The heart of a police department is its daily patrol function. This is where the vast majority of the public first meets an officer. It may be to report a crime, ask for assistance, or from a traffic stop. The Sylvania Township Police Department has 48 sworn police officers, and 36 of those officers are directly assigned to the daily patrol function. During a standard patrol shift, there is a Sergeant and a minimum of four patrol officers on duty.  Each officer is assigned a specific portion of Sylvania Township to patrol. The Township is divided into four patrol districts for quicker response times to an emergency.

So what does a patrol officer do during a shift? The list seems to be endless! The duties of a police officer entail more than you would think. Their daily duties can be explained easily with the acronym P.E.P.P.A.S.:
Prevent Crime- There is nothing better than an alert officer to counter a criminal! Officers investigate prowler calls, give extra vigilance to problem areas, check businesses, patrol neighborhoods, and question suspicious subjects.

Enforce the law- This is where you may see an officer the most. Watch for flashing lights! Officers conduct traffic stops for equipment and moving violations, enforce speed limits, and investigate traffic accidents. The Ohio Revised Code also outlines thousands of criminal violations that the police must enforce.

Preserve the peace- Fight in progress? An argument getting out of hand? The police are there. Officers respond to domestic disputes, mediate arguments, keep the peace during custody/property exchanges, and settle disorderly conduct.

Protect life and property- A police officer is usually the closest help in an emergency. Officers carry medical gear, including automatic external defibrillators, and can summon the fire department for further treatment. Ever wonder why there are so many officers at an involved traffic accident scene? Many are needed to control traffic flow and keep a bad situation from getting worse.
Thieves have no respect for the property of others. Police officers answer the call from retailers on shoplifters, initiate bad check reports, and investigate property crimes. Residents call for help during arson, property damage, and thefts. Protecting those who can’t protect themselves is why many officers join the force.

Arrest violators- Once a crime has been committed and the criminal has been identified, patrol officers take the suspect into custody and transport them to the county jail or juvenile justice center. Reports are completed, charges are filed, and the patrol officer is involved in the entire legal process from start to finish. In depth knowledge of the Ohio Revised Code is critical.

Serve the public- The catch-all provision! Lost? Car out of gas or broken down? Locked your keys in your car or house? Need directions? Have a question? A Patrol officer will be there to assist you. Serving the public is a broad category, and it always keeps the patrol officer busy.

A day in the life of a patrol officer: So how does a normal shift progress for the patrol officer? The shift begins with a meeting. This meeting is called “roll call”, and it is led by the Sergeant in charge of the shift. The Sergeant goes over recent crimes in the Township, assigns patrol districts, discusses legal updates, conducts training, and gives patrol assignments.

After roll call, the patrol officer assembles the equipment they need for the upcoming shift. Most officers head for a patrol cruiser and gather their gear. Some patrol officers may have unique assignments. Depending on the need, patrol officers may be assigned to motorcycles, bicycles, traffic enforcement cars, or plain clothes and undercover cars.Once a patrol officer has their equipment, they head to their assigned district in the Township. During the shift, they’ll respond to calls for service (reports, accidents, disturbances), check houses whose residents are on vacation, respond to alarms, pay attention to problem areas, conduct traffic stops, and help where needed.

The shift ends with the patrol officer preparing their vehicle for the next shift. They finish up necessary paperwork. Important updates are passed on to the upcoming roll call, and then the shift is over!
Patrol Officers interact with the public in a variety of ways, have numerous assignments, and protect the residents and guests of our community.

Knowledge is the key.

Township Alerts Signup

Stay up to date with Sylvania Township!


Important Locations

View a map of our important landmarks and offices.

Scroll Up