EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2015
DISTRIBUTION: Lawton Police Department
SUBJECT: Promotion Policy for Sworn Police Department Personnel
GENERAL BACKGROUND: A promotion policy for uniformed officers of the Lawton Police Department, who are qualified by meeting certain minimum standards, has been in effect since December 20, 1988. It was last modified on May 1, 2014. The policy needs revision so as to incorporate recommendations of a consultant, the Fidelis Group, LLC, in their report of February 25, 2014. These changes will foster a fair and equitable, more inclusive, and experience-based promotion policy. This promotion policy incorporates feedback from the Lawton Police Department’s Leadership Team.
The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for use by the Police Department in determining eligibility and selection of sworn members of the Lawton Police Department for promotion. The policy establishes criteria and procedures for promotion to Lieutenant and Captain and provides that the City Manager, in conjunction with the Chief of Police, will establish promotion criteria for ranks higher than Captain.
ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTED PROCEDURE
- 1. General Purpose: These procedures are for use by the Lawton Police Department in determining eligibility of sworn members of the Police Department for promotional consideration and promotion. These procedures involve selecting persons qualified to enter the promotional process. This qualification is attained by meeting certain minimum standards as outlined in detail in this policy. Generally these standards are:
- a.) Meeting a specified minimum time in grade, or equivalent, in the present classification; and
- b.) Successfully accomplishing all assigned training and/or educational requirements for the next higher qualification; and
- c.) Possessing minimum personal health and physical standards.
- 2. All persons who meet the minimum qualifications shall be eligible to enter the promotional process. It will not be mandatory for any individual to enter the promotional process except when less than three (3) individuals (i.e., two (2) or less) enter by personal decision. In the event that less than three (3) individuals enter, then additional individuals will be required to enter until at least three (3) eligible persons are available and competing for each position which is to be filled. Eligible individuals will be required to enter by length of time in their present grade with the most senior being chosen first for the inclusion into the process.
- 3. With the exception of the promotion process to Deputy Chief, the complete promotion process including the required written examinations will commence during the same monthly time period each year so that a new promotion eligibility list will be available and in effect on the date that the previous year's promotion eligibility list expires. The promotional process to Deputy Chief will begin once a vacancy has occurred and the City Manager has authorized this vacancy to be filled with due consideration of the Chief of Police’s operational recommendation.
PREREQUISITES FOR ENTRY INTO THE PROMOTIONAL PROCESS
All sworn police personnel who meet the following minimum requisites shall be eligible to enter into the promotional process:
- 1. Accrued a prerequisite time in the classification to which they are currently assigned as outlined hereinafter for entry into the promotional process. If an individual, has not ended their previous employment with the City of Lawton in good standing with respect to the rules and regulations of the Department, other professional accreditation systems, and/or applicable state or local regulations, that potential candidate will be required to re-enter the system as an entry-level Police Officer. Promotion consideration to the next higher rank may incorporate continuous years of prior service time within the Department or time otherwise served while employed elsewhere as a sworn law enforcement official.
PREREQUISITES FOR EACH RANK CLASSIFICATION
All sworn persons within the City of Lawton Police Department who enter into the promotional process, must accrue all the following minimum requisites in classification presently assigned as indicated below:
- 1. Promotion to the Classification of Lieutenant
- a. A minimum of two (2) years of accomplished service as a Sergeant with the Lawton Police Department prior to the date the new promotion eligibility list is established. The Department recognizes that Sergeant is not currently a rank within the department; rather it is a designation that shall be required for testing purposes due to the training, exposure and experience level of the candidate.
- b. Maintenance of an overall rating of standard or above on their employee performance evaluation for the last twelve (12) months immediately preceding the date of the written promotional examination with a combined 6 year evaluation showing a progressive trend that is weighted toward the candidates most competitive ratings over the past 3 years of police service. Substitution in illustrating an exceptional record can be demonstrated by the submission of reference letters from other law enforcement jurisdictions, retired senior executives, or civil servants who can personally or professionally attest to the quality customer-service standard, volume and accuracy of work, direct work experience, frequent and continuing public exposure and/or contact, and finally, any service commendations and/or issued awards may be considered that were received during the same active service period as noted above.
