Dealing with promotions within your department’s recent article on how to handle the issue of promoting within your department:

By William L. Harvey

Have I been here long enough?

Have you ever heard that line before? The young officer walks in to your office and nearly demands to know. As if you don’t tell them right away, they are going to walk out. This scenario happens more and more today. And no, this is not intended to be a slam on any ‘Generation (insert alphabetic letter)’ but there are several factors as to why this occurs. I will give you reasoning as to why the pressures on today’s officers are making this happen more frequently and how we can prevent this from occurring.

We, as chiefs can direct the positive energy of staff towards what they are meant to be doing such as battling crime and terrorism. However, the demands of today’s materialistic society and self-imposed time restraints all too often make our officers become far to self-stressed over needless issues. Face it, law enforcement, especially today, is far too stressful as it stands. Add to it a lawsuit, marriage, kids, toss in a divorce for good measure and we have a bubbling cauldron of stress. Now, if they are pursuing the gold shield of promotion; which can mean college courses or extra assignments – we have pegged the stress meter.

Time in Grade & Longevity

Most of us have some knowledge of the military. Our military has a time in grade program, which means that after a suitable length of time in service, the soldier is then eligible for promotion. The catch is here: say in the US Army there may be several hundred eligible for a few positions for sergeant for instance this quarter. Your police department does not differ that much; until someone leaves, there is not a slot. The other military program is quantitative management program (QMP) which ensures performance of senior non-commissioned officers. This means that if you have not achieved a certain rank in a prescribed number of years, you are out. Back to police work, a young officer observes a retired on-duty sergeant and gets inquisitive as to why this one can’t be removed and he/she is the replacement. Answer: this is not the military.

Read the rest of the article here.