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As recruiting efforts bring a growing number of new officers onto the local police force, the Roswell Police Department has recently restructured its rank hierarchy to allow sergeants to focus more on “coaching” and mentoring officers patrolling the community.
The title of commander – those who oversaw a particular division within the department – has been put aside and two new ranks created. RPD now has two captains, with one overseeing Uniformed Services (Patrol, Support Services and Animal Services) and the other supervising Investigative Services (Criminal Investigations, Special Investigations and Technical Services). Under the captains, four lieutenants serve as the direct supervisors in the Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Special Investigations and Technical Services divisions.
The previous structure under the police chief and deputy chief most recently featured four commanders, with various sergeants directly under them in the rank system. The six new captains and lieutenants will handle much of the administrative duties that sergeants had to deal with or share with commanders in the past.
That change frees up the sergeants to spend the bulk of their time in the field with newer officers, which will promote more effective and more frequent real-life training opportunities and quicker learning for the officers on the streets. Ultimately, the refining of the rank structure puts sergeants in their proper role of field supervisors as RPD continues to work to increase its roster of patrol officers.
“We at the Roswell Police Department have enjoyed outstanding support from our city management, mayor and council in our public safety efforts,” says Police Chief Phil Smith. “This much-planned-for and anticipated change in rank structure and job tasks will assuredly be beneficial in our young officer development, as well as our mission of providing the best police service delivery possible to the Roswell community.”
With the continued success of RPD’s recruiting efforts – which are focusing to a greater degree than in the past on local and regional potential officer applicants – the development of new officers working in the community will be accelerated and their job performance enhanced through the ability of their sergeants to have greater day-to-day contact with them in the field. As sergeants are now able to spend much more time directly observing officers performing their duties, the community will benefit from new officers progressing at a greater rate in their on-the-job education and development that follows their weeks of initial in-house department training and months of instruction and testing at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy.
The goal of the RPD restructuring is a positive impact on the policing services provided to the community.