Police sergeants are responsible for enforcing state, federal, and local law. They are in charge of supervising, training, and motivating the officers under their command. As with any job in law enforcement, a police sergeant's day-to-day tasks vary. Generally, though, police sergeants ensure that those under their command perform policing duties as assigned and oversee the scheduling of subordinates to ensure the department is fully staffed. They also complete necessary paperwork for their department, as well as review and approve subordinates' reports. These professionals must take orders from superior officers and ensure those officers' decisions are enacted by lower-level officers. They also handle training for staff and oversee disciplinary measures as needed.
The police sergeant typically works mostly indoors (as their role is more supervisory), but most work in the field as needed to provide support. Their hours are atypical, since police departments are on duty 24 hours a day. A police sergeant may work anything from overnight shifts to standard hours to irregular workweeks.
Most police departments require at minimum a high school diploma or equivalent for police officer positions, although a postsecondary degree may be required as well. An exemplary history as a police officer is generally required for police sergeant positions. Police sergeants must also have a clean criminal record, as well as an extensive knowledge of police procedure and all applicable laws.
Police Sergeant Tasks
Back up and support emergency and public safety situations.
Conduct roll call, equipment inventories, report reviews and staff evaluations.
Investigate and communicate about patrol activities, crimes and safety.
Assign tasks and oversee day-to-day operations to support the lieutenant.
Oversee volunteers and interact with the public.