn’t come into play until the second stage of an investigation. The second stage consists of gathering evidence, arresting the culprit and gathering witness for the crime. In many smaller communities the role of the patrol officer is much greater mainly because they may not have a detective on the payroll, or a whole team of detectives that can come and solve the crime, so, the patrol officer is responsible for gathering enough information to try and solve the crime.
The role of the patrol officer stops at gathering evidence, and speaking to witnesses. It is not the responsibility of the patrol officer to work with the prosecution; normally any detectives that have been assigned to the case will work with the prosecution to solve the crime. The goal of a patrol officer is to come to the scene, ask if anyone saw anything, speak to all the potential witnesses and go through the crime scene for any evidence that they may come across, and then they don’t get involved again until there needs to be a arrest made.
Overall, I think that patrol officers being given more responsibility is a benefit not just to the people of the community but to the department. It sends a message to the people that they live in a safe place. Which for many people that little bit of reassurance is all they need to be happy. Nobody wants to live in a bad place, or a place they feel is dangerous. Also, with expanding the role of the patrol officer, this is very beneficial with today’s economy. I never think you can put a price on protecting the people, but, the sad reality is that in today’s economic times, we have to.
To hire a new recruit comes a price, it is just easier for the community of the patrol officers to be expected to do more. In most cases these officers want to do more to solve the crimes to put that faith back into the community that crimes will be resolved right away. Right when a crime happens, most people instantly become fearful that it will happen again, so, they become on edge, and question that the police will be able to catch the people that hurt them or robbed them. With crimes being solved right away, that puts the fear at ease and lets them know they are safe and it will not continue to happen.
I was reading ahead a tad bit and came across theft that happens in banks,, and how those people are caught the same day. For me, that instantly puts my mind at ease. Years ago, one of the buildings I was working in, there was a theft that happened in the bank downstairs, and every got really nervous that the criminal may still be in the building. They caught him within hours and he was in the building. The thing I always try to remember, is that crime is going to happen, no matter were or when, but, it is how quickly we can solve it and restore that faith in the police within the community.

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