Joseph T. Geller

Supervisory Practice

1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

Police Supervisors are critical to a department's efforts to insure all persons are treated equally, fairly and professionally. We have made great strides to ensure our supervisors have the necessary tools to provide the best services possible to our citizens.

Supervisors are the people who have the most direct contact with both our patrol officers and the citizens we serve. They are the people who must ensure our officers are capable of performing to a high level of service while treating people both with respect and dignity. Respect for others is a basic premise, which runs through the department. During our training session on ethics and integrity officers are taught the "Golden Rule" which is, "do unto others that which you would want done to yourself."

In order to ensure that our supervisors know what is expected of them, we have embarked on a long-range program for these officers. This program involves many areas of supervisory responsibility. The departmentís goal is to improve supervisory practices to a level that assures our officers consistently provide the best service possible.

This program began approximately four years ago and is considered by all to be a work in progress. It covers various aspects of work. Our supervisors are expected to be knowledgeable of work problems, requirements and practices. To keep abreast of these issues, we have provided various types of in-service training sessions that are specialized towards supervisors (i.e., recognizing stress, internal investigations and early intervention programs, etc.).

We are constantly sending our supervisors to outside training as often as possible. Most of our supervisors have attended Babson College's Command Training School. Others have attended the FBI National Academy, the Police Leadership Program at the University of Lowell, as well as various training seminars covering many topics. We have pushed decision making down the chain of command to the lowest supervisory level possible. In order to do this effectively we have held officers accountable. Accountability is insured through follow-up, feedback and consistent report review.

Our supervisors attend various community functions and activities that occur in many parts of Brookline. Our supervisors attend block parties, community meetings and neighborhood watches as well as oversee our department's "park and walk" efforts which encourage officers to meet with, speak with and assist people who work or reside on their beats.

Future efforts in the critical area of supervisor responsibility include additional off site training, which is being funded by a COPS grant from the Department of Justice. The thrust of this training will be to influence the culture of our organization so that we can continue to improve while moving towards a more complete community policing strategy.

In summary, the above mentioned programs are a snapshot in time of our attempt to level the playing field for all our citizens. We hope some of these ideas can be of use to other members of your conference. We anticipate learning far more than we are contributing here today.

For more information, please contact:

Lt. Robert G. Simmons
Brookline Police Department
350 Washington St.
Brookline, MA 02146
Telephone: (617) 730-2253

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