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  • Sergeant Testing

    Looking for input on what your sergeant testing has been like. What to study for test, how to study for test, interview questions, etc.

  • #2
    I don't know what agency you work for but almost all promotional examinations include questions on Departmental policy and procedures, supervisory skills, evaluations, crime scene management, crime scene processing, basic investigative skills, writing, decision making, etc.

    Check your local P.O.S.T. program and find out if they have a Supervisory course available. Also, check with your local community college for a similar course.

    Check with a supervisor on your department that you trust will give you the information you need to study. Commit yourself to at least two hours of study a day for about three months prior to the test. Take a day off now and then to refresh yourself. Write out study (flash) cards - question on one side, answer on the other. Use them for at least an hour daily. Do a series of cards for each department manual you study.

    I also used a tape recorder to query myself with questions from the study cards, delay and then give the answer to check yourself.

    Basically, in my experience, there are questions from every aspect of law enforcement in the exams - weapons, self defense, arrest, report writing, investigations, driving, etc., because you will have to use each of those tasks to evaluate officers, at least, annually.

    Good luck! I know this post is not all inclusive and perhaps the input from others, along with this info, will be substantial enough to assist you in your quest with a positive outcome.
    Last edited by SgtCHP; 08-28-2008, 03:57 PM.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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    • #3
      Depends on where your from. I took the NJ Civil service test for SGT and prior to the test, I took a well known prep class, which is an entire semester long. Felt like I was getting kicked in the nutz the whole time I was taking the test, but did well in the end.
      Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

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      • #4
        Yeah, corerunner, can you give us a hint on the state and the size of the department? Is the sergeant test statewide, or pertaining to your agency alone?

        In addition to knowing all the procedures for investigating grievances and personnel complaints....all your comepetition will be able to recite "how-to" burn-a-cop like you. The surprise for many oral boards is when you know "how-to" get (all) employees (including civilians) medals and commendations from both insaide and outside sources. Knowing, too, the resources for (again, all) employees during times of personal and professional crisis may place you higher than the rest of the candidate pool.
        Last edited by Kieth M.; 08-28-2008, 09:23 PM.
        "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

        Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

        Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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        • #5
          Unless you are from a tiny department where the Chief just makes it up as he goes along, the exam announcement usually spells out what you will be tested on.

          In addition to what SgtCHP listed, you may also get questions on:

          affirmative action
          EEO rules
          discrimination complaint process
          personnel complaint process
          community policing
          departmental policy regarding weapons and the use of force
          Departmental pursuit policy
          personnel management
          major incident response
          the Incident Command System
          communication with individuals outside of the Department (other agencies, public officials & the press)
          documentation of unusual activities and civil liability issues
          departmental policy and procedures regarding written reports vs memoranda
          confidentiality of records
          civil liability
          labor relations and collective bargaining issues.
          Dealing with morale issues
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            The Alabama Dept of Public Safety utilizes a Promotional exam administered by the Alabama Personnel Dept. It's a Merit System (Civil Service) exam, in which successful candidates are placed on an eligibility register. Using the "rule of ten", the Colonel then selects the top candidates for vacant slots available. All the information provided by my colleagues should be helpful to you as well. Good luck in the exam.

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            • #7
              It would be wise to know your state statutes and be familiar with Title 18. Some books you might want to look at would be "Supervision of Police Personnel" by N.F Iannone, "The Supervision of Police Personnel, a performance based approach" by William Walsh and Edwin Donovan and "The Environment of the first -line Police Supervisor" by Robert Trojanwicz. The State offers an 80 hour career incentive course titled "Police Supervision". Completion earns you an additional increase in pay and is a prerequesite for getting promoted is most larger agencies. As far as studying, if you can form a study group with a couple of other people, that's a good thing and will keep it from becoming boring. My dept. put out a study guide on what you needed to know to pass the test along with the minimum requirements. Lists were posted in order of grades received that were valid for 2 years and they promoted off the top of the list. (Civil Service, also a GOOD thing). Sergeants serve a one year probationary period before they're granted permanent status. Seniority starts over also, you might have been a Patrolman on days with Fri, Sat. and Sun. off, make Sergeant and it's mids with Mon, Tue Wed and a squad of rooks that you'll probably be spending lots of time with.

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