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Police Officer Duties


Motorcycle patrol passing City HallAny one position may not include all the duties listed nor do the examples cover all of the duties which may be performed.

  • Patrols a specified district or beat on foot, motorcycle, patrol vehicle (marked or unmarked).
  • Gives information to pedestrians and motorists; Checks for any law violations; Writes citations; directs traffic and escorts convoys.
  • Responds to radio calls and investigates complaints, disturbances, collisions, administers first aid in emergencies
  • Watches for suspicious cars, curfew violators and wanted persons; make arrests for violations of laws and ordinances.
  • Serves warrants and subpoenas; transports prisoners and assists in booking and jailing prisoners; appears in court
  • Investigates conditions hazardous to life or property; conducts initial investigations of crime and crime scenes; may assist detectives in criminal investigation work. Collect and preserve evidence.
  • Writes reports, reads bulletins, reports, orders and implements indicated changes as appropriate. Testify in Court as required.


Work normally consists of routine police tasks performed according to department rules and regulations. Incumbents receive general and special instructions and must be able to act without direct supervision. The absence of ongoing supervision responsibility distinguishes this class from the class of Police Sergeant. Work may involve personal danger.


  • Knowledge of public relations in law enforcement.
  • Knowledge of safe automobile operation involving the vehicle code.
  • Knowledge of principles of first aid.
  • Ability to be courteous but firm with the public.
  • Ability to react quickly and calmly under emergency conditions.
  • Ability to make sound decisions.
  • Skill in observation and memory of places, persons, names and incidents.


  • Ability to develop skill in the use of firearms.
  • Ability to analyze situations and to adopt an effective course of action.
  • Ability to read and understand laws, ordinances, departmental policies, rules, written and oral instructions.
  • Ability to read and write reports.
  • Skills in verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning.

The City of San José is committed to open and honest government and strives to consistently meet the community's expectations by
providing excellent service, in a positive and timely manner, and in the full view of the public. Read more about the City Code of Ethics.