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Also known as:
Commanding Officer Homicide Squad, Detective Lieutenant, Detective Supervisor, Police Lieutenant, Traffic Lieutenant, Traffic Sergeant

Video transcript

A police officers day can be filled with unexpected situations. Police and detective supervisors help officer decide how to handle varied and changing situation, while organizing the resources to do it. Supervisors, such as sergeants, lieutenants, and police chiefs, oversee the activities of the rest of the force. Police and detective supervisors set schedules and offer guidance and expertise to investigators. They should be able to inspire others and command respect.

They pitch in on some police or investigation tasks but their primary duties are administrative, such as assigning duties, monitoring and evaluation job performance, investigating and resolving personnel problems, and training staff.

Most police and detective supervisors put in a 40-hour workweek, but their shifts can be scheduled throughout the day or night and across weekends. If they're not behind a desk finishing paperwork, they may be out in the field supervising officers on the job.

As with all police work, these supervisors are exposed to some danger. The route to a supervisory position in a police agency is almost always by promotion through the ranks. That can be based on seniority, performance evaluations, and test scores on written exams.

Job opportunities for police work depend on the level of government spending on law enforcement. It's expected the demand will continue to be strongest for qualified officers in urban areas, where crime rates are higher. When applying to a police academy, inquire about the long-term benefits, because while pay for police officers may seem low for the risk involved, many departments offer good retirement packages after several years of service.

Police work requires patience, tact, courage, and discipline. It's vitally important in every community, from crossroads in the country to Times Square.

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Develop, implement, and revise departmental policies and procedures.

Meet with civic, educational, and community groups to develop community programs and events, and to discuss law enforcement subjects.

Discipline staff for violation of department rules and regulations.

Investigate and resolve personnel problems within organization and charges of misconduct against staff.

Conduct raids and order detention of witnesses and suspects for questioning.

Requisition and issue equipment and supplies.

Cooperate with court personnel and officials from other law enforcement agencies and testify in court, as necessary.

Monitor and evaluate the job performance of subordinates, and authorize promotions and transfers.

Train staff in proper police work procedures.

Direct collection, preparation, and handling of evidence and personal property of prisoners.

Inform personnel of changes in regulations and policies, implications of new or amended laws, and new techniques of police work.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Management of Personnel Resources Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.