The Patrol Division is the backbone of the West Memphis Police Department. The men and women assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division perform the most visible and recognizable functions of the Police Department. They are the ones who respond to your calls for assistance. You may see them patrolling your neighborhoods, looking for a lost child, comforting the victim of a crime, enforcing traffic laws, investigating motor vehicle accidents, or questioning someone who doesn’t appear to belong in your neighborhood. The patrol officers are the city’s first line of defense against crime.
The Patrol Division is comprised of three 10 hour shifts, all lead by a lieutenant as the shift’s commanding officer, and two sergeants who are the patrol officers’ first line supervisors and are responsible for field operations. Each shift is then staffed with up to 14 uniformed officers. Each member of the patrol division is committed to professionalism and providing proactive services to the community. They stand ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to answer calls for help ranging from life and death situations to courtesy services for the citizens of West Memphis and its visitors.
Each day patrol officers are tasked with securing our neighborhoods and businesses by accomplishing clearly defined objectives while on patrol, some of which are:
- The protection of life and property. Government must guarantee to all citizens the right to be secure in their persons and property. This task rests squarely on the shoulders of our police department. This is accomplished through good overt patrol techniques and alert observation by patrol officers. Through their efforts, members of the community are kept safe from personal dangers and property loss.
- The prevention of crime. Patrol officers will--because of their uniforms, marked police units, and aggressive patrol techniques--eliminate a certain number of opportunities for criminal actions. An experienced patrol officer can give the impression that he or she can be anywhere on his or her beat at any time, which prompts criminals to avoid this officer’s area.
- The enforcement of laws. Our patrol officers are expected to know municipal code, state statutes, as well as some federal statutes. He or she must know the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law and act accordingly.
- The detection and apprehension of criminals. When crime prevention fails and a criminal violation occurs, the patrol officer is expected to possess the skills and knowledge to detect the crime and apprehend the offender.
- Miscellaneous tasks. A great amount of time is dedicated to providing various services to the public. The officers of West Memphis Police Patrol Division pride themselves on going the extra mile to be of service.