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(ongoing) list of advice for new SGT


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  • (ongoing) list of advice for new SGT


    I have dug up old threads, to include other forums, and the following seems to be the common repeated advice for a new SGT. I ask that if anyone has additional to add, please post it. Here we go:
    • Always be a role model
    • Communicate and Listen in all directions, below and above you
    • Practice High Ethics and Integrity
    • Be decisive, avoid information paralysis
    • Admit mistakes
    • Occasionally do subordinates job to "stay in touch" with things.
    • Review personnel files of subordinates
    • Treat subordinates with respect
    • Do nothing for at least 30 days (some people recommended up to 90 days) after receiving promotion. Then begin to implement changes, etc if needed
    • What gets rewarded, gets done
    • Accept responsibility for troops mistakes, pass credit for their good work
    • Discipline in Private, Praise in Public
    • Listen First
    • Two-sides to every story
    • Know subordinates to include personal lives. A leader must know his troops
    • Audit/Inspect your team
    • Trust but Verify - check stuff
    • Paperwork is important
    • Read everything you (SGT) signs
    • Stop/Discourage toxic-talk by troops
    • Be technically competent - firearms, SOPs/Regs/Policy, tactics, etc should be as high as possible
    • Professional appearance - uniform, demeanor, speaking habits
    • "Set the example"

    What else ?

  • #2
    It is important to remember where you came from (the ranks) but also have to remember you now have a different job description now.

    You are a boss not a troop
    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS


    • #3
      Here is my advice to a new boss:

      1. Attention to detail
      2. Sense of urgency
      3. Relentless followup

      and yes, .....trust but verify.
      September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.


      • #4
        No set of rules can be written so thoroughly as to anticipate every possible contingency. There will be times when your troops (or you) will legitimately need to deviate from policy. Don't get a stick up your butt when that happens.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


        • #5
          Be fair to your troops. Don't show obvious preferences.
          They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is, But It Do.


          • #6
            Don't look to throw your crew under the bus. If they respect you and trust you they will work their backsides off for you.
            Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?


            • #7
              Be honest. Don't **** people over. Don't lie.
              Now go home and get your shine box!


              • #8
                Be the leader YOU would want to work for. Be fair, be consistent, be open to bettering yourself.
                In God We Trust
                Everyone else we run local and NCIC


                • #9
                  Know your subordinates' skills and talents and use them. If you have a baricaded suspect and one of your guys is a SWAT type, get input from him. If you have a patrol officer who recently rotated out from detectives, get him to train the newer guys on investigations, and use him for guidance on complex cases when the dicks aren't coming out right away.

                  Make sure your people have the training they need to do their jobs effectively, and trust them to do it.

                  Don't one-up your guys. When one of them tells the shift about his dope arrest from yesterday, never bring up that you made a similar arrest that was even bigger, or how many arrests you made.

                  If one of your guys has turned into a slug and is becoming constantly negative, find out why. Discipline is probably not going to be the answer.

                  Find out what your troops want to do with their careers and then help them develop. Meet with each one, learn his short-term and long-term goals and help them in mapping out what they need to do to get there. Advocate for them, get them short-term assignments or loans to other units, get them to the training they will need. When they make a great case related to those goals, make sure their desired unit knows. For instance, if you have an officer who wants to be on the gang team and he makes a car stop leading to gangbangers in custody for a loaded firearm and dope, pass the info along to the gang unit. Get the word out on your guys who are excelling.

                  Encourage off-duty fun together. Camping, bowling, a fishing trip, whatever. Build a tightknit team. But don't show up at every single one.

                  Do not talk negatively about new policies, unpopular promotions or stupid chiefs. Part of your job is to build and maintain a cohesive, effective team that carries out the department's objectives. That is undermined when they are told one thing, but their immediate leader says the opposite. As long as it's legal and within policy, ya gotta do what the big guy says.

                  Encourage your guys to develop their ideas for changes and improvements in the department. Teach them how to write an effective presentation, how to work out all the issues, see the questions and naysaying and address them. Set them up for success.

                  Find the best, positive things in each of your troops and coworkers and harp on them. Reinforce the good and you'll have a team with great morale and they'll be more productive,
                  Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                  I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq


                  • #10
                    Building camaraderie is one of the big things I do. People work harder, better, and are happier when the team all likes each other and works well as a team. Don't shine on problems and ignore small issues. As a new sergeant people will probably test you. You don't have to be a hard *** to make sure you pass their test

                    DO NOT get behind on paperwork. Keep up with it, and ask the other Sgts to look over items you turn into your boss you have never done before.

                    Build up someone (or maybe two people) who want to be a supervisor themselves later on to act as Sgt in your absence, or if your department doesn't do that, at least on an informal basis start building them up for a leadership role.

                    Do an informal background on your people. Kinda along the lines of reading their files. Talk to them about where they are in their career, and where they want to go, ask around about them, and talk with the previous supervisor. Hopefully when you show up you already know what some of the strengths and weaknesses are, and issues that have been previously addressed you may need to watch out for. You can bet they will do the same about you.
                    Last edited by nobodyjr; 05-06-2015, 11:43 PM.


                    • #11
                      You got promoted, you didn't retire. Remember that.
                      I miss you, Dave.


                      • #12
                        Be generous with time, assuming you have any freedom at all to hand it out. At least at my agency, early outs/days off are the only immediate reward a Sarge can hand out. I've had Sarges that reward good work, and I've had others so miserly that you'd think it was coming out of their own vacation time.

                        Nobody put out for the Misers.


                        • #13
                          1) Don't provide false witness about subordinates to supervisors or about supervisors to subordinates.
                          2) Don't murder the messenger.
                          3) Don't covet someone else's hard work.
                          4) Don't become an adulterous whore when the chief/sheriff show up.
                          5) Don't worship the god of hope when reality is sitting in front of your face.
                          6) Don't steal someone else's glory.
                          7) Honor those who helped get you to become a leader.
                          8) Leadership isn't all work, take a break.
                          9) Don't take admin's name in vain because the policy is unpopular, own it. That's your job now.
                          10) Loyalty, like trust, is hard won and easily lost. Be consistent with it because its not a moving target.

                          .............hmm, these sound familiar.

                          Last two:

                          Know yourself & your family and be true to both.

                          Rank doesn't mean you have lost your brain. Don't just react, think!
                          Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                          “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                          Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                          “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                          George Washington, (1732-1799)
                          "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                          Originally posted by Country_Jim
                          ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.


                          • #14
                            Be a leader not a manager.


                            • #15
                              Along with the power to punish, you also have the power to reward. Know your department's commendation & awards procedure. If your department doesn't have one, create one and present it to the chief/members. A very gifted and talented (dare I say handsome, too) guy has written a couple of booklets on awards programs for large and small agencies. PM me if you (or anyone for that matter) would like info on them.

                              What free/low-cost training opportunities are available in your area? What better way to reward a hard-working cop than with a few days training doing some fun (preferably with bullets, driving fast, or explosives).

                              Additionally, know every benefit available to your employees facing medical, psych, spiritual, or financial crisis. You don't have to solve everyone's problems. You just need to be able to point them in the right direction.
                              "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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