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Police administrative assistants work in local, state and federal law police agencies. They perform a range of clerical and administrative tasks designed to ensure the smooth operation of police functions. The primary tasks of these assistants include developing and implementing effective office procedures, responding to public inquiries, maintaining law enforcement records, and serving as a link between the chief of police and other law enforcement officers.
Using the Skills
To do their roles competently, police administrative assistants must be organized professionals with strong skills in solving office problems and managing office records. They must, for instance, be able to identify an efficient filing system for a police agency’s administrative and personnel records. These assistants also need prioritizing skills to execute day-to-day tasks in order of importance or urgency, and writing skills to write clear memos and meeting minutes. Finally, police administrative assistants are public office holders, and as such they must discharge their duties with integrity, and deal with the public in a pleasant and tactful manner.
Police administrative assistants work to enhance the operational efficiency of a police department. To achieve this, they coordinate the flow of information from the police chief down to junior police officers and out to members of the public. When a local police agency wants to hire law enforcement officers, for instance, the assistant may communicate the information to the community through a press release. These assistants also manage the department’s administrative and special operations calendar. If patrol officers are to undergo a training in a week’s time, for example, the assistants may send reminders detailing the event’s time and venue to the officers. They also schedule appointments and meetings for senior police officers.
Ordering Office Supplies and Other Duties
To ensure a law enforcement agency doesn’t run out of stationery and other pieces of office supplies, police administrative assistants monitor their use and place orders to vendors when necessary. When the suppliers send invoices for payment, the assistant forwards them to the accounting clerk. Other duties include reviewing existing office procedures and recommending suitable adjustments, transcribing electronically recorded interviews of police investigations, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws, such as the Freedom of Information Act, which mandates these workers to respond to public requests for information.
Aspiring police administrative assistants should have a sound understanding of office management practices, departmental operations and bookkeeping procedures. The best way to obtain this knowledge is to take administrative support assistant classes, such as the ones offered at the Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Individuals without post-secondary training are also often considered, as long as they possess some secretarial or administrative support experience. Ambitious assistants can obtain the Certified Administrative Professional designation from the International Association of Administrative Professionals and gain several years of work experience to boost their chances of becoming executive secretaries to police chiefs.