The Work of Cops
Cops are a critical component of the criminal justice system in the United States. The role of cops depends largely on the type and size of organization. Cops work to apprehend people who break the law and then give warnings or citations if necessary. The job also includes writing police reports and keeping records of the events that they are involved in.
Within a jurisdiction, cops will patrol and investigate activity that is considered suspicious. They also respond to civilian calls to investigate any suspicious matters.
Levels of Enforcement
Cops can work at different levels of the government, for example for a local government up to a federal agency. Depending on this, the work can vary greatly.
On a local and state level, uniformed cops respond to calls and maintain patrols. A lot of the work involves paperwork and responding to calls. They can investigate crimes, help give first aid, direct traffic in an accident, or may just focus on a specific duty if the department assigns it.
Depending on the area, cops may try to build relationships with the individuals in the neighbor, or community policing. This is often found in urban areas and it helps mobilize the neighborhood.
Cops can train in specific fields depending on the level of government. On a local level, cops can work in courts as bailiffs or in jails. Some county level cops also work as sheriffs or deputy sheriffs.
On a state or federal levels, cops can specialize in fields such as firearm instruction, fingerprint identification, canine corps, harbor patrol, emergency response teams, or special weapons and tactics. State cops can also work as highway patrol officers or state troopers. They may also say the Miranda rights, but it is not necessary unless they plan to run an interrogation.
What Can Cops Do?
Cops are not above the law and must follow the same rules as other civilians. When on the job and making an arrest, there are certain protocols that cops must follow. While they do not have to explain the crime that a person is being arrested for, they cannot use any form of brutality or excessive force. They can respond to an arrested arrest or violent actions with reasonable force.
Becoming a Cop
The requirements to become a cop can range from a high school diploma to graduate level studies depending on the position. Most cops take part in a training academy from their agency.