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View Poll Results: How does your Department promote or assign to specialized units?

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  1. #21
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
    I have also found it interesting when some agencies go to great lengths to develop a promotional process, perhaps an in basket assessment center, panel interview, etc. Then the results come down and they reach down, passing by the # 1 and # 2 candidate, and promoting # 3. I find that kind of interesting because if they have so much faith in the system, why wouldn't they promote the person that scored the highest after all that?

    Does anybody have a feel if this is the same anywhere? For example, in other areas of government, say fire service, public works, etc. is it the same? I have also wondered, too, if say nursing or teaching have similar issues? I am inclined to think that both education and nursing place a greater emphasis on advanced education, but then again I could be way off base here.

    I think it will be interesting in a few more years to see what develops. Maybe in the future we will look back at this time frame and laugh at the methods we used for selecting people for promotions and/or special assignments. On the other hand, maybe nothing will change at all.

    I do think that there are places right now that are more fair in this process than others. The ones that I Admire are the ones that tell the officers up front ahead of time what is necessary to get promoted. I have heard of Career Development programs that tell officers right up front that to get to sergeant you must have:

    - X Number Of Years Experience With This Agency

    - Good To Excellent Performance Appraisals (Reviews)

    - Bachelors Degree

    Note, I am not necessarily saying these should be the precise requirements, rather I am saying that the factors should be know well ahead of time, they should be reasonable, and achievable. I don't think someone who just completed their one year probation should be able to get promoted. (Yes, I DO know of agencies where this has happened and I don't mean 5 officer departments, either.)

    I have a sneaking suspicion that there others here that have seen some similar disparities. Places where the Sheriff's nephew gets hired and, gee, as soon as he is off probation he is on days with stripes! Or other places where the chief's son gets hired as a CSO. Magically, as soon as he is eligible, he gets promoted to sworn officer, and just as soon he is eligible to apply for sergeants there is an opening and, what a shock, he gets promoted!

    Okay, I am getting back down from my soapbox now. Let's hear it. What are your best stories about people promoted that passed over more qualified officers, or ones that are constantly passed over despite excellent qualifications
    Well, sometimes the guy who is number 1 is someone who tests very well -- but his work performance shows that he's got all the tact and charm of a 2x4 to the forehead. On his better days...

    We use two senses of "career development" at my agency. The first is described as being a simple move within the pay system. It's not competitive; it's based solely on good evals, sufficient time in service, and completion of specified training. The other is supervisory promotion, via whatever process the chief decides.

    My chief has told me that he doesn't look solely at the numbers, but tries to get the right person for a specialty assingment or supervisor. I believe him -- but he has to be somewhat guided by the results of the process. I suspect he's being very careful, since we had two very unsatisfactory sergeants promoted. (One left in lieu of prosecution; the other isn't trusted with anyone that actually needs to be supervised. Part of the problem with both was promotion without sufficient experience. And why they don't do something about the one that remains is a long, complicated story that would identify the agency, which I don't want to do.)

    One thing I think we do need to do is make use of temp assignments -- both inside our agency and with a much larger nearby agency -- to give folks a chance to do something else. We're starting to have some moral issues; after all why should someone actually try to do anything beyond show up and collect a paycheck if there's no movement possible for the foreseeable future.
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  2. #22
    creolecop's Avatar
    creolecop is offline Really? and I'm suppose to believe that??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
    In Minnesota, it is not unusual to have a panel of three people for the interview board and at least one might be an officer from another law enforcement agency. It would not be unusual to have a civilian on that board as well. In fact, a mix that seems to be fairly common around here could be three member panel consisting of:

    -Higher ranking officer at your own agency.

    -Ranking officer from another agency.

    -Civilian
    Hey if it works good for places that use it. If I had not been told that on here I would have swore to the death that promotions nowhere are done like that. The closest I'v seen to civilians is the city council. The chief does there regular promotion criteria, possibly consisting of a civil service test among other things, then he picks from the top 2-3 on the civil service list. He then has to take his pick to the city council so they can vote on the chiefs recommendation. I have never heard of them denying the chiefs promotion pick and there is never discussion it just moves straight through and on to other business. The council voting just makes it final. They have no authority to pick they can merely vote on the chiefs recommendation for promotion.Thats as much as I have ever seen civilians involved and that was when I was at a civil service agency.

    We have tons of spots come open regularly, I'm in for three spots now, two promotion opportunities on patrol and one for detective. Word is in about 30 more days we'll have about 6 detective spots open. We'll see what happens. We have something opening up seemingly all the time. The feeling of stagnation is not present, however, I do work at a large agency.

  3. #23
    Jim1348 is offline Rookie
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    Promotions and/or Special Assignments

    When I was in school a number of years ago we were told that the sergeant rank is the most difficult one to attain. At first that sort of puzzled me, but then when I thought about it more it sort of made sense. Think about it, in some agencies, when there is a sergeant promotional exam, it is possible that every non-ranking sworn officer in the department will apply. Granted, many places people won't apply becasue they don't have enough time in, etc., but I have heard of places where there has not been a promotion for quite some time and basically everyone below the rank of sergeant tested.

