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Career Story: Police Chief Of A Suburban Town

Police Chief Of A Suburban Town

Job Title: Police Chief

Type of Company: I am employed by the police department of a suburban town 20 miles west of Boston.

Education: BS in Criminal Justice, Westfield State College

Previous Experience: I began as a part-time police officer in 1985 and work my way up the chain of command over the course of 23 years.

Job Tasks: I supervise day-to-day operations of the police department, consisting of 23 full-time officers, five civilian dispatchers, and two civilian employees. My duties include maintaining departmental budgets and capital plans, supervising grant management and applications. I interact with Town Department Heads as required, including weekly meetings with Town Manager. I oversee daily departmental operations in general. I review weekly payroll disbursement and accounts payable/receivable. I address and resolve citizen and departmental concerns, disputes and complaints.

As needed, address and resolve current and fluid departmental issues. I am responsible for developing a proactive police force and supervise ongoing community policing efforts. I work directly with District Attorney's Office and Probation Department regarding court related police issues. I also need to apply and enforce progressive discipline procedures when necessary. I provide for all significant changes in departmental rules, regulations, policies and procedures. I investigate Internal Affairs cases and/or any other citizen complaints, alleged misconduct and /or criminal allegations deemed appropriate.

I am responsible for correcting any non-compliance with departmental standards of uniform or equipment. I am responsible for the conduct of role calls, dissemination of information and/or materials. I ensure the proper use of radio procedures by all members and the efficient operation and maintenance of the Department communications system. I evaluate the adequacy of the communications equipment to meet the Department's needs and I'm responsible for ensuring the prompt and effective service of all summonses, subpoenas, warrants and other official documents.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with the public and serving the residents of our community. I strive to promote an atmosphere of partnership with the community, working together toward the common goal of protecting life and property.

The worst part of the job is managing union disputes and dealing with personnel issues that result in corrective actions against an employee.

Job Tips:
1. Get a BS or higher in Criminal justice. Police work is very competitive now.

2. Treat everyone you come across on the job with dignity and respect, no matter their station in life.

3. Get a hobby or a life outside of the job, so you don't take it home with you.

Additional Thoughts: I would have pursued a post grad degree earlier in my career, because it definitely provides an edge for hiring and promotion. The most important qualities for my job are honesty and integrity. Without these, a police officer has nothing, because he cannot be trusted.

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