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  1. #1
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    Sgt test

    Why is it there are Police Officers who have been on for 5,10,15 years and still are not sgts? I understand not everyone can be a sgt, but are there reasons a Officer might not want to become a sgt? Maybe its twice as much stress? What does a sgt do that regular boots don't? Other than wear less gear and make 5$ more a hour on od gigs. Why would you not take the sgt test?

  2. #2
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    Thed move from officer to sergeant can mess with one's head; if they weren't joining the agency, from the outset, to "be the boss", one day.

    I remember a deputy chief telling me once, "there are lots of smarter guys than me out in those patrol cars, I just happened to show up and take the tests!"

    I spent 17 years as a cop, and between years 13 to 15 started looking at who was my supervisor saying to myself, "I know way more than this idiot!" That's when I buckled down.

    But for me, I wanted to be a sergeant solely to do more for those I worked with than for any personal gain. I'm proud to say I helped more than I hurt, and wrote medals for over 40 individual officers. There are some LAPD sergeants who go an entire career and never wrote up anyone for anything positive.
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  3. #3
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    ^^^^^^
    I never really wanted to promote.
    I enjoyed being a line officer.

    But there was an opening & my big boss (4 up on the chain of command) asked me to apply. Seeing what was in the pipeline I decided that I really didn't want to work FOR a couple of them

    I had 21 yrs in when I got promoted to Lieutenant (I skipped Sgt) and put 13 yrs in as an Lt.

    I wish I had stayed a line officer. The pay was nice-----the job had a couple perks -----but the job itself sucked.


    It is not like the military where if you put your time in ---you will get promoted to Sgt. IN MOST DEPARTMENTS----- You have to earn your promotion by studying , knowing more than the others, & most importantly having the trust of the command staff.

    Turnover isn't like in the military either------------so the promotion slots don't come along as fast.
    Last edited by Iowa #1603; 07-10-2011 at 10:27 PM.
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  4. #4
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    I don't really have a desire to be a Sergeant at this point in my career.

    I was a Corporal at my old agency with a job function similar to Sergeant at many other departments. I got a slight increase in pay and stuck in the office a lot more. No thank you. Wasn't really for me at the time, maybe later in my career.

    Luckily my current agency has Master Patrolman positions. A slight boost in authority but significant pay increase. Basically to keep officers around who don't want to be Sergeants but might be lured by more money and "greener" pastures of other departments.

  5. #5
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    Well, there are simply Officers who have no desire to supervise, and for that reason don't test for the higher rank(s). With my Agency, the first promotional exam is for Corporal. Officers in this classification are supervisors and assist the Sergeant's with scheduling and administration. I spent many years as a "slick sleeve" before deciding to test for Corporal, and later for Sergeant. While I cannot state that I never wrote up an Officer for disciplinary reasons, my greatest satisfaction came in seeing the careers of Officers advance as a result of their personal initiative, and what little help I may have been able to provide them.

  6. #6
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    I want to be a SGT and was acting CPL before my 2 year mark (lack of time being the only reason I wasn't full CPL). I don't think I was ready to be a CPL, but knew I wouldn't turn down the promotion if offered, which is one reason I left that dept. I think in a year or two I'll be ready to take on more responsibility, but right now I like what I'm doing and only having to worry about me. I know guys who have 25 years in and are only CPL's or SGT's because they like having a shift but don't want a squad and/ or like still doing street stuff. Me personally, I want to be a chief eventually and want to get their by going up the ranks and not forgetting where I came from.
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  7. #7
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    Well how does one obtain a LT rank instead of a nco rank ( sgt) years served? I don't mean this in a bad way, i respect all officers. But I'm more likely to follow a sgt over a louie. A lot of instances involving rank turn into a peeing match. Who decides what a lt does or a sgt? Who does what?

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    Police officer ranks are not the equivalent to military ranks. There is no such thing as an "NCO". A Sergeant or LT rank can mean very different things at different agencies. At some smaller agencies a Sergeant might be the deputy Chief of Police at others Lieutenant might be the first rank after Patrolman. Agencies are free to set who can be promoted to what and what each position does. Ranks can be skipped depending on the department and is fairly common at smaller-mid sized agencies.
    Last edited by Dingo990; 07-10-2011 at 11:06 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by American1stClss View Post
    Well how does one obtain a LT rank instead of a nco rank ( sgt) years served?
    Do NOT think like military.............it is NOT an NCO rank.

