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Eager to Advance

Eager to Advance

Dear Bullethead:
I am running into the issue of advancement. I am well aware that I do not have a place in upper management. I have noticed that I am being looked at more as an investigative unit rather than just a regular patrol officer. This is not an elected position or an assignment that needed to be bid on; it was a role that I assumed due to my interest in narcotics and developing my investigative skills. Through the course of my investigative role, I have recovered narcotics, weapons and stolen goods, as well as worked on a homicide and multiple cases involving children. I get praise through my immediate partner and through the chief on the regular; however, I have found myself being the center of jealousy and passive aggressive comments by the other top three officers.

My chief likes to joke by stating, “You’re a detective, go detect” which at first was humorous but now I find it more of an insult, as I have attempted on multiple occasions to get him to give me the title of detective. In return, I have not received a real answer as to why not. It is my belief that if he were to assign the position to me the others would be upset and it would hurt the security business they have on the side. I feel I have let this go because I would like to focus on my project of starting a K-9 program.

— MavrikCop


This is the second installment of MavrikCop’s letter. To bring you all up to speed, he works for a small agency where the chief and the three top cops own a security business together. We addressed that last month and now we are moving into advancement. Alright, Mavrik, just so I’m clear, you work for a six-cop agency that patrols a village of 4,000, and while investigating in that tiny village you recovered narcotics, weapons and solved a homicide? Then you did a bunch of cases involving kids? I’ve got to be honest with you when I say that either you’re spouting off with much more than actually happened or that little village of 4,000 must be a crazy place. Since Ol’ Bullethead has no facts to dispute what you’re saying, I’ll just assume you are a one-man task force in the village of hell!

It sounds like the chief doesn’t want to call you a detective and that is bumming you out and, in the meantime, some of the other officers are ticked off that you do so much investigating. Let’s start with the chief. Seeing as how he is the chief, I think he can pretty much call you whatever he wants. I’m gonna ignore the fact that he stole that line from a 1980s-era movie and let him think he is being original. Have you considered that in an agency with six cops, there is no detective rank? Or if he has that discretion, maybe he holds back because he knows you will start showing up out of uniform and with relaxed grooming. Who knows what you might try while you’re out there in a village of 4,000, solving homicides, finding drugs, weapons and dealing with multiple crimes involving kids.

It might also have to do with pay. If they promote you to detective then they might need to pay you more. That might go against the political people and the budget. On top of all that, it sounds like you’re trying to start a K-9 program. K-9s are much different from detectives, so perhaps your chief isn’t really sure what direction you’re moving.

The next piece of this is the other cops. You said many of them aren’t happy that you’re praised for your investigations. I suppose some of that could just be petty jealousy but there could be something else you are not seeing. Are you sure you’re handling enough of the patrol workload? Generally, when someone spends tons of time investigating, that means they aren’t taking care of their beat. So maybe all your partners are upset with you because they feel like they’re handling too many patrol calls while you go out and run your investigation. I don’t understand how you investigating would hurt the security business unless you think they are involved in illegal activity, so I’m gonna ignore that.

There are some options to fix this. The first is to spread the wealth by getting some of the other cops involved in your investigations. There should be at least one other cop who is interested and wants to learn. You would be in a leadership position, conducting investigations and making the agency better by teaching others. Even if no one is interested you have the chief’s support, so who cares what the other cops say? Go solve crime!


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Bullethead has been writing for Law Officer for the past decade. From the controversial to the mundane, Bullethead always has something to say and what he/she has to say always seems to spark conversation.