First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
Directly supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
Sample of reported job titles: Police Captain, Shift Supervisor
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Supervise and coordinate the investigation of criminal cases, offering guidance and expertise to investigators, and ensuring that procedures are conducted in accordance with laws and regulations.
- Explain police operations to subordinates to assist them in performing their job duties.
- Train staff in proper police work procedures.
- Investigate and resolve personnel problems within organization and charges of misconduct against staff.
- Inform personnel of changes in regulations and policies, implications of new or amended laws, and new techniques of police work.
- Maintain logs, prepare reports, and direct the preparation, handling, and maintenance of departmental records.
- Cooperate with court personnel and officials from other law enforcement agencies and testify in court, as necessary.
- Direct collection, preparation, and handling of evidence and personal property of prisoners.
- Monitor and evaluate the job performance of subordinates, and authorize promotions and transfers.
- Review contents of written orders to ensure adherence to legal requirements.
- Conduct raids and order detention of witnesses and suspects for questioning.
- Discipline staff for violation of department rules and regulations.
- Prepare work schedules and assign duties to subordinates.
- Inspect facilities, supplies, vehicles, and equipment to ensure conformance to standards.
- Develop, implement, and revise departmental policies and procedures.
- Meet with civic, educational, and community groups to develop community programs and events, and to discuss law enforcement subjects.
- Prepare news releases and respond to police correspondence.
- Requisition and issue equipment and supplies.
- Direct release or transfer of prisoners.
- Prepare budgets and manage expenditures of department funds.
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- Calendar and scheduling software — Scheduling software
- Data base user interface and query software — Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS; Microsoft Access ; National Crime Information Center NCIC database; Spillman Technologies Records Management (see all 7 examples)
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Computer aided composite drawing software; DesignWare 3D EyeWitness; SmartDraw.com SmartDraw Legal; The CAD Zone The Crime Zone
- Helpdesk or call center software — Computer aided dispatch software
- Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Map creation software — Crime mapping software
- Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect Office Suite; Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Process mapping and design software — Microsoft Visio
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web platform development software — Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
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- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
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- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Direct criminal investigations.
- Train employees in proper work procedures.
- Inform others about laws or regulations.
- Resolve interpersonal conflicts.
- Maintain operational records.
- Write operational reports.
- Direct law enforcement activities.
- Collaborate with law enforcement or security agencies to share information.
- Evaluate employee performance.
- Process forensic or legal evidence in accordance with procedures.
- Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
- Apprehend criminal suspects.
- Detain suspects or witnesses.
- Review documents or materials for compliance with policies or regulations.
- Prepare activity or work schedules.
- Inspect equipment to ensure safety or proper functioning.
- Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with security or safety regulations.
- Collaborate with outside groups to develop programs or projects.
- Prepare investigation or incident reports.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
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- Contact With Others — 89% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 87% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 80% responded “Extremely important.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 83% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 71% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 59% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 56% responded “Very important results.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 57% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 55% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 61% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 46% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 56% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Physical Proximity — 46% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Time Pressure — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 55% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 35% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 32% responded “Extremely important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 39% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 52% responded “More than half the time.”
- Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 33% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 32% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 44% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 35% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 25% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 37% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 31% responded “Less than half the time.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|37||High school diploma or equivalent
|19||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: ESC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$44.70 hourly, $92,970 annual|
|Employment (2020)||125,800 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||9,100|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Academy of Forensic Sciences
- FBI National Academy Associates
- Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
- Fraternal Order of Police
- Hispanic Police Officers Association
- International Association for Identification
- International Association of Chiefs of Police
- International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors
- International Brotherhood of Police Officers
- International Police Association
- National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition
- National Sheriffs’ Association
- National Tactical Officers Association
- Southern States Police Benevolent Association
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