Massachusetts PD – Commander, Major and Captain – Task Survey Analysis

Commander, Major and Captain:  Essential Tasks:



Respond to incidents requiring your presence as specified in Departmental policies.

Provide back-up to other police personnel.

Request assistance from other police personnel.

Use communications equipment (e.g., radio, computer, telephone) to exchange information relative to official duties (e.g., reporting status and location to dispatcher, maintaining contact with other agencies).

Participate in a large scale coordinated search for one or more persons (e.g., escapees, mental patients, lost people, etc) to locate or apprehend the person(s).

Serve on special details to help maintain peace (e.g., abortion demonstrations, animal rights).

Erect physical barriers, bodily serve as a barrier, issue verbal commands, and/or utilize the necessary degree of authority to effect the safe, peaceful, and orderly flow of a crowd of people.



Make recommendation for disciplinary actions (as authorized) based on facts of investigation, Departmental policy, and precedent.

Conduct investigations of subordinates who may be in violation of the law or Police Department policies and procedures.

Investigate citizen complaints involving subordinates.

Investigate accidents/complaints involving police personnel and take appropriate action.


Display or discharge a Departmentally approved firearm to protect self and/or the public.

Determine whether suspects require medical attention.

Ensure prisoners are held and detained in compliance with Departmental policy and applicable statutes.

Make judgments about probable cause for warrantless searches.

Distinguish between felony and misdemeanor classifications when making arrests.

Review computer and/or booking sheet to obtain information about booked suspects (e.g., criminal history, outstanding warrants).

Physically restrain or subdue a violent or resisting individual or arrestee to protect self, the person being restrained, and the public, or to effect custody of an arrestee.

Determine applicability of Miranda when arresting and detaining suspects.

Physically restrain or control a non-violent individual or arrestee to protect self, the person being restrained, and the public, or to effect custody of an arrestee.


Ensure the  secure storage of evidence and property in the designated location.

Determine which methods are to be used to invoice and store property or evidence.


Review and file Departmental orders to maintain policy manuals and ensure appropriate procedures are followed when performing job functions.

Complete administrative forms and reports (e.g., personnel schedules, observation reports, overtime) to record and document information needed for administrative purposes and submit through the chain of command as appropriate.

Review contents of logs to get an accurate overview of district conditions and subordinate activities.

Document incoming communications (e.g., requests for information, training) and communicate that information to other personnel as necessary.

Place information (e.g., activity sheets, reports) into files to ensure records remain updated and complete and for future reference.

Write formal reports (e.g., research reports, reports documenting special programs).

Review reports of subordinates and own reports to ensure compliance with applicable policies (e.g., format, accuracy, timely completion) and for informational purposes and return reports containing irregularities.

Write narrative reports (e.g., incident reports, intelligence reports) providing complete, accurate and consistent information.

Record information required by Department guidelines in proper logs.

Integrate information from multiple documents into summaries and synopses (e.g., internal investigations) and submit through the chain of command as appropriate.

Write letters to citizens or others as representative of the police Department.

Fill in forms requiring specific information accurately and completely.

Prepare periodic (daily and weekly) reports documenting significant activities and events in assigned operational area (e.g, Daily Crime Sheet) and submit through the chain of command as appropriate.

Gather necessary data and compile statistical reports on unit activity, productivity, etc.

Write and/or review press releases.

Maintain logs (written and/or computerized) of activities occurring during the shift (e.g., accidents, significant incidents) to maintain a record.

Design and modify forms to document and summarize activities.


Review search and arrest warrants prior to presentation to judge or prosecutor for signing.

Appear and testify as a witness in an official proceeding (e.g., traffic court, trial, Civil Service hearing) to assist in fulfilling the Department's role in the judicial and administrative process.


Participate in cooperative operations (e.g., Task Forces, executing warrants) to address community conditions and crime.

Design and develop new community relations programs aimed at facilitating police-community relationships and reducing crime.

Explain the disposition of citizen complaint incidents to complainants.

Attend meetings (e.g., community meetings, concerned citizens) to discuss and exchange information, address problems, coordinate and develop plans of action, etc.

Communicate with neighborhood youths to facilitate police-community relationships and deter criminal behavior.

Maintain current information about available social agencies and their roles for use in referring citizens seeking help.

Interview community members to gain information concerning officers' interactions with the community and community problems.

Provide information upon request to individuals and groups (e.g., business people, neighborhood groups) to increase awareness of potential victimization and deter crime.

