You got the notice that you are being promoted! Outstanding, you have worked, studied, tested and endured for this moment. You deserve it and congratulations. However with this rite of passage in larger departments are often a second set of orders that may be attached. You are now transferred. What did you do wrong? You excelled at the job and positioned yourself for the promotion and now you are transferred, where did this all go wrong? Calm down, this is part of the master plan.
Granted many readers are in smaller agencies where transferred is not a way of life. This experience will elude them. This situation is extremely difficult, today you are a supervisor and yesterday you were one of the guys. I will cover this in a later column on how to maximize your promotional success in the smaller agency. But back to this dilemma, you are in another division or precinct, why gives?
My mentor chief had a reputation for transfers. As a matter of fact, until I became a chief in another department, I have never stayed this long in one office or assignment. His reasons and rationales were clear. There was experience and there was experience with exposure. Experience with exposure was his ultimate grooming tool. You may be a great patrol sergeant but have you ever worked in other assignments? If you desired a promotion, you will get moved to another unit; this to gain more exposure into another facet of police work. I was told repeatedly that this provides you with more in-depth foundations of experiences or exposure. Some may think that the new rank will give them exposure; sure... but not the way it is desired.
As you progress in rank, your assignments will become limited. There is only one patrol commander but you want to make that rank. The only vacancy may be in the criminal investigations division and you have never worked in detectiveland. See what I mean here? The higher you go in rank; there are fewer choices in assignments. Additionally the higher you go in rank; you require a wider breath of understanding of the entire police management process is required. Broadening your understanding will require you working out of the comfort zone and challenging you. As frightening as this may seem, it scares off the weak and strengthens those who dare.