- c. Not received any disciplinary action greater than a written reprimand within the twelve (12) months immediately preceding the issuance of the promotion eligibility list through any certified law enforcement jurisdiction.
- d. The promotion eligibility list established by this procedure will be used through February 28. The new promotion eligibility list will be established on March 1 of each succeeding year.
- 2. Promotion to the Classification of Captain
- b. Maintenance of an overall rating of standard or above on their employee performance evaluation for the last twelve (12) months immediately preceding the date of the written promotional examination.
- c. Not received any disciplinary action greater than a written reprimand within the twelve (12) months immediately preceding the issuance of the promotion eligibility list.
- d. The promotion eligibility list established by this procedure will be used through March 31. The new promotion eligibility list will be established on April 1 of each succeeding year.
- 3. Promotion to the Classification of Deputy Chief - Criteria and vacancy availability will be determined by the City Manager at the advice and recommendation of the Chief of Police.
- 4. Promotion to the Classification of Assistant Chief of Police- Criteria and vacancy availability will be determined by the City Manager at the advice and recommendation of the Chief of Police.
- 6. The promotional process for Lieutenant and Captain will begin once a position vacancy has occurred and will become effective within ten (10) days of when the vacancy occurred.
- a. Should a vacancy occur due to retirement and the retiring person takes Terminal Leave, the vacancy will have been deemed to occur when the Terminal Leave begins.
In all cases, the City Manager’s recommendation will then be forwarded to the City Council for funding consideration in the subsequent Fiscal Budget.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS FOR ESTABLISHING THE ELIGIBILITY LIST
FOR PROMOTION TO LIEUTENANT AND/OR CAPTAIN
- 1. The Chief of Police will determine and notify those eligible to compete for vacancies based on the criteria established in this policy within sixty (60) days of the testing period beginning. Said names will be posted on all employee bulletin boards including the details of the written promotional test such as date, time and location of the examination, the general subject matter and the location of reference materials. In addition, all future eligibility notification lists should be electronically distributed as a supplemental means of notification to all potential candidates. Upon notification of eligibility, a Testing Sign Up Sheet shall be placed in a specified location and candidates will have fifteen (15) calendar days to sign up for the testing.
1. Each candidate shall furnish a written resume to the Human Resources Department outlining educational background, departmental and special team/unit history, and awards received. This resume shall be submitted fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the oral interviews. The resume shall be submitted in writing and digital format utilizing the specified Promotional Candidate Resume form. The Human Resources Department shall redact the candidates name and substitute the name with an identification number.
Oral Interview Panel Criterion: An Oral Interview Panel shall be held.
- a. The oral interview shall be administered by the Human Resources Director or his/her designee. In addition, this individual shall act in an oversight capacity for the oral interview panel and shall maintain the final authority over matters relative to coordination, and any other administrative matters not covered by exception throughout this policy.
Oral Interview Panel Procedures and Composition:
- 1. There shall be one (1) officer of the Lawton Police Department assigned to the Oral Interview Panel as a representative of the department. This officer will be designated by the Chief of Police and will act as a liaison to the Panel. This officer will be responsible for answering questions as to department policy and procedures, organization or any other topic the Panel may need clarification of. This officer shall not be a scoring member of the Panel, will not be in the room during interviews, nor shall this officer offer any opinions as to one candidate or another
- 2. Five (5) certified peace officers of the same rank being considered for promotion. (i.e. five (5) lieutenants should be selected for a lieutenant's promotional examination, etc.). These five (5) officers of the same respective or equivalent rank shall be from another municipal, county, state, tribal, school, or collegiate law enforcement agency within the State of Oklahoma and should be a minimum of thirty-five percent (35%) of the current staffed size of the Lawton Police Department in order to insure comparable exposure and experience levels. Should three (3) or less law enforcement agencies or jurisdictions be identified meeting the above minimum criteria, the City Manager and Human Resources Director shall be consulted to confirm these findings. Upon confirmation by all parties, the City Manager may modify the percentage of size threshold to allow for the Department to meet this external participation requirement. In the event 5 Panel Members cannot be obtained from other agencies, the Chief of Police shall complete the panel by appointing members of the Lawton Police Department whose rank is the same as that being tested for. This appointment shall be determined by a random draw from all eligible persons.
