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. (July 2009)
|Law enforcement, public safety, civil service, public service rescue, protection of private property|
|Competencies||Sense of justice, knowledge of the law, communication skills, brave, quick thinking under pressure, competence at legal paperwork, problem solving, physical fitness|
|Secondary or tertiary education|
|gendarmerie, military police, security guard, bodyguard|
Police officer on street patrol in Montreal
Mounted Tourist-Police officers in Petra
A police officer, also known as an officer, policeman, policewoman, cop, police agent, or a police employee is a warranted law employee of a police force. In most countries, "police officer" is a generic term not specifying a particular rank. In some, the use of the rank "officer" is legally reserved for military personnel.
Police officers are generally charged with the apprehension of criminals and the prevention and detection of crime, protection and assistance of the general public, and the maintenance of public order. Police officers may be sworn to an oath, and have the power to arrest people and detain them for a limited time, along with other duties and powers. Some officers are trained in special duties, such as counter-terrorism, surveillance, child protection, VIP protection, civil law enforcement, and investigation techniques into major crime including fraud, rape, murder, and drug trafficking. Although many police officers wear a corresponding uniform, some police officers are plain-clothed in order to dissimulate as ordinary citizens.