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  1. #1
    Jim1348 is online now Rookie
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    Sergeants Rank(s) And Rank Insignia

    I have started to notice more recently more agencies near me having sergeant stripes with rockers. Needless to say, that has historically been quite common in the military, but, at least from my perspective, somewhat less common in civilian law enforcement agencies. Although, it may have been more common with state law enforcement agencies over the years. Anyway, does you agency have one sergeant rank and signify it on the uniform with simply three stripes, or does your agency have more than one sergeant rank? If so, how are the sergeants with rockers underneath their stripes earning them? Is it representing the number of years of time in grade? Are you testing to become the "Command Sergeant Major" of the State Police? If so, is it a written test, oral interview, an in basket assessment center, or something very different?

    Also, with regards to sergeants who have rockers, do you get questions or comments from coppers from other agencies? Do civilians know or care? Do the members of the public who do notice and ask generally have a military background?

    I think, at least to some extent, that there are people who look at coppers in uniform and if they see no rank insignia that they equate that with a "buck private" in the army. They see the officer as someone who is not successful because they haven't achieved any rank. They might even consider them a rookie since they are a "slick sleeve".

    What about corporals in your agency? Do you have them? Are they/would they be a good thing? Do they act in the place of a sergeant in his/her absence or is this for FTOs or something else?

    What about Master Patrol Officer or Master Police Officer? Are they/would they be a good thing? How do you achieve that? If they were special insignia, what is it? Is it a single stripe with a rocker, is it corporal stripes, or is a pin on the pocket flap?

    What about hash marks? Do you have them? If so, is there a mark for every 3 or 5 years? Do you only count service with your current agency or do you count all sworn service?

    I have always found the comparisons between the civilian law enforcement agencies and the military kind of interesting even though I was never in the military. I find it interesting, too, that we seem to always use the rank insignia of the Army or Marines and never of the Marines, Navy, or Coast Guard. (Think about it, you might have a sergeant in the PD, but never a CPO in the sheriff's office!) The titles, however, seem to be all over the board. I think a three striper is usually called a sergeant. A single bar is usually a Lieutenant and twin bars are usually a Captain. (You never hear of an Ensign in the police department.) On the other hand, an oak leaf, be it silver or gold, might just be a commander in the PD or SO, which sounds very naval to me! (They seem to be more commonly majors or lieutenant colonels in state police/highway patrol agencies and perhaps some Florida sheriff's offices.)

    Also, I find it sort of interesting to see what rank insignia is used for the "big dog" or the various agencies. I have seen colonel eagles for Chiefs Of Police and I have seen a single star. I think most state police/highway patrol agencies seem to use eagles for colonel/superintendent. I have also seen some Five Star General Of The Sheriff's Office her and there.

    Even in the agencies near me, it can get very confusing. One sheriff's office might have # 2 as the Chief Deputy Sheriff and he wears colonel eagles. Okay, simple enough. Then the next county over # 2 is the Under Sheriff, but he wears oak leafs. Alright, then you move yet a different county and they have a Chief Deputy Sheriff, several Under sheriffs, and an Assistant Sheriff! (I think the Assistant Sheriff wears lightning bolts for rank insignia! Confusing.)

  2. #2
    GunmetalGray's Avatar
    GunmetalGray is offline At the reloading bench...
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    Our Sergeants wear three stripes, that's all.

    We have ( in order )
    Deputies
    Corporals ( 2 stripes )
    Sergeants ( 3 stripes )
    Lieutenants ( 2 bars )
    Captains
    Asst. Chief Deputy
    Chief Deputy
    Sheriff

    This isn't counting the CO's in the jail.

  3. #3
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Patrol Officers
    Sgt's
    Deputy Chief
    Chief

    I like our set up. We're not top heavy with supervisors who want to out do each other. If I need a supervisor for something, I go to one Sgt, and I don't have to worry about anyone above him going over his head.

    We had a criminal investigations division as well, but because they don't hold a seniority/supervisory position I didn't include them in my list.

