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Fitchburg Police Department - Fitchburg, Mass. Fitchburg Police Department
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 Patrol Officer


A Patrol Officer shall be responsible for the efficient performance of his duties in conformance with rules, regulations and policies contained in this Manual, as well as General Orders, Special Orders, policies and procedures, directives and law.


His mission shall consist of, but is not necessarily limited to, the following general police responsibilities:

  1. Identify criminal offenders and criminal activity and, where appropriate, to apprehend offenders and participate in subsequent court proceedings.
  2. Reduce the opportunities for the commission of some crimes through preventive patrol and other measures.
  3. Aid individuals who are in danger of physical harm.
  4. Facilitate the movement of people and vehicles.
  5. Identify problems that are potentially serious law enforcement or governmental problems.
  6. Create and maintain a feeling of security in the community.
  7. Promote and preserve the peace.
  8. Provide other services on an emergency basis.
  9. Perform other such duties as the Chief of Police, or his designee, may require.


It is the duty and responsibility of a Patrol Officer to:

  1. Perform duties consistent with the obligations imposed by his oath of office and be accountable to his superior officers, promptly obeying legitimate orders.
  2. Coordinate his efforts with those of other members of the Department so that their teamwork may ensure continuity of purpose and maximum achievement of police objectives.
  3. Communicate to his superiors all information he may obtain which is pertinent to the achievement of police objectives.
  4. Respond punctually to all assignments.
  5. Acquire and record information concerning events that have taken place since his last briefing and be continuously attentive to instructions.
  6. Record his activity during his tour of duty in the manner prescribed to him by his superiors.
  7. Maintain his arms and equipment in a functional, presentable condition, promptly correcting defects, and report any serious defects to his superior.
  8. Make reports of crimes, accidents, and other incidents in conformity with the procedures outlined in current directives for their accurate, complete, and timely preparation.
  9. Respond to citizen's requests for assistance or information, and courteously explain any instance where jurisdiction does not lie with the police department and suggest other procedures to be followed.
  10. Be accountable for the securing, marking, safeguarding, and proper transporting of all evidence and property coming into his custody.
  11. Be alert to the development of conditions tending to cause crime, take preventive action to correct such conditions, and inform his superiors.
  12. Conduct investigations of all criminal offenses and incidents within his area of assignment and scope of activity. He shall collect evidence and record data which will aid in identification, apprehension, and prosecution of offenders and the recovery of property.
  13. When dispatched to the scene of a crime, preserve the area upon arrival.
  14. When directed by a superior officer, serve or deliver warrants, summonses, subpoenas, and other official papers promptly and accurately.
  15. Guard prisoners who are receiving treatment at a hospital.
  16. Leave assigned area to assist fellow officers on calls of a serious or dangerous nature.
  17. Confer with court prosecutors and testify in court.
  18. Accomplish other general duties and functions as they are assigned or become necessary.
  19. Be prepared for inspection of uniforms, equipment and general appearance.
  20. Enforce the parking ordinances and motor vehicle laws in his assigned area of patrol.
  21. Seek to address underlying problems rather than isolated events and to solve problems on their route in a proactive manner.
  22. While always striving for prevention of crime, maintain a focus on the apprehension of criminal law violators as a primary police function.
  23. Promote cooperation between citizens and police, and allow the community's needs and desires to have an influence on decisions.
  24. Concentrate efforts on crime, fear of crime, disorder and general quality of life on their route.
  25. Maximize direct, daily, face-to-face contact with citizens and communication with people in the community.
  26. Be encouraged to experiment with creative and innovative solutions aimed at problems. Specifically target young people in actions to promote crime prevention, respect for police, and keeping young people out of trouble.


  1. Preventive Patrol
    1. Patrol assigned area for general purposes of crime prevention and enforcement. Patrol includes: apprehending persons violating the law or wanted by the police; public assembly checks; building security checks; questioning suspicious persons; issuing traffic citations; locating fires; reporting street light and traffic signals out-of-order, street hazards and other safety problems; checks of schools, parks and playgrounds.
    2. Examine in the nighttime and during Sundays and holidays doors and windows of the business places in his assigned area of patrol to see that they are properly secured. If any door or window is found to be unsecured he shall notify the station and take immediate measures to secure the property if it is apparent that the door or window was inadvertently left open by the owner. However, if it appears that the door or window was forced open to gain unlawful entry into the building, he shall immediately notify his superior officer of the situation and request assistance to search the premises.
  2. Service to the Public
    1. Respond to situations brought to his attention while in the course of routine patrol or assigned by radio. Assist invalids, senile and lost persons, or other persons needing police assistance.
    2. Answer questions asked by the general public, counsel citizens when necessary and refer them to persons or agencies where they can obtain further assistance.
  3. Miscellaneous Activities
    1. If assigned to operate a motor vehicle, see that it is well maintained mechanically and that it is kept clean both inside and out. Immediately report all defects and damages sustained to the vehicle to the Officer-In-Charge and complete all reports and forms required for such by current procedures. Have valid Massachusetts operator's license. Use the call number assigned to the car to contact headquarters. Operate the radio in line with FCC regulations and current departmental procedures. Whenever the car is left unattended or the radio is taken off the air, notify the Dispatcher giving location. When back in service, contact the Dispatcher informing him of such.
    2. Always drive the assigned vehicle with due regard for the safety of yourself and others. When on regular patrol, drive at a speed and in such a manner as will enable one to see any conditions in the assigned patrol area which may require police attention.
    3. Whenever the patrol car is left unattended for any reason, remove the keys.
    4. Only vehicles assigned by the Officer-In-Charge may be used.
    5. Ensure that prior to completion of tour of duty, the assigned vehicle's gas tank is full.
    6. When responding to a report of a crime or serious incident:
      1. Use the siren and flashing light when it is necessary to do so to ease safe passage through traffic, provided their use does not defeat more important police purposes such as maintaining the element of surprise. Always comply with the department policy on high speed operation of police vehicles.
      2. Keep the Dispatcher and Officer-In-Charge of the shift informed of all pertinent information relating to the crime scene or serious incident area until a superior officer arrives to take command.


 It is the duty and responsibility of a Traffic Patrol Officer:

  1. Direct and expedite the flow of traffic at assigned intersections keeping in mind his duty as a Traffic Patrol Officer in preventing accidents, protecting pedestrians and ensuring the free flow of traffic.
  2. Enforce the parking ordinances and motor vehicle laws in his area.  At all times he shall take such action as is consistent with current departmental policy, good police work and common sense.
  3. Respond immediately and notify the station at the earliest possible opportunity when called from a traffic post for emergency police service.
  4. Wear the prescribed traffic safety belt when directing traffic at night or during periods of poor visibility.
  5. Be civil and courteous at all times realizing that he is representing the Department and all police in general.
  6. Acquire a thorough knowledge of all criminal law as well as all laws and ordinances relating to motor vehicles and pedestrians, with particular attention given to those situations which constitute violations.


  1. Periodically visit licensed business establishments such as open air parking lots, used car dealers, boarding houses, antique shops, junk yards, pawnbrokers, liquor stores, etc.  Ensure that each license is in order and up to date and that nothing is present which violates its terms.
  2. Periodically visit establishments containing automatic amusement machines, juke boxes, pool tables, and bowling alleys.
  3. Investigate complaints against licensed establishments and cooperate with and render assistance to the License Board in all matters.

Copyright 2004 - Fitchburg Police Department
20 Elm Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420

Ph: (978) 345-4355
Fax: (978) 342-7608

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