Skip Navigation LinksPennsylvania State Police > MPOETC > Certification > Core Job Description



Under regular and close supervision, provides basic law enforcement services to the community within the mission, goals and objectives of an employing law enforcement agency and in compliance with governing federal, state and local laws.

A. Essential Function – Respond to and Conduct Initial Investigations of Various Crimes and Events
Essential Tasks:
Secure crime scene, i.e. establish security perimeter.
Protect and preserve evidence.
Tag confiscated properties.
Review facts of case to determine whether case is criminal or civil matter.
Exercise discretion (choice) in selecting appropriate police action.
Interview complainants, witnesses, etc.
Interrogate/Interview suspects.
Listen closely to interviewee, suspect, etc. to ensure full understanding of person’s words.
Review records and pictures to identify suspects.
Control spectator/media access at scene of police incident.
Describe persons to other officers (e.g., suspects, missing person).
Direct actions of law enforcement or public service personnel arriving to assist.
Recognize and define elements of individual criminal charges.

B. Essential Function – Protect Crime Scene and collect Evidence and Information
Essential Tasks:
Examine evidence from crime scene to determine relevance.
Collect evidence and property from crime scene.
Package (bag and tag) evidence.
Analyze crime scene to determine need for specialist processing.
Fill out forms to document chain of custody of evidence.
Locate witnesses to a crime.
Fill out seized property inventory.
Initial/Mark/Label evidence.
Initial/Mark/Label recovered property.

C. Essential Function – Arrest and Detain Persons
Essential Tasks:
Advise persons of constitutional (Miranda) rights.
Apprehend and place juvenile offenders in custody.
Conduct field or scene one-on-one “field identification” with victim or witness to identify a suspect.
Book persons in custody by completing arrest and related forms.
Examine physical condition/appearance of prisoners and/or persons in custody to assess need for medial attention.
Execute arrest warrants.
Escort (walk) persons in custody to various destinations, e.g. medical facility, court, etc.
Arrest persons with a warrant.
Arrest persons without a warrant.
Handcuff suspects or prisoners.
Guard arrested persons outside of detention facility.
Conduct field interview of suspicious person.
Recognize signs of suicide risk in prisoner/arrested person.
Plan and organize service of Arrest Warrant.
Obtain arrest warrant and/or make proper return.
Use force as necessary and appropriate in apprehension of criminal suspects.

D. Essential Function – Conduct Search and Seizure
Essential Tasks:
Conduct full search of arrested persons.
Conduct frisk or pat down.
Search automobile under independent probable cause.
Search automobile incident to arrest.
Seize contraband, weapons and stolen property from suspects.
Recognize hidden stealth weapons.
Detain and search person at gunpoint.
Request verification of warrants before execution.

E. Essential Function – Provide Emergency Services and Assistance
Essential Tasks:
​Observe persons in custody to determine whether they are intoxicated or in medical distress, mentally ill, special needs (intellectual disability or autism), etc.
Take mentally impaired persons into custody for their own protection or that of others (Mental Health Act – 302 Commitments).
Contact Mental Health resource (program, facility, etc.) to obtain help for disturbed person.
Administer cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Apply basic first aid to treat for gunshot wounds.
Apply basic first aid to control bleeding.
Apply basic first aid to treat for amputations.
Apply basic first aid to unresponsive/unconscious person.
Apply basic first aid to treat for heart attack.
Apply basic first aid to treat for stabbing or puncture wounds.
Apply basic aid for choking, e.g. Heimlich Maneuver.
Help evacuate areas endangered by explosive or toxic gases, liquids, or other spilled materials.
Help evacuate buildings and surrounding areas in response to threat of explosion, e.g. bomb, natural gas.
Use protective gear to prevent contact with infectious diseases, blood-borne pathogens, etc.
Put on and take off emergency protective gear; e.g. breathing apparatus, gown, gloves, etc.
Observe individual to recognize signs of mental illness.
Take control of publicly intoxicated/disruptive person.
Place barricades on roadway to protect or secure area, vehicle, etc.
Talk with persons attempting to commit suicide to get them to delay or stop their attempt.
Transport mental patients.
Enforce restraining/protective order under Protection from Abuse Law.
Respond to and control scene involving barricaded subject.

F. Essential Function – Respond to and Conduct Investigation of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Essential Tasks:
Inspect vehicle involved in accident to assess damage, cause, etc.
Search for and collect physical evidence at motor vehicle accident scene.
Investigate motor vehicle accident to determine causes or factors contributing to an accident.
Collect facts of motor vehicle accident to determine charges.
Determine whether accident is reportable or non-reportable.
Hand sketch diagram of motor vehicle accident.
Identify and interview owners and others involved in motor vehicle accident.
Locate and interview witnesses to motor vehicle accidents.
Protect physical evidence at motor vehicle accident scene to ensure collection.
Issue citation for violation in a motor vehicle accident.
Determine point or area(s) of impact or point or areas(s) of motor vehicle accident.
Direct traffic scene of accident investigation.
Follow agency procedures or stat statutes to impound and inventory vehicles.
Assess need for and organize emergency assistance for motor vehicle accident (e.g., wrecker, ambulance, sand truck).
Determine accurate geographical direction(s) of vehicles/vessels involved in traffic accident.

