Police departments are often split into several divisions. For example, one department may have a sex crime unit and a property division. In that case, the different specialized patrol divisions would handle crimes which fit into that specific category, allowing police to focus on one area of investigation. However, some smaller police departments simply have a general police patrol, with each officer handling a myriad of types of cases.
Specialized patrols allow officers to better understand the types of crimes they are required to investigate. For example, a property police patrol may have extensive knowledge on how best to recognize areas and neighborhoods which are more likely to be burglarized. In that case, the police patrol may pay special attention to those areas. By having a specific focus, officers are also able to better utilize specific investigative techniques for specific types of crimes.