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Old 02-06-2013, 18:44   #1
Islander-11
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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!
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:54   #2
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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.

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Old 02-06-2013, 18:55   #3
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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.
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:57   #4
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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
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:59   #5
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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.
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Old 02-06-2013, 19:27   #6
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Praise in public, punish in private.
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Old 02-06-2013, 20:11   #7
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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.
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Old 02-06-2013, 20:39   #8
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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.
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Old 02-06-2013, 21:53   #9
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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!

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Old 02-06-2013, 22:11   #10
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Lead by example.

Help your people become successful.
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Old 02-06-2013, 23:05   #11
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-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.

Congrats.....
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Old 02-06-2013, 23:10   #12
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Late to the party.

I'll add: Your job is to make sure your people have what they need to do their job.
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Didn't the whole sheepdog thing actually start right here on Glock Talk? A bunch of wannabees bought a bunch of T-shirts and took an oath to defend those who won't defend themselves?
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Old 02-06-2013, 23:21   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Officer X View Post
...Be fair doing it too...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBigBR View Post
...Treating everybody the same is not the same thing as treating everybody fair...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajon412 View Post
-Be fair and consistent....
Seeing a theme yet?

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

Congrats!
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Old 02-06-2013, 23:38   #14
countrygun
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Sergeant

Origin:
1150–1200; Middle English sergant, serjant, serjaunt < Old French sergent < Latin servient- (stem of serviēns ), present participle of servīre. See serve, -ent



All things in perspective.

Congratulations
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Old 02-06-2013, 23:42   #15
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Cop Talk
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Old 02-07-2013, 00:15   #16
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Don't **** it up.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:14   #17
Islander-11
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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.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:27   #18
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Being a leader doesn't mean you have to be a prick...
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:38   #19
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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.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:41   #20
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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.(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!
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:21   #21
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grow your hair out just a bit to hide the scars from the lobotomy.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:29   #22
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Remember where you came from and don't expect people to be the cop you weren't!
I have a sgt who just recently got made and he demands we all go non stop arrest everyone. I'm all for working and being pro active but having the guy notorious for sitting under a tree all day be the one expecting perfection is a little annoying.


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Old 02-07-2013, 07:12   #23
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Velcro!!!! (just kidding)

1. Treat your subordinates with respect.

2. Listen to their concerns and try to assist them if you can. In another words, get to know them. (Their family and hobbies and etc.) I know that is touchy feely, but you will win them over and show them you are human too.

3. Let your subordinates work and make their own decisions on how to handle the call. If it is wrong decision step in and assist them.

4. DO NOT MICROMANAGE YOUR SUBORDINATES!!!!!

5. Give atta-boy letters to your hardchargers. And if your slug does something good give them a letter too. Remember, you got to pet the dog to keep them around the house.

6. If your subordinate screws up, take care of business but never never never keep bringing it up or hold it over their head.

7. Again, if your subordinate screws up evaluate why it happened and hold them accountable and move on.

8. Lead by example. Look sharp. Be knowledgeable in criminal statutes, criminal procedures, civil procedures, traffic code, your SOP procedures, and your Incident and Accident reporting procedures.

9. Keep current on law enforcement trends by self study.

10. Treat everyone like you want to be treated.

11. Try not to supervise over the radio, unless it is necessary to do so.

Congrats and Good Luck!!!!
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:48   #24
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Originally Posted by Islander-11 View Post
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.
This is a GREAT place to start.....
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:46   #25
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Always tell the truth.

Stand up for your troops, even if it's not popular with admin.

Lead by example.

Don't micromanage. Tell your guys what the outcome needs to be and leave the details up to them. If they come to you with questions, help them work it out. You are basically FTO to six or eight people now.

Insist on your troops being 100% honest, following policy and doing the right thing.

Do frequent roll call training. Your guys can't be expected to follow policy and case law if they don't thoroughly know it.

If time allows where you work, encourage your guys to get together in the field and train on tactics.

Let your guys run their beats and give them what they need to do it.

Always tell the truth. No exceptions.
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