A police lieutenant is a law enforcement officer who typically has a number of supervisory responsibilities within a department. Generally, the lieutenant serves as a shift supervisor and handles scheduling responsibilities for shifts that conform with precinct regulations. These lieutenants oversee proper procedures for booking and holding of arrested persons and are also expected to assure and assist with progress in ongoing investigations. They must be available to assist officers in the station and in the field when situations warrant escalation to a superior.
As a shift supervisor, a police lieutenant typically assists other shifts in department directives regarding information to be distributed to police officers. He/she will also conduct daily staff briefings to convey necessary data and ensure proper conditions and handling procedures for bookings, holding cells, and similar processing rooms in the station.
Police lieutenants will also maintain and regularly examine relevant statistics for his/her precinct. These may include closed investigations, processing times, evidence intake, and any complaints lodged against the precinct. The lieutenant must recognize chances for improvement and oversee development of officers under his/her supervision. Finally, lieutenants must be available to intercede as necessary; there are numerous situations in which an officer under his/her supervision may be required to escalate the level of response. The lieutenant is expected to bring his/her expertise and training to assess the situation and resolve it efficiently.
To work as a police lieutenant, a person typically must be an existing police officer with extensive practical experience. Many departments will require the candidate to have at least an Associate's degree in Criminology or a related law enforcement discipline. Lieutenants typically work regular shifts during the week, but these may be days, evenings, or nights. Lieutenants typically spend time in an office environment, but also will work in the field to assist officers as necessary.
Police Lieutenant Tasks
Manage, motivate, train, evaluate and discipline team; schedule and prioritize weapons, firearms and other training activities.
Supervise and participate in the daily care and maintenance of station, supplies, equipment and grounds.
Direct all aspects of division during emergency, disaster and other crisis events.
Assist in forecasting and administering budget processes.
Attend and contribute to department meetings, and aid in the development and implementation of department goals and objectives.