A college degree may be the single biggest factor in your success at promoting.
Click on the banner below and search for a college and degree program near you.
Advancement and Promotion
This section contains reading
recommendations for promotion and advancement within police, law enforcement
criminal justice careers, whether you took an online school
or not. However, it is recommended to look into
criminal justice programs in pa if you are
interested. In addition to providing you recommendations for books, we also
provide you with background on the author(s). As example, the qualification
of the writing team of Schroeder and Lombardo are well outlined. Clearly,
advice about cop work from cops who know.
There are also a number of original
articles that can help you in your quest for advancement or promotion within
your law enforcement, police or criminal justice career.
As Rick Michelson, the author the Preparing for
Promotion, "The more you know about the process and what to expect, the more
likely you are to be more prepared for the job! If you don't have the skill
sets to do the job, the temperament, leadership skills, organizational skills,
supervisory skills, and so on, you're simply not ready to take on that new
Better to wait
and build up your strengths first! Are you attending supervisory or management
courses? Working on your degree? Practicing your supervisory, organizational
or administrative skills? You cannot read any book and simply expect to
"dazzle" assessors. They will see your "real" readiness levels, so don't
assume you can merely "wing it!" and succeed!
(scroll down for more information on Rick Michelson's book)
Schroeder and Lombardo
Donald J. Schroeder, Ph.D., is a
retired New York City police captain who earned promotion to captain within 10 years of service. He holds a Ph.D. in Criminal
Justice awarded by the City University of New York. In 1973, Donald J. Schroeder joined the adjunct faculty at John Jay College.
Throughout the 1980s, Donald J. Schroeder served as a police promotion consultant
to many major police and personnel agencies, and has personally written dozens of official police examinations. In the early
1990s, he switched his focus and became engaged in training those seeking police promotion.
Donald J. Schroeder is the co-author of
seven books dealing with entry level and advanced promotion testing, and two management and supervision textbooks. Some of
his most popular books, co-authored with Frank Lombardo, include Management and Supervision of Law Enforcement Personnel, Bullets for Law Enforcement Promotion: A Question and Answer
Study Guide, the Barron's Police Officer Exam Preparation Guide and the Barron's Police Sergeant Examination Preparation Guide.
Frank Lombardo is a retired New York
police deputy inspector. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Urban Affairs from Hunter College. Mr. Lombardo earned promotion
to captain within 10 years of service, and subsequently was promoted to deputy inspector.
Frank Lombardo is the co-author (with Donald
Schroeder) of seven books on entry level law enforcement examinations and promotional examination is law enforcement. His is also the co-author of one supervision and management book for law enforcement
officials. These books include: Management and Supervision of Law Enforcement Personnel, Bullets for Law Enforcement Promotion: A Question and Answer
Study Guide, the Barron's Police Officer Exam Preparation Guide and the Barron's Police Sergeant Examination Preparation Guide.
One of his most recent books, How To Be Successful On Written Assessment Exercises For Police Promotion,
provides “priceless insight into the pivotal written portion of promotional exams and expert guidance for achieving
optimal scores and top ranking! Includes keys to understanding the scoring process, foundational principles of administration
and supervision, time management advice and helpful samples including forms, memos, even a complete In-Basket practice exercise!
Also shares detailed explanations of other important exercises including "Scheduling," "Video Simulation," and "Report Writing.” This book is listed by the Justice Institute of British Columbia Library as an essential
book on preparing for promotion.
Michael A. Petrillo is a retired chief of police from the Belleville Police Department (New Jersey). He has co-authored several books with Daniel R. DelBagno, a retired Captain from an
unknown law enforcement agency in New Jersey. Among the books they co-authored
are The New Age Of Police Supervision And Management:
A Behavioral Concept and The New Jersey Title 2C Quizzer: A Question and Answer Study Guide of the New Jersey Code of Criminal
Justice. They are also co-editors of the LearningExpress Police Sergeant Exam.