    Our Sgt's wear the typical 3 chevrons. We're authorized to wear stripes for every 3 yrs of service, but I haven't seen anyone wear them since one guy did from the 70's through the early 90's.
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    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  4. #4
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Rank structure for police in the US is all over the place. It roughly follows an army structure... but only roughly. Some variance is due to local practice & history, some due to size of the agency.

    My agency's structure is
    Police Private -- no rank insignia/slick sleeve -- straight out of the academy.
    Private First Class -- single stripe/'squiter wing -- 4 years, good evals, and a training requirement
    Master Police Officer -- 2 stripes and a rocker -- 7 years, good evals, and met the training requirements
    *MPOs are also able to substitute supervise, and are generally supposed to fill an informal leadership/mentoring role. Yeah... Supposed to. And the above moves are "career development steps, simple moves within the pay scale, not promotions." Whatever that means...

    Sergeant -- 3 stripes and a rocker -- minimum 4 years, promotional process to create a list, then the chief picks from the top 5.

    Lieutenant -- Single gold bar -- minimum 1 year as sergeant, appointment by the chief. Lieutenants in my agency are division commanders (Ops/Patrol, Support/CIS, Admin)

    Captain -- also called Deputy Chief -- 2 gold bars, appointment from the Lieutenants by the chief generally, though theoretically could be hired from outside

    Colonel/Chief -- eagle -- appointed by town manager & council

    Detective is an assignment, not a promotion. No corporals, and no divisions of sergeants.

    One of the headaches comparing ranks and titles across agencies is that departments range in size from a single officer to tens of thousands. A sergeant at my agency runs a squad, and is the HMIC when the brass is home asleep. MPOs run the squad if the sergeant is out. Look at several other agencies in my area, and sergeants are the shift lieutenant's gofer. Some of them can't even run things for an entire shift, just cover while the LT is busy or occupied. Lieutenants just run a squad in the large agency, while in my department they run a division. And so on...
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  5. #5
    Bob Loblaw's Avatar
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    at my department, we have patrolmen, sergeants, staff sergeants, master sergeants, lieutenants, captains (shift commanders), majors (division commanders) and the chief. patrolmen are eligible to test for sergeant at 5 years. If you pass the test you get 3 stripes, no rockers. If you just decide never to test, it's an automatic promotion at 7 years from date of hire. Staff Sergeant is automatic 5 years after you make sergeant (3 stripes, 1 rocker) and Master Sergeant is automatic 5 years after you make Staff Sergeant (3 stripes and either 2 or 3 rockers..I forget). None of the sergeant positions are supervisory positions. Lieutenants are the first line supervisors, then Captain, Major and chief.

    We recently switched to this rank structure to get more in line with a few of the departments in the area (our Sgts used to be first line supervisors....a Lt with another department would call asking for a supervisor and when the boss said "this is Sgt. So-And-So," the Lt at the other end of the phone would sometimes say "no..I need a SUPERVISOR" and then a giant pissing match would ensue.).
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  6. #6
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    Deputy
    Corporal (not used much anymore)
    Sergeant
    Lieutenant
    Captain (Detectives)
    Major (Uniform division commander)
    1 Chief (because there is nothing else to call him)
    Chief Deputy
    Sheriff
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  7. #7
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Deputy
    Sergeant (3 chevrons)
    Lieutenant (1 bar)
    Captain (2 bars) [appointed by the Sheriff]
    Deputy Chief [appointed by the Sheriff]
    Sheriff

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  8. #8
    Jim1348 is online now Rookie
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    Sergeants Rank(s) And Rank Insignia

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Loblaw View Post
    .....If you just decide never to test, it's an automatic promotion at 7 years from date of hire.....
    I that a promotion to sergeant automatically at 7 years, but it is NOT a supervisor? That is interesting. Is that NOPD?