G. Essential Function – Enforce DUI and Other Commonwealth Motor Vehicle Laws
Essential Tasks:
Review/consider facts of case and State Motor Vehicle code to select most appropriate charge and/or enforcement action.
Fill out forms to obtain blood sample from DUI suspect.
Explain local traffic ordinance to violator.
Administer field sobriety test, e.g. PBT, Standardized Field Sobriety Test, Gaze NYSTAGAMUS, etc.
Arrest DUI suspects.
Observe operator’s eyes, body movements, actions, etc. to evaluate his capability to operate vehicle.
Complete DUI arrest reports.

H. Essential Function – Operate Emergency Vehicle
Essential Tasks:
Engage in high-speed pursuit operating in congested area.
Engage in high-speed response operating in congested area.
Engage in high-speed pursuit operating on open road.
Engage in high-speed response operating on open road.
Operate patrol vehicle in driving rain.
Operate patrol vehicle on dirt/gravel covered road.
Operate patrol vehicle on ice/snow covered road.
Operate patrol vehicle at night.
Read violator vehicle license plate registration while operating police vehicle.
Operate appropriate vehicle to transport prisoners.

I. Essential Function – Execute Motor Vehicle Stop and Investigate Occupants
Essential Tasks:
Execute felony motor vehicle stop.
Investigate suspicious vehicle.
Activate emergency equipment and direct violator vehicle out of moving traffic to execute traffic stop.
Look for and identify suspect vehicle by color and description.
Execute stop of motor vehicle and approach and talk to operator and passengers.
Watch occupants of stopped vehicles to identify unusual or suspicious actions.
Stop vehicles to investigate, warn or arrest occupants.

J. Essential Function – Use Physical Force and Exertion to Perform Duties
Essential Tasks:
Break up fights between two or more persons.
Carry by yourself an immobile child.
Carry by yourself an immobile adult.
Carry with someone else an immobile child on a stretcher or other device.
Carry with someone else an immobile adult on a stretcher or other device.
Drag by yourself an immobile child.
Drag by yourself an immobile adult.
Dray with someone else an immobile child.
Drag with someone else an immobile adult.
Crawl under an obstruction.
Jump down from a height.
Climb over a fence.
Climb through a window or other such opening.
Push a motor vehicle out of a lane of traffic by yourself.
Push a motor vehicle out of a lane of traffic with another person.
Jump across ditch or other such obstacle.
Lift while in a stationary position a heavy object or person.
Pull person out of a vehicle through window or open door to effect rescue.
Sprint at full speed (less than 300 yards).
Run up stairs.
Run down stairs.
Use holds or devices to control or take suspect down.
Tackle a fleeing suspect.
Subdue physically attacking person.
Use weaponless defense tactics.
Subdue person resisting arrest.
Stand for more than half of work shift.
Walk for more than half of work shift.
Use body pressure points to control person.
Bend over/kneel to search under vehicle.
Grip person tightly to prevent escape/control movement.
Disarm violent armed suspect.
Pull person out of vehicle who is resisting arrest.
Climb stairs in multiple story buildings.
Strike person with side-handled baton.
Strike person with straight baton.
Use hammer lock to hold person.
Use submission holds to control person.
Twist at waist to direct traffic.
Hold person upright to prevent their falling, e.g. drunk.
Support person while walking to prevent their falling.
Bend/kneel to apply shackles, cuffs, etc.
Use chemical/OC stray to control person(s).

K. Essential Function – Develop and Maintain Positive Community and Interpersonal Relations
Essential Tasks:
Talk with people on beat, patrol area, district, etc. to establish positive relationship.
Talk with families of juvenile suspects or defendant to advise, notify, counsel, etc.
Intercede in domestic disputes to resolve, maintain peace, protect persons, etc.
Maintain courteous relationship with citizens to foster positive relationship.
Behave in a positive and fair manner to develop and maintain trust relationship with citizenry.

