(April 14, 2017) - After a week without, "Ask CCPD" is back with (hopefully not unlucky) number 13! We thought about skipping straight to 14 like on skyscraper elevators, but we're the cops, we gotta do things the right way. This week's question comes to us from Camilo, who wanted to know what levels we rank up to, not like in video games but within the police department.
"What are the ranks in the Cape Coral Police Department? (E.g. Trainee, Police Officer I, Police Officer II, Sergeant, etc.)?"
Camilo, you actually started out on the right track. Upon hiring, all new officers start out as police officer trainees. They hold this title through the Academy, through our post-Academy in-house pre-deployment training, and through their field training in the field under a Field Training Officer ("field" three times in one phrase!) Once their training is complete, the "trainee" title is dropped and they are Police Officers.
The level of Police Officer currently encompasses several titles, which are technically all of the same "rank" but with more training and such. Within our Career Development Program, you can attain Police Officer I, Police Officer II, Officer First Class (OFC), Corporal, and Master Corporal. Outside of Patrol you would also have Detectives. None of these titles actually "outranks" any of the others officially, but often come with added responsibilities and upon completing advanced training courses.
The first true step up in rank and the first requiring testing is to the level of Sergeant. Sergeants usually supervise approximately 6-10 officers, and they work in all areas of the department. You must be with the department a minimum of 5 years to test for sergeant. Sergeants (and higher) wear a gold badge instead of the silver one worn by officers. There is a Master Sergeant rank with a rocker added to the three chevrons, which is again indicative of more experience and training but doesn't officially outrank other sergeants.
Above sergeant comes the rank of Lieutenant. Lieutenants are the "watch commanders" over a shift, so they supervise 3-4 sergeants and the officers under those sergeants. There are also lieutenants in some of the specialty units. Lieutenants lose all the fancy stripes on their sleeves in exchange for a single gold bar on each side of the shirt collar. It's occasionally fun to see a new person take a lieutenant or higher for an officer, seeing the "slick sleeves" but not noticing the collar brass.
Next up the ladder comes Captain. Captains will oversee entire divisions, such as Patrol (usually split into two, North/Central and South Districts), Investigative Services, Professional Standards, etc. Captains get a double bar on each collar to signify their rank.
Beyond captain we have our Deputy Chief (currently only one, Deputy Chief Barnes; have been more than one at times in the past) and Chief Newlan. The Deputy Chief wears two stars on each collar, while the Chief wears three.
We hope this answered your question, Camilo. Now you'll be able to say "Hello, (insert appropriate rank here)" when you see them on the street! Send us your questions for "Ask CCPD" on our website right here, or through one of our social media outlets. Have a wonderful Easter weekend!
About the Author:
Corporal (that's 2 stripes!) Philip Mullen is a nine year law enforcement veteran assigned to the Office of the Chief of Police and serves as Assistant Public Affairs Officer for the Cape Coral Police Department.
For the last 9 years, Corporal Mullen served as a Patrol Officer in our Patrol Bureau, and as a Field Training Officer, preparing new recruits for the rigors of police work over the past 5 years. Corporal Mullen is a member of the Cape Coral Police Department Honor Guard and has represented the Cape Coral Police Department across the United States. He is a recipient of two Lifesaving Awards and the department's highest honor, the Medal of Honor. Phil holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety Administration from Edison State College.
CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341