Police Exam Strategies: Handling Police Rules and Procedures Questions

Police pulling over a vehicle.

Police department rules and procedures are intended to insure officers make correct decisions in a variety of situations. These questions start by stating a set of rules and then ask the candidate to apply those rules to specific case situations.

Most rule and procedure interpretation questions are basically reading comprehension type questions. You read the rule or procedure and use logic to apply the rule to the situation.

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PAY attention to the order in which the steps are taken. In general, rules and procedures require officers to follow a definite sequence of steps. Make sure your answers reflect this set order.

Example: Rule 5:1

When responding to traffic accidents, the officer shall in the following order: check for injuries, provide first-aid if needed, call for an ambulance if needed, check for medical alert emblems, request additional squads for traffic control if needed, divert traffic, locate witnesses, record information in a memorandum book, conduct an investigation, file a report.

When a rule states a specific order such as this, it should be followed in the exact sequence.

PAY attention to when the rule is in effect. Certain rules apply to certain periods of time and situations. Make sure your answers reflect the correct time and situation.

Example: Rule 31:

Officers may not leave their assigned areas EXCEPT in emergencies or when ordered to do so by a supervisor.

PAY attention to completeness. Make sure all aspects of the rule are followed, not just part of the rule.

Interpreting Rules and Procedures

Sample Questions

Use the following information to answer the question below:

Traffic accidents are classified in the following categories:

1. One-vehicle accident with no injuries.

2. Two or more vehicle accidents with no injuries.

3. One or more vehicle accidents with injuries that are not life threatening.

4. One or more vehicle accidents with injuries that are life threatening.

Officer Allen responds to an accident at N. 20th Street and W. Logan. Upon arrival, Officer Allen is informed by a witness that a Ford traveling south on 20th Street struck a boy on a bicycle at the intersection of 20th and Logan. Officer Allen observes a boy standing by a bike. He appears to have only minor injuries.

Based on the given information what category accident is this?

A. 1

B. 2

C. 3

D. 4

The correct answer is the C (3): a one or more vehicle accident with injuries that are not life-threatening.

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Police officers are to call for a supervisor in the following situations:

Whenever force is necessary in making an arrest.

Whenever a shooting occurs.

All assignments where the suspect is armed.

All traffic accidents involving life-threatening injuries.

All accidents involving department vehicles.

Based on the above information, a supervisor should be called to the following assignments, EXCEPT:

A. armed robbery in progress.

B. burglary in progress.

C. traffic accident involving a car and a bicycle where the bicyclist has head injuries.

D. arrest of a burglary suspect who resisted and was pepper-sprayed.

The correct answer is B.

B the only situation where a supervisor would not be called.

General Police Department Rules and Regulations

If you have a chance to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the department where you're testing, you'll gain a tremendous edge. Most likely this is not going to happen. Although public record, most departments like to keep this information confidential. But we have the next best thing:

Here are general rules and regulations that are listed on one department's police entrance exam. (Many police departments have similar standard operating procedures.)

Patrol Area

Officers shall not leave their assigned area unless directly ordered by their supervisors, are sent to another area by the dispatcher or for other emergencies.


Officers shall be punctual in reporting for duty at the time designated by the Department.

Contact With The Public

Officers shall be courteous and civil when dealing with the public. Any conduct to the contrary shall not be tolerated.

Traffic Enforcement

All members of the Department are responsible for the enforcement of traffic laws regardless of their duty assignment.


Officers shall promptly obey any lawful orders given by any officer of higher rank.


Officers shall not seek free admission for themselves or others to theaters of other places of amusements. Officers shall not receive money, gifts, gratuities, rewards or compensation for police services rendered.


Officers shall treat the official business of the Department as confidential.


Officers shall give all proper information to persons requesting it in a careful, courteous and accurate manner. Officers shall give their names and badge number in a respectful manner to any person who may request the information.

Department Property

Officers shall be responsible for the good care of all property assigned to them and shall report to their commanding officer any loss, damage to or unserviceable condition of such property.


Officers shall be in complete uniform when on duty. No mixture of civilian and uniform clothing shall be permitted in public, or off-duty.

False Information

No Officer shall complete any report using false and inaccurate information.

Substance Use

Officers shall not consume any intoxicating liquors while on duty.


Officers shall investigate all cases of injury to persons or damage to property to any public place which may come to their attention.


No member shall speak on behalf of the Department unless authorized to do so by the Chief Of Police.

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