Police k9 jumping over fence with officer partner running beside the k9

Police Career Path

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Police Officer Police Detective Sergeant Lieutenant Captain Major

Police Officer

The majority of officers are assigned to one of our six police districts and are responsible for the protection of life and property through the enforcement of laws and ordinances.

Work involves patrolling assigned areas; responding to calls for police service; conducting preliminary and follow-up criminal and traffic investigations; identification, apprehension, and conviction of criminal offenders; and enforcing laws and ordinances.

The department also has many specialized units available to officers:

  • Selective Enforcement Unit
  • K-9 Unit
  • Gang Suppression Unit
  • DWI Enforcement Unit
  • Traffic Enforcement Unit
  • Mounted Unit
  • Crash Reconstruction Unit
  • School Resource Officer
  • Training Center and Reality-based Training
  • Community Police
  • Youth and Family Services
  • Recruiting Unit
  • Hostage Negotiating Team
  • Bomb Squad


Raleigh Police Bomb Squad 

Raleigh Police Selective Enforcement Unit 

Raleigh Police Mounted Unit

Raleigh Police K9 Unit

Police Detective

Detectives are responsible for the investigative work in the solution of crimes and the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of persons suspected of committing criminal acts.

Work involves conducting preliminary and supplementary investigations of crimes including interviewing victims, complaints, witnesses, and suspects; identifying, collecting, and preserving physical evidence; and preparing reports and testifying in court.

The department has several assignments within the Detective Division:

  • Homicide
  • K-9 Unit
  • Assault
  • Special Victims
  • Robbery
  • Family Violence
  • Juvenile
  • Drugs & Vice
  • Federal Task Force Officers (TFO)
  • Career Criminal
  • Burglary
  • Fraud
  • Recruiting Unit
  • Technical Assistance Response Unit
  • Fugitive



Sergeants are the first-level supervisors of the department; sergeants are generally assigned to supervise a squad of six to ten officers or detectives.  They also brief police officers on special tasks and assignments, respond to major calls for service and assist subordinates in unusual or difficult situations.  Sergeants are responsible for reviewing written reports prepared by subordinates.


Lieutenants are mid-level managers who supervise multiple sergeants / squads.  Patrol lieutenants also serve as Watch Commanders for the entire city.


Captains are high level supervisors responsible for the command of police patrol districts. Captains are also located in other police divisions, managing resources and supervising operations at a high level.  Their work requires the exercise of sound judgment and independent initiative in specific situations.


Majors serve as Division Commanders and are responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating operations of the police department. Their work involves extensive contact with departmental personnel, other city departments, outside agencies, and the general public. 



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