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RPD announces rank restructuring effort

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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, RPD officials announced earlier this week.

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 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 involved four commanders with various sergeants directly under them in the rank system. The 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, to promote more effective and frequent real-life training opportunities — and quicker learning for the officers on the streets.

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Ultimately, refining the rank structure puts sergeants in their proper role of field supervisors as RPD continues to work to increase its roster of patrol officers, RPD officials said.

“We at the Roswell Police Department have enjoyed outstanding support from our city management, mayor and council in our public safety efforts,” said 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 continued successful recruiting efforts — focusing to a greater degree than in the past on local and regional officer applicants — the development of new officers working in the community will be accelerated, RPD officials said, and their job performance enhanced through the ability of sergeants to have greater day-to-day contact with them in the field.

It’s anticipated that the community will benefit from new officers progressing at a greater rate in their on-the-job education and development.

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