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Entry-Level Uniformed Patrol Officer Job Analysis: Task Analysis 1998

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1999
This report presents the methodology and findings of a job task analysis conducted for the entry-level uniformed California patrol officer.
The job task survey identified 317 core tasks of a uniformed radio-car patrol officer. The most frequently performed tasks were in the areas of patrol activities, traffic, report writing, weapons, arrest, and search and seizure. A total of 146 core complaints and incidents addressed in patrol officer tasks were identified. A comparison of the 1978 and 1997 patrol-officer task analysis surveys showed that core tasks for the position have remained stable over the last 20 years; however, there were seven new tasks identified, which stemmed from technological and legislative changes. These tasks include transmitting, receiving, and monitoring messages over a radio-car computer terminal; audio-tape citizen contacts; operation of roadway checkpoints; completion of forms for drunk driving arrests; preventive safety precautions when administering first aid; the seizing of weapons from suspects in domestic violence and/or psychiatric detention; and the giving of hearsay testimony at preliminary hearings. The 1998 survey also found nine complaints and incidents handled by patrol officers in the 1998 survey that were not in the 1979 survey. Supervisors rated six incidents as "critically important" for proficient management by patrol officers: request for emergency assistance, hostage situation, barricaded suspect, homicide, sniper, and bombing. The results of the task analysis are currently being used to support the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training's (POST's) Basic Training Bureau's curriculum development for the Regular Basic Course. This study, which was concluded in 1998, collected survey data from 1,713 current police officers and 611 patrol supervisors from 63 agencies. The study population proportionally represented California police and sheriffs departments within three size categories. Frequency and importance ratings were obtained for 332 patrol officer job tasks and 149 complaints and incidents. 24 appendixes with supplementary data and information on study instruments, methodology, and findings