- 3. It shall be the responsibility of the Chief of Police to coordinate with other municipal police departments for the purposes of selecting suitable external jurisdictions to be seated on the Oral Interview Panel. In addition, the Chief of Police is responsible for identifying the appropriate number of alternate panelists who can attend in the absence of an originally confirmed panel member. However, the Chief shall not request specific officers by name and position from external agencies or jurisdictions to be assigned to the Board. That is to say that the discretion of that respective police department or law enforcement agency should dictate the availability of those selected and who will serve.
- 4. One of the five (5) Panel Members shall be designated as the chairperson. The Oral Interview Panel shall make a concerted effort to examine each promotional applicant for at least thirty (30) minutes, but in any event not more than forty-five (45) minutes.
- 5. The order of candidate interviews shall be determined by a random drawing performed by the Human Resources Director or his/her designee.
- 6. Each Panel Member shall be supplied with a copy of each candidate resume prior to the beginning of the interviews The Candidates names shall be removed from the resume and replaced with an identifying number that corresponds to the candidate.
- 7. Each oral interview member shall rate each promotional applicant appearing before it on a 0-100 weighted scale using the designated oral examination appraisal worksheet that has been previously approved for use by the Human Resource Director. In any event, the applicant's lowest and highest rating shall be discarded. The applicant's rating will then become the average of the remaining three (3) oral interview panel member’s combined ratings.
- a) Work history, assignments, and cumulative experience
- b) Formal and Informal education
- c) Qualifications related to the position
- d) Professional qualities and characteristics
- e) Interview preparation and presentation
- 9. Interview questions will include but will not be limited to departmental policies, procedures, directives, rules, regulations, legal matters, human relations, and supervision.
The candidates will not be given their score following the oral interview, nor will the Panel be advised of the score for any candidate.
Written Examination Criterion:
- 1. A written examination will be conducted biannually, or as approved within the most recent collective bargaining agreement, for promotions to Lieutenant and Captain. The test will be prepared by an outside company that specializes in law enforcement promotional testing procedures and formats; with input from the Chief of Police as to topic areas he/she believes are necessary for the Lawton Police Department. It shall be the responsibility of the Chief of Police, with the assistance of the Human Resources Director, and final approval of the City Manager to identify and select a nationally certified and accredited professional firm to prepare the promotional test in whole or in “modular format” designed to emphasize the operational needs of the department.
- a) At minimum, the selected firm must be capable of re-evaluating, upgrading, or modernizing the written examination once every five years.
- b) The Lawton Police Department shall purchase the study materials, if available, submitted by the chosen firm and will make those materials available to the candidates. All study materials shall be updated upon printing of a new, revised edition of the material. It shall be up to the department as to the total number each reference material that is purchased with a minimum of three (3) complete reference binders made available to the Department.
- c) Each test will be administered in a testing environment mutually identified by the Human Resources Director and the Chief of Police, and/or their respective designee(s).
The candidate will not be presented their recorded score following the written examination. However, both the written and oral interview scores will be provided to the candidate once all promotion testing has been concluded and officially scored.
