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Getting my stripes on Monday. Let's hear some advice!

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Islander-11, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Islander-11

    Islander-11 Meat detective

    Nov 29, 2001
    Nantucket, MA
    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!
  2. BUICKSPEC6231


    Dec 31, 2012
    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.


  3. Sheepdog689

    Sheepdog689 NRA Life Member

    Oct 24, 2010
    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.
  4. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

    Sep 26, 2007
    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
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  5. 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.
  6. RyanNREMTP

    RyanNREMTP Inactive/Banned

    Jun 16, 2007
    Waco, Texas
    Praise in public, punish in private.
  7. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

    Mar 13, 2001
    Not a chance
    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.
  8. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    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.
  9. 3Speedyfish3


    Jun 12, 2011
    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!

  10. Detectorist


    Jul 16, 2008
    Lead by example.

    Help your people become successful.
  11. -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.

  12. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

    Late to the party.

    I'll add: Your job is to make sure your people have what they need to do their job.
  13. msu_grad_121

    msu_grad_121 BOOSH

    Sep 16, 2009
    NW Burbs
    Seeing a theme yet? :supergrin:

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

    Congrats! :wavey:
  14. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012

    1150–1200; Middle English sergant, serjant, serjaunt < Old French sergent < Latin servient- (stem of servi&#275;ns ), present participle of serv&#299;re. See serve, -ent

    All things in perspective. :supergrin:

  15. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

  16. PinkoCommie

    PinkoCommie Unusual Member

  17. Islander-11

    Islander-11 Meat detective

    Nov 29, 2001
    Nantucket, MA
    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.
  18. woettinger

    woettinger King Nothing

    Aug 13, 2004
    World Wide
    Being a leader doesn't mean you have to be a prick...
  19. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    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.
  20. awoodpd13


    Aug 14, 2009
    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:
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013