The Patrol Operations Bureau is made up of the most visible members of the Police Department, almost exclusively performing their duties in easily recognized uniforms and patrol vehicles. They are first to respond to any situation requiring police involvement and are responsible for providing primary field services. These services may include the collection of information and evidence, the rendering of first aid and basic life support, or the maintenance of order until additional department personnel can respond.
The Patrol Operations Bureau is on duty twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year. Situations to which Patrol Operations personnel must respond range from conducting preliminary and follow-up investigations of serious crimes against persons to simply offering advice or helping people in need of assistance. Crimes against persons include offenses such as homicide, robbery or sexual assault, while crimes against property include burglary, theft, and damage to property. Patrol Operations personnel respond to and investigate traffic accidents and provide assistance to persons in need of medical attention. They also respond to alarm calls, attempt to locate missing persons, assist motorists or citizens and are generally available to handle any problems that occur during their tour of duty.
The Patrol Operations Bureau is divided into three primary shifts and serves as the backbone of the department. Each patrol shift consists of two Sergeants and nine to twelve Officers. This department generally assigns single officer patrol units, but assigns multiple units to certain types of calls likely to require the presence of more than one officer. Because of the importance of its function, the largest number of personnel is committed to the field operations.