- 1. The Director of Human Resources, or designee, shall verify, by submitted documentation, educational background of each candidate. Points are awarded for CLEET Certificates and Degree’s from Accredited Colleges, Universities, or Community Colleges. Points for educational background shall be awarded in the following manner:
- a) 1 point for Intermediate Law Enforcement Certificate from CLEET
- b) 2 points for an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from CLEET (points are calculated on the highest Certificate granted)
- c) 1 point for an Associate’s Degree
- d) points for a Bachelor’s Degree
- e) points for an Advanced/Graduate College/University degree (points are calculated on the highest degree earned.
- 2. Educational Points will be added to the candidate’s score.
- 3. For testing purposes, educational points will be considered up to January 1 st prior to the testing cycle.
- 1. The Director of Human Resources, or designee, shall verify, by submitted documentation, applicable departmental background of each candidate and assign points as listed below
- 2. To be eligible for Department Background points, a candidate must have been assigned on a daily basis or performed specific duties for two (2) years (unless otherwise noted).
- 3. Divisions and Specialized Units to be considered:
- Criminal Investigation Division (CID)
- Headquarters Division
- Training Division
- Technical Services Division
- Tactical Team
- Motor Traffic Unit
- Honor Guard
- Dive Team
- Lake Patrol
- Bicycle Unit
- Gang Unit
- Canine Unit
- Special Operations
- CLEET Instructor
- Certified Field Training Officer
- 2. Departmental Awards that have been earned to be considered are:
- Medal of Honor
- Police Cross
- Medal of Valor
- Meritorious Conduct
- Life Saving
- Police Shield
- Police Commendation
- Supervisor of the Year
- Officer of the Year
- 3. The candidate will receive two (2) points for each Division assignment listed above and one (1) point for each specialized unit, section or award.
- 4. There shall be a maximum of ten (10) points awarded for department background.
- 5. Department Background points will be added to the candidates score.
- 6. For testing purposes, department background points will be considered up to January 1 st prior to the testing cycle.
Time In Service
- 1. Each candidate shall earn one (1) point for every five (5) years of service with the Lawton Police Department. The five (5) years must have been completed by January 1 st prior to the testing cycle.
Promotion Eligibility List
- 1. A promotion eligibility list will be determined by adding the written examination score, the oral interview score, points for education, points for department background and points for Time of Service. This score will be a cumulative score of all possible points. There will be a possible of 215 points prior to the time of service credit. The promotional promotion eligibility list according to cumulative total will be prepared by the Human Resources Director or designee. In the event of a tie score on the promotion eligibility list, seniority in current grade shall break the tie, i.e. the senior officer in grade shall be ranked higher than the junior officer in the same grade. Each officer completing the promotional process will be advised of their individual score by the Human Resources Department by letter, within fifteen (15) days of the written test. This letter shall include the score for each aspect of the testing process. The final promotion eligibility list shall be prominently displayed in a common location that all department personnel can access.
- a) Any sworn personnel who are on either the promotion eligibility list or the Top List [discussed below] and receive any disciplinary action greater than a written reprimand shall become ineligible for promotion and shall be removed from the respective list.
- b) As vacancies occur throughout the year, the following shall apply:
- i) When an initial vacancy occurs in the rank of Captain during the term of the promotion eligibility list, the list referred for evaluation [aka the “Top List”] will be a list of the top three (3) Lieutenants from the top of the promotion eligibility list.
- ii) When an initial vacancy occurs in the rank of Lieutenant during the term of the promotion eligibility list, the list referred for evaluation [e.g. the “Top List”] will be a list of the top three (3) candidate positions from the top of the promotion eligibility list.
- 2. The Chief of Police and Deputy Chiefs will meet and evaluate each individual referred in the Top List.
- a) This evaluation will be completed each time a vacancy occurs, thereby causing a re-evaluation of individuals not promoted to the first vacancy each year. The Chief may obtain input from ranks that are senior or equivalent to that of the respective officer rank being interviewed meaning that the Chief of Police can discuss qualifying factors and/or working knowledge of a prospective Captain candidate with an existing Captain, but it is not appropriate to discuss this topic with an existing Lieutenant. In all cases, the topics for consideration and discussion, where appropriate, should be limited to the traits and characteristics identified below within Subsection 3.
