Police Sergeant

City of Takoma Park, MD Class Specification

CLASS TITLE: Police Sergeant
REPORTS TO: Lieutenant
DATE: 10/2008
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Under general supervision, supervises the day-to-day activities and staff of assigned area within the Police Department.


Customer Service

Handles customer questions and complaints, communicates with customers, handles service problems politely and efficiently, always available for customers, follows procedure to solve customer problems, understands all City services, maintains pleasant and professional image. Anticipates, monitors and meets the needs of internal and external customers and responds to them in an appropriate manner. Continually seeks to provide the highest quality service to all customers. Listens carefully when dealing with the public and communicates concern through tone of voice and by taking action to solve their problems in a timely manner. Complies with the City’s Customer Service Policy, including 24-hour response time for telephone calls and e-mails. Explains departmental and City issues to the public in a manner that demonstrates interest and concern for their problems. Listens well, diffuses conflict before it starts, finds causes of and solutions to problems, handles difficult people.


Communicates well both verbally and in writing when required, creates accurate and punctual reports, delivers presentations, shares information and ideas with others, has good listening skills. Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts. Demonstrates effective use of listening skills and displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts. Keeps key employees informed regarding relevant information. Shares information with other members of the team to foster teamwork and to further attainment of the City’s goals. Written and oral information is presented in a manner that projects a positive and professional image of the City.

Reports problems, concerns, issues that should be corrected. Readily shares information and ensures that team members are kept informed and up-to-date. Establishes team and individual accountability for goals, objectives and outcomes. Intervenes as necessary to identify and resolve conflict among team members. Makes conscious and deliberate efforts to build team spirit and identity.

Job Knowledge

Understands duties and responsibilities, has necessary technical skills, understands the City’s mission/values, keeps job knowledge current. Demonstrates the appropriate level of proficiency in the principles and practices of one’s field or profession. Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, including the understanding and application of technology where appropriate. Operates within the organization's formal and informal structures, builds allies and relationships across departments, uses allies to build consensus and create results, is appropriately diplomatic, understands others' roles and perspectives, can sell projects and ideas across the organization. Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, adjusts plans to meet changing needs. Prioritizes well and reacts to opportunities. Is attentive to detail and accuracy, is committed to excellence, looks for improvements continuously, monitors quality levels, finds root cause of quality problems, owns/acts on quality problems.



Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, adjusts plans to meet changing needs.

Budget/Cost Control

Plans for and uses resources efficiently, always looks for ways to reduce costs, creates accurate and realistic budgets and budget projections, tracks and adjusts budgets, contributes to budget planning. Prepares and submits budget within specified time constraints. Anticipates depart mental operating and capital needs and budgets adequately for needed expenditures. Reports departmental expenditures within specified time constraints. Bills are submitted for payment on time. Completes and files all applicable reports related to grants, agenda items, etc. within specified deadlines. Anticipates long-term budgeting needs in manner that allows the City to anticipate and plan for  sources of revenues for extraordinary future expenses. Controls expenditures to deliver department's services within agreed upon budget. Follows established procurement procedures in obtaining goods and services.

Decision Making/Judgment

Recognizes problems and responds, systematically gathers information, sorts through complex issues, seeks input from others, addresses root cause of issues, makes timely decisions, can make difficult decisions, uses consensus when possible, communicates decisions to others. Knows when to notify and/or involve the department head or the City Manager prior to making a decision.


Leads through change and adversity, makes the tough call when needed, builds consensus when appropriate, motivates and encourages others. Addresses projects, issues, and situations using innovative solutions that consider dollar and human resources as well as service goals. Asks clarifying questions, actively listens, stays open to other viewpoints, manages distractions and interruptions. Manages a fair workload, volunteers for additional work, prioritizes tasks, develops good work procedures, manages time well. Sets challenging and productive goals for team, keeps team accountable for actions, provides leadership, and motivation, uses checkpoints and data to track progress, sets up systems and processes to measure results.

