Career Development

What Does a Police Clerk Do?

Find out what a Police Clerk does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as a Police Clerk.

The role of a Police Clerk encompasses a broad range of administrative responsibilities within a law enforcement setting, serving as a foundational support system for both the department and the community it serves. This position is tasked with managing records, handling public inquiries, and ensuring the smooth operation of the office’s daily activities. By maintaining accurate and up-to-date information, the Police Clerk plays an essential role in the efficiency of the department’s response to legal matters, public concerns, and internal needs. Their work directly impacts the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts, facilitating communication between officers, the public, and other agencies. Through their diligent record-keeping and administrative support, Police Clerks contribute to the overall mission of promoting safety and order within the community.

Police Clerk Job Duties

  • Process and file various types of police reports, including but not limited to, incident, arrest, and accident reports, ensuring accuracy and confidentiality.
  • Answer non-emergency calls from the public, providing information or directing calls to the appropriate department or officer.
  • Maintain and update databases and records management systems with new information as it becomes available, ensuring all data is current and accurately entered.
  • Assist in the preparation and distribution of departmental correspondence, including memos, letters, and emails, to internal and external recipients.
  • Manage the scheduling and logistics for departmental meetings and events, including room reservations, equipment setup, and notification to participants.
  • Handle the receipt, documentation, and secure storage of lost and found property, ensuring items are cataloged correctly and returned to owners when possible.
  • Coordinate the release of information to the public and press in accordance with department policies and privacy laws, ensuring sensitive information is protected.
  • Oversee the inventory and ordering of office and departmental supplies, ensuring necessary materials are always available while adhering to budget constraints.

Police Clerk Salary & Outlook

A Police Clerk’s salary is influenced by factors such as years of experience, specialized skills in police administration, proficiency in data management systems, expertise in handling confidential information, and the ability to work under pressure. Additionally, shifts worked, such as night or weekend shifts, can also affect earnings.

  • Median Annual Salary: $43,575 ($20.95/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $63,500 ($30.53/hour)

The employment of police clerks is expected to decline over the next decade.

due to advancements in automation and digital record-keeping technologies. These innovations streamline administrative tasks, reducing the need for manual data entry and record management, leading to a decreased demand for Police Clerks who traditionally perform these functions.

Police Clerk Job Requirements

Education: A Police Clerk typically requires a high school diploma as a foundational educational requirement. Higher education, such as an Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s, or even a Master’s Degree, can enhance prospects, with majors or coursework in criminal justice, public administration, or related fields being particularly beneficial. Classes in computer literacy, communication, and organizational skills are also advantageous, reflecting the diverse administrative responsibilities of the role.

Experience: Police clerks often enter the role with diverse backgrounds, ranging from those stepping into their first job to individuals with several years of experience in related fields. Key experience areas include administrative duties, record keeping, and customer service, providing a solid foundation for the varied tasks they handle. On-the-job training is common, equipping clerks with specific knowledge on law enforcement procedures, data entry systems, and communication protocols. Training programs may also be available to enhance skills in report writing, confidentiality practices, and interdepartmental coordination, ensuring clerks are well-prepared to support police operations effectively.

Certifications & Licenses: No specific certifications or licenses are typically required for the job of a Police Clerk.

Police Clerk Skills

Report Writing: Police Clerks are tasked with creating detailed, accurate documentation of law enforcement activities, including incidents and arrests. Their work involves recording facts and figures crucial for legal processes and investigations. The role requires a keen eye for detail and the ability to present complex information in a clear, concise manner, ensuring reports are comprehensive and accessible to officers, legal professionals, and sometimes the public.

Law Enforcement Software: Specialized programs are within the expertise of Police Clerks, allowing them to manage case files, track incident reports, and access critical databases for background checks and criminal records efficiently. Their proficiency supports officers and detectives by facilitating smoother operations within the law enforcement framework.

Records Management: The organization, maintenance, and retrieval of police records, such as arrest reports, incident reports, and personnel files, fall under the purview of Police Clerks. Their meticulous attention to detail and strong understanding of confidentiality and legal compliance are crucial for maintaining the integrity and security of sensitive information.

Confidentiality Compliance: Police Clerks are responsible for ensuring the integrity of sensitive information, handling documents and communications that could impact legal proceedings and personal privacy with care. Their approach to document management includes strict control of access and adherence to legal and departmental policies on confidentiality.

Court Documentation Preparation: Police Clerks play a critical role in organizing and completing legal documents for court proceedings accurately. Their work ensures that all necessary information is presented in a manner that supports the judicial process, providing judges and attorneys with the data needed for informed decision-making.

Public Interaction Protocol: Serving often as the first point of contact for individuals seeking assistance or information, Police Clerks must communicate effectively, manage sensitive inquiries, and provide guidance with empathy and professionalism. Their role requires discretion and adherence to confidentiality protocols while promoting positive interactions between the public and the police department.

Police Clerk Work Environment

A Police Clerk typically operates within the confines of a police station or law enforcement facility, where the environment is structured yet dynamic. Their workspace is usually an office setting equipped with standard office tools and technology, including computers, telephones, and filing systems, essential for managing records, correspondence, and administrative tasks.

Work hours may adhere to standard office timings, though the nature of law enforcement can necessitate occasional flexibility, including night or weekend shifts. The dress code is generally formal or business casual, reflecting the professional atmosphere of the setting.

Interaction with law enforcement personnel and the public is frequent, requiring strong communication skills and a level of emotional resilience given the sensitive nature of some interactions. The pace can vary from routine administrative tasks to urgent, time-sensitive assignments, making adaptability a valuable trait.

While the role is predominantly stationary, health and safety protocols are in place, considering the unique environment of a police station. Noise levels are generally moderate but can fluctuate with the ebb and flow of station activity.

Advancement Prospects

A Police Clerk can advance to supervisory roles within administrative support, focusing on managing teams, overseeing departmental records, and enhancing operational efficiency. Progression often involves taking on more complex duties, such as coordinating with external agencies and handling sensitive information.

To achieve these advancements, demonstrating exceptional organizational skills, a deep understanding of law enforcement procedures, and a track record of reliability and discretion is crucial. Mastery in data management systems specific to law enforcement also significantly boosts advancement prospects.

Engaging in specialized training offered by law enforcement agencies on advanced record-keeping and privacy law compliance can further solidify a Police Clerk’s candidacy for higher positions. This path may eventually lead to roles such as Senior Administrative Coordinator or Records Supervisor, where leadership and in-depth knowledge of police operations are key.


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