    The rank is Sgt and it is a first line supervisor.

    Some departments allow jumping of ranks some (most) do not.

    Quote Originally Posted by American1stClss View Post
    I don't mean this in a bad way, i respect all officers. But I'm more likely to follow a sgt over a louie. A lot of instances involving rank turn into a peeing match
    Remember-----police work is a PARA-military organization NOT a military organization.

    Quote Originally Posted by American1stClss View Post
    Who decides what a lt does or a sgt? Who does what?
    Whoever writes the policy & drafts the TOE.

    Some departments allow jumping of ranks some (most) do not.
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

  10. #10
    An Obvious problem
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    Totally different structure

    The rank structure for my dept.
    Sheriff
    Undersheriff
    Asst Sheriff
    Division Chief
    Area Commander
    Captain
    Lieutenant
    Sergeant
    Deputy
    (two stripes on my dept is for specialized "Bonus" deputies such as detective, watch deputy, FTO)

    Sergeants are first line supervisors. Lt. is a shift "watch commander". Captain is a unit commander (station, jail, bureau). Commanders asst Chiefs who command divisions. The divisions are 3 patrol regions, custody, custody support, courts, homeland security, detectives, Tech services, and Leadership & Training.

    One asst. sheriff oversees the patrol, homeland security, and detective divisions. The other gets the support, custody, and courts.
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  11. #11
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    Coming up on 23 years on and I've never taken the sergeant's test. I love working patrol. The worst that can happen to me as a deputy is that about every four years or so, you can do a one-year rotation in court security. As a sergeant, you go where they send you, which can be anywhere in the office. I have never had the slightest desire to be a detective, coroner, IA or any other position like that. On top of that, sergeant's assignments are three years minimum, and can go up to five years. Only one-third of our sergeants are even in patrol, and although new sergeants start in patrol, I'd lose my seniority and go to the very last shift on my pick list for God knows how long until they send me to some ****ty assignment that I'd hate.
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  12. #12
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    I was a Sgt at my old agency. The reason is like Ohio said....I saw who else was taking the test and decided I did NOT wanna work for them. I got a set of stripes that I held for 8 years until our agency was merged with my new agency. I now have no stripes. I will tell you that it was the best thing to have happened to me! I've been a supervisor (I now have my CA Supervisory POST too), and responsible not only for myself but everyone on my shift....i really like just being responsible for myself (and my partner), and just being a cop again! It has given me a renewed appreciation for the job, and I will likely never test for sergeant again.

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  13. #13
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    After 20 years as a deputy, 15 working in patrol, I finally felt I was ready to promote to sergeant. I got to do a bunch of "fun stuff", worked all over my department's area and did a little of everything. I felt I'd be a well balanced, well rounded supervisor who knows enough to help those deputies I work with and not just supervise them.

    It certainly wasn't for the pay!
    Carpe Noctem

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMVAMPYRE View Post
    After 20 years as a deputy, 15 working in patrol, I finally felt I was ready to promote to sergeant. I got to do a bunch of "fun stuff", worked all over my department's area and did a little of everything. I felt I'd be a well balanced, well rounded supervisor who knows enough to help those deputies I work with and not just supervise them.

    It certainly wasn't for the pay!
    Being back on this end, I sure can appreciate supervisors like that....and I have some where I am at now. It is a pleasure to come to work each day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfette
    Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by DAL
    You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

  15. #15
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    Because some people should never be promoted.

    There's a guy in my department that will never make sergeant (unless something happens to our chief) and probably never should. He's a corporal (our lowest supervisor) and he's the type that prefaces sentences (on the rare occasions that he is running a shift) with "Since I'm in charge." One time, he and I were talking and he said, "You know, Joe, if the captain, lieutenant and sergeant weren't here today (leaving just me and him), I'd be in charge of the whole city." He also took to referring to himself as "Master" Patrolman, when there was no such rank (the rank is "Patrolman", but there are 3 pay levels within that rank).

    With some people, rank goes to their head. This cat is one of them.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJDave View Post
    I was a Sgt at my old agency. The reason is like Ohio said....I saw who else was taking the test and decided I did NOT wanna work for them. I got a set of stripes that I held for 8 years until our agency was merged with my new agency. I now have no stripes. I will tell you that it was the best thing to have happened to me! I've been a supervisor (I now have my CA Supervisory POST too), and responsible not only for myself but everyone on my shift....i really like just being responsible for myself (and my partner), and just being a cop again! It has given me a renewed appreciation for the job, and I will likely never test for sergeant again.
    and you've been tearing it up too
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  17. #17
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    Because it takes roughly 8 years seniority to qualify for day shift at my agency. If you get 5 or 6 of those served on nights or evenings, then promote, you're at the bottom of the seniority list again, and some of the day shift sgts have been here close to 40 years. Who knows how long until they retire? Plus, Sgt here does nothing on the street, except for a few that do it in spite of the upper brass not wanting them to.

