Law Enforcement Officers

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Law Enforcement Officers

Law Enforcement Officers - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, police officers and sheriffs:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a high level of social contact and communicate with others by phone, e-mail, and in person daily.
  • Work as part of a team and be somewhat responsible for the work done by others.
  • Almost always deal with conflict situations and people who may be angry or unpleasant.
  • Are very responsible for the health and safety of others.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Work mostly outdoors, but often work indoors while writing reports.
  • Always wear uniforms.
  • Work in a vehicle on a daily basis, such as a patrol car.
  • Are often exposed to contaminants and hazardous equipment.
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  • Work in close proximity to others, usually within a few feet.
  • Frequently work in extremely bright or inadequate lighting conditions.
  • Always wear protective or safety attire, such as bulletproof vests.

Work Performance

  • Must be exact in their work. Errors could result in serious injuries to themselves or others.
  • Make decisions that strongly impact others every day, usually without consulting a supervisor.
  • Repeat some of the same mental and physical activities each day.
  • Work in a moderately competitive environment and meet weekly and daily deadlines.


  • Generally have a set schedule each week.
  • Usually work full time, most work more than 40 hours a week.
  • May work weekends, holidays, and nights.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.