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Thread: NYPD Promotions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    NYPD Promotions

    Does anyone know the average time it takes an NYPD officer to make SGT? LT? CPT?

    I know that one must have at least five years to make SGT, 3 yrs at SGT to make LT (and 8 years total) and then at least another 2 yrs at LT to make CPT.

    But, can officers realistically expect to make these ranks at those points in their careers assuming that they pass the requisite exams and meet educational requirements?

    For example, is realistic that a 32 yr old police officer can expect to be a captain and thereby possibly command a precinct merely a decade from both graduating from college and the police academy?

    If not, are there are possibly other factors at play, such as standing at the police academy? Does having a law degree or graduate degree help at all? I know that after captain, there are no more exams. So, what comes are the factors?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I do not know the answers to these questions, but offer the following opinion based on (my version of) common sense:

    1. The rules say it is possible, so it is certainly possible. However, given the number of highly qualified personnel competing for these positions it is so unlikely that a string of promotions would happen that quickly as to be considered effectively not possible.

    2. I think the day after a law enforcement officer graduates the academy, "standing at the academy" means precisely zero other than "graduated" and "rookie." It would be stunning to me if two lieutenants were competing for captain and the decision came down to one guy being ranked 3 in his class and the other being ranked 10.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, IG. You certainly make sense. However, Ray Kelly graduated first from his class at the academy. I am not certain if this had anything do when he being considered for the high ranks, or if the type of person who has what it takes to graduate first also has the qualities it takes to climb up the ranks.

  4. #4
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    Do not forget the time-honored tradition of 'The Hook'. Who you've worked with, who knows who and cases you've made and mentors who vouch for you. Promotions off a list fill slots and requests as to who fills what slot can land you on a very fast track...or not.
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!
    Hunter S. Thompson

  5. #5
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    Thanks, dmclark. On cannot forget the politics involved.

  6. #6
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    It's too easy to call it simply 'politics'. You're LE rep will follow you everywhere. Are you a worker? Got the hussle? Team player? Do I want you on my team? Do you benefit the team and MY plans for advancement? Who can vouch for you that I trust and respect? Anyone on the team know you and have worked with you? Arrest stats? IA beefs? Issues?

    You're not getting this off any eligible list. And if you're referred down by Sr. Management, why? Every day on the job, you're carrying your resume update. Make it a good day!
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!
    Hunter S. Thompson

  7. #7
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    So, the points you reference adhere to promotions that are ostensibly based on civil service exams (sgt, lt, and cpt) rather than the ranks whose promotions are based on merit (detective, deputy inspector, inspector, deputy chief, etc)?

    Can someone, for example, get promoted to sgt 5 yrs from academy graduation if they simply score higher than the others who have taken the exam during the same time? Can this happens regardless of the subjective factors you mention?

    Thank you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    7,341
    Quote Originally Posted by chasmain View Post
    Can someone, for example, get promoted to sgt 5 yrs from academy graduation if they simply score higher than the others who have taken the exam during the same time? Can this happens regardless of the subjective factors you mention?
    For the most part no one cares about your academy grades or test scores, at least not in terms of that being a major factor in who gets promoted. It isn't something a promotional panel is likely to look at, nor is it something you would want to highlight as showing what kind of cop you are. Focus on being a cop first. Focusing too much on your long term goals isn't going to guarantee anything, and it's more likely to make you risk averse to the point you are seen as not doing your job.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2011
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    chasmain,

    Don't take this the wrong way, but are you collecting information to write a book or are you serious about a law enforcement career?

    From my point of view, the only things a person embarking on a LE career should be worried about are learning how to do the job, making quality arrests, making your community a better place, not screwing up and getting yourself or someone else seriously hurt.

    Learn how to do A first, and well, before you leap to doing Z.

    Your question is analogous to asking if someone can actually become president at age 35.

    Technically yes, but would you have the experience to be a viable candidate, would you be perceived as not being experienced enough? Perhaps you should focus on gaining the necessary experience, and moving up when the time is right (not at the earliest possible time).

  10. #10
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    Both. Thanks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    This is my experience growing up in an NYPD family. You can move up that fast if everything aligns. A SGT with 3 or even 5 years is looked at as not knowing the job and someone who just passed the test and not really respected. Looking to rush through the ranks without knowing the job is a recipe for disaster. Know the job and test well, and the promotions will come. Do some good deeds and get a hook/rabbi and that will open doors as well. Also, if you have vet points dont use them on the PO exam. Save it for the SGT or LT exam.

  12. #12
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    This is going back a century or two ago, but I ran into a 23 year old who was the youngest-ever sergeant in the NYPD. The stars aligned; he got into the academy almost exactly when he hit 20 YOA; he took the sergeant's exam within a year or two, and he scored high enough on the test and enough promotions were being made that once he got his three years in, he was promoted. What happened to his career after that would probably be best answered by someone more knowledgeable about this guy. But you have to wonder how much respect he got as a 23 year old sergeant from a 45 year old with 20+ years in a high-speed precinct?
    But is this any worse than someone getting GS/RAC after five years with a federal agency and never having done a case in his career?
    ESFLEA
    Life is what happens while you're planning other things.


 

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