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New Police Supervisor Handbook

You have been tasked with creating a handbook for new police supervisors. The topics listed below will be covered in this handbook.

  • Provide techniques for improving employee morale within the police department.
  • Discuss tips and tricks for supervising new officers as well as more experienced officers.
  • Explain how to report incidents to leadership. (Should there be an open-door policy in place, or should it occur through the use of an anonymous platform?)
  • Include information about the continuing education and leadership training required for new supervisors, including diversity, equity, and inclusion training.

Provide techniques for improving employee morale within the police department.

If you have a team of people working for you, you know that finding the perfect mix of employees is extremely important to the overall success of your company.

Many organizations rely on a mix of professional and non-professional workers because it gives them a wide range on skill sets, but if morale is low within the team and productivity plummets, then there’s no good news in store.

Everyone wants to do their best and be the most productive they can, so it’s important that you take measures to boost morale whenever possible.

Before taking measures, understand what makes a team happy.

According to the Huffington Post, overall employees want to be challenged in a positive way.

In addition, people want to be rewarded for their hard work and feel valued by their superiors and team mates.

If you want to boost morale, make sure your employees feel these key elements and aren’t lacking elsewhere (Gonzalez, 2016).

Change the way your department communicates.

To avoid a loss of productivity, it’s imperative that you encourage your team to do their best work and feel appreciated for it.

Consider changing out the general email routine that’s been in place and helping them communicate through an internal messaging system instead. This will help them better communicate with one another and also provide an overall boost in productivity for the whole team.

Involve your team members. If you want to get the most from your team, make sure they’re invested in the success of the company through more than just monetary rewards.

Whether it means making them feel more included so they will have a sense of ownership or encouraging them to provide feedback and suggestions, empowering your team members is a great way to boost morale.

Discuss tips and tricks for supervising new officers as well as more experienced officers.

It’s tempting for many supervisors in law enforcement to use themselves as a gold standard for evaluating their officers and holding them accountable for choosing the same career path as they did when they were first starting out.

But don’t be that supervisor.

The only person you have the ability to hold accountable is yourself.

Even if all your officers have the same career aspirations and goals as you, your personal history doesn’t make you an ideal exemplar for them to emulate, or even a good role model.

You weren’t always a cop, and won’t always be one.

Most supervisors, when describing their officers to a colleague, will offer a litany of complaints and negative feedback. Be wary of these kinds of conversations.

Remember you’re always being recorded and this kind of talk could be construed as bullying in the workplace or harassment.

You may think you’re just giving your opinion, but it’s always best to speak highly of your officers and give them positive feedback about what they do well (Albrecht, 2021).

Be sure to follow the Golden Rule. This means treating your officers the way you like to be treated in the workplace.

Don’t assume they already know how they’re doing or what they have or have not been doing correctly.

Always set your expectations clearly and never assume that people understand what you expect of them.

Be clear about what you want and when you want it, but also encourage open communication so that misunderstandings can be avoided.

Explain how to report incidents to leadership.

(Should there be an open-door policy in place, or should it occur through the use of an anonymous platform?)

In order to effectively manage a company, leadership needs to be able to provide a space for employees or consumers to report incidents, concerns, or issues they have with the company’s product or operations.

This can ideally occur in person, over the phone, and/or face-to-face during an interview.

However, it is not always feasible for all situations.

In almost all cases managers will want certain types of incidents (e.g. sexual harassment, offensive words or behavior, product defects) to be reported anonymously.

It is also important that any reports of incidents are made in a timely manner.

Company policy

It is important that companies have a formal policy with information on how and when employees should report an incident.

Some companies will have informal policies (e.g. it is important to always report incidents, but not use an anonymous platform).

Other companies will have very detailed policies (e.g. the policy should be written in a certain format, the policies should be available on a certain platform, or there should be an online complaint form in order to report an incident).

For such a policy to work well it needs to clearly state who should be responsible for reporting incidents.

It also needs to clearly state how employees and/or consumers will be able to report a concern about a product or service.

Ultimately a formal complaint process is needed in order to create a record of all incidents, concerns and issues reported.


It is important that leadership has a system in place to receive reports of incidents, concerns, or issues.

This will allow the company to better manage its operations and improve the quality of its products and services.

Having this system in place will also ideally alleviate some concerns employees/consumers may have when it comes to reporting issues, especially if they are concerned about retribution or reprisal.



Gonzalez J. J. & Kemp R. L. (2016). Privatization in practice reports on trends cases and debates in public service by business and nonprofits. McFarland & Company Inc. Retrieved October 14 2022 from

Albrecht J. F. & Den Heyer G. (2021). Enhancing police service delivery : global perspectives and contemporary policy implications. Springer.

International Conference on Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics Harris D. & International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. (2015). Engineering psychology and cognitive ergonomics : 12th international conference epce 2015 held as part of hci international 2015 los angeles ca usa august 2-7 2015 proceedings. Springer.

Last Updated on October 14, 2022

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