Previous Page TOC

INTRODUCTION

The United States Park Police is a law enforcement organization consisting of 700 sworn officers. It uses a paramilitary rank structure and is organized along the lines of a municipal police department. It should be noted that in listing the competencies for the various ranks, each individual, from officer through Chief, is required to maintain the basic skills of the patrol officer. Each individual, regardless of rank, is a sworn police officer and is authorized, and in some cases required, to make arrests. The competencies listed here are those required by rank and do not list the specialty skills needed for some individual positions (e.g., patrol officer, horse mounted). Detailed information on the competencies of these specialized skills is available if needed.

CAREER PATHS

PROMOTION:Officers are eligible to compete for the supervisory rank of sergeant after four years of continuous service by the date of the promotion announcement. This announcement is made one year prior to the publication of the promotion list. During this period the officers must submit a 171/KSAO, take a written exam and participate in a supervisory assessment center. A candidate's position on the promotion list will be determined by their accumulated numerical score from this process. This list will remain in effect for exactly two years. Officers will be drawn from the list as sergeant positions become available. One year after the publication of the list, preparations will again begin for the publication of a new list upon the closing date of the older one.

Promotion from sergeant to lieutenant follows the same procedure with the exception that the candidate must have been in grade for a period of one year prior to the date of the promotion announcement. The sergeant's assessment center exercises are directed more on their managerial and administrative skills.

Promotions beyond the rank of lieutenant are done on direct application for a specific position. Candidates submit their 171s and KSAOs and are recommended by an appointed board to the Chief.

All promotions are considered to be for the good of the Force and to expand the individual's career experience. It is the policy of the Force to move an individual to a different unit upon accepting a promotion. As an example, a motorcycle officer would not be eligible for the motorcycle sergeant's position even if the officer was next on the promotion list and the motorcycle sergeant's position was available. The purpose of this policy is to expand the experience of the individual for future development.

CAREER OFFICERS: While the Force encourages officers to compete in the promotion process, it is recognized that not everyone will be promoted. It is further recognized that not all personnel want to be promoted. Often individual officers will choose to stay in a position because the benefits derived there (days off, location, job satisfaction, etc.) offset the desire to be promoted. For these officers the Force offers many specialized fields (see section lll and IV) without the supervisory responsibilities.

COMPETENCIES

I. OFFICER, RECRUIT (Probationary)

A. Emphasis on acquiring job knowledge and skills and their application in a controlled environment with direct supervision/evaluation.

1. Basic Law Enforcement Training, FLETC (606 hours)
a. Legal Training
b. Behavioral Science
c. Enforcement Techniques
d. Enforcement Operations
e. Security Specialties
f. Physical Training
g. Firearms Training
h. Driver Training

2. U.S. Park Police Specialized Training (114 hours)
a. General Orders/Policies
b. Procedures
c. Practical Exercises
d. Field Sobriety Testing
e. Domestic Violence
f. Blood Bome Pathogens
g. Local laws. rules, regulations and court procedures
h. Use of RADAR

B. Field Training Instructor Program (440 hours)

(Rotating assignments to different sub-stations and branches for field training under direct supervision.)

Officer will continue to acquire job knowledge and skills. Emphasis is now on applying knowledge and skills in an uncontrolled environment with direct and individual supervision/evaluation.

C. Independent Probationary Officer Program (OJT/duty station)

Officer continues acquiring job knowledge and skills. Emphasis is now on application and decision making independently, and with indirect supervision from a patrol sergeant.

II. OFFICER, PATROL (Operations Division)

A. Law Enforcement Skills

1. Applies Force rules and regulations.
2. Enforces Federal and local criminal laws.
3. Prosecutes cases through the magistrates court.
4. Enforces the Code of Federal Regulations.
5. Enforces Federal state and local traffic regulations.
6. Initiates police reports.
7. Investigates major traffic accidents.
8. Conducts investigative interviews.
9. Secures major crime scenes.
10. Responds to any jurisdictional location.
11. Initiates response to major incidents.
12. Knowledge of park resources.
13. Conducts proactive patrol.
14. Knows/works with surrounding jurisdictions.
15. Knows/assists local community.
16. Makes physical arrests.

B. Communication
1. Utilizes Force radio/information system.
2. Utilizes Force in-house computer system.
3. Provides information to visitor/community groups.

C. Administrative
1. Works within Force policies and procedures.
2. Utilizes Force/NPS forms and reports.
3. Understands labor management contract/responsibilities.

D. Leadership

1. Takes charge of high stress incidents.
2. Directs and assists newer officers.
3. Does daily routine law enforcement with little supervision.