L. Essential Function – Write and Read Reports and Other Work Related Documents and Materials.
Essential Tasks:
Prepare arrest-related paperwork, e.g. Criminal Complaints and Affidavits, Offense and Incident Report, DACU Fact Summary, Custody Form, Officer’s Statement, etc.
Describe in written form the location of physical evidence at scene.
Summarize in writing the statements of witnesses and complainants.
Write in-depth narrative reports containing complete sentences and paragraphs (e.g., investigative reports, supplemental follow-up reports).
Write field notes to record actions, interviews, etc.
Prepare written reports to record injuries to prisoners or persons in custody.
Review facts of case to identify elements and ensure proper charges.
Read court and legal papers to determine meaning and proper law enforcement response, e.g. protection from abuse, restraining orders, etc.
Read and comprehend Pennsylvania Crime Code.
Read and comprehend Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
Read and comprehend departmental bulletins.
Read and comprehend training manuals, e.g. handouts.
Read and comprehend department rules and regulations, policies and procedures, and operations manuals.
Read and comprehend textbooks on policing or legal matters.
Read and comprehend Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Read and comprehend technical and Owner’s Manuals for Assigned Equipment.
Read and comprehend Red Cross First Aid Manual.
Read and comprehend CPR Manual.
Read and comprehend legal documents, e.g. orders, pleadings, etc.
Read and comprehend judicial case law.
Read and comprehend witness’s affidavits, sworn statements and testimony.
Read and comprehend road signs, controls and markings.
Read/Review warrants and affidavits to ensure completeness and accuracy.
Read, comprehend and maintain copy of Department Policy and Procedure and apply same to law enforcement practices.

M. Essential Function – Present Evidence and Testimony
Essential Tasks:
Confer with prosecutor prior to testimony regarding case.
Present evidence and testimony in legal and administrative proceedings, e.g. Preliminary Hearing Trial, Grand Jury, etc.
Read/Review case reports and notes to prepare court testimony.

N. Essential Function – Intervene in and Control Human Conflicts
Essential Tasks:
Use voice and words to calm a situation, send message, etc.
Speak plainly/clearly to encourage understanding.
Maintain control of one-self as many people speak to you simultaneously.
Communicate with people from diverse backgrounds to instruct, explain, obtain information, etc.
Use body language to project control and influence situation.
Observe person’s body language to assess attitude, intentions, etc.
Use voice commands to project control and direct action.
Restrain unruly or violent individuals; remove from public areas and effect arrest if necessary.
Control hostile groups (e.g. demonstrators, rioters or bar patrons, social gatherings).
Speak confidently to project control, self assurance, etc.
Maintain personal calm to prevent making situation worse.
Offer alternatives to resolve conflict between disputants.
Speak to hostile groups to quiet them.

O. Essential Function – Use Deadly Force
Essential Tasks:
Discharge firearm at person (not including training).
Discharge firearm in low light conditions, e.g. at night, in darkened room, etc. (not including training).
Discharge firearm from protective cover position (not including training).
Draw weapon to protect self or third party.
Clear malfunction of various firearms (not including training).
Reload firearms under combat conditions (not including training).
Fire weapon in dark environment while using flashlight (not including training).
Participate in firearms training.
Clean and inspect weapon.
Participate in firearm training to satisfy qualification standards.
Discharge shoulder weapons, e.g. rifle, shotgun, etc. (not including training).

P. Essential Function – Perform General Patrol Duties
Essential Tasks:
Consider ethical standards while performing law enforcement duties.
Observe crowds at large gatherings (e.g., concerts, fairs, athletic events, strikes) to detect problems or illegal activity.
Perform law enforcement duties in all weather and temperatures.
Patrol locations which are potentially physically hazardous (e.g., construction site, attractive nuisance)
Issue citations for non-traffic offenses (e.g., local ordinances and state laws).
Use police radio equipment to communicate
Search for person in darkened building or environment.
Use flare patterns to safeguard scene.
Use flashlight, illuminated baton or hand signals to direct traffic.
Observe moving vehicles to identify possible criminal activity, e.g. drug interdiction.
Look at insignias, tattoos, clothing and their colors to identify possible gang affiliation, criminal suspects, etc.
Use hand signals to direct pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Inspect patrol vehicle for weapons and contraband (e.g., before and after prisoner transport, shift change, etc.).
Monitor department radio communications to stay aware of police activity.
Deliver emergency messages (e.g., injuries, death).
Transport juveniles to home or detention facility as appropriate.
Pick up and process mental patients.
Remove, pursuant to court order, persons on premises illegally.
Hold flashlight while performing various law enforcement duties.


Walk continuously for 5 hours.
Stand continuously for 5 hours.
Chase a fleeing suspect 400 feet.
Run up 3 flights of stairs.
Jump down from a height of 5 feet.
Climb or pull oneself over a 6 foot barrier.
Push a 2 ton vehicle 25 feet.
Hold a 72 inch, 170 pound person for 3 minutes to control their movements.
Physically struggle by oneself with a 71 inch, 180 pound person for 2 minutes.
Pull a resisting 72 inch, 200 pound person through a doorway.
Jump over a 3 foot barrier.