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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2000

    Why would you want to be a supervisor?

    Pretty good article in my opinion even though I am not a supervisor. I am actually thinking about grabbing his book.

    Why would you want to be a supervisor?
    What is there to the job?

    Leadership Contributor

    I believe one of the best reasons for becoming a supervisor is that you will be a manager in your agency and a vital player in the development of your subordinates and the department. This should be a prime motivational factor for you. Naturally, there is the monetary incentive that comes with every promotion, which is very important when planning for your future. As a supervisor, you demonstrate your leadership abilities. How great is that? Remember when you used to sit around with your fellow officers and tell them how you could handle a situation so much better than your current supervisor? This is nothing new; we all did it. This kind of banter is a good thing to participate in as long as you maintain proper respect and continue to follow the orders of your supervisor. This exchange of ideas actually helps to develop your own leadership abilities because you will start to think like a supervisor, which is very important. In fact, if you think about it, it is similar to voting in an election. There is a saying that, "if you didn't vote in the election, don't complain about who's in office." It's the same about becoming a supervisor. If you feel you would be a good supervisor and could assist in improving your department and the service that is provided to your citizens, then being promoted is your "vote" or opportunity to provide input on changes you feel are necessary. Or, if your department is running smoothly, then you can maintain the status quo. As a supervisor you will be able to develop information on the best ways to improve procedures and policies that are for the good of the department. You see, as a supervisor your voice can be heard and you can influence not only your superiors, but also your troops. Becoming a supervisor is a great thing, something you've worked for during your entire career. It is more than just giving orders or assigning officers to a beat every day.

    You are in charge of every situation that occurs out in the field.

    You will review all of the actions of your officers and determine what training may be useful in their development.

    You can create scenarios or situations for training purposes.

    You will face new challenges such as becoming a mentor, a confidant, a cheerleader, a disciplinarian, and you will be able to help other personnel develop their breadth of knowledge in their chosen profession.
    With your assistance, some day they can advance in their career.

    You will become a role model to many. Some officers may not tell you to your face, but you can be sure that if you have been doing your job correctly, you will make an impact. Others will tell you how much you have meant to their career and how they have patterned their own career after yours.
    You will be proud that you, as a supervisor, were able to make such a difference. This is one of the highest tributes that anyone can bestow on you. Believe me; your world will change because of it!

    As a police chief, I considered all of my supervisors as management, and it didn't matter if they were first-line supervisor sergeants or captains. Now I want you to understand I am not speaking for every police chief, because we all have our own way of handling various supervisory positions, but here is my thinking on the situation. Let's say you are a sergeant, working a graveyard shift. There's no lieutenant on duty and the police chief is home sleeping, knowing that his city is being protected by the finest supervisor he has on his shift that night—you. It doesn't matter that you are the only supervisor on duty that night—you are the best one he has out there. Think about it. Who is in charge? YOU. If a major situation develops, who will handle it? YOU. If there are notifications to be made, who is going to make the decision to make those notifications? YOU. So, to my way of thinking, it stands to reason that you are the supervisor in charge, that is the chief of police, and that means you are management not just for this one night but throughout your supervisory career. (Remember, we are talking about leadership positions, not M.O.U.—Memorandum of Understanding— issues or personnel job descriptions). That is what makes the position of supervisor so great, because you are the main person in charge, and you can develop others who in turn will help develop the future of your department.

    El Miali, a retired chief of police, started his law enforcement career in 1967. In 1986 he was appointed Chief of Police of the Fountain Valley Police Department in Orange County, Ca. He was Police Chief for 17 years, prior to his retirement in 2003. Chief Miali participated in many oral boards and assessment centers and observed how difficult it was for many officers to do well in the promotional process. He wrote a book entitled Unless You're The Lead Dog, The Scenery Never Changes. Chief Miali knows what the administrators of police agencies want from their candidates, Learn more about Chief Miali and his book through his Lead Dog Promotions web site or contact him by e-mail by clicking on his name above.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    New York State

    icon31.gif Thanks for the Boost

    I think this is an excellent article. I have been a 1st line Sup. now for almost 3 years and I still wonder on a regular basis why I chose this path. Overall though, it has been good for me.
    "There is no second place winner"-- Bill Jordan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Interesting read. As someone who is hoping to get promoted in the next month or two I have thought long and hard about a number of those issues. K-9 if you're starting to research the supervisory career path pm me and I can point you to a couple of books that I found really beneficial both in preparing for the testing process and in what to expect as a new supervisor.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Southern California
    I became a supervisory special agent at age 51 after 26 years as a FLEO. I have been doing it for over 3 years now and it has been great. I have really enjoyed being a supervisor. All my career I heard that senior agent was the best job in Customs and first line supervisor was the worst. Not true for me.

    The key is having good people, trying your best to build a good team. I like self-motivated agents who want to go out and make cases. I can show them how to do it but I can't make them WANT to do it.

    I do not have the ability to motivate a true slug. I can just plot to send them to a reactive unit where they can be micro-managed, since they obviously need to be told what to do every minute of the day.

    The down side for federal managers is being involuntarily transferred to HQ. It is moot for me since I am eligible and I know I ain't goin to DC. I just might retire a little earlier than I anticipated.

    For someone with 10 years to do before becoming eligible, taking the promotion and the transfer risk might not be worth it. Especially if the spouse has a good job and the kids are near the grandparents, etc.
    "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." John Wayne in "The Shootist".



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