Chief of Police

City of Takoma Park, MD Class Specification

CLASS TITLE: Chief of Police
REPORTS TO: City Manager
DATE: 02/2009
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Plans, organizes and administers a comprehensive program to provide leadership and direction to the Police Department operations and staff; provides comprehensive police services to an urban community through interaction with Council and citizens; promotes public safety and reduces crime and the fear of criminal activity within the community.


Customer Service

Handles customer questions and complaints, communicates with customers, handles service problems politely and efficiently, always available for customers, follows procedure to solve customer problems, understands all City services, maintains pleasant and professional image. Anticipates, monitors and meets the needs of internal and external customers and responds to them in an appropriate manner. Continually seeks to provide the highest quality service to all customers. Listens carefully when dealing with the public and communicates concern through tone of voice and by taking action to solve their problems in a timely manner. Complies with the City’s Customer Service Policy, including 24-hour response time for telephone calls and e-mails. Explains departmental and City issues to the public in a manner that demonstrates interest and concern for their problems. Listens well, diffuses conflict before it starts, finds causes of and solutions to problems, handles difficult people.


Communicates well both verbally and in writing when required, creates accurate and punctual reports, delivers presentations, shares information and ideas with others, has good listening skills. Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts. Demonstrates effective use of listening skills and displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts. Keeps key employees informed regarding relevant information. Shares information with other members of the team to foster teamwork and to further attainment of the City’s goals. Written and oral information is presented in a manner that projects a positive and professional image of the City.

Reports problems, concerns, issues that should be corrected. Readily shares information and ensures that team members are kept informed and up-to-date. Establishes team and individual accountability for goals, objectives and outcomes. Intervenes as necessary to identify and resolve conflict among team members. Makes conscious and deliberate efforts to build team spirit and identity.

Job Knowledge

Understands duties and responsibilities, has necessary technical skills, understands the City’s mission/values, keeps job knowledge current. Demonstrates the appropriate level of proficiency in the principles and practices of one’s field or profession. Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, including the understanding and application of technology where appropriate. Operates within the organization's formal and informal structures, builds allies and relationships across departments, uses allies to build consensus and create results, is appropriately diplomatic, understands others' roles and perspectives, can sell projects and ideas across the organization. Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, adjusts plans to meet changing needs. Prioritizes well and reacts to opportunities. Is attentive to detail and accuracy, is committed to excellence, looks for improvements continuously, monitors quality levels, finds root cause of quality problems, owns/acts on quality problems.


Budget/Cost Control

Plans for and uses resources efficiently, always looks for ways to reduce costs, creates accurate and realistic budgets and budget projections, tracks and adjusts budgets, contributes to budget planning. Prepares and submits budget within specified time constraints. Anticipates depart mental operating and capital needs and budgets adequately for needed expenditures. Reports departmental expenditures within specified time constraints. Bills are submitted for payment on time. Completes and files all applicable reports related to grants, agenda items, etc. within specified deadlines. Anticipates long-term budgeting needs in manner that allows the City to anticipate and plan for  sources of revenues for extraordinary future expenses. Controls expenditures to deliver department's services within agreed upon budget. Follows established procurement procedures in obtaining goods and services.

Decision Making/Judgment

Recognizes problems and responds, systematically gathers information, sorts through complex issues, seeks input from others, addresses root cause of issues, makes timely decisions, can make difficult decisions, uses consensus when possible, communicates decisions to others. Knows when to notify and/or involve the department head or the City Manager prior to making a decision.


Leads through change and adversity, makes the tough call when needed, builds consensus when appropriate, motivates and encourages others. Addresses projects, issues, and situations using innovative solutions that consider dollar and human resources as well as service goals. Asks clarifying questions, actively listens, stays open to other viewpoints, manages distractions and interruptions. Manages a fair workload, volunteers for additional work, prioritizes tasks, develops good work procedures, manages time well. Sets challenging and productive goals for team, keeps team accountable for actions, provides leadership, and motivation, uses checkpoints and data to track progress, sets up systems and processes to measure results.

Managing Performance

Applies clear/consistent performance standards, handles performance problems decisively and objectively, is direct but tactful, provides guidance and assistance to improve performance. Allocates work with adequate number of personnel so that project deadlines are never missed due to manpower allocation. Fully understands provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreement and ensures compliance with it. Consistently applies policies and procedures in an equitable manner with no valid complaints from subordinates. Trains and instructs employees in proper City techniques and procedures, including those designed to provide a safe working environment. Communicates job expectations and monitors employee progress such that there is sufficient documentation to justify performance appraisals, distinguished increases and/or disciplinary actions. Identifies and takes action to improve employee performance. Completes performance reviews within time-frame prescribed by City policy. Provides feedback and coaching, rewards hard work and risk taking, takes mentoring role, challenges and develops employees, accepts mistakes, provides visibility/opportunity. Defines roles and responsibilities, motivates and challenges employees, delegates effectively, and rewards contributions.


Develops realistic plans, sets goals, aligns plans with City’s goals, plans for and manages resources, creates  contingency plans, coordinates/cooperates with others. Creates and communicates a long-term vision, balances short and long term goals, keeps own and team's work aligned with overall goals, creates and adjusts strategic plans. Generates new ideas, challenges the status quo, takes risks, supports change, encourages innovation, solves problems creatively.


Carries out supervisory responsibility in accordance with City policies, procedures and applicable laws including: interviewing, hiring and training, planning, assigning and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Establishes vision and departmental mission involving employees, citizens, elected and appointed officials.

