Commander: Lt. Joseph Desmond
The Wilmington Police Patrol Division is the largest unit within the department. This is where some of the most important work is done by police personnel. Without the patrol officer, a police department would have no way to contact citizens, service the public, and gather and disseminate information.
Only a highly motivated, highly trained, and dedicated person can fulfill the requirements to be a patrol officer. The patrol officer responds to all calls for service. He or she cruises the streets via police car, mountain bike, and foot detecting and preventing crime from occurring and offering to lend a hand when needed.
It is for this reason that the selection process is so lengthy and involved. A patrol officer begins his or her career “on the line”, working the street gathering the knowledge and experience to allow them to serve the community and to potentially advance his or her career. Without the fundamentals learned on the beat, an officer can never fulfill their true obligation to the community or the department.
Officers spend five months in the police academy learning from some of the finest individuals this career has to offer. Experience is shared, knowledge gained, and a life changed. When a recruit officer graduates from the academy they are then assigned to a seasoned police officer, or more commonly know as a Field Training Officer (FTO) for eight weeks.
After eight weeks of evaluation and testing, and if the FTO finds that the new officer is ready to take on their assignments on their own, they are then released formally from the program after being signed off by the FTO Program Supervisor.
These new officers are never alone though. They work along side very dedicated and knowledgeable fellow officers and shift supervisors who assist them as they continue to experience all that policing can throw at them.
It is for these reasons that when you hear the words police officer, we want you to think of honesty, pride, integrity, leadership, assistance, knowledge, perseverance, and dedication. The patrol officer is the person within the agency that you will most often encounter and we strive to make that encounter as fulfilling as possible.