Scottsbluff Police restructuring, adding corporal positions to ranks

November 3, 2017

SCOTTSBLUFF — Members of The Scottsbluff Civil Service Commission and the Scottsbluff Police Department will interview and test seven officers Friday for a new positions being created at the department as part of a restructuring.

The police department will implement four corporal positions into its ranks, Scottsbluff Police Chief Kevin Spencer said. The corporal position is a rank that is established between the rank of patrol officer and sergeant.

At the police department, officers work on teams, a system that was established about three years ago, and officers work 12-hour shifts, which Spencer said is common in law enforcement. There are four teams and a sergeant oversees each of the team.

Establishing the corporal position will provide some benefits for the department. Spencer said that four corporal positions will be established, one for each shift. The corporal will serve as an additional supervisor for each shift.

“We will have a supervisor on duty at all times,” Spencer said.

Before, if a sergeant took vacation or a sick day, supervisory duties fell to the senior officer. Establishing the corporal position puts into place a supervisor who has tested for the position, been promoted and adequately trained to serve as a supervisor.

It also serves as a promotional opportunity for officers, something which Spencer sees as a benefit. The last time the department restructured was in 2006, eliminating lieutenant positions in the department.

“We think (establishing the corporal position) is an important part of career development,” Spencer said. “We want our officers to have training and promotional opportunities. We also want officers who want to be supervisors and are trained to do so.”

Spencer said he hopes to have the new corporals promoted by the end of the year, hopefully sooner. He said he is pleased that out of 21 patrol positions, seven candidates stepped forward and were interested in the supervisory position.

The Civil Service Commission will interview and test the candidates and certify a list ranking the candidates. Candidates will be selected from that certified list.