Our patrol officers are the most visible representatives of the Idaho Falls Police Department and they are the first responders to incidents. They respond to events by being dispatched from the 911 Emergency Telecommunications Center or by viewing a situation as it is occurring. We provide service around the clock, 365 days a year. Shifts of officers are staggered to assure officers are available to respond to calls anytime of the day or night. Officers are assigned to one of three beats (West, North, South) within the city.
Patrol officers get to know the area that they are assigned and the community members they serve within their beat. When not responding directly to calls, or providing backup to other officers, patrol officers use proactive time to combat ongoing crime problems in specific neighborhoods.
Because they come across a wide variety of incidents in their day-to-day work, patrol officers are given extensive training in many different skill sets and attend mandatory training throughout their careers. Having a background and understanding of patrol work is absolutely vital before a transition to any other type of police work. Because of this, all sworn officers must work as a patrol officer for at least 3 years before they can be assigned to a specialty unit and five years before they can test for promotion to Detective or Sergeant.
Our new officers spend their first 22 weeks on patrol with a Police Training Officer. The PTOs are on-the-job teachers and mentors for the officers that have just completed the Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training Basic Patrol Academy in Meridian, Idaho.
Patrol also includes K-9 officers. These specialized officers perform duties that aid regular patrol officers, and they are also assigned regular calls. Some patrol officers are also members of the SWAT team and can be called away from duty or days off, for high-risk calls.