POLICE Magazine

JAN 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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14 P O L I C E J A N UA R Y 2 019 topic. Utilize targeted training, self-di- rected learning and study, school, subject matter expert interviews, field experience, authorship, and teaching. Where is there a need for expertise that most others don't have? Identif y these gaps and then fill one by becoming an authority in that area. GET PUBLISHED Not many officers have had their writ- ing published. ere are many law enforcement publications, inlcuding POLICE, that utilize officers and dep- uties as contributing authors. With a little research, practice, and editorial mentoring, wouldn't it be nice to be a published author, especially where others competing against you are not? As I promoted through the ranks, you can bet I told the panel and mentioned in my resume that I had more than 50 published articles with subject matter content that included leadership, ethics, risk management, training, and career development. By making this a hobby over the years, where others did not, I made myself exclusive. Anyone can do the same with a little effort. FOCUSED TRAINING Many of us have a good record of train- ing classes, seminars, and in-service courses. Unfortunately, most of the training your organization sends you to is advanced officer training (AOT) that encompasses on-the-job skills and knowledge and not career development/ advancement training. Even officers who attend training of their own volition often select the cool stuff like narcot- ics, shooting/tactics, or what I call "run down the alley, jump over the fence, and kick in the door" type of training. When preparing for your sergeant's promotion, consider courses that have a strong nexus to the position being test- ed for. Consider classes and seminars on supervision, leadership, ethics, risk management, decision making, officers' rights or discipline, and communication skills. It is great to take AOT courses, but a well-rounded candidate has a nice blending of AOT and a focused effort to- ward supervisory-related training. CONDUCT INTERVIEWS When I coach promotional candidates, I suggest to them that they identify the person in their agency who conducts or oversees internal affairs investiga- tions and pick a person that they know or are comfortable with. en I instruct them to contact that person and invite them out for a pizza to learn about the disciplinary process and departmen- tal internal investigations. During this lunch meeting, they should ask this person everything they ever wanted to know about officers' rights, discipline, and how the internal affairs process works. e more in-depth the interview and the more information obtained, the more effective the meeting will be. If an officer does this, after only an hour, he or she will know more about this subject than 90% of the rest of the organization and all for the small price of a pizza. is is a great example of conduct- ing a simple interview for promotional preparation. If you want to be a ser- geant, interview your best sergeants and one or two of your most talented lieutenants. Ask them questions like: • Where do you see the department go- ing in the next 3 to 5 years? • What are the biggest challenges when promoting from line to supervision? • What are the top qualities you think a great sergeant should possess? By conducting such interviews, you are building valuable insight into the position you are testing for and you are developing usable knowledge that can be applied to many aspects of your test- ing process. HOW TO... Your goal as you prepare to promote to sergeant is to find a way to make yourself stand out above the crowd in a way that your agency leaders will see as valuable. PHOTO: POLICE FILE

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