    I've been here 3 years, and I consider it to be decision time. I probably won't promote, because I'm not ready to retire to the station and do paperwork. And in 10 years or so, I won't want to start over on nights.

    Edit: Forgot to add, the pay for Sgt is actually lower, since they almost never get any OT. If you average 3-4 hours OT a week, you're making more than a Sgt.
    Last edited by School Cop; 07-11-2011 at 03:17 PM. Reason: added info
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuthead View Post
    because some people should never be promoted. :d

    one time, he and i were talking and he said, "you know, joe, if the captain, lieutenant and sergeant weren't here today (leaving just me and him), i'd be in charge of the whole city."
    classic!!!
    If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

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  19. #19
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    I want to get promoted. Not so much for the stripes, but the 23% pay increase is what motivates me. Oh, and the pension is so much better too.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdrdep View Post
    and you've been tearing it up too
    ....like a fat kid in a candy store after getting his birthday money....

    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfette
    Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by DAL
    You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJDave View Post
    Being back on this end, I sure can appreciate supervisors like that....and I have some where I am at now. It is a pleasure to come to work each day.
    Except for one assignment, I found it a pleasure to report for work everyday.
    Retired

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJDave View Post
    I was a Sgt at my old agency. The reason is like Ohio said....I saw who else was taking the test and decided I did NOT wanna work for them. .
    Quote Originally Posted by mdrdep View Post
    and you've been tearing it up too
    Quote Originally Posted by FJDave View Post
    ....like a fat kid in a candy store after getting his birthday money....

    If he could just figure out the difference between OHIO and IOWA ---they just might make him a Lieutenant.


    Just saying................................
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

  23. #23
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    Haha....you caught that....sorry!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfette
    Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by DAL
    You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

  24. #24
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    After twenty years as an officer (3 with the PD and 17 with the CHP) I was fortunate enough to get promoted to sergeant. Initially, I wanted the position to increase my retirement. As time went on, I found the challenge to be rewarding. Supervising new trainees; planning with the administration for special events; interacting with allied agencies at a higher level; evaluating and mentoring officers for future career advancement; and, the opportunity to resolve interagency issues without too much interference from the administration.

    I was fortunate enough to have a crew that I enjoyed working with and I hope they were happy working with me. Since many of them followed me with shift changes, I am certain they did. The most satisfying period of my career was the fact that I knew those who worked for me did so because they enjoyed what I had to say and how I handled my troops and their issues - personal and professional.

    Now, back to that higher retirement issue. When I retired I was at top step all the way around. My pay was about $4500.00 a month. My retirement was adequate and the best part was I did not have to work to earn it. However, I have now been retired for 19 years and cadets in the academy are getting paid more than I am. Senior sergeants are now earning nearly 3X what I was making. The point of this is: No matter how many years you work and what percentage you retire at, in twenty years you will be far behind the standards of the time.

    Promote because you want the challenge and enjoy leading. The money is not as important as being someone who leads by example, offers fairness and understanding, applauds and recognizes good service and outstanding accomplishments, provides kudos for professional and honest work; takes the appropriate and fair actions for misconduct and/or errant performance; offers a solution to error and mentors those who are under your charge. If you are willing to do that and more, go for it!

    Thanks to all of those who worked with and for me. We made a great team.
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  25. #25
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    some guys make it to days and dont wanna leave that shift the hours they work are more important then the extra $15,000 a year. As a patrolman you are responsible for yourself only. As a Sgt. if anyone screws up weather you were there or not you could catch the wrath. Ans when they do you have to counsel them retrain them and sometime write them up. Some guys dont want to be in charge of their friends and shouldnt be. Some guys made it to the top of the seniority on their shift and want first pick on Vacation and OT over the increase in base pay. I always say take the test so you have the option. Nothing worse then a guy not taking the test then things change and he kicks himself in the arse! Plus its a limited position. Example you may only have 2 Sgt's on a shift but 20 patrolmen. If everybody took the test only one or two could be promoted. those are low odds.

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