    Contrast that with the next bump up from sergeant. It could be lieutenant/captain/commander or whatever the rank and/or title might be. Usually at most agencies you have to have achieved the sergeant rank already to compete. Yes, I have heard of places that allow officers to "leapfrog" over sergeant and go right to lieutenant/captain/commander, but I would say it is pretty uncommon. Anyway, at that point there are some sergeants that are content where they are and don't even want to test. They could be close to retirement and want to ride it out to the end. Conversely, they might be a rookie sergeant and not even want to move yet. Lots of other possibilities, too. Anyway, I have heard of some agencies that, although having a number of sergeants, might only get a couple to even want to move beyond sergeant.

    So, in retrospect, I think that statement might just be correct, that the sergeant rank can be the most difficult to achieve.

    As an aside, do many people here run across agencies that will hire a sergeant from the outside? Or, for that matter, any other positions between officer and the "big dog." I have heard of it a couple places. Every time I do I seem to have the same reactions. I wonder why the agency has opened it up to the outside. To me, I think it speaks volumes if you have an agency that doesn't prepare there people to move up.

    I can think of a few departments, in fact one I worked for, that hired a lieutenant from the outside. In fact, the chief at time told all of the sergeants that although they were welcome to apply for lieutenant, none of them qualified! You know that has to be a challenge coming in from the outside and managing a bunch of sergeants that you haven't worked with before. The common thread that I have seen with agencies that do hire sergeants/lieutenants/captains from the outside is that they generally have terrible morale. And, of course, usually hiring a ranking peson from the outside doesn't' seem to do much to improve morale either!

    Come to think of it, I have even heard of a place or two in this area that hired an investigator from the outside. Again, given my suspicious nature, I really wondered why nobody on the inside wanted that slot, or if somebody on the inside did want it, why did they go outside to fill it?

  4. #24
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    I've heard of hiring lieutenants (rarely) from outside. Often, it's a case where they bring special skills not available otherwise, and that may not fit at a lower rank. The other main reason I've heard it done is to fix or reconstitute a badly broken agency. In fact, in a case like that, I've seen them hire sergeants from outside, too. They just didn't have the experience available in house with the handful of officers left...

    Captains and majors, especially as deputy chiefs, might be hired from outside, too. Same sorts of reasons, and of course, there's the cases where a new chief brings in a new command staff...
    Voting against incumbents until we get a Congress that does its job.

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    All opinions expressed are my own and are not official statements of my employer.

  5. #25
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    gopherpuckfan is offline I'm from the government and I'm here to help
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    I've heard of hiring lieutenants (rarely) from outside. Often, it's a case where they bring special skills not available otherwise, and that may not fit at a lower rank.
    A smaller agency near the Iowa border posted for Lieutenant a couple years ago. One of my sgts applied for it, but didn't get it. I'm not sure who they ended up hiring, but the fact that it was posted for outsiders is telling.
    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

  6. #26
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    SinePari is offline Just humping the road
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    We are Civil Service and 2000+ sworn. Rank up to Captain is written test only, best scores win. Major, Lt Col, and Colonel are all appointments. Col gets appointed by the Governor from within Cpt or above ranks. I've seen states that appoint Col/Superintendent to a civilian, but that's their statute, not ours.

    Pros and cons for written test promotions: pros are if you study hard, you win. Cons are people who have no business being supervisors can test well. So it's not perfect but it eliminates nepotism.

    Col handpinks division and troop commanders, division and troop commanders handpick station commanders and special assignments. Not perfect, but it works for us. Supervisors are sent wherever they're needed. You're a senior trooper in your home station or in some sweet gig but when you make Sgt, it's off to some far-away station on the other side of the state.

    Now, special assignments are completely different. We'd like to see a perfect system but the job posts all of the openings...usually. But sometimes they slide people into units under the radar. Interviews, special skills, and work performance all are factors in their consideration and seniority is not as important.

    Of course, occasionally a specialty unit will take one of the beautiful people, or a connected person, or someone with long family ties to the job. So what, that's any job in any profession. We all just roll our eyes and go, "gee, I wonder how that person got in that unit?" And usually there's the minimum requirements for an assignment set by the unit commander such as experience, certain training levels, time on the job, etc.

    I've only interviewed for one narc job a few years ago and got passed over for a well-qualified classmate of mine so I wasn't upset. Other narc transfers have been given to people who've never even seen a bag of weed since college, and the unit passed over super troopers that would be great assets. Oh well, tough cookies. Of course, timing helps too. We've got a new class coming on line soon and that will certainly help our numbers and I'm sure there will be movement into units shortly thereafter.

    But in this day and age, narc and gang units offer no tangible service to the public when speaking about budgets. We all know they impact quality of life but when the checkbook needs to be balanced, in the big scheme of things narc and gang invests cost more than they return.

    I love my assignment in field services. I could stay here until retirement. I live near my station, have a great group of workers and supervisors, and IMO it's one of the best stations in the state. We're busy enough 50/50. Meaning, half the time it's calls for service, the rest is proactive real cop stuff. Closer to Boston it's mostly traffic and less time for proactive. But I've got city, highway, and rural all rolled into to one station so it works great for me.
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  7. #27
    NWdeputy is offline Rookie
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    Promotions are based upon an assessment center evaluation that takes a full day. Special assignments are the prerogative of the Sheriff and are based upon department need, individual qualifications, oral interview, command staff decision.

 

 
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