Andy Borrello is a Lieutenant
with the San Gabriel Police Department. With more than 21 years police
experience, the past 18 years have been as a sworn full time officer (3 years as
a volunteer auxiliary police officer). Lieutenant Andy Borrellos diverse
background includes working as a patrol officer, defensive tactics instructor, a
detective working burglary, street narcotics, vice, and as a member of a task
force working major narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and organized
Lieutenant Borrello is the book
author of Oral Interview Dynamics as well as numerous
multi-subject law enforcement articles with topics covering police promotion,
training and advanced officer development, police terminology, felony car stops,
impact weapon selection, community oriented policing, and the Internet.
According to the book
description of Oral Interview Dynamics, The contents of this book
are designed specifically for law enforcement officers, front-line supervisors,
and managers who have reached the point in their careers where they are ready to
advance their rank. The focus of this information is on the police promotional
oral interview. In a majority of police agencies across the country the oral
interview is both the most critical part of the promotion process and the most
An officers performance during
the oral interview is paramount because the process is highly competitive.
Officers must out-score others also vying for promotion. This is difficult in
that candidates may be competing against dozens or even hundreds of other police
personnel many of whom may have greater education or more experience.
The goal of this book is to
provide professional police officers with a highly effective and valuable
preparatory edge. This edge translates into real-world techniques,
easy-to-apply skills, and a wealth of information on how to be distinctive and
perform in an exceptional manner during the oral interview. The police officer
or supervisor who utilizes the content of this book correctly will stand out
among the other candidates, will be recognized, acknowledged and will receive
higher scores than those who entered the promotional process without such
Mark Adamson (ret.) retired after a lengthy career with the Bayonne Police Department.
Mark Adamson is the author of four books: The
Secrets You Must Know to SCORE HIGH on Your Next Promotional Exam; Attorney General Guidelines Quizzer; The Law Enforcement
Manual; and, The New Jersey 2C Quizzer.
According to the book description of The Secrets You Must Know to SCORE HIGH on Your Next Promotional Exam, “Have you ever wondered why certain
individuals consistently do well on promotional examinations while others always seem to miss the mark? I am sure you have
heard all the excuses. They are just smart, they had "inside information," they have more education, they have a "hook" or
they are just natural born test takers. The truth is there is no such thing as a natural born test taker. Candidates who have
a history of scoring high on promotional exams have learned the secrets of preparation and test taking. By reading this book,
you too will learn the secrets you must know to score high on your next promotional exam.”
Five Tactics for Civil Service Exams
You can increase
your score on almost any multiple choice civil service exam or test by employing five simple "tactics for test taking." In fact, it is likely that you could increase your final score by between five and
ten percentage points by using these test taking tactics! That means if you studied
enough to score eighty, these tactics can get you a score of eighty-five or ninety.
These tactics aren't
about studying (a subject of later articles), they are about actually taking a test.
You wouldn't approach a robbery-in-progress, burglary or traffic stop without a plan.
The same is true for civil service examinations. Like any other tactical
problem, the more you know about the problem, the more planning you can do. The
first task is to understand a little more about the nature of the problem civil service exams or multiple choice tests.
Strategy of Preparing for Promotion:
In our first article we looked at five
tactics for taking civil service multiple choice tests. These tips were classified
as tactics because they were immediately deployable to the situation. Like field
tactics, they are something you learn and then use when they apply. Studying
for promotion is significantly different from actual testing. It calls for longer
term planning, preparation and implementation. In this article we will look at
five test preparation strategies.
Tactics for Oral Interviews
The single biggest mistake that interviewees
make is to interview for he position they already have. For instance, say you
are interviewing for sergeant. You go into the oral and tell them what a great
police officer you are. Guess what? When
you leave the board thinks “What a great cop.” Best thing to do is
leave him there. Be the position you are interviewing for. Approach each question as if you are already that person. When
you talk about your previous training, education and experience relate it directly to the job for which you are interviewing.
