Basic Police Supervisor Responsibilities

Written By: CommunityPolicing.com staff
Effective police supervision is crucial for the development of officers as well as the mission of the agency. To be an effective police supervisor, one must hold a range of responsibilities. Poor supervision can crush morale, ruin careers and will hurt the community. Police supervision is more than just giving orders, making decisions, controlling officers and the hand of discipline. In fact, an effective police supervisor envisions his or her subordinates as major assets to help the department thrive.

I have had the opportunity to work for three different police departments and hold several different ranks, ranging from Police Officer, Detective, Sergeant and now Trooper. Perhaps one of the most gratifying positions I held in my career was the rank of Sergeant in a municipal local police department. As a Sergeant in a relatively small police department, I was in charge of department training, accreditation, community policing and narcotics investigations. As the Sergeant in charge of department training I set up and organized monthly department trainings and did research for numerous monthly training topics. As the Sergeant in charge of accreditation, I started the accreditation process from scratch and nearly completed the process prior to leaving for my current police job in a State Police agency. As the Sergeant in charge of community policing, I attended numerous community meetings and constantly canvassed the community for quality of life issues. I also drafted a police-community survey which was distributed to the community. With the information obtained through the surveys, we implemented responses which ultimately led to a better quality of life in the community that I worked in. As the Sergeant in charge of narcotics, I implemented numerous forms and policies which helped better organize narcotics investigations.

But most importantly, I was a first line supervisor to my subordinates which included basic supervisor responsibilities. As a police Sergeant, I motivated my fellow subordinates and had the opportunity to see them flourish in their careers. I praised them highly for their good deeds and made them feel part of the mission of the department. I highlighted their strengths and gave each of them the opportunity to contribute in a specific field. I also strongly reinforced behaviors that coincided with the mission of the department. If an officer rectified three or more quality of life conditions in a month, I would write them a letter for their file referencing the blotter numbers and forwarded the letter to the Chief of Police as well as the other Sergeants. In a small town P.D., community policing is extremely important and handling quality of life issues is the backbone of a patrol officers responsibilities.

My basic responsibilities as a supervisor included being a planner, personnel officer, trainer, controller, decision maker and a leader. As a planner, I was able to forecast future needs, anticipate problems, and make decisions ahead of time for the department. As a personnel officer I was able to place officers in the roles that best suited them and the department. This led to the employee being satisfied and led to better efficiency for the department. As a trainer, I was able to train my subordinates to be efficient, effective producers who have satisfaction from their work. As a controller, I was able to control my subordinates properly and made sure that rules and regulations were not broken. If rules or regulations were broken, I either conducted further training with the employee or when necessary, took disciplinary action when appropriate. As a decision maker, I communicated clearly and was aware of communication barriers and overcame those barriers. I was a democratic leader and made communications easy to understand. I enabled those affected by certain decisions to participate in making them. As a leader, I possessed the traits of honorableness, courageousness and intelligence and led by example. This led to the officers gaining satisfaction from their work, being highly motivated and they understood the mission and goals of the department for them to better serve the community.
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