Managing Performance

Applies clear/consistent performance standards, handles performance problems decisively and objectively, is direct but tactful, provides guidance and assistance to improve performance. Allocates work with adequate number of personnel so that project deadlines are never missed due to manpower allocation. Fully understands provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreement and ensures compliance with it. Consistently applies policies and procedures in an equitable manner with no valid complaints from subordinates. Trains and instructs employees in proper City techniques and procedures, including those designed to provide a safe working environment. Communicates job expectations and monitors employee progress such that there is sufficient documentation to justify performance appraisals, distinguished increases and/or disciplinary actions. Identifies and takes action to improve employee performance. Completes performance reviews within time-frame prescribed by City policy. Provides feedback and coaching, rewards hard work and risk taking, takes mentoring role, challenges and develops employees, accepts mistakes, provides visibility/opportunity. Defines roles and responsibilities, motivates and challenges employees, delegates effectively, and rewards contributions.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS (All responsibilities may not be performed by all incumbents.)

Carries out supervisory responsibility in accordance with policies, procedures and applicable laws including: training in job skills; planning, assigning and directing work; appraising performance; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Provides immediate supervision of civilian personnel including Dispatchers and Crossing Guards in the absence of specific unit supervisors.

Serves as law enforcement officer performing duties including: protection of life and property, aiding the injured and providing a safe environment for citizens and other persons, responding to calls for service, making arrests, providing first aid, issuing traffic citations and other generalized law enforcement duties.

Conducts roll call; reviews all memorandums, teletypes, new general orders and special orders.

Investigates complaints both internal and external regarding police officers.

Reviews work of subordinate officers.

Reviews reports and paperwork of subordinate officers, returns for corrections.

Assures that all duties are performed and calls are properly handled.

Assists patrol officers with investigations and interrogations.

Testifies in court as required.

Confers with upper management to keep them informed on key issues and progress toward objectives and to gain their support and approval; makes recommendations to assist management in making needed improvements.

Plans, allocates, and monitors time, people, equipment, and other resources to ensure efficient organization and completion of work.

Processes crime scene, collects evidence, packaging same, lifts fingerprints as required.

Completes complex criminal investigations including: homicides, rapes, sex offenses, and child abuse cases.

Conducts interrogations of defendants; obtains oral, written or video confessions if possible to support investigations.

Responds, protects and processes complex crime scenes utilizing various tools, photographic equipment, evidence collection methods, powders and chemicals.

Detects and arrests individuals involved in criminal activity through investigative process; develops leads in cases or follows leads to identify suspects.

Provides in-service training for departmental staff; assures that department complies with accreditation requirements.

Attends all required training and re-training.


Develops and maintains contacts in other law enforcement agencies for assistance with information, cases, and leads.

Represents the organization at various functions such as meetings, programs or other official events.

Attends meetings of groups and individuals for purpose of obtaining information, discussing problems, and obtaining feedback.

Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Computer
  • Evidence Processing Equipment
  • Camera
  • Weapons
  • Vehicle
  • General Office Equipment
  • Radio


Education and Experience

High School diploma or GED; and,

Three to seven years of progressively responsible related experience; or,

Any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Licenses and Certifications

Valid State Driver's License.

Firearms Qualification.

Basic First Aid.

State Certified Police Officer.


Knowledge of:

Principles, practices, and concepts of modern police administration.

Principles and practices of conducting criminal investigations.

Principles and practices of evidence handling and chain of custody.

Judicial system, operation and procedures for criminal prosecution.

Laws pertaining to citizen disputes and domestic violence.

Laws pertaining to the issuance of valid arrest or search warrants.

Legal limitations of police officer's authority and the limits and requirements in use of force.

Applicable state, federal and local ordinances, laws, rules and regulations.

Recordkeeping, report preparation, filing methods and records management techniques.

Methods and techniques of research, statistical analysis and report presentation.