- 3. The aforementioned evaluation should be conducted with strong emphasis placed on the following demonstrated abilities, tenants and/or characteristics:
- a) Leadership - These characteristics are generally observed in leaders of all disciplines.
- b) Personal/Professional Motivation
- Command Presence
- Personal Appearance and Professionalism
- Continuing Resolve and Persistence
- Self-development and Preparedness
- Willingness to coach, mentor, and/or empower subordinates
- Participation in Community Programs
- c) Qualifications and Performance
- Volume, Quality and Accuracy of work
- Comprehends instructions
- Positive work habits
- Positive attitude toward the Department
- Excellent judgment with the ability to quickly assess demanding situations
- Attendance and punctuality
- Outstanding job knowledge
- Acute safety awareness
- Exceptional planning and organizing skills
- Sustained level of effort in job performance
- Current firearms qualification
- Presents and/or delivers quality verbal and written reports
- Continued learning both formal and informal
- Specialized workforce-related training
- Past performance evaluations, official commendations and/or awards
- Resume with applicable reference letters
- 4. In determining who to recommend for promotion, the Chief of Police will give weighted preference to the highest ranked candidate on the Top List presented to the Chief. However, the Chief may recommend a lesser ranked candidate from the Top List provided the Chief has a rationale for recommending the lesser ranked candidate (i.e. experience, education, demonstrated leadership, etc.). The Chief will advise in writing any higher ranked candidate who is not recommended for promotion of the rationale for the non-recommendation if that candidate is not promoted.
- 5. The Chief of Police, when making a promotion recommendation, will recommend in writing in order of highest to lowest ranked preference, to the City Manager one of the competing individuals from the Top List for promotion. The correspondence must include compelling objective justification to support the recommendation. Also, if a lesser ranked candidate is recommended, the correspondence will include the Chief’s rationale for recommending the lesser ranked candidate.
- 6. The City Manager is the final authority for selection and promotion; however, it is dually noted that the Manager’s decision is heavily weighted on the professional expertise, advisory recommendations, and qualified opinions of the department’s management team, up to and including, the Chief of Police.
- 7. If a second vacancy occurs in either the rank of Lieutenant or Captain during the term of the promotion eligibility list, the next highest ranked candidate shall be added to the Top List. There shall always be three (3) candidates given to the Chief for his consideration.
- 8. The Top List for Lieutenants shall be valid until a new promotion eligibility list is created for Lieutenant Candidates, at which time a new Top List of three candidates will be created from the new promotion eligibility list. Likewise, the Top List for Captains shall be valid until a new promotion eligibility list is created for Captain Candidates, at which time a new Top List of three candidates will be created from the new promotion eligibility list.
Conduct of Employees during Testing Period
- 1. No employee of the Lawton Police Department or other City of Lawton employee shall intentionally come into contact with a Panel Member outside of the interview proceedings with the purpose of attempting to influence the panel member in any way.
- 2. The department liaison shall not offer any opinions or remarks concerning any of the candidates, the liaison shall only answer questions related to policy, procedure and operation of the department.
- 3. Candidates involved in the promotion process are prohibited from discussing the content or questions with other officers or candidates in the process until the promotional testing process is complete.
- 4. In addition to any discipline that may be imposed, any violation of the above conduct may also be cause for dismissal from the current promotional process.
Supervisor Probationary Period
- 1. Any newly promoted supervisor shall be placed on a one (1) year probationary period to evaluate his/her abilities as a supervisor.
This policy is effective January 1, 2015, and will remain in effect until rescinded. This policy supersedes Administrative Policy 11-1 dated May 1, 2014.
DEPARTMENT: Police Department
January 1, 2015
(11-1, Amended, 05/01/2014, Prior Text
, Amended, 01/22/2008, Prior Text
; 11-1, Amended, 06/15/2006, Prior Text
; 11-1, Amended, 12/30/1999, Prior Text