Published in the November/December 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®
What began in the 1850’s as the Los Angeles Rangers and then became the Los Angeles City Guards has turned into one of the largest law enforcement organizations in the United States. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) now has approximately 10,000 police officers.
All LAPD officers start in patrol. Patrol officers investigate crimes, make arrests, patrol communities to make them safer, work with the community to solve problems, conduct community meetings, mediate disputes, investigate traffic accidents, and provide general police services. Many officers choose to remain in patrol, while others put in for promotions or for transfer to specialized divisions after a few years in the field. Patrol is the primary provider of police services to the community. The work is challenging and rewarding – never boring. No two days are ever the same.
Police officers comprise the largest number of sworn officers in the LAPD. There are three pay grade 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, a bicycle patrol, a mounted unit, a two-wheel motorcycle, or a specialized unit such as a SWAT team or a K-9 unit. Normally, when a police recruit graduates from the police academy, the department assigns him or her to a geographic patrol division within the city. The department considers the graduate to be a probationary officer and places him or her under the supervision of a higher ranking officer, normally a Police Officer III Field Training Officer.