Discuss police actions with relatives of prisoners or complainants.

Provide assistance and information to civilians seeking help (e.g., directions, explanations of municipal codes and ordinances, referrals to other Department personnel or other agencies/entities).

Contact the immediate family of an individual (in person) or notify uniformed personnel to provide information to the family concerning that person's injury or death.


Maintain personal copies of Departmental directives as required by Department policy.

Clean and inspect weapons.

Oversee the storage, distribution, and maintenance of equipment and back-up equipment (e.g., radios, shotguns).

Maintain clothing and personal equipment to satisfy inspection requirements.

Assess equipment needs.

Conduct inventory of assigned vehicles and equipment to ensure that necessary equipment is available when needed.

Make recommendations for supply orders to replace and maintain an inventory.

Recognize vehicle and/or equipment damage or malfunctions(s) and ensure that necessary repairs are performed.

Ensure that building conforms to ADA and OSHA and advise appropriate personnel of the need for repairs.

Attend equipment demonstrations for Department evaluation.


Visit hospital to check on officers involved in shooting incidents.

Ensure investigative activities (e.g., court affidavits, court-ordered surveillance, searches) are executed in compliance with legal requirements.

Direct activities at scene involving accidental discharge of Department personnel's firearm according to policy.

Determine whether or not to terminate vehicle pursuits based on location of pursuit, weather, severity of crime, etc.

Attempt to resolve conflicts that arise between subordinates.

Monitor activities of office staff and desk personnel to ensure appropriate performance of duties (e.g., taking citizen complaints correctly and courteously, identifying self and district when answering phone calls).

Field check activities of subordinates to monitor performance and compliance with Department policies, procedures and applicable laws.

Take steps to keep subordinate complaints from escalating into grievances.

Attend or conduct roll call.

Monitor radio traffic to keep informed of personnel activities and ensure proper assignment (e.g., need for backup, reassignment of officers).


Request investigation of subordinates based on factors such as symptoms of possible narcotics use.

Identify problematic behavior patterns and take steps to resolve the problem(s).

Recommend transfer or additional training for subordinate based on performance.

Suspend from duty violators of laws, rules or regulations.

Discuss performance of subordinate with other supervisory personnel to obtain others' input and ensure consistency in dealing with personnel matters.

Maintain subordinate activity statistics (e.g., tardiness, sick days).

Inform subordinate of disciplinary action taken.

Discuss job performance individually with subordinate personnel during performance rating period and at other times, to recognize strengths, provide encouragement/guidance in areas of needed improvement, and set performance goals.

Evaluate Department personnel to determine suitability for specialized training, assignment, or program.

Write questions for and/or participate on interview boards for promotion/selection of personnel to special units.

Counsel subordinates regarding personal problems and/or provide necessary referrals when requested by subordinates or when problems are affecting job performance.

Investigate instances of superior performance or unusual heroism by subordinates to prepare a report for superiors.

Counsel officers about career development and advancement.

Conduct interviews with Department personnel to ensure compliance with policies and procedures.

Complete formal performance evaluation procedures for subordinate personnel to identify and document strengths and areas in need of improvement.

Inspect grooming (e.g., personal hygiene), uniform, and personal equipment of subordinate personnel to ensure compliance with policies and procedures.


Provide information regarding shift's activities (e.g., cars tied up, situations in progress) to supervisor in charge of succeeding shift.

Review and monitor leave requests, overtime requests, sick leave usage, and court overtime to ensure accuracy and recommend approval or disapproval.

Ensure personnel attend and complete mandatory training.

Assign or delegate tasks to personnel based on unit needs and priorities as well as personnel considerations (e.g., availability, workload, capabilities).

Review requests for changes in days off, hours, or special duty and recommend approval or disapproval.

Prepare/adjust work schedule in accordance with Departmental guidelines and as needed to accommodate special needs (e.g., absences, holidays, training).

Keep track of assignments distributed among personnel as well as scheduled completion dates.

Maintain personnel files.

Receive input from Department units on personnel allocations.

Provide necessary resources (e.g., information, guidance, personnel, equipment) to aid another Department at a scene (e.g., Traffic Safety personnel to escort Fire Department personnel, K-9).

Gather and review information regarding previous shift's activities for use in planning the current shift assignments.


Provide orientation training to new subordinate personnel.

