It was a grand day for a group of Tampa Police Department cops on Thursday, September 12, 2013. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn presented almost two dozen of the city's police officers to higher plateaus with respect to rank and inherent responsibility.
The cadre of men and women were presented with new badges and collar insignia --and in some cases, chevrons-- to classify each police member's promotion in rank. Among the Tampa police promotions were appointments for one major, one captain, two lieutenants, seven sergeants, and 11 corporals.
In each police officer's new role, supervisory duties will be a main ingredient. Once subordinates, all of the promoted police officers will wear an additional hat, that of a team leader. For those assigned to street squads --corporals and sergeants-- leading front-line officers during day-to-day duties will be the foremost responsibility. Akin, those leaders in special teams will focus on the unit's concentrations, whether it be traffic enforcement, community policing, school resource applications, and any other myriad fortes.
Endemically, the police officers promoted to major, captain and lieutenant will have direct responsibility to administrative duties related to the front-line supervisory officers (sergeants and corporals).
Chain-of-command and its quotidian aspects, similar to military rank structure, has purposes founded in checks-and-balances. In the paramilitary principles endemic among law enforcement officials, corporals report to sergeants, sergeants report to lieutenants, lieutenants report to captains, and so forth...far up at the pinnacle of the chain, the chief of police. In a sheriff's department, the top law officer is the sheriff, below him/her are deputy sheriffs.
With such a design, accountability if a staple feature. Pendulum effects are commonplace; whether good or not-so-good incidents occur, someone is answerable to someone in higher rank, affording communication up and down the chain of linked officers.
A few of the promoted officers bring to the table specialty experience, education, or a combination of both dynamics. For example, Major Michael Baumaister avails an 18-year accumulation of experience in the areas of investigative knowledge and crime reduction efforts. Major Baumaister will lead the department's Special Operations Division.
As a former police captain, Major Baumaister presided over the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, largely contributing to the widely-hailed success of the Tampa Police Department's hosting of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in August 2012.
Similarly, Captain Eric Ward affords vast experience to officers under his supervision. As the commander of 11 of the department's Specialty Teams for the last four years, Captain Ward possesses myriad skills and abundant know-how with respect to the department's K-9 Unit, Dive Team, Hostage Negotiations Team, Aviation Unit, Traffic Enforcement Squad, Marine Patrol Unit, Bomb Team, Honor Guard contingent, SWAT Team, and the Special Incident Management Unit.
Given the various special teams Captain Ward has lead fro several years, the accumulative special events and police oversight for each numbers in the 800s. The statistic alone illustrates a competent planner and organizer.
An additional feather in his cap is Captain Ward's command over the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's (FDLE) regional SWAT team in Region 4 (Tampa Bay area).
Among the entire group of promoted police officers is an aggregate of police experience and skill. Each in his/her own new capacity embarks on new challenges, primary of which is to carry out the department's mission. Equally imperative is for each new leader to cater respective experiences to police officers under their command, the core vitality of any police organization and its successes.
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