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POLICE OFFICER

Definition:

Under the general supervision of a Police Sergeant or Police Corporal performs a wide variety of patrol and related duties involving the prevention of crime, the protection of life and property and the enforcement of laws and ordinances; makes investigations, assists in the preparation of cases and testifies in court; serves in specialized departmental roles as assigned; provides information and assistance to the public; performs related work as assigned.

Class Characteristics:

This sworn, working-level law enforcement class performs all non-supervisory assignments found in a municipal police department. While incumbents are normally assigned to a specific geographic area for patrol or traffic enforcement, all functional areas of the law enforcement field, including investigation, youth services, administration, and training are included. Positions in the class are occupied by sworn police officers. Officers may be armed and may be assigned to work in uniform or plain clothes. Shift schedules and job assignments may be changed periodically to assure the maximum delivery of effective police service. This class is distinguished from Police Sergeant in that the latter is the first supervisory level in this sworn class series.

Examples of Key Duties: (Duties are illustrative and not inclusive and may vary individual assignment) 

  • Patrols the City within an assigned area in a radio dispatched automobile to secure life and property, observe situations, report suspicious or criminal activity, hazardous conditions and deter crime by providing high visibility.
  • Responds to emergency calls for service, disturbances, thefts, burglaries, vehicle accidents, domestic disputes, suspicious activities and other incidents to protect public safety and property, resolve problems, diffuse situations and enforce laws and ordinances.
  • Provides information, directions and assistance to the public in a variety of situations; takes reports and assists the public with complaints or unusual situations.
  • Develops and maintains effective working relationships with the community, including specific targeted groups, such as the elderly or school-age youth.
  • Assists in developing community crime prevention programs; speaks and educates local business, school, civic, and social groups.
  • Observes, monitors and controls routine and unusual traffic situations; stops and warns drivers or issues citations as appropriate; provides direction and traffic control in accident or incident situations, special events or other congested situations.
  • Makes arrests and serves warrants and subpoenas; takes individuals into custody and may transport them for medical clearance and/or booking at a longer-term facility, as required.
  • Secures crime scenes and evidence; interviews suspects, victims and witnesses; collects and preserves evidence; performs complete investigations and/or cooperates with other law enforcement agencies providing investigative and case development support.
  • Provides oversight on juveniles and delinquents and works on cases involving unfit homes and crimes committed against or by juveniles.
  • Assists the City Attorney or the District Attorney staff in preparing, documenting and developing cases and gathering information; testifies in court as required.
  • Directs the activities of police support personnel and/or volunteers in office and field situations.
  • Provides mutual aide to other law enforcement agencies as dispatched and in accordance with departmental policy.
  • Prepares reports; prepares and maintains logs, records and accurate files.
  • Serves writs, warrants, subpoenas and other legal documents.
  • May be assigned to assist in conducting special studies of crime prevention, traffic control, or other Police Services issues.
  • Performs other duties of a similar nature or level.

Qualifications:

Education and Experience:

Graduation from high school; or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job as listed above. Completion of an accredited police academy, two years of college level course work and/or volunteer law enforcement experience are desirable. 

Licenses:

Must possess and maintain a valid California class C driver’s license and a satisfactory driving record. Must possess a valid basic certificate issued by the California State Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) and possess and maintain firearms qualification. 

Other Requirements:

Must be at least 21 years of age at the time of employment and have no state or federal convictions for a crime punishable by imprisonment in a federal penitentiary or state prison.

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions:

Must maintain P.O.S.T. physical standards, including mobility and physical strength and stamina to respond to emergency situations and apprehend suspects, lift and push or pull individuals or objects weighing up to 100 pounds; ability to work in a standard office setting and to operate a motor vehicle; vision to maintain firearms qualification, to read printed materials and a computer screen, discern colors and work in a night setting; and hearing and speech to communicate in person, before groups and over the telephone and radio. Works inside and outside. Must be willing to work over time, extended shifts, evening, night, weekend, and holiday shifts. May be called back in emergency situations and work with exposure to difficult circumstances, including exposure to dangerous situations, hazardous situations and all weather conditions. Must be able to pass a detailed background investigation. May travel to sites outside of the City.

Knowledge of: (at entry)
  • Law enforcement principles, practices and techniques related to patrol, traffic enforcement, crime scene control and investigation, protection of life and property, pursuit, apprehension and transportation of suspects.
  • Investigation and identification techniques and equipment.
  • Rules of evidence regarding search and seizure and the preservation of evidence.
  • Courtroom procedures and techniques for testifying.
  • Applicable laws, codes, ordinances, court decisions and departmental rules and regulations.
  • Safety practices and equipment related to the work, including the safe use and proper care of firearms, chemical agencies and impact weapons.
  • Techniques of first aid and CPR.
  • Techniques for communication with, in English, dealing with and solving the problems presented by a variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, in person and over the telephone, often when relations may be confrontational or stressed.
  • Basic English grammar, composition, spelling, punctuation and report writing techniques.
  • Standard office practices and procedures, including the use of standard office equipment, record keeping, business mathematics, and basic computer applications related to the work.
Skill in: (at entry)
  • Observing accurately, recalling faces, names, descriptive characteristics, facts of incidents and places.
  • Interpreting, applying and explaining complex laws, codes, regulations and ordinances.
  • Preparing clear, accurate and grammatically correct reports, records and other written materials.
  • Making sound, independent decisions in emergency situations.
  • Identifying and being responsive to community issues, concerns and needs.
  • Operating the equipment of the department in a safe and responsible manner.
  • Coordinating and carrying out special assignments.
  • Operating a motor vehicle in a safe manner under patrol and emergency conditions.
  • Monitoring changes in laws and court decisions and applying them in work situations.
  • Entering information into a computer with sufficient speed and accuracy to perform the work.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work.

 

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