Wednesday, April 7, 2010

To Protect and Serve

Police and sheriff’s patrol officers is the largest law enforcement occupation in Oregon. They perform a vital function in our society. Kirk Flerchinger, a police officer for the City of Pendleton Police Department, sums up his job this way, “To protect and serve.”

Of course, the job is much more complex than that. Police officers undergo extensive training, perform varied duties, work often in dangerous and difficult conditions, and encounter both public praise and scorn.

A few things to know about this occupation:
What they do: Police and sheriff’s patrol officers protect lives and property. Their duties depend on the size and type of their organizations.

Work Conditions: Police work can be very dangerous and stressful. Police officers have one of the highest rates of on-the-job injury and illness.

Education and training: Applicants usually must have at least a high school education, and some departments require one or two years of college coursework or, in some cases, a college degree. Physical education classes and participation in sports are also helpful in developing the competitiveness, stamina, and agility needed for many law enforcement positions.

Employment outlook: Police and sheriff’s patrol officers held about 5,141 jobs in Oregon in 2008. Employment of police and sheriff’s patrol officers is expected to grow 11.4 percent over the 2008 to 2018 decade, above the average of 9.1 percent for all occupations in Oregon.

Wages: In 2009, the median statewide wage was $27.41 per hour.

You can learn quite a bit more about this occupation in the full article, written by Workforce Analyst Tony Wendel ( | (541) 276-9050 ext 232).

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