Police Officers comprise the largest number of sworn officers in the Department. The Police Officer rank is divided into three paygrade advancement ranks: Police Officer I, II and III. A Police Officer I is a probationary officer who automatically advances to Police Officer II upon successful completion of his/her probationary period. A Police Officer may be assigned to a foot beat, a black and white patrol car, bicycle patrol, Mounted Unit, a two-wheel motorcycle or a specialized unit such as S.W.A.T. or K-9 Unit. Normally, when a police recruit graduates from the Police Academy, he/she is assigned to a geographic patrol division within the City and is considered as a probationary officer and placed under the supervision of a higher ranking officer, normally a Police Officer III Field Training Officer. A probationary Police Officer assigned to a patrol unit performs basic duties such as:
Responding to the scene of a crime or an accident
Interviewing suspects, witnesses
Writing crime reports
Responding to radio calls
Monitoring any suspicious activity of ongoing crimes
Coordinating vehicular traffic
Visiting open businesses such as banks, markets, department stores, service stations, and other types to establish a rapport with owners
Booking suspects and evidence and transporting them to the appropriate Police Department facility
Responding to citizens’ and visitors’ questions
Preparing Daily Field Activity Reports
Attending and coordinating neighborhood watch meetings
Performing numerous other activities in support of the community policing philosophy
A Police Officer assigned to a specialized division or as a Desk Officer performs all of the aforementioned duties in addition to performing duties that are unique to these specialized divisions. For example, a Police Officer may be assigned to Juvenile Narcotics Division to conduct undercover narcotics investigations or patrol the school area to monitor criminal activity and to maintain liaison with the school officials. In addition, a Police Officer may be assigned to a two-wheel motorcycle unit to enforce traffic laws, investigate traffic accidents, cite the violators of traffic laws, appear in the court, search for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and maintain order in congested areas. A Police Officer may also serve as a helicopter pilot or an observer in Air Support Division and provide assistance to ground units.
A Police Officer II or III may also serve as a Vice Investigator, Instructor at the Police Academy, Detective Trainee, Legislative Officer, News Media Coordinator, Range Officer, Recruitment Officer, Driver-Security Aide to the Chief of Police and the Mayor of the City, Senior Lead Officer, Unusual Occurrence Planning Officer, or numerous other positions within the Police Department. The opportunities available to a Police Officer within the LAPD are so diverse, they are too numerous to mention on this web page.