A police officer can become a sergeant after gaining experience and excelling as an officer. Police sergeants are in charge of overseeing the work of those assigned to them. According to the Salary.com, the median salary for a police sergeant is about $63,800 per year as of 2010. About half of all sergeants earn between $56,000 and $71,000 per year.
A police sergeant is required to serve as a leader of police staff members, meaning that he may oversee anybody from detectives to secretaries. The sergeant is responsible for calling roll at the beginning of a shift. As he does this, he also will inspect the appearance of officers and brief the officers on progress made on special tasks or assignments while they were off duty. The police sergeant also is responsible for conducting training sessions. The sergeant may provide the training himself or he may request another officer to do so.
A police sergeant serves as a witness in a court of law in criminal cases. The sergeant will often work with the prosecuting attorney to discuss his testimony. Even if the sergeant was not the officer who made the arrest, the sergeant often is called on to represent the police department as a whole.
Conducts Internal Investigations
If there is an officer who serves under the sergeant who is accused of alleged misconduct, the sergeant is responsible for investigating the allegations. His means of investigating might include meeting with an alleged victim, speaking directly with the officer who has been accused and speaking--in confidence--with other officers in the department who might be able to share pertinent information to the investigation. The police sergeant is also responsible for leading investigations if one of his officers has fired a weapon. If an officer shoots somebody, the sergeant often places the officer on paid leave while he investigates to make sure the shooting was warranted.
The police sergeant is responsible for overseeing efforts in which he and other officers warn citizens of a potential danger. For example, if there has been a rash of car burglaries in an area, a sergeant and his officers might knock on doors in an area and remind residents to close their garages, lock their car doors and make sure they do not store valuable items in their cars.
Oversees Crime Scenes
The police sergeant often is the highest-ranking officer at crime scenes. In these cases, it is his responsibility to see that the crime scene is secured. He also will be responsible for conducting initial and follow-up investigations, making arrests, obtaining statements from witnesses and apprehending suspects. The sergeant often uses officers in his force to assist with many of these duties.
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