Police offers spend a large amount of their time in their patrol cars. This enables them to help keep their community safe. However, in some areas, you may regularly see police officers driving around with their windows down. If you live in an area where this is common, have you ever wondered why? We have all of the details!
Police officers drive with their windows down to help take in all elements of their environment. It allows them to have a better eye and ear on their community, catching things they may not see with the windows up. In many areas, driving with the windows down is strongly encouraged for law enforcement professionals.
Benefits of Driving with Windows Down
There are many benefits of driving with your windows down as a police officer. When anyone drives with the windows down, there are a large number of elements in your environment that you may notice that you wouldn’t have noticed with the windows up. You will be able to smell and sense things more with the windows down.
For example: If a nearby building is experiencing a small fire, a police officer may not notice the fire right away (before the fire has gotten out of hand). However, if the police officer was driving with the windows down, the police officer would be more likely to smell smoke through his window and would then realize that something was wrong with the building. He would likely not smell the smoke with his windows up.
Not only are police officers not able to smell outside accurately with their windows up, but their hearing is also very limited with their windows rolled up. Being able to hear accurately helps police officers catch a large number of crimes or situations that may need the help of a police officer. For example: If a group of people starts yelling at one another and getting out of hand, a police officer would be able to hear it well with the windows down.
Many also believe that it’s easier to pay close attention to your surroundings when your windows are down. If you drive with your windows up, you may pay more attention to the details inside your car and less attention to what’s going on outside. Driving with the windows down can also make us a lot more alert.
Some of the law enforcement professionals who strongly believe in driving with the windows down have compared it to hiring someone with a loss of smell and hearing. The majority of police departments would not hire a police officer who has a loss of smell or hearing. This is largely due to the potential police officer not being able to participate in all of their job responsibilities without being able to smell or hear accurately.
However, when a police officer drives with their windows up, it is similar to having a loss of smell and hearing. By driving with their windows up, a police officer is voluntarily putting themselves at a disadvantage by not being to hear and smell everything in their surroundings.
Police Officers in Their Communities
Part of the reason why some areas highly encourage their police officers to drive with their windows down is it makes them more accessible to their community. Police officers are a vital part of their communities. Most areas want their residents and community to feel safe asking police officers for help and approaching law enforcement professionals in public.
By driving around with their windows down, it makes police officers seem more approachable to the public. It makes law enforcement appear more accessible. For example: If a police officer was sitting in their patrol car with their windows down, a member of the community may come up to the car and ask the officer for help if they needed it. However, if the police officer had their windows rolled up while they were sitting in their car, the member of the community would be much less likely to approach the patrol car.
For many police departments around the country, it is a major goal of the department to make their police departments appear more approachable in their communities. Many departments have even noticed the difference it has made in the community and how accessible law enforcement professionals appear by driving with the windows down.
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Different Policies Per Area
Depending on the area you live in, you may not see police officers and law enforcement professionals regularly driving with their windows down. Each area will have its own policies for police officers when it comes to driving their patrol cars.
Some cities may strongly encourage police officers to drive with their windows down, but other areas may leave the choice up to the officer. Areas that experience extreme weather conditions may be more inclined to leave the choice up to their officers. For example: In Utah, it is very common to see police officers drive with their windows rolled up, not rolled down.
However, more areas are starting to realize all of the benefits that driving with the windows down can offer their police officers. This is especially true for areas that may experience a high crime rate and drug use. Driving with the windows down allows police officers to notice crimes at a much higher rate.
Other Policies for Patrol Cars
Police officers use patrol cars for a large number of their job responsibilities. Their patrol cars allow them to monitor their community and get to the scene of any crimes or situations that require their attention. Police officers even use their patrol cars to carry resources that may be needed in their community, like medical equipment. However, some areas have policies regarding the usage of police officers’ patrol cars.
The main policy that some areas will have is regarding police officers using their patrol cars when they are not currently on duty. Similar to driving with the windows down, many areas vary on their policy of police officers using their patrol car when they are not working. Although some areas do not have any concerns with police officers driving their cars for their own errands, there are many areas that have strict policies on police officers not driving their cars outside of work.
Although the police officer may not be on duty when driving their patrol car, there are still benefits of police officers being in their cars off duty. Even when they aren’t working, police officers increase safety in their community when they are seen in their patrol cars. For example, most members of the community will automatically drive slower and drive with more caution when they see a patrol car driving near them.
Fewer crimes will take place when more patrol cars are seen around the community. Many community members are less likely to commit a crime if they see a patrol car nearby. The community member may not realize the police officer in the patrol car is off duty, but the patrol car being seen promotes more safety in the community.
Another benefit of police officers being seen in their patrol cars is it helps all law enforcement professionals appear more accessible to the community. When you see police officers around your community more, they will tend to appear more approachable and more accessible to you as a member of the community.
What schooling is required to become a police officer?
To become a police officer in any area, you will need two years of a college education. Most areas do not require a bachelor’s degree. However, if you plan on moving up and working at a higher level in law enforcement, you will need to get a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, we strongly encourage continuing your schooling and obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
Other schooling and training that is required to become a police officer is the Police Academy. The requirements in the academy will vary depending on the area you live in. However, most Police Academies will include large amounts of physical training, along with more in-depth law enforcement training.
Is it difficult to qualify to become a police officer in most areas?
The difficulty of becoming a police officer will largely depend on the state and city that you live in. The amount of competition in your area will affect how easy it is to become a police officer. In some areas, there is a large amount of competition and it can be difficult to get into the Police Academy. However, in many areas, it is not difficult to become a police officer. Many areas are in dire need of more police officers.
What are the daily activities of being a police officer?
On a daily basis, police officers respond to emergency situations, enforce motor vehicle safety, monitor their communities for anything that needs to be responded to, and protect the members of their community. This includes spending large amounts of time in their patrol car, but also spending a lot of time involved in their community and participating in community events.
To learn how to best prepare and study for your police exam click here.
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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.