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How Do We Select the First-Level Supervisor of the Future?

NCJ Number
N K Newman
Date Published
92 pages
This paper discusses the selection and training of first-line supervisors in law enforcement agencies.
Research efforts were concentrated in two areas. A search of current literature covering the fields of business, management, and law enforcement was conducted with an emphasis on any changes forecast for the future that would affect the duties, responsibilities, or manner in which a first level supervisor performed. The second part involved having a panel of 'experts' forecast the supervisory competencies required of a supervisor of the future. Two views were represented on the survey panel: one from a cross-section of upper management representing private industry, academia, public administration, and law enforcement; the other was top performing first-level law enforcement supervisors. Results of this research indicated that knowledge, skills, and aptitudes necessary for a supervisor of the future have not changed from those required today except for the requirement of computer skills. Also, there is an increasing trend in private industry to use assessment centers to identify superior candidates for supervisory positions prior to promotion. Recommendations include development of supervisors' academies consisting of required supervisory training courses, and that successful completion of this academy prior to promotion be made the final step in the selection process. Footnotes and bibliography. (Author abstract modified)