The thin blue line

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 March, 2009, 12:00am

A police inspector's job is to supervise, lead and look after the welfare of fellow officers.

An inspector should possess leadership, the ability to manage resources and help constables reflect their concerns to upper management.
It is common to see a young and inexperienced inspector supervising an experienced constable. Although the inspector is the decision-maker, it is never a bad idea to ask for advice from an experienced constable. It is a way of showing respect and boosts morale.

Police inspectors, at the start of their shifts, will obtain information from their superiors about what happened the previous day. Each inspector works an 8?hour shift.

They have to catch up with what is happening in their district when they return to duty.

After receiving all relevant information, the inspector will brief team members on their duties. Inspectors must identify the key issues that need attention and assign duties to the constables. The ability to effectively delegate and allocate resources is important. On top of assigning duties and supervising constables, inspectors have to provide assistance with complex cases. If the case is too difficult for constables to handle, inspectors will provide guidance.

Prospects for inspectors are bright. Outstanding performers may one day become the commissioner of police.

Inspectors can usually be promoted to senior inspector after five years of service and passing the Standard III examination.

There are also talented individuals who move up to senior inspector after three years. They have to pass the Standard II and III examinations to be promoted.