    Someone told me a story some years back. It was sergeants from two very different agencies comparing notes on how they were promoted. The one very suburban sergeant mentioned an in-basket assessment center, a panel, interview, and the usual stuff for this area. The other sergeant, who I think may have been Chicago PD, mentioned responding to an armed robbery call, the robber comes out armed, so the copper shot him. Shortly after that he was promoted to sergeant based on the response to the call. It was, in essence, sort of like a "field promotion" in the military back in the day. I suppose that has vanished from today's military, but it made for some interesting movie material

  9. #9
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    There was talk of giving tutor constables (our version of FTO) two stripes but it never went anywhere.

    All officers hold the rank of constable and all must start as such.

    basically the more "scrambled egg" on your uniform, the higher the rank.

    Oh and the Metropolitan police rank structure is different once you get above chief superintendent, but they just have to be different!
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  10. #10
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    jcsdscott is offline The short minister
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    Our structure is this way:
    Sheriff: State seal on collar, gold badge, white shirt
    Lieutenants (3, one of which is the undersheriff): One bar, gold badge, white shirt
    Sergeants (2 jail sgts, 4 patrol sgts.): 3 chevrons, gold badge, brown shirt
    Corporals (newly added last year, 2 jail, 2 patrol, 1 I-sec.): 2 chevrons, gold badge, brown shirt
    Deputy: no stripes, silver badge, brown shirt

    It does happen when someone with stripes or a gold badge shows up on a call, some people automatically stop talking to me, only to have the supervisor tell them the same thing I was saying. Go figure.
    Romans 8:28-31

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  11. #11
    BigDawg's Avatar
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    We have;

    Officer
    Sgt.
    Capt.
    Major
    Deputy Chief
    Chief
    "An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper


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  12. #12
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    Mines easy. Small department.

    officer
    Sgt.
    Chief

  13. #13
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    Officer
    Cpl (FTO/Asst Watch Commander, 2 per shift, two stripes)
    Sergeant (1 per shift, Watch Commander, three stripes)
    LT (division supv, one each over Patrol, CID, etc, gold bar)
    Capt (various positions - was patrol cmdr at one time, acted as asst chief another, two gold bars, currently not in use)
    Asst Chief (I can't remember seeing any collar brass of any kind on him, he is normally in a polo style shirt)
    Chief (4 stars, I think)
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  14. #14
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    121Traffic is offline Just Us
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    Ours is easy. Our uniform is LAPD blue. Badge, name tag. That's it. No patches. Any awards or special unit pins are optional to wear. We have officers with slick sleeves. Sergeants have three blue stripes. Lieutenants have one single gold bar on each collar, with a gold badge. They also must wear a Sam Browne belt with a brass buckle. We are authorized the Sam Browne buckle in silver but is isn't required. Division Commanders have one gold star on each collar, gold badge, gold Sam Browne buckle. Chief wears three stars, gold badge, and a brass Sam Browne.

    Also, in addition to a Class A, Lieutenants and above have a full dress uniform consisting of a white shirt and dress jacket and a shoulder strap for their belt. Sgts and below wear a regular Class A with the tie tucked between our shirt buttons a la WWII era military uniforms.

  15. #15
    ManImBored is offline Ninja In Training
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    Ours is pretty easy:

    Officer
    Sgt.
    Captain
    Chief

    We all wear the same uniform as far as color and such. Patrol offices have a two-tone badge while Sgt., Capt., and Chief have a solid gold badge. Sgt. wears three stripes on sleeve and small chevron on collar. Capt. wears two bars on collar. Chief used to wear stars but stopped for some reason. Only way you know he is Chief is if you read his badge.
    "Sometimes doing the right thing, is not doing the right thing."

  16. #16
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    Sarge405 is offline Sergeant
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    Ranks:
    Officer,Sgt,Lt,Capt,Chief.
    Hash marks for service.
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  17. #17
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    gopherpuckfan is offline I'm from the government and I'm here to help
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    Officer
    Sgt
    Lt
    Commander
    Deputy Chief
    Chief

    We're VERY top heavy with supervisors. One division has a 7 officers, 2 sgts, 1 Lt, and 1 Commander. Pointless if you ask me.
    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.

  18. #18
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    I would like my country back. I used to believe that one man could never destroy this country. Not so sure anymore!

 

 

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