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What does a County Police Officer do?

By Felicia Dye
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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There are often various levels of police forces in a state. These include state police, county police, and town police. When a person is a county police officer, his powers typically are limited to the boundaries of the county in which he is employed.

A county police officer takes an oath to serve and to protect. This means that he has the responsibility to serve as an enforcer of the law, to protect citizens from harm, and to act as a public servant in times of need. He is not generally held to these requirements when he is outside of the county that employs him.

The boundaries of the county represent the limits of a county police officer’s power. If a person commits a crime in his territory and escapes outside of the county, he is generally not able to pursue the individual. Instead, he must notify officials in the jurisdiction to which the criminal has fled.

A county police officer is responsible to uphold a wide range of laws. Although his power is restricted to a certain area, the types of laws that he must enforce are not. If a person commits a federal or state crime, he has the power and obligation to arrest the individual. Additionally, he does the same when local laws are broken.

Duties that are performed by a county police officer can vary. In small counties, officers may perform a variety of duties, from setting up sobriety checks to investigating violent crimes. In large counties, duties may be delegated to different individuals.

For example, some officers may be traffic officers. Their job often involves controlling traffic violations such as speeding and illegal parking. They may also be called to the scene of automobile accidents.

Another type of county police officer is a detective. These individuals are generally called upon when it is not known who has committed a crime. They are often specially trained to gather clues and to interrogate witnesses or potential suspects.

The ethical standard that a county police officer is expected to maintain may not be restricted to the boundaries of the county that employs him. Due to the position that he holds, a police officer is generally expected to set exemplary standards. Ethical problems and poor conduct may be enough for him to be suspended from his duties or for him to lose his job. This is true even when a law is not broken. If, for example, an officer is a compulsive gambler or an alcoholic, the police department that he works for may find it necessary to take disciplinary action.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Logicfest — On Feb 12, 2014

County police officer -- the term is unfamiliar. What seems common is a sheriff that has jurisdiction over a county and the officers that work for his or her office are deputies.

Is the county police officer setup somehow different or are both arrangements substantially the same.

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