Main content

Officer and Officer Assistant Essential Job Functions

Based on data collected and analyzed by the Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, Division of Federal Occupational Health, Law Enforcement Medical Programs, the following essential job functions have been established to reflect the work of probation and pretrial services officer and officer assistants. An essential job function is a specific job duty that is critical to the safe and effective performance of the job. The ability to perform essential job functions is measured by a physician during an examination of the following specific medical areas.

Cardiovascular, Dermatology, Endocrine, Metabolic, Musculoskeletal, Neurological, and Respiratory

  • Respond with unplanned vigorous physical activity
  • Climb stairs in pursuit or in emergency
  • Attempt to physically subdue attacker

Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary

  • Work extended hours
  • Travel that requires significant time
  • Ability to miss meals

Hematology; Musculoskeletal; Neurological; and Respiratory

  • Drive vehicles on duty
  • Drive vehicles in the dark
  • Work in adverse weather
  • Work under stress
  • Walk on uneven surfaces
  • Stop, question, or detain individuals (unplanned interviews)
  • Encounter individuals who display a violent or irrational temperament
  • Confiscate weapons from persons

Head, Nose, Mouth, Throat, and Neck; and Hearing

  • Comprehend speech during face-to-face conversations
  • Comprehend speech during telephone conversations
  • Comprehend speech when you can't see another officer
  • Hear sounds that require investigation
  • Ability to localize sounds


  • Use distant vision for driving
  • Use distant vision to monitor activities and/or defendants during interviews
  • Use distant vision to monitor exterior/interior home environment
  • Use distant vision to assess threats
  • Use near vision for reading
  • Visually detect peripheral movement and identify a threat