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  • Bored and dissatisfied

    Hey all,

    I have 10 years on the job and promoted to sergeant about a year ago. When I was in patrol I was a hard worker and was in the top three officers every year for both criminal and traffic enforcement. Now that I'm a sergeant I'm very bored and I'm not enjoying the job. I know every agency is different but for our agency the sergeants spend a large amount of their time tied to their desk bogged down in administrative paperwork. When I do leave station its usually to go to a bigger call for service to make sure everything is done properly by the officers. There is no making stops, no being proactive, and no making arrests.

    I want to give things one more year to see if anything improves but I'm honestly considering just moving agencies and possibly even states(I'm in Illinois and it's awful) for a breath of fresh air. Anyone on here found themselves in a similar position?
    corona11
    Forum Member
    Last edited by corona11; 12-30-2021, 02:04 PM.

  • #2
    I hear you. I could see all the downsides to promotion from where I was as a patrol officer. I took the test once, just to prove that I could pass it...and then stayed in patrol. I enjoyed being responsible for only me, I enjoyed being able to decide what and when I wanted to be proactive, and I enjoyed being the one that when people called 9-1-1, I was the one that got to go.

    Comment


    • #3
      Where I work our department is almost begging people to test and put in for sergeant...no one wants the job. You sit at a desk reading reports, taking complaint calls from citizens, doing special assignments at the request of command staff, usually on the order of some mayor or city council member somewhere.

      Then you deal with the sick calls, discipline issues, half your patrol team hating each other and complaining to you about it, etc.

      Even with all the crap going on in LE today, I'd still rather be in my own car out on the street than sitting in the station for 12 hours.

      You're not alone...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by corona11 View Post
        Hey all,

        I have 10 years on the job and promoted to sergeant about a year ago. When I was in patrol I was a hard worker and was in the top three officers every year for both criminal and traffic enforcement. Now that I'm a sergeant I'm very bored and I'm not enjoying the job. I know every agency is different but for our agency the sergeants spend a large amount of their time tied to their desk bogged down in administrative paperwork. When I do leave station its usually to go to a bigger call for service to make sure everything is done properly by the officers. There is no making stops, no being proactive, and no making arrests.

        I want to give things one more year to see if anything improves but I'm honestly considering just moving agencies and possibly even states(I'm in Illinois and it's awful) for a breath of fresh air. Anyone on here found themselves in a similar position?
        I know more than a handful of officers who promoted and then took voluntary demotions to go back to line duty. It really is not unusual. There is also those who just suffer instead of doing something about it.

        After about 10 yrs as a Lieutenant in the Prison, I came close to requesting a demotion as I was fried. I chose to remain in my administrative post where I was the shift commander much of the time. Yes that meant dealing with staff much more than dealing with inmates (very much like the difference in desk duty and patrol).

        I had some good experiences while in administration, & actually became a "mover & shaker" working a special projects out of the state Central Office building a computer based records management system with a contractor. That contractor was given a contract that allowed them to market the final product. to other agencies and it is used far and wide. It was fun. But then I had to go back to work at the facility & deal with problems

        After 30 yrs with almost 1/2 of it as a supervisor I still think that taking that promotion was the stupidest move I made in my career. Hell there wasn't even that much difference in the pay in my agency. MANY line officers made more money that I did with OT.
        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

        Comment


        • Aidokea
          Aidokea
          Forum Member
          Aidokea commented
          Editing a comment
          The OT was another factor- I never actively pursued OT, but like all agencies, we were eternally short-staffed, so I tried to help out when I was asked, and as a result, I made more money than the mayor, without having to be responsible for anyone but myself.

      • #5
        I lacked 2 months doing 30 years in uniform. Not once did I take the sergeant's test or even consider trying for a desk job. I was asked several times why I chose to remain on patrol and my reply was always the same..... I wanted to police the bad guys and not other officers.
        If your biggest work-related fear is getting a paper cut, don't try and tell a cop how to do his job.

        Comment


        • Aidokea
          Aidokea
          Forum Member
          Aidokea commented
          Editing a comment
          Well said.

          As a senior patrol officer and FTO, I was used as a field supervisor. Our agency had no corporal rank, so I did it for no extra pay. I didn't mind, as it allowed me to mentor junior officers, to assist them in their professional development, and to help them to avoid making mistakes that could get them in trouble, while still being hands-on enough to make the job satisfying. But because I had no actual rank, I never had to conduct any formal disciplinary actions.

          I always felt badly for the sergeants who had to do it.

          It was bad enough for legit things, like when I created a bunch of paperwork for one of my sergeants by getting in a fender-bender in which I was 100% at fault.

          But it was much harder when a particular teflon-coated problem lieutenant used the disciplinary system as a weapon against officers that he had a personal grudge against. Everybody above and below him knew that he was a problem, but nobody ever stopped him. He would initiate bogus disciplinary investigations and assign them to sergeants under him, often using a different sergeant every time, to try to give himself plausible deniability. I was the one of the officers he came after, and the sergeants absolutely hated being trapped in that position. One young sergeant broke down in tears while he was advising me of my Garrity rights, and apologized, telling me that he knew that this was BS, but LT. Di€khead was forcing him to do it. I told him "Just do your job, buddy", and assured him that nothing would stick, it was just harassment.