First Aid procedures and equipment.

Suspect/victim/witness interview and interrogation concepts, principles and practices.

Departmental policies and standard operating procedures.

Public relations techniques for handling calls for service or complaints.

Crime scene processing procedures and the security and protection of a crime scene.

Basic crime prevention techniques.

Defensive tactics to protect self and others.

Defensive driving techniques.

Proper arrest and suspect apprehension techniques.

Crime patterns, potential problem areas, and prior offenders within patrol area.

All computer applications and hardware related to performance of the essential functions of the job.

Skill in:

Interviewing and interrogating witnesses, suspects, and others.

Using tact, discretion, initiative and independent judgment within established guidelines.

Organizing work, setting priorities, meeting critical deadlines, and following up on assignments with a minimum of direction.

Applying logical thinking to solve problems or accomplish tasks; to understand, interpret and communicate complicated policies, procedures and protocols.

Communicating clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing.

Planning, organizing, assigning, directing, reviewing and evaluating the work of staff.

Selecting and motivating staff and providing for their training and professional development.

Preparing clear and concise reports, correspondence and other written materials.

Mental and Physical Abilities

Ability to communicate with a wide range of individuals and groups.

Ability to quickly and accurately assess changing situations and make appropriate decisions based upon available information.

Ability to prioritize, delegate and make decisions.

Ability to read, analyze and interpret professional periodicals and journals, technical procedures and government regulations.

Ability to speak effectively before groups of employees.

Ability to speak effectively before public groups and respond to questions.

Ability to write reports, correspondence, procedure manuals.

Ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers, common fractions and decimals.

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.

Ability to mediate disputes between diverse groups of people.

Ability to be articulate while testifying in court or other legal proceedings.

Ability to rapidly and accurately recall names, faces, and details of incidents.

Ability to deal courteously and firmly with the general public in emergency and non-emergency situations.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of people.

Ability to maintain peace and order during potentially violent or disruptive situations.

Ability to respond calmly during emergencies.

Ability to analyze police problems and to adopt quick, effective, and reasonable courses of action with due regard to surrounding hazards and circumstances.

Ability to use physical strength of arms and legs to climb up and over or to jump over, across, ascend, or descend large obstacles.

Ability to pursue suspects on foot for a sustained period while bearing duty equipment.

Ability to subdue suspects in a physical confrontation bearing duty equipment.

Ability to push or pull self through openings of varying nature by using the necessary upper or lower body strength of the arms or legs.

Ability to drag, push, pull, lift, or carry heavy objects or persons to push vehicles from roadway, move heavy equipment, rescue individuals, restrain suspects or victims, and drag persons away from dangerous situations or respond to incidents.

Ability to run up or down stairways or respond to other incidents.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is frequently required to sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl, speak and hear, and lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is occasionally required to lift and/or move more than 100 pounds.

Working Conditions

While performing the essential functions of this position the employee is frequently exposed to outdoor weather conditions.

While performing the essential functions of this position the employee is occasionally exposed to risk of electrical shock, work in high precarious places, toxic or caustic chemicals, and work with explosives.

Exposure to unknown and dangerous conditions such as intoxicated or violent arrestees and life threatening situation such as armed and/or violent arrestees.

Occasional exposure of work time to hazardous situations which involve armed or physically violent persons, or interviewing mentally or emotionally disturbed persons.

Occasional exposure of work time to communicable and infectious diseases.

Working time may require irregular hours and shift times.

The incumbent's working conditions are typically moderately quiet.

At emergency scene, the incumbent's working conditions may be moderately loud.

file: Police Sergeant

This class specification should not be interpreted as all inclusive. It is intended to identify the essential functions and requirements of this job. Incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification. Any essential function or requirement of this class will be evaluated as necessary should an incumbent/applicant be unable to perform the function or requirement due to a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Reasonable accommodation for the specific disability will be made for the incumbent/applicant when possible.