The Role and Definition of a Peace Officer

The primary role of law enforcement is to protect and serve.

  • Officers should treat motorists with dignity and respect.
  • Officers are not required by state law to provide their names or badge numbers to a driver but may do so if required to by agency policy.
  • It is recommended that an officer explains to a driver that when a citation is issued, it is with the implied agreement that the driver will appear in court or make the arrangements necessary to satisfy the court appearance. Or, the officer should instruct drivers to read the information provided on the citation regarding the driver’s obligation to appear in court.


  • Ohio Revised Code 2935.27(E) Procedure after issuance of minor misdemeanor citation provides information an officer must relay to a defendant concerning the defendant’s failure to appear in court at the time stated on the affidavit or pay for a traffic ticket
    • The defendant’s driver’s license or commercial driver’s license will be suspended
    • The defendant is not eligible for reissuance of a license or certification of registration until the person appears and complies with all orders of the court
    • The defendant remains subject to any applicable criminal penalties.


  • The two conditions for an officer to read the Miranda warning to a subject are
  • The suspect is in custody AND
  • The suspect is being questioned/interrogated
  • See United States Supreme Court Case Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
  • If and officer does not intend to question a subject that is in custody then the Miranda warning need not be read to the subject.

Peace officers have a duty to:

  • Protect life and property
  • Provide an environment of security
  • Restore and maintain peace and public order
  • Respect the human rights of all persons.
  • Prevent and detect crime
  • Maintain and restore peace and public order

Police Arrest Powers

  • Peace officers must treat persons arrested with dignity and humanity.
  • Peace officers must presume their innocence at the time of an arrest.

Handling of Juveniles

  • They require additional protection because of their youth and vulnerability.
  • They should be treated very sensitively as most are not hardened criminals.
  • They should be detained separately from adults.

9.69 Duties and status of Law enforcement officer.

(A) As used in this section, “law enforcement officer” means any of the following who is employed, commissioned, disposed, appointed, or elected in a capacity specified in division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section for this state, a political subdivision of this state, or an agency, department, or instrumentality of this state or a political subdivision of this state:

(1) Any law enforcement officer, as defined in section 2901.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) Any peace officer, as defined in section 2935.01 of the Revised Code.

(3) Any person who is employed in this state, who is authorized to carry firearms, and who is subject to and in compliance with the requirements of section 109.801 of the Revised Code.

(B) For purposes of the Revised Code, both of the following apply regarding a law enforcement officer who, by virtue of the officer’s employment, commissioning, disposition, appointment, or election as that law enforcement officer, has a responsibility to enforce all or certain laws:

(1) The officer holds public office on a continuing basis and has a continuing duty to enforce those laws.

(2) The officer is always on duty, regardless of whether the officer is, or is not, officially within work hours or officially on the clock.