Police administrators are police officers whose role is to manage and supervise police agencies. A police administrator is also responsible for the ethical leadership of a police agency. Many police officers consider policing to be a profession, with a specific, recognized body of knowledge, common principles and goals, and ethical codes and standards for conduct. Police organizations require strong leaders who can demonstrate communication and problem-solving skills, and police administrators fulfill this role.
Police Administration Roles
Police administrators are responsible for hiring other police officers, captains and sergeants. As a police administrator, you have a strong leadership role within your police agency with the ability to oversee and organize the agency. Being a role model and authority figure within your organization and for the community is an integral part of the job. Police administrators must also communicate decisions to their reporting officers and account for the actions of their subordinates. Police administrators have a large amount of control and responsibility, and the role requires many years' experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 the salary of a police chief ranged from $90,570 to $113,930 while the deputy chief earned $74,834 to $96,209 a year.
Common titles within this job include chief of police, chief probation officer or security operations director. A police administrator acting in the role of a police chief assesses officers to determine the overall performances of their particular roles. Police chiefs are responsible for administrative roles such as developing budgets. They also develop relationships with people in the community in order to cut crime. Police chiefs work with other agencies in law enforcement to apprehend criminals suspected of committing crimes in other states.
Police in the Community
Police administrators fulfill a vital role within their local community. As a police administrator, you are expected to serve and protect the community. This means setting a good example for the community in this policing leadership role. This necessitates exemplary behavior and an unblemished record as a police officer. Another police administrator role is to ensure the safety of citizens in the community at large. Conducting line operations – activities to serve the public – is an important part of police administration.
A police administrator requires a bachelor’s and master’s degree in law enforcement administration. A suggested undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration; a suggested master’s degree is a Master of Science in Police Administration. Most positions in police administration require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in police administration or criminal justice, as well as experience working in law enforcement, although a master's degree in police administration may also suffice. Successful police administrators have a sound understanding of law enforcement practices and are familiar with local, federal and state laws.
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