F. Incident/Event Management

1. Responds to major incidents and acts as a squad member.

III. OFFICER, SPECIALIZED

Note: After three years in the Patrol Branch an officer can elect to compete for a specialized position within the Operations Division. While some of these positions are not within the chain of command of the Patrol Branch, they are still in direct support of the Patrol Branch functions. Specialized officers must maintain all the competencies of a Patrol Officer in addition to mastering the competencies required by their specialty. Examples of these specialties are as follows:

Horse Mounted
Motorcycle (over 1200cc)
Plainclothes Officer
Aviation - Pilot
Aviation - Paramedic
Training Officer
K-9 Officer
Marine Patrol Officer
Identification Technician (crime scene)
Detective
S.W.A.T.
Narcotics and Vice Unit
Administrative Officer
Communications (Services Division)

IV. OFFICER, MASTER PATROL

Note: Officers may compete for this limited enhanced salary, non-supervisory position after a minimum of four years of continuous service. Applicants must hold certificates in four of the following to be eligible:

Field Training Instructor
Breath Test Operator
Drug Recognition Technician
Motor/Scooter Operator
Physical Fitness Coordinator
CPR Instructor
Driving Instructor
Physical Skills Instructor
K-9 Officer
Motor Carrier Safety Officer
COPE Counselor
ARPA Trained Officer
Hostage Neqotiator
Crime Prevention Unit (CPU)
Force Radar Operator
DARE Instructor
Mountain Bike Operator
Range Instructor
Police Computer Network Operator
PR-24 Instructor
Crime Scene Search Officer
Horse Mounted Officer
Marine Patrol Officer
Identification Technician Officer
EEO Counselor
Accident Reconstructionist

A. Law Enforcement Skills

1. Must maintain all the competencies of a patrol officer.
2. Field Training instructor.
3. Assists supervisor in squad operations.

Assists supervisors in disseminating information. Utilizes Force in-house computer system. Assists with squad roll call training.

C. Administrative

1. Assists in disseminating new Force policy and procedures.
2. Reviews reports.
3. Evaluates recruits

D. Leadership

1. Trains/evaluates recruits.
2. Does non-routine law enforcement with little supervision.

E. Incident/Event Management

1. Assists supervisor in response planning for minor local events.
2. Serves as line officer for major events.

V. SERGEANT

(This competitive enhanced salary supervisory position requires five years of continuous service prior to appointment.)

A. Law Enforcement Skills

1. Maintains same competencies as a patrol officer.
2. Monitors/directs squad operations.

B. Communications

Conducts shift briefings.
Utilizes in-house information systems.
Counsels employees

C. Administrative/Managerial

1. Reviews all reports submitted by the squad.
2. Evaluates squad members.
3. Monitors criminal activity within the beat.
4. Plans squad operations for the shift.
5. Identifies/implements training.
6. Employee scheduling.
7. Conducts administrative/personnel investigations.
8. Conducts inspections.

D. Leadership

1. Line supervision for a squad.
2. Directs officers during daily operations.

E. Incident/Event Management

1. Responds to and directs/supervises operations within the district.

VI. LIEUTENANT

(This competitive enhanced salary supervisory position requires a minimum of one year in grade at the sergeant level.)

A. Law Enforcement Skills

1. Maintains same competencies as a patrol officer.
2. Monitors/directs district operations.
3. Liaison with local police jurisdictions for the shift.
4. Supervises shift operations.

Coordinates district activities. Direct link with area park superintendents. Computer/information system skills.

C. Administrative/Managerial

1. Reviews all reports submitted by first line supervisors.
2. Directs investigations of complaints.
3. Initiates special projects.
4. Evaluates first line supervisors.
5. Plans daily police operations.
6. Attends community meetings.

D. Leadership

1. Supervises district operations.
2. Counsels and directs first line supervisors.

E. Incident/Event Management

1. Response to and directs emergency operations.

VII. CAPTAIN

(Competitive enhanced salary management position.)

A. Law Enforcement Skills

1. Maintain the same competencies as a patrol officer.
2. Directs/coordinates the planning for District special event and law enforcement operations.
3. Implements and directs law enforcement and special event operations for a district.

B. Communications

1. Counsels subordinates and directs their work
2. Initiates and maintains inter/intra agency activity.
3. Conveys/disseminates District information/objectives.
4. Prepares written analysis of comprehensive issues and programs, and makes oral presentations/briefings.

