Supervisors Of Police And Detectives picture    Supervisors Of Police And Detectives image

Police Supervisors

Police supervisors direct and coordinate the activities of police personnel. They ensure police personnel properly and efficiently perform their duties in accordance with procedures, orders and laws. Police supervisors also assign duties and designate posts to station personnel. In addition, those in police supervisory positions need to be able to understand various types of law enforcement procedures and terminology.

Police supervisors employed in large cities typically specialize in departmental assignments and specific duties. Some of the common job titles are patrol police lieutenant, traffic lieutenant, desk officer, investigative division commanding officer, identification and communication supervisor, precinct police captain and precinct police sergeant.


  • Create schedules and delegate work
  • Explain police operations to personnel
  • Notify subordinates of changes in policies and regulations
  • Inform police personnel of implications of new and amended laws
  • Discuss new techniques of police work with staff members
  • Maintain logs in order to account for unit daily and monthly activities
  • Investigate charges of neglect of duty or inefficiency against personnel and take disciplinary action if needed
  • Ensure appropriate preparation and transmittal of reports

Job Characteristics

Police supervisors are directed by a higher ranked commanding officer. They typically work in offices inside police stations. A police supervisor usually works 8 hours a day, 40 hours per week. Since 24-hour police protection for a community is required, police supervisors have shift work and work on weekends and holidays. Overtime is also required during emergencies. Some police supervisors belong to professional organizations and employee organizations.

Those in police supervisory positions should be able to follow instructions and effectively present information. They should be skilled at directing and planning an entire activity and the activities of personnel. They need to be good at dealing with people beyond giving and receiving instructions. Good analytical skills are important for the position. Effectively communicating both orally and in writing is important for the job.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the employment of police officers and detectives will grow 11% between 2006 and 2016 which is about as fast as average for all occupations. The growth of police supervisor positions is correlated to the growth of police officer employment.

Salaries of police supervisors may vary according to rank, years of experience, the employer, community size and location. The median annual earnings in 2008 for first-line supervisors/managers of police and detectives was $75,490.

Police supervisors are typically promoted from the position of police officer and typically need substantial experience and seniority. Advancing to the position of sergeant and lieutenant typically is decided according to the employee's position on a civil service list which is decided by on-the-job performance and written exam scores. In large communities, moving up to the position of Captain is possible.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Police departments typically require a high school diploma and some require an associate or bachelor's degree or at least some college courses for a police supervisor position. Some police departments also have minimum physical requirements. Some states require a license for the occupation.

Classes in law enforcement are helpful for the job. Beneficial courses include criminology, crime prevention, sociology, juvenile delinquency, social work, criminal justice and public relations.


Major Employers

Local governments are the largest employers for the occupation.

Schools for Supervisors Of Police And Detectives are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Supervisors Of Police and Detectives

To find out more about building a career as Police Supervisors, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Supervisors Of Police and Detectives

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Government 90,600 97% $75,740
Education 1,970 2% $63,390
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
  • Criminal Justice (11-Month Diploma Program)
  • Dedicated to providing career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
camnpus icon
San Marcos
Visit School Site
  • Bachelors in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • Master - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • Develop and apply basic statistical skills and quantitative reasoning for critical evaluation of quantitative information.
  • Understand the roles, functions, and impacts of an effective criminal justice system.
  • Examine ethical standards and issues in criminal justice processes and in professional decision making including the ever-present tension between crime control and appropriate civil liberties.
  • Survey a range of theoretical approached that explain crime and apply theoretical reasoning and concepts to observations of crime and control.
  • Analyze, from a restorative justice perspective, the needs of victims and offenders and the involved community as an alternative to satisfying abstract legal principals or punishing the offender.
  • Appreciate the investigative profession as a scientific field; sample and apply physical science methods to solve forensic problems.
  • Master of Law: International Legal Studies
  • Master of Science: Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science: Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
  • Criminal Justice
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
camnpus icon
Request Info
  • Criminal Justice - Bachelor
  • Law Enforcement Academy (Police) - Bachelor
  • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
  • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
  • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
  • Michigan's largest independent college.
  • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
  • Programs are continuously updated to ensure classes are career-relevant and in sync with what's needed in the industry
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
  • Criminal Justice Certificate
  • Applied Criminology (Master of Arts) - Online
  • Behavioral Crime Analysis (Certificate) - Online
  • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
  • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
  • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
  • CAL U online programs complete an annual assessment of student learning to ensure outcomes are focused on your success in career entry, advancement or enhancement!
  • Criminal Justice (BS) (Online)
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
  • MBA Economic Crime and Fraud Management

What They’re Known For

Founded in 1946 and located in the heart of central New York, Utica College is a regionally accredited, independent, private institution that features many of the advantages of a large university — such as undergraduate and graduate degree options, excellent academics, and outstanding faculty — with the intimacy and high degree of personal attention more closely associated with smaller private institutions.

CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Supervisors Of Police and Detectives.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

Back to Top