FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer
Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.
You're kidding yourself if you think that you will ever have a fully trained and motivated command. You are a trainer, a coach, and if you care about the future, a mentor. In reality, each has its own role, specific purpose, and desired outcome.
In every call for service, you should think things through before you begin your response. Each call can be broken down into three phases: pre-response, response, and post-response.
Most facets of supervising can be placed in one of two categories: action or admin. The action parts are what supervisors usually enjoy doing the most. The admin side is a different story.
You get a call about a missing elderly white male who left his residence somewhere between 21:00 and 04:00 while his caregiver was sleeping. The gentleman is 74 years old and expected to be walking in dress clothes. He has a habit of wandering off.
Support for your idea starts when you get decision-makers on your side by being brief and to the point.
It's 13:30 on a Tuesday and dispatch advises you that someone called the local middle school saying he planted a bomb and it is set to go off at 14:30, just as school lets out. The school is waiting for law enforcement's response.
A person with a bad attitude can be disruptive to the workplace, it's not something you want in your unit but before you face the issue head on, make sure you've documented their bad tendencies.
The role of a law enforcement supervisor is to lead, motivate, and help accomplish the agency's mission. Nowhere in that role does it state you have to be everyone's friend.
The officer told his ex-girlfriend that if she didn't get back together with him, he would call the agency himself and create a situation where they would have to kill him.
You often hear the word "leadership" used, but it has become so cliché that the real meaning has been all but lost. Many have pushed away the management side of the house and have ignored the fact that being an effective manager is a big part of a leader's job.
The victim advises she has been held captive along with her roommate (who is still at the residence) for a week. She tells you she was let out only to buy groceries. She is terrified. You have about 20 minutes before the suspect starts wondering where she is.
The success or failure of any law enforcement agency revolves around the quality of its paperwork. As a supervisor you must set high standards early on to ensure success. Everything you approve will have your name on it, and thus your subordinates' reports become yours.
As you approach the vehicle you notice that her window is rolled up and she has a sign pressed up on her window that says, "I am NOT talking to you, NO you can't search my vehicle, and I want my attorney." She also has her driver's license pressed onto the glass so you can see it.
Stress is a part of the job. But there are actions you can take to mitigate its effects that don't include the usual advice from doctors and fitness magazines.
You're asked to help arrest a known felon with an active warrant for burglary. Since the suspect is a known runner you have to consider how to limit his mobility, among other things, as you begin your planning.
The one recurring issue we have as supervisors is dealing with problem employees. It's never easy but you can simplify it by remembering that most issues stem from either ignorance or noncompliance.
Many supervisors assume that performance appraisals are only about the subordinate being evaluated, but an evaluation almost always ends up being more about the supervisor. Let me explain why with an example.
A call comes in about an alarm going off at a very popular pawn shop just a little past midnight. You've handled a large number of false alarms at this location, but this time it could be a real burglary.
As you approach the store's entrance, you realize the clerk is being robbed at gunpoint. As far as you can tell, no one else is in the store. You also note that there are two people getting gas at the pumps and there are no other people around.
Supervisors must be specific when they communicate, or expect to pay the price for not doing so. Specificity is important for three main reasons: to ensure the success of the task, to eliminate any questionable officer issues, and in case disciplinary actions become required.