C. Administrative/Managerial

1. Responsible for all administrative activity within the district.
2. Manages office activity within the district.
3. Assigns or initiates special projects.
4. Researches, and evaluates, District law enforcement and police services data.
5. Initiates and implements community-oriented policing programs within the District.
6. Identifies and justifies District Office resources (human and material).
7. Reviews, concludes, and makes action recommendations for personnel and administrative complaints.
8. Evaluates employees and counsels performance/conduct issues
9. Formulates, sequences and implements District/Office policies.
10. Formulates and prioritizes District/Office objectives.
11. Formulates District budget
12. Executes District budget

D. Leadership

1. Sets goals and priorities.
2. Directs operations at the district level.

E. Incident/Event Management

1. Will serve as an incident commander.
2. Plans emergency police response to major events.

VIII. MAJOR

A. Law Enforcement Skills

1. Maintain the same competencies as a patrol officer.
2. Directs/coordinates the planning for Branch special event and law enforcement operations.
3. Implements and directs law enforcement and special event operations for a Branch

B. Communications

1. Conducts press conferences.
2. Addresses civic groups.
3. Represents the Chief in inter-agency meetings.
4. Prepares written analysis of comprehensive issues and programs, and makes oral presentations/briefings.
5. Conveys/disseminates Branch information/objectives

C. Administrative/Managerial

1. Responsible for all administrative activity within the Branch.
2. Manages office activity within the Branch.
3. Assigns or initiates special projects.
4. Researches, and evaluates, District law enforcement and police services data.
5. Initiates and implements community-oriented policing programs or policies within the Branch.
6. Identifies and justifies Branch resources (human and material).
7. Reviews, concludes, and makes action recommendations for personnel and administrative complaints.
8. Evaluates employees and counsels performance/conduct issues
9. Formulates, sequences and implements Branch policies.
10. Formulates and prioritizes Branch objectives.
11. Formulates Branch budget
12. Executes Branch budget

D. Leadership

1. Supervises the operation of all District/Office commanders.
2. Directs implementation of Force policy within the Branch.

E. Incident/Event Management

Plans and manages Force response to planned/unplanned major events.

IX. DEPUTY CHIEF

A. Law Enforcement Skills

1. Maintains basic law enforcement responsibilities.
2. Analyzes Division operations to improve police response.
3. Directs/coordinates special event and law enforcement operations at Division level.

B. Communications

1. Advises the Chief and National Park Service officials on matters within his/her area of responsibility.
2. Conducts press conferences.
3. Addresses civic groups.
4. Represents the Chief in inter-agency meetings.
5. Prepares written analysis of comprehensive issues and programs, and makes oral presentations/briefings.
6. Conveys/disseminates Division information/objectives

C. Administrative/Managerial

1. Administratively responsible Divisional activities.
2. Manages office activity within the Division.
3. Assigns or initiates special projects.
4. Researches, and evaluates, Division law enforcement and police services data.
5. Initiates and implements community-oriented policing programs or policies within the Division.
6. Identifies and justifies Division resources (human and material).
7. Reviews, concludes, and signs as deciding official for minor personnel and administrative complaints.
8. Evaluates employees and counsels performance/conduct issues
9. Formulates, sequences and implements Division policies.
10. Formulates and prioritizes Division objectives.
11. Formulates Division budget
12. Executes Division budget

D. Leadership

1. Implements Force orders and policies.
2. Directs policy change.
3. Plans, directs and coordinates Divisional function and activities of the Force.

E. Incident/Event Management

1. Retains overall Divisional responsibility for the Force's response to major events.

X. ASSISTANT CHIEF

Note: The Assistant Chief's competencies are commensurate with the Chief's, however while the competencies of the Chief are focused in on areas that are largely external to the Force, the competencies of the Assistant Chief are focused on matters largely internal to the Force. Since the Assistant Chief's work is at the direction of the Chief, please see the competencies for the Chief.

XI. CHIEF

A. Law Enforcement Skills

1. Maintains basic law enforcement responsibilities.
2. Responsible for overall law enforcement mission

B. Communications

1. Meets and counsels with officials of the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior.
2. Maintains relations with the heads of local police departments and appropriate Federal, state, local and private agencies.
3. Conducts press conferences.
4. Addresses civic groups.
5. Prepares written analysis of comprehensive issues and programs, and makes oral presentations/briefings to Park Service, Departmental, and other criminal justice agencies.
6. Conveys/disseminates Force information/objectives

C. Administrative/Managerial

1. Skills commensurate with Chief Executive of Agency
2. Manages Divisional activity within the Force.
3. Assigns or delegates special projects.
4. Researches, and evaluates, Force law enforcement and police services data.
5. Initiates and implements community-oriented policing programs or policies within the Force.
6. Identifies and justifies Force resources (human and material).
7. Reviews, concludes, and serves as deciding official for major personnel and administrative matters.
8. Evaluates employees and counsels performance/conduct issues
9. Formulates, sequences and implements Force policies.
10. Formulates and prioritizes Force objectives.
11. Formulates Force budget
12. Executes budget

D. Leadership

1. Ensures mission of the Force is carried out with established policies and procedures.
2. Establishes Force goals and objectives
E. Incident/Event Management
1. Issues special event orders to the Force.

National Park Service
Training and Development Division
Essential Competencies
uspp.htm

Previous Page TOC