Uploaded by Everett Berry


This term paper is about comparing the different types of police patrol procedures that occur in
law enforcement. Each role is critical in the function of policing. The different types of
procedures include foot patrol, bicycle patrol, marine patrol, and K-9. These functions have
different capabilities within their respective geographic locations and communities. Patrol
officers must abide by these standards and ethics of each role and understand the importance of
it. Foot patrol officers, for example, must enjoy their work within the communities because
outreach from within can achieve results in crime prevention and law-abiding citizens. Marine
patrol officers must understand how the waterways function, how to operate in that type of
environment, and that there are specific laws that must adhere for citizens to respect the ocean,
fish, and wildlife. The most important thing that these functions have are that they all have a
common goal of protecting and serving the people.
Compare Different Police Patrol Procedures
Police patrolling is one of the most important aspects of law enforcement. Having the
presence of police officers ensures the safety and preventative measures of crime to take place.
These patrol officers work for the state or a local law enforcement department and are assigned
to monitor specific geographic locations. They must always be ready for any type of situation
such as making arrests, resolving disputes, taking crime reports, conducting traffic enforcement,
and other crime prevention measures. They also work at scene of accidents by assessing damage,
assisting with the injured victims involved, and providing backup for other emergency personnel
to arrive on scene. Each police department has several types of patrolling methods and some of
them include foot patrol, bicycle patrol, marine patrol, and K-9.
Foot patrol is one of the oldest forms of patrolling and continues to be popularized within
community policing. This type of patrolling engages the officers with their communities and
having the presence with them shows the compassion they have and a sense of security as well.
Foot patrol officers will understand the “ins and outs” of their communities, so any type of
suspicious activity will trigger a response. In an article by Jarrett Skorup, it states community
engagement with police officers is more important in the long run because it leads to more tips
from informants and overall safety and crime prevention. One of the reasons foot patrolling
became popularized in recent years in the law enforcement community is because in 2008 gas
prices starting to increase. (Michigan Capitol Confidential). While foot patrolling is suited to
establish a community presence and improving the relationships, it does not cover large
geographic areas. It is also very physically demanding since being on your feet all day, by
walking and possibly running, can take a toll over time. Because of this foot patrolling is more of
a proactive approach to law enforcement then a reactive one.
Bicycle patrol is another form of police patrolling that paved the way in the law
enforcement community that enabled police officers to get around faster yet still be present
within their communities. The mounted bike is the preferred choice by bicycle patrol units
because it was extremely durable and offered the capability of maneuverability in off-road and
rough terrain. According to an article by Christopher Bennett, most of the negative qualities of
police patrol vehicles are from flashing lights, double parking, and long wait times between
arriving on scene. These are not qualities that a bicycle patrol officer will have. There also have
been noticeable cooperative and approachable officers in this field. (International Police
Mountain Bike Association). Bicycle patrolling can enhance the public’s view on their
involvement within the communities and share acknowledgement on physical health and fitness.
Other cyclists can also appreciate their efforts in doing so.
Not all crimes happen on the streets they also happen on sea as well. The United States
waterways are protected by federal, state, city, and local law enforcement. Marine patrol officers
protect these waterways and ensure that they are protected from criminal activity. Illegal border
crossing and drug trafficking take place in these situations, so it is important that patrolling takes
place. Police officers use specific watercraft that can enable them to perform their duties which
include investigating boating accidents, inspecting boats and boaters, conducting safety checks
and checkpoints, drug interdiction, enforcement of boating laws, report writing, and making
arrests. In an article by Timothy Roufa, he states that many officers are federally deputized, and
they can have jurisdiction beyond state-controlled waters. They can consolidate marine patrol
functions with other conservation agencies to enact a crime prevention effort in fishing and
wildlife. (The Balance Careers).
K-9 units are a specialized type of police patrol that involve an officer and a canine. Their
primary tasks include utilizing their great sense of smell for drug interdiction and to track down
criminals or missing persons. They can also be used for locating bombs. K-9 units are training
consistently for multiple purposes so that they can be effective at any given moment. Their sense
of smell is so effective that they can detect things humans normally would not be able to.
According to an article on Criminology Education, it states how K-9 officers play an important
role in crime scenes by gathering evidence. An example of that would be of how a canine can
smell a shell casing. That can allow investigators to pursue their case and determine where the
firearm was discharged. (Criminology Education). When patrolling, K-9 units are usually
responding to call for police, responding to emergencies, patrolling assigned areas with their
canine, issuing citations, making arrests, and inspecting crime scenes. The type of dogs that are
used in K-9 patrol are bloodhounds, Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, and Labrador
retrievers. The great thing about being a K-9 patrol officer is that you normally will be with that
specific canine until their career is over.
There are many different types of police patrolling and no matter what the circumstance,
these patrol officers will get the job done. Whether it is on foot, on sea, or with canine
partnership, patrol officers are the backbone of law enforcement. The use of specially trained
patrol officers on the many types of patrolling methods, ensures they provide coverage in any
type of situation. The ultimate goal for law enforcement is for the safety and well-being of the
people they protect and serve. Police patrol officers will always be on the forefront.
General Police Operations. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Skorup, J. (n.d.). Having Police on Foot Patrols Benefits Communities, Experts Say. Retrieved
from https://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/having-police-on-foot-patrolsbenefits-communities-experts-say
International Police Mountain Bike Association. (n.d.). 10 Advantages of Bicycle Patrol.
Retrieved from http://ipmba.org/blog/comments/10-advantages-of-bicycle-patrol
Roufa, T. (2019, August 27). Marine Patrol Officer Career Overview. Retrieved from
K9 Officer Job Description. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.criminology.education/k9officer-job-description/