Provide informal instruction or guidance to Department personnel to relay information regarding new policies and procedures, correct subordinate deficiencies, and reinforce previous learning (e.g., use of force/pursuit policies).

Monitor implementation of field training to ensure compliance with established standards.

Provide staff development in areas of functional specialization.

Request external resources to conduct special training.

Identify training needs based on observation of personnel performance (e.g., report writing, policy, and procedures) and make training recommendations.

Provide formal training to Department personnel (e.g., straight baton).


Assume command at incident scene during emergency and/or unexpected situations, issue assignments, orders, and instructions to personnel to coordinate, direct, and assist them with their activities (e.g., perimeter control, evacuation).

Establish staging area at serious incident scene for briefing of personnel, etc.

Recognize emergency situation and implement emergency mobilization plan.

Respond to major crime and incident scenes or in sensitive situations to ensure that proper actions are taken by police personnel and that other law enforcement and public service agencies are contacted.

Establish a command post for the purpose of directing operations at serious incident scene (e.g., bomb threat, hostage situation).

Direct evacuations to ensure the safety of police personnel and the public.

Assume command at hostage/barricaded suspect situations pending arrival of specialized units.

Monitor police activity by radio.

Attend briefings to discuss tactical plans and assignments.


Ensure specialty units and external agencies are notified of situations warranting their attention and involvement (e.g, hostage negotiator, Tactical Response Team, HAZMAT, Fire Department).

Respond to questions from the media regarding specific incidents in accordance with Department guidelines for release of information.

Conduct/facilitate meetings with subordinate personnel to discuss and exchange information, review new policies, address problems, critique incidents, coordinate activities, develop plans, etc.

Notify dispatcher of special conditions that may affect or are affecting sector operations as required by Department procedures.

Consult with superior to provide/receive assistance with assigned operational activities and keep him/her apprised of potential developments/problems.

Provide guidance and suggestions to subordinate personnel to assist them in performing assigned duties and addressing any problems that arise.

Receive and relay directives, assignments, and special orders to subordinates.

Prepare material for City meetings and make notes of content of meetings.

Attend meetings to be apprised of organizational or procedural changes or to provide or exchange information.

Communicate with other Department personnel informally to discuss and exchange information (e.g., intelligence), address problems, etc.

Communicate with individuals from other city/state/federal agencies/entities to exchange information and accomplish work objectives.

Contact other Police Departments and law enforcement agencies (e.g., FBI) for information and assistance.

Notify other Police Department units of unusual situations and conditions as necessary and appropriate.

Request documents in records systems (e.g., pictures, criminal histories, etc.).

Respond to requests for information from superior personnel.

Attend governmental hearings to answer questions, provide information concerning budget, contract, purchase requests and proposed ordinances, statutes, and laws.

Contact outside agencies and organizations (e.g., social service agencies) for information.

Answer investigative inquiries from other law enforcement agencies or refer inquiry appropriately.

Monitor and respond to routine communications (e.g., phone).

Attend meetings, police functions, or ceremonies as Police Department representative and prepare and deliver speeches as requested.


Formulate policies and regulations governing activities of the Police Department.

Review and maintain crime statistics and information to identify trends in criminal activity (e.g., known trouble spots & individuals).

Read and review professional literature, technical journals, and newsletters to determine their application to Division operations and to keep abreast of current practices and developments.

Set operating goals for Division or Department.

Assist in the writing of policy and procedures.

Discuss controversial legal issues with Department or City legal advisor.

Prepare or direct the preparation of ordinances and resolutions for the City.

Review requests for policy changes and forward to appropriate personnel for recommendations.

Make suggestions to improve the effectiveness or efficiency of Department units.


Monitor budget expenditures (e.g., overtime, equipment, grants, divisions).

Obtain and evaluate bid proposals and price quotations on various articles of police equipment including vehicles.

Supervise the purchase and acquisition of supplies and equipment.

Review and approve requests for equipment, personnel and building expenditures.


Read and keep up-to-date on federal, state, and local statutes/ordinances and court decisions to ensure appropriate enforcement and investigatory activities.

Read internal reports and training materials to keep current on procedures and issues.

Read and keep up-to-date on Departmental policies and procedures to ensure appropriate enforcement, investigatory, and administrative activities.

Participate in in-service training and recertification programs including firearms, policies, and practical/tactical exercises (e.g., defensive tactics) to receive information and develop skills.

Assume duties of superior during superior's absence.

Read outside literature (e.g., texts and journals) to keep current on law enforcement topics.