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What Do You Want in a Sergeant?

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  • What Do You Want in a Sergeant?

    Ladies and Gentlemen I just made Sergeant in my department after 17 years on the job. With 13 years as an FTO and first hand experience being under the yoke of some idiot supervisors, I think I am aware of what makes a good supervisor, but I would certainly like to hear from some other folks out there. I want to do not only the right thing by the department but also my troops. Thanks for your responses. Fire Away...

  • #2
    Common sense, a realist approach, the ability to honestly and comfortably talk with superiors and the officers you work with, and support for the other officers.
    Lookin' for trouble. That's what we do. That's our job!

    Police Explorer
    Post 911 - Plano, Texas

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    • #3
      I have the perfect Sgt. right now.

      I never see or hear from the man unless 1: I screw up 2: he needs to tell me something that is going on or changing, or 3: I page him. And, when I page him, I hear back within half an hour day or night.

      Of course, I've been doing this 18 years and I'm the junior guy on this squad so it makes it a little easier for him to be like that. I suppose you don't have that luxury yet?

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      • #4
        Support the troops and make sure they have what they need to get the job done. Assign patrol beats strictly by seniority. Leave senior officers alone; the majority of supervision efforts should be focused on younger officers. Ensure that officers are handling their calls, not playing junior narc and causing their partners to pick up the slack. Protect the officers from unfounded or petty citizen complaints.

        [ 07-10-2002: Message edited by: ateamer ]
        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

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        • #5


          [ 04-04-2003, 10:00 PM: Message edited by: Frank Booth ]

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          • #6
            Congratulations Seadog.

            Since you just made Sergeant, I'll *assume* that the frontal lobotomy has not yet taken effect. You know what makes a good sergeant having just left the "ranks". The trick is "never forget what the patrolmen need". Don't forget where you came from. Show the same respect to your juniors that you expect them to show you. Be fair in your judgements. Don't be afraid to stand by your troops in the face of upper management.
            "Public service is not just a job.
            It is an act of citizenship."
            ---G.W. Bush

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            • #7
              Lead by example by getting out there and getting your hands dirty instead of leading from the coffee shop like so many do.

              Realize that your way isn't the only way to do things. My way, if it solves the problem, is just as good.

              Praise and criticize fairly and don't single out certain officers for excessive one or the other.

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              • #8
                Reward good work.

                It's easy to get caught up in only telling people when they've messed up. But it is also important to let them know that you have noticed them doing well.

                Don't be a boss.

                Be a leader.

                The difference is that a boss says, "Do this.", but a leader says, "Let's do this."
                -Sparky

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                • #9
                  What Do You Want in a Sergeant?

                  I would want a Sergeant that is willing to do whatever he/she asks me to do. And one that is always willing to admit they made a a mistake even if it makes them look stupid in front of the little people.
                  "To each his own"

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                  • #10
                    Reward your people for doing good.

                    When they need support, be there for them.

                    If something needs action, don't be so afraid of your LT that the only action you are willing to take is inaction.

                    Don't be afraid to bust balls when they need to be busted.

                    Get out there, supervising from an office doesn't inspire confidence in leadership abilities.

                    These are just some of the basics. Oh yeah, Congrats on the promotion man!!
                    Nobody ever wants to have to fight, but its a darn good idea for someone to know how.

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                    • #11
                      - Work the road with your squad.
                      - Always have their back.
                      - Be honest, always.
                      - Have a sense of humor.
                      - Don't take credit, give credit to others.
                      - Praise your squad.
                      - Act interested in their life at work and outside the work place.
                      - Always offer advanced training to them.
                      - Suprise them every now and then with something. (ie: new equipment, etc.)
                      - Keep an open door, but make your office the road, not the actual office.
                      - DO NOT MICRO-MANAGE. Only the scarce few slackers need that.

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                      • #12
                        Congradulations Seadog!

                        Well, I am a Sergeant and I am going to tell you what my officers tell me...

                        1) ALWAYS stand up for your officers if they are right.

                        2) Don't ask them to do anything you wouldn't or haven't done.

                        3) If there is work to be done, you be the "team captain" and work with them (this is also an easy way to supervise)

                        4) (somebody mentioned this) Leave the senior officers alone (unless they screw up).

                        5) Most important to me... Don't ever forget where you came from. Just remember how you wanted to be treated when you were a "lineman" and treat your officers the same way.

                        Congradulations, I know you will be a good Sergeant.. You've already proved your a human by asking others advice LOL. null
                        In valor there is hope - Tacitus

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                        • #13
                          I like Sergeants....couldn't do my job without them, in fact. I presently enjoy the capable services of three of the best.

                          Here's a list of a few things I like to see in a Sergeant:

                          - Responsibility: It's yours, accept it.

                          - Leadership: Use whatever management style you think effective. When you've exhausted the possibililities inherent in the autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire methods, we'll discuss what really works. Contrary to popular thinking, it is a popularity contest.

                          - Personality: Keep the one you already have. You'll find yourself glancing often at the new stripes on your sleeve. Don't think they've made you smarter.

                          - Appearance: Spruce up the uniform and the leather gear. Set an example. You can slack off again after your next promotion.

                          - Knowledge: Learn everything. Authority based on expertise is the most effective.

                          - Work Habits: Once again, set an example. Don't expect others to do what you will not.


                          ....and finally, remember that if the Lieutenant has to do anything at all, you're not doing your job.

                          [ 07-11-2002: Message edited by: Dinosaur ]

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                          • #14


                            [ 04-04-2003, 10:00 PM: Message edited by: Frank Booth ]

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                            • #15
                              Lead. Don't boss. (someone ekse mentioned this)

                              Ask. Don't tell. Unless you need to.

                              Remember that you were once in patrol and held "police officer: or "patrolman" or "deputy" rank yourself.

                              Be fair.

                              Be HONEST.

                              Go to a bar, or a restaraunt with your friends and guys that you'll be supervising. Tell them that you'll be fair, and friendly to all, but business is business. Ask THEM things they'd like to see in a sergeant that some of the other sergeants in the department don't have.

                              Then drink up, and enjoy the night. Congrats on your promotion, SARGE!

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