Plans and directs the operation and administration of the department to include: creation and dissemination of departmental policies and standard operational guidelines; efficient use of personnel and equipment; procurement of materials, supplies and equipment; preparation, revision and monitoring of proposed budgets, and the maintenance of adequate records of departmental activities.

Responds to complaints, questions and other calls from citizens, business owners, and the general public; consults with stake holders on a continuing basis regarding community needs.

Develops and recommends operating and capital improvement budget for the department annually; monitors and administers approved budget.

Participates in the effort to identify and secure outside funding sources to improve public safety within the City.

Plans long-range goals, objectives, organizational structure, and overall direction for the department.

Plans and implements short and medium range goals, objectives, and strategies for the department, projects, and programs to ensure efficient organization and completion of work.

Monitors, reviews, and communicates the implementation phases of the department's strategic plans to ensure that long range vision, goals and objectives are met.

Plans, coordinates, assigns, and monitors performance and coaches, counsels, mentors, trains, and advises employees in department for the dual goals of meeting departmental goals and employee career development.

Confers with upper management to keep them informed on key issues and progress toward objectives and to gain their support and approval; makes recommendations to assist management in making needed improvements.

Signs official and other documents to approve or ensure information adequacy, accuracy, and legitimacy.

Performs special assignments as requested, to include researching and preparing reports and projects, developing and implementing programs, and presenting technical data to management, elected officials, and others.

Maintains current knowledge of issues, rules, laws, legislation and litigation affecting the Police Service by attending  conferences, seminars, training programs and by reading trade and professional journals and publications.

Establishes and maintain effective working relationships with other jurisdictions and agencies having impact on the City.

Represents the City at various functions such as making speeches at civic and business associations, meeting with influential persons within the community, officials, citizens, and representatives of the press, to establish goodwill and resolve/respond to issues.

Conducts regular staff meetings to review progress, accomplishments, budgets, strategies, and plans for the department.

Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Computer
  • General Office Equipment
  • Vehicle
  • Police Radio
  • Weapon


Education and Experience

Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university in Criminal Justice, Administration of Justice, Public Administration, or a related field; and,

Seven to ten years of progressively responsible experience; or,

Any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Licenses and Certifications

Certified Police Officer (desirable).

Weapons Proficiency.

Valid State Driver's License.


Knowledge of:

Principles and practices of public administration and management with an emphasis on police administration , management and operations.

Principles and practices of modern policing strategies, tactics, and procedures.

Department organization, standard operating guidelines and policies, rules, and regulations.

All applicable state, federal and local ordinances, laws, rules and regulations.

Correct English usage, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary.

Basic budgetary principles and practices.

Administration principles and practices, including goal setting and program budget development and implementation.

Administration of staff and activities, either directly or through subordinate supervision.

All computer applications and hardware related to performance of the essential functions of the job.

Recordkeeping, report preparation, filing methods and records management techniques.

Methods and techniques of research, statistical analysis and report presentation.

Principles and practices of planning, finance, logistics, team building, delegation, organizational development, statistics, and data analysis.

Skill in:

A high level of analytical skills necessary in order to develop and implement department mission, goals and procedures; determine needs for capital expenditures, personnel and operating budgets; and prepare special reports or analyses for jurisdiction or outside agencies.

An advanced level of interpersonal skills necessary in order to provide effective leadership to subordinate personnel and to develop cooperative working relationships with employees, senior management, elected officials and vendors supplying goods or services to the jurisdiction.

Using tact, discretion, initiative and independent judgment within established guidelines.

Analyzing and resolving office administrative situations and problems.

Researching, compiling, and summarizing a variety of informational and statistical data and materials.

Organizing work, setting priorities, meeting critical deadlines, and following up assignments with a minimum of direction.

Communicating clearly and effectively, orally and in writing.

Planning, organizing, assigning, directing, reviewing and evaluating the work of staff.

Selecting and motivating staff and providing for their training and professional development.

Preparing clear and concise reports, correspondence and other written materials.

Mental and Physical Abilities

Significant ability to concentrate and pay close attention to detail in reviewing, preparing and presenting budgets, reading and writing reports, or representing department at in-house or outside public meetings.

Ability to analyze situations and take effective courses of action.

Ability to work effectively with diverse governmental and community groups.

Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operation and maintenance instructions, procedure manuals, and so forth.

Ability to develop presentations, write reports, correspondence, procedure manuals.

Ability to speak effectively before groups of employees and public groups and respond to questions.

Ability to read, analyze and interpret professional periodicals and journals, technical procedures and government regulations.

Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference.

Ability to compute ratios and percentages and interpret bar graphs.

Ability to interpret a variety of instructions in written, oral, diagram or schedule form.

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.

Ability to remain calm and make effective command decisions while in emergency situations.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is frequently required to sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl, lift and/or move up to 10 pounds, and speak and hear.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is occasionally required to lift and/or move up to 20 pounds.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in a normal office environment with some exposure to outdoor temperatures or dirt and dust.

While performing the essential functions of this position the employee is occasionally exposed to work with explosives.

The incumbent's working conditions are typically moderately quiet.

file: Chief of Police

This class specification should not be interpreted as all inclusive. It is intended to identify the essential functions and requirements of this job. Incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification. Any essential function or requirement of this class will be evaluated as necessary should an incumbent/applicant be unable to perform the function or requirement due to a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Reasonable accommodation for the specific disability will be made for the incumbent/applicant when possible.