          Maybe there's some places where stuff like that doesn't happen, but it was a significant component of my decision not to pursue promotion.
          Aidokea
          Forum Member
          Last edited by Aidokea; 12-31-2021, 09:21 AM.

      • #6
        As the saying goes, promoting from officer to sergeant will probably be the hardest promotion that you get. How is changing states going to help you?

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by delzo70 View Post
          I lacked 2 months doing 30 years in uniform. Not once did I take the sergeant's test or even consider trying for a desk job. I was asked several times why I chose to remain on patrol and my reply was always the same..... I wanted to police the bad guys and not other officers.
          Yep.

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by corona11 View Post
            Hey all,

            I have 10 years on the job and promoted to sergeant about a year ago. When I was in patrol I was a hard worker and was in the top three officers every year for both criminal and traffic enforcement. Now that I'm a sergeant I'm very bored and I'm not enjoying the job. I know every agency is different but for our agency the sergeants spend a large amount of their time tied to their desk bogged down in administrative paperwork. When I do leave station its usually to go to a bigger call for service to make sure everything is done properly by the officers. There is no making stops, no being proactive, and no making arrests.

            I want to give things one more year to see if anything improves but I'm honestly considering just moving agencies and possibly even states(I'm in Illinois and it's awful) for a breath of fresh air. Anyone on here found themselves in a similar position?
            Easy fix: Demote. Enjoy life.

            Comment


            • #9
              I want to give things one more year to see if anything improves

              Everytime I gave things 'one more year' (bad job, bad relationship, bad location, bad whatever), nothing improved... things only got worse.

              BUT- maybe that was just me. Please chime in next December and let us know what another year of job-hating brings.
              If you want peace prepare for war.

              Comment


              • Ratatatat
                Ratatatat
                Get Ready
                Ratatatat commented
                Editing a comment
                My point is you have two choices: embrace the suck or roll the dice with a career change and hope it works out.

            • #10
              Remember, as a sergeant it's not your job to do the work. It's your job to make sure the work gets done. Having said that, when you start to feel bored, walk out of the office, hop in your vehicle, and go stop a few cars or do some security checks. And if your boss doesn't like that make them tell you to stop. If the culture at your agency dictates that everyone above the rank of patrol officer should be at the station maybe you can work to change that.

              I'm lucky because my agency, and especially my district, encourage supervision to work the road when possible. It's actually common to have every rank from captain on down to be on a call for service. A few weeks ago one of my Lieutenant Colonel's was driving through the district on his way back to Tallahassee and ended up stopping a drunk. And he arrested him. And never once asked for help except for how to find the jail.
              Florida Smokey
              Forum Member
              Last edited by Florida Smokey; 12-31-2021, 01:18 PM.

              Comment


              • #11
                I’ve had LTs, THE Sheriff, etc back me up on hairy calls.

                Your inaction is on YOU.

                Comment


                • #12
                  I hear where you are coming from. I got promoted to sergeant recently and the biggest eye opener was how the Lt. would call me into his office almost daily to chew me out for all the F ups the deputies I was supervising were doing. This particular Lt. was nitpicky about everything, so the F ups were pretty minor stuff. However, I realized that I had to watch very closely every deputy on my shift in order to stop the minor F ups.

                  It sucked because the one thing I hated was micromanaging supervisors when I was a deputy. This certain Lt. was now causing me to be that micromanaging supervisor. I felt like a hypocrite. I like the sgt. pay too much though and won't demote. But I do, long to be just a deputy again. Responsible for me and only me, no crap desk work all day and no petty pet projects.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    If your retirement is based on your base salary (not overtime, shift differential, etc) stick it out until you get the “high 3” years or whatever you need to get a sergeants retirement, then voluntarily demote.

                    If your retirement is based on actual pay earned, demote now.

                    Either way, set aside time to get out on the road. You have to make it a priority and do it…. Paperwork will always be there.

                    In the Army I reached a point where I was spending all my time at my desk. I tried to get all the paperwork done by the end of the day, but even when I did there was always more the next day…. And my Joes weren’t getting the benefit of my leadership and example in the motor pool or in training.

                    Do the critical stuff, then get out on the road. Make calls or send emails from your car. If you need to counsel a Joe, do it out on the road when you can. The chicken Shiite can wait…. Nobody will die.

                    Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                    I’ve had LTs, THE Sheriff, etc back me up on hairy calls.

                    Your inaction is on YOU.
                    Yes and no. Big calls he says he goes on, it’s the individual proactive stuff he misses, which supervisors don’t get as much of.

                    OP: there is important paperwork, and unimportant paperwork. Learn to recognize the difference. Get the important stuff done, then do the BS stuff as higher priorities allow.

                    Perception is reality in leadership, and the strongest form of leadership is leadership by example. If your example is sitting at your desk all day doing “nothing” that’s the example you set, even if it isn’t true.

                    If your example is being proactive, putting in road time and backing your officers that’s the kind of officers your Joes will be…. Even if your boss is unhappy because you haven’t finished his EEO PowerPoint.

                    Its all prioritization and time management.

                    However, I realized that I had to watch very closely every deputy on my shift in order to stop the minor F ups.
                    …or just take the @zz chewing and drive on.
                    Last edited by tanksoldier; 12-31-2021, 07:35 PM.
                    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Thanks for all the advice fellas. Much appreciated

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by corona11 View Post
                        Thanks for all the advice fellas. Much appreciated
                        Good luck in what ever you decide
                        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                        Comment

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