The largest and most visible component of the Regina Police Service is Community Services Division, also simply known as Patrol. These are the uniformed police officers who provide policing based on the Regina Police Service’s core functions: emergency response; quality investigations and non-emergency response; traffic safety; and community development and crime prevention. Patrol personnel are divided into four shifts that provide 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week police response. Patrol members are, quite literally, the people who come to your aid when you call for police, yet describing what they do is difficult because their work is so varied. These officers provide 9-1-1 response, but they’re also tasked with a host of other responsibilities which include investigations, statement-taking, report-writing and follow-ups. Patrol members are also responsible for notifying a complainant of the outcome of an investigation. Officers also deliver lectures to members of the public, do traffic enforcement and address ongoing issues in the community using a problem solving philosophy. They provide field training for newly graduated police officers. A patrol member’s shift can be varied: as mundane as preserving a crime scene, or as urgent as providing emergency first-aid to a choking victim or a person attempting suicide. Often, patrol members dispatched to an incident find circumstances to be quite different from the information conveyed in a complainant’s call. Because situations are often volatile, patrol members have to adapt.
One of the more challenging aspects of patrol is shift work, which can play havoc with a person’s sleeping and eating habits and general health.
Patrol is where every police officer starts a career in policing and many spend several rewarding years as front line patrol members. The public perception of policing and the intrigue of the profession are often associated to the activities of front line members in their day-to-day duties. What many find interesting about policing is the continual change; it is a demanding profession offering new challenges daily.