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Browse Career Advice Articles

  • +2

    Advancement: Police Officer / Deputy Sheriff Positions

    h4. Description A police officer / deputy sheriff serves on the front line and is the first responder to all types of emergencies. h4. Testing Requirements Orientation, Written Exam, Physical Ability Test, Oral Interview, Polygraph, Psychological Exam, Background Investigation, and Medical Exam +Orientation+: Probationary Police Officer testing usually follows cycles where a law enforcement agency advertises a police test in order ...
    Rated +2
  • +9

    A Certain Chief: Moving from Assistant Chief to Chief

    A Certain Chief: Moving from Assistant Chief to Chief
    Rarely is there a bigger distraction in a police organization than when there is a change at the top. That distraction begins when the rumors start to fly that the current chief is leaving and continues through the early weeks of the new chief’s tenure. The reason for the distraction is simple: uncertainty. Fewer and fewer are the days when the ...
    Rated +9
  • +38

    How Serious Are You About Your Officer Survival…Really?

    How Serious Are You About Your Officer Survival…Really?
    Are you serious about your officer safety and survival? No really, are you? We all read the officer killed summaries, lament the tragic circumstances, vow “that will never happen to me” and then within a week or two we often go right back to work and engage in the same habits and tactics that have always allowed us to “get by.” ...
    Rated +38
  • +8

    The Deceptive Nature of the In-Basket Exercise

    Everyone who watched the ending of one of America’s favorite shows, the Sopranos, had to realize how masterfully David Chase, the creator and writer, fooled all us fans yet again. The ending was deceptive, simple yet complex, and left you wondering what the hell was really going on. I think it wasn’t Tony Soprano, but the audience who got “whacked.” That’s ...
    Rated +8
  • Rate

    7 Steps to Prepare for the Major's/Deputy Chief's Interview

    As you are seeking to ascend to the number two position in your agency, much of what you learned about oral boards in prior promotion processes will not apply.  Yes, competency will still be a factor, but trust and working relationships will be very powerful forces, as well.  So, while it is still important that you know your stuff, be prepared ...
  • +2

    Advancement: Officer First Class / Deputy First Class

    h4. Description Sometimes referred to as Senior Officer, Master Officer, or Officer I, this is a senior officer whose primary job function is to respond to 911 calls for police service. This officer acts as the senior officer on the shift and calls the shots in the absence of the corporal or sergeant. h4. Testing Requirements None. Promotions to Officer First ...
    Rated +2
  • +2

    Advancement: Corporal

    h4. Description In addition to normal patrol duties, a police corporal has supervisory responsibility over other police officers and civilian personnel, if any, on his/her squad. h4. Testing Requirements None. Promotions to Corporal are generally based on experience and seniority. h4. Experience Generally, 2 to 5 years experience as a police officer with the agency the officer serves. In order to ...
    Rated +2
  • +1

    Advancement: Sergeant

    h4. Description Sergeants have supervisory responsibility over an entire squad or unit, which may include as many 15 – 20 officers, depending on the size of the agency. h4. Testing Requirements Written Exam, Oral Interview, Assessment Center, Department Merit and Seniority The phases of the exam are weighted which create a composite score when added together. Weighted values will vary from ...
    Rated +1
  • +7

    Promote With a Plan

    Promote With a Plan
    The value system police managers create for themselves and those they oversee sets the stage for their eventual success or failure, so there are certain principles that must exist for the first line supervisor to excel. Most of us yearn for useful tips and frequently look for motivation from inspired writings with exhilarating new ideas. Leadership books have countless pages filled ...
    Rated +7
  • +14

    Are You Lieutenant Material?

    Are You Lieutenant Material?
    There is a natural order to the world and there is a natural order to oral board preparation. With rare exceptions, we advance in police positions one step at a time. This series of articles (the first one was “The Sergeant’s Oral Board: Preparing to be #1”) represents the progression of responsibilities that each law enforcement position holds and the corresponding ...
    Rated +14
  • +30

    Perception Plays a Part in the Success of a New Street Cop

    Perception Plays a Part in the Success of a New Street Cop
    As you progress through your first few years as a patrol officer, what supervisors and other officers think of you - and say about you - will play a large part in determining your success. Professionally, these years are where you will call the most attention to yourself and establish your reputation. You will feel pressure to simply blend in with ...
    Rated +30
  • +1

    What do Instructors Make?

    What do Instructors Make?
    (Dedicated to all of my teachers… To all who instructed me in my career... and to all who have instructed Peace Keepers... and to those who currently instruct Peace Keepers.) The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with the educational process. He argued, "What's a student going to learn ...
    Rated +1
  • +10

    You’re in Trouble: Now What?

    You’re in Trouble: Now What?
    Most police officers and deputy sheriffs are honorable men and women trying to do a difficult job. I regularly deal with law enforcement issues that involve law enforcers in bad circumstances. Whether they are in fact responsible for an act involving intent or omission, many officers, particularly those at the beginning of their careers, are baffled by the process that most ...
    Rated +10
  • Rate

    The Guide: Your Promotion to Captain

    Congratulations, captain.  Your promotion will move you from mid-manager to manager.  You will wield more authority, supervise more people, and be closer to the top of the organizational chain than ever before.  Ideally, you are about to set yourself on a path of multiple successes.  How you start will be critical in determining how you succeed. Whether it is an advertisement ...
  • +11

    Police Work, Prayer and Chaos

    Police Work, Prayer and Chaos
    Prayer is the theme in concluding this article on uncertainty and chaos in the law enforcement profession. As I indicated previously, I’ve been intrigued by [gate] the comments in our social networking and online writing communities that refer to prayer by asking us to do so on behalf of deceased officers, families, and friends as well as those who live in ...
    Rated +11
  • +15

    Power of Positive Policing: How to Avoid the Negatives

    Power of Positive Policing: How to Avoid the Negatives
    We all know the type in policing. The guy or gal who is never happy. They manage to find fault with the administration, the public, and even fellow crime fighters. It’s an “Us vs. Them” world in their eyes. In a nutshell, this frowny-faced person is a downer and could be crowned the king or queen of morale busting. They practice ...
    Rated +15
  • +63

    Women with Badges

    Women with Badges
    The percentage of women in law enforcement is hovering under 15 percent, according to the National Center for Women & Policing, and it's not increasing. Here's straight talk from current and former female police officers as to why we'd all be better off if that percentage rose, what's been holding the numbers down and which women are needed to fill the ...
    Rated +63
  • Rate

    Confidence and Leadership: Preparing for the Captain's Oral Board

    OK, you're testing for captain; expect the gloves to come off.  You are not a novice; you have elevated yourself from officer to sergeant to lieutenant.  The basics of oral boards are familiar to you; you have been through those challenges and have succeeded.  So how can they increase the difficulty for a captain-level candidate? They can make the questions more ...
  • +20

    Ten Percenters®: The Cops Who Really Make a Difference!

    There are 1%ers, 5% ers, and there are 13% ers but in the law enforcement profession there are 10%ers. 10% ers are in every law enforcement agency and let us thank God that they are! 10% ers, for the purpose of this article, are those Cops (law enforcement officers) who truly make the streets safe for everyone else. 10%ers are the ...
    Rated +20
  • +33

    What Does the Public Want?

    What Does the Public Want?
    Every television channel has an old, new or syndicated police drama airing sometime, somewhere. The public has a certain romance with law enforcement and why shouldn’t they? Hollywood and their rating systems have cashed in on white toothy smiles, good looking actors and actresses, witty dialogue, fancy suits, and the ability to efficiently wrap up the most difficult crimes in fifty ...
    Rated +33
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