Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting to Know the Department

A Police Sergeant

A Sergeant is the first line supervisor who is responsible for upholding the standards and practices of the Police Department. Sergeants have the daily task of juggling paperwork and field work necessary to guide a team of Police Officers. They do not respond to every call, but may arrive on a scene for a variety of reasons. Sergeants are required to supervise all the time, not just when a call for service deteriorates into a dangerous or complicated situation.

They may arrive on scene to offer assistance, provide direction, or to meet with an officer to discuss other police matters. A Sergeant is constantly evaluating needs-- needs for relief, needs for additional resource and needs for equipment. They may even simply supply a welcome bottle of water for a thirsty officer directing traffic.

Sergeants also respond to calls for service when officers are occupied with other situations. They will respond to back up officers, make traffic stops, and even handle the initial investigation of a call. They prepare performance evaluations for officers and are tasked with equipment tracking and maintenance. And let’s not forget, Sergeants read and approve every police report written by officers.

Do you know how to differentiate a sergeant from an officer? Police uniforms vary according to rank, but most people don’t know how to interpret those differences. Badges and name plates on an officer’s uniform are sliver; on a Sergeant’s uniform they are gold. In addition, the Sergeant uniform has three gold stripes on the sleeves of the shirt.

In Overland Park, a Sergeant is constantly in the field trying to make a tough job a little easier for Officers and to make sure the department provides exceptional service for the citizens we serve.