Law Enforcement Officer (LEO)

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Policing

A Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) is a public official who is authorized to enforce laws, investigate crimes, and maintain public order and safety.

Law enforcement officers can be employed by various agencies such as local, state, or federal government, and they are responsible for upholding the law and protecting the citizens of their jurisdiction.

Examples of Law Enforcement Officers include:

      1. Police officers: These are officers who work for local or state police departments and are responsible for responding to emergency calls, patrolling neighborhoods, and enforcing laws.
      2. Sheriff’s deputies: These are officers who work for the county sheriff’s office and are responsible for enforcing local and state laws in areas that do not have a police department.
      3. State troopers: These are officers who work for the state highway patrol and are responsible for enforcing state laws on highways and other state-owned properties.
      4. Federal agents: These are officers who work for federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). They are responsible for enforcing federal laws and investigating federal crimes.

Law Enforcement Officers are given the authority to enforce laws and investigate crimes through the power of the government. They are typically required to complete rigorous training programs and pass various exams and background checks before they can begin working as officers. They are expected to uphold high standards of conduct and are held accountable for any misconduct or abuse of their authority.

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Last Modified: 03/09/2023


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