If they ask you about your leadership skills,
you can tell them you are a great peer leader, but then relate that to how you are going to be a sergeant. Sergeants aren’t peer leaders, they are first line supervisors.
While the two concepts can be connected, many applicants fail to make the jump for what they have done to what they
want to do.’’
and Maher's expert advice on Assessment Centers
According to Michelson and Maher,
“This book is full of helpful topics to get you focused before you take that next promotional exam, including assessment
centers or related performance based scenarios. It also has a chapter just on Interview Panels, with many sample scenarios
Each component of the Assessment Center
process is covered in detail, along with a list of behavioral dimensions that the candidate who is ready for the job, should
be able to demonstrate. Note that while the book and our materials are geared to help you get ready for any type of assessment
process, the core of our program and the text, is to help you get ready for the job itself. If you have done all you can by
strengthening your skills to become a strong supervisor, you still have to consider the political and even personal issues
that undoubtedly will surface. Keep in mind building relationships is a critical component of any good supervisor or manager.”
The Michelson and
Mayer book and workshops, include content, strategies and methodology used in many of the core exercises used in Assessment
- Assessment Centers; History, development and validity
- Subordinate Counseling Role Play
- Personnel scenarios
- Oral Presentation
- Leaderless Groups
- Meeting Management
- Ethical dilemmas
- Situational Judgment Tests
- Written projects
- Community presentation
The book (and courses)
also cover non-assessment center methods, such as:
- Oral Panel Interviews
- Personnel Scenarios
- Tactical / Operational Scenarios
- Accomplishment Survey
Charles Hale began his career in the public sector as a police officer with the El Segundo Police Department
(California) in 1965, where he served for seven years as a patrol officer, investigator and field supervisor. While working full-time as a police officer he attended California State University at Long Beach where
he attained his bachelor's degree in 1970 and his master's degree in 1972.
From 1972 to 1974 Charles Hale served as the Assistant Director of the Police Assaults Study conducted
by the Oklahoma University Research institute and funded by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration in 1973. Charles Hale served on a team of consultants involved in a management and organization study of the police
department in Amarillo, Texas. Since that time Charles Hale has conducted similar
studies in over 200 police departments in several states. Charles D. Hale is
the author of Fundamentals of Police administration,
Police Community Relations, The Assessment Center Handbook for Police and Fire Personnel and Police Patrol: Operations
According to the book description of The Assessment Center Handbook for Police and Fire Personnel, “Drawing on current knowledge and his
own extensive experience, the author provides a thorough overview of the design and administration of an assessment center
for fire and police personnel. He offers invaluable insight concerning the reliability, cost-effectiveness, and objective
methods for the selection of candidates for higher appointments. Topics include the advantages of an assessment center, typical
assessment center exercises, design and administration, selection and training, candidate evaluation and scoring methods,
preparation, and an overall summary. How or why an assessment center should be conducted, and the manner in which candidates
are evaluated by the assessors, are among the many important features of this book. Concluding with numerous exercise plans,
typical assessment center schedules, candidate evaluation and assessor feedback forms, this volume will serve as an excellent
textbook in administrator preparatory programs.”
Tina Lewis Rowe had a 34 year career in law enforcement,
first with the Denver Police Department--where she began as a pioneer female police officer in 1969, became the department’s
first female sergeant and honorably retired as a patrol captain--then as the Presidential appointed United States Marshal
for Colorado during the Oklahoma City bombing trials and the aftermath of 9-11-01. She has been actively involved in training
and presentations for 38 years and since 2002 has provided assistance to law enforcement, government and private sector individuals
and organizations, full-time.
Her book, A Preparation Guide For the Assessment Center Method has
helped thousands of officers gain higher scores on their promotional processes. More importantly, it has provided them the
skills and the focus to be their best in their jobs.
Her book, A Preparation Guide For the Assessment
Center Method has helped thousands of officers gain higher scores on their promotional processes.
More importantly, it has provided them the skills and the focus to be their best in their jobs.