Supervisor First Aid
One of the biggest mistakes law enforcement makes is promoting and not training or supporting the newest leaders. If I could offer anything it would be that new leaders have completed some form of leadership/supervisor school before promotion. The military has done this for years with basic NCO schools and done very successfully. Additionally, if your department does not have the luxury of having a ‘Field Training Sergeant’ program of some sort, have a mentor program where there is a life-line for them to learn and grow under. Young sergeants, listen to me and listen well. Find you a senior sergeant or whoever to sit down with and learn from their mistakes and their sage guidance. Additionally, if your officers come to you to help you, don’t reject them. You are now a squad leader; squads complete the mission not individuals. You are to get everyone home at the end of the shift, it is not you and you alone. Good squads share experiences and skills and they make the difference out there, you are not alone.
Finally, when you get your promotion nobody expects you to know it and be the salvation for all of law enforcement. New sergeants come and go, the secret is good ones learn and apply lessons learned. Making decisions is not that hard, you made them for years before you got promoted and your decision making got you here. Now go do it and quit being indecisive, get some moxie and get your swagger back.
About The Author:
William L. "Bill" Harvey is a native Virginian. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. He has a BA in criminology from St. Leo University and is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute of the University of Louisville (103rd AOC). Harvey served for over 23 years with the Savannah (GA) Police Department. He served in field operations, investigations and support services, and completed his career there as the director of training. He has published several articles in professional periodicals and has lectured nationwide. He is serving as a chief of police in central Pennsylvania area; a duty he’s performed for the past nine years. He is on the advisory board of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association and other professional associations.