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Islander-11 02-06-2013 19:44

Getting my stripes on Monday. Let's hear some advice!
After spending the last seven or so years as a detective, the stars have aligned and I'm heading back to patrol as a sergeant. I'd love the GT CT crew to give me your best advice on what makes a good sergeant. Have at it!

BUICKSPEC6231 02-06-2013 19:54

1 Attachment(s)
Congratulations on the promotion. My words of advice are as follows, Don't forget where you came from. Remember all the things you used to meet up with someone car to car to complain about, and refrain doing the same things. Be honest and upfront with your men/women. Also, see below.

Attachment 231014

Sheepdog689 02-06-2013 19:55

Don't ask your officers to do anything that you aren't willing to do yourself....then show them that you will do it too.

razdog76 02-06-2013 19:57

1. Listen to your troops. Make suggestions if needed.

2. Don't be afraid to stand up for your troops that didn't do anything wrong, and discipline those that need it!

3. Continue learning, and teaching.

4. Have a good working relationship with the dispatchers.

5. Be a leader! Read up on George Patton quotes, lots of good ideas there.

6. Understand the differences between leadership and management.

"Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people."- John D. Rockefeller

Officer X 02-06-2013 19:59

Being a patrol sergeant was great though you'll find that although you're not really administration, you're no longer really "one of the guys" anymore. It's an odd thing to get used to.

Remember where you came from, watch out and run block for your people when they're doing their jobs. Don't sweat the small stuff and blow things out of proportion, but hold them to your standards if they screw up. Be fair doing it too. Be a mentor.

Good luck.

RyanNREMTP 02-06-2013 20:27

Praise in public, punish in private.

Mayhem like Me 02-06-2013 21:11

All good information, A few points.

You get what you inspect and accept..not what you expect.

Do not promise something you cannot deliver.

Make sure you lead when expected and empower your troops to lead when they can.

From day one start training and developing your troops to be a better leader than you are.

DaBigBR 02-06-2013 21:39

What would you have wanted in a first line supervisor as a new cop on patrol? As a five year, ten year, etc guy? Treating everybody the same is not the same thing as treating everybody fair.

Play to peoples' strengths, try to help them improve on their weaknesses. If you have to make an assignment that officer A wants to do or excels at and officer B can't stand, figure out the difference between motivation and punishment. A willing participant will always give you more than somebody there on orders.

Give feedback up front, don't hold it back for evaluation time. At the same time, let your folks handle their calls and their investigations as they see fit, so long as they aren't dangerously out of policy or creating liability. I've seen recently promoted folks physically move people around on a scene where it was 1) not necessary, 2) portrayed a lack of confidence, and 3) distracted the boss from actually commanding the situation.

3Speedyfish3 02-06-2013 22:53

After 23 years as an officer, I made sergeant three years ago. Be there for your guys. Teach, mentor, and support them. You are their buffer between them and upper management. You are not one of the troops anymore, but you are important to them. Find your supervisory style and good luck to you!


Detectorist 02-06-2013 23:11

Lead by example.

Help your people become successful.

Ajon412 02-07-2013 00:05

-Be fair and consistent.
-Don't be afraid to have those "tough" conversations with your troops and those up the line.
-Carry around a little notebook to write things down (so you don't forget) when a concern or question is raised that requires a response from higher-ups.
-Make yourself available.
-Don't micromanage.
-Avoid the "do as I say and not as I do" mentality.
-Lead your people, don't manage them.


TBO 02-07-2013 00:10

Late to the party.

I'll add: Your job is to make sure your people have what they need to do their job.

msu_grad_121 02-07-2013 00:21


Originally Posted by Officer X (Post 19957703)
...Be fair doing it too...


Originally Posted by DaBigBR (Post 19958137)
...Treating everybody the same is not the same thing as treating everybody fair...


Originally Posted by Ajon412 (Post 19958601)
-Be fair and consistent....

Seeing a theme yet? :supergrin:

Do this, and try to be a cop's cop, and you'll do fine.

Congrats! :wavey:

countrygun 02-07-2013 00:38


11501200; Middle English sergant, serjant, serjaunt < Old French sergent < Latin servient- (stem of serviēns ), present participle of servīre. See serve, -ent

All things in perspective. :supergrin:


TBO 02-07-2013 00:42

PinkoCommie 02-07-2013 01:15

Don't **** it up. ;)

Islander-11 02-07-2013 06:14

Thanks to all. I've worked for sergeants that I've respected and for several that I despised. The good ones did what you've all suggested. That's the path I want to be on. Again, much appreciated.

woettinger 02-07-2013 06:27

Being a leader doesn't mean you have to be a prick...

Bren 02-07-2013 06:38

I've been a police sergeant in a tiny department and an attorney supervisor in a law enforcement agency.

The best way to get ahead is to never care about getting ahead. People who try to further their own careers usually fail. If you just do your job as you see fit and look out for the people under you, you will get ahead without ever trying. Works in the military, police or anywhere else. I have given up on thinking "my bosses must hate me because I always disagree with them and do things however I want" because it always ends with me getting credit, getting promoted, etc. I went higher in 6 years in state government than most lawyers do in 30 years, without ever caring if I made anybody happy. The last time I didn't get promoted it's because I returned from a couple orf months of military leave and they offered me a promotion and I turned it down, because it would have taken me above the state merit system into an "at the will of the governor" position.

Every time I am evaluated, my boss asks why the people working for me never quit (not one since I got the job in 2008), while the other supervisors at my level have very high turnover. It's because I let them do their job and don't tell them how to do it.

I probably learned it from my father who was a state police sergeant.

awoodpd13 02-07-2013 06:41

The administration will expect you to tow their line on everything. Your people will expect you to back them in everything. Who's right???

NEITHER, at least not all of the time!

When one of your people is in the wrong, ACT ON IT, to the maximum extent you can.:crying::crying::crying:(NOTE: This is not a recommendation to impose punitive discipline if not truly called for).

There will likely also be times when the administration is grossly in the wrong. Don't let them get away with it! :steamed::steamed::steamed:

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