Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming has revamped the organizational flow chart at the Police Department and created a new position without any budgetary impacts.
Creating a patrol sergeant’s position, Cumming said, replaces the informal rank of master patrol officer and establishes an official chain of command responsible for leadership within the department.
The relationship between the officer and sergeant will generate a more traditional, vertical, police department command structure, increasing accountability and creating unity in supervision, said Cumming.
Town Manager Dave Bullock noted to the Longboat Key Town Commission last week that the changes have been done without affecting the budget.
Currently, the patrol division has four master patrol officer (MPO) positions assigned at a slightly higher pay grade than patrol officer.
“Those positions are appointed and can be adjusted in relation to the needs of the department,” Cumming said.
“The position, which was created primarily as a means to promote morale and encourage productivity, brings with it some informal authority in the absence of a shift captain. The program has not achieved departmental goals.”
Creating the position of patrol sergeant, in lieu of the MPO, provides the means to achieve targeted department goals while enhancing efficiency and accountability, Cumming wrote in a memo to Bullock.
The shift sergeant will perform routine patrol duties with other officers during the assigned shift, Cumming said. The shift sergeant will report directly to the operations captain who, in turn, reports to the police chief.
Goals of Police Department Restructuring
• To reorganize the police department from its current structure to a more traditional cost-effective and efficient arrangement.
• To streamline the command structure promoting increased accountability and levels of service.
• To provide improved services in response to specific community needs while maintaining current budgetary limitations.
• To create a more efficient chain of command that motivates officers by enhancing opportunity for promotion and career development.
• Reducing top-end staff structure to eliminate inefficiency while growing the number of assets visibly serving the community. (Reduces number of captains from five to two).