Charleston Police Department (South Carolina)

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Charleston Police Department (South Carolina) Reviews

Updated May 12, 2015
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6 Employee Reviews

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  1. Halfway decent place to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Charleston Police Department (South Carolina) full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Street level supervisors are experienced and generally helpful and caring. 4 day on 3 day off schedule. Good technology. Freedom while on patrol due to low call volume. Alot of cops on regular patrol. Emphasis on backing each other up, safety.

    Cons

    Behind the times as far as street crime and narcotics units (micromanaged). Generally micromanaged from the top. Over zealous cops care more about locking someone up for a roach than they do about patrolling their neighborhoods for serious crimes. Almost always working weekends. A lack of street smart cops. Lack of outside the box patrol tactics. FEAR of getting in trouble for something petty. Field training officers only have 18 months to 4 or 5 years of experience. Excessive response to minor crimes. Over pursuit.

    Advice to Management

    Take the training wheels off. Let your team commanders run their teams. Stop entertaining the petty problems. Hire some people with some street sense, sheltered suburban college kids need to learn the streets from someone that's been on them.


  2. Compstat drive policing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Police Officer in Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Police Officer in Charleston, SC

    I worked at Charleston Police Department (South Carolina) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great place to begin a career in law enforcement Ample opportunities to join speciality units (Swat, Narcotics, Traffic, Investigations) without a lot of time on the job. excellent in house training by highly qualified officers Take home cars 10 hour shifts 4 on 3 off except for heaven and hell week. Some great sergeants with alot of experience in team 1 and 4. You gain a lot of experience in a short amount of time

    Cons

    Officers are often disciplined for trivial things with harsh punishments. For instance, if you are caught swearing on the street that is an automatic day off regardless of the circumstances. Don't miss a municipal court appearance that's an automatic day off too! It's apparent that the command staff is out of touch with officers working the street. The pay structure is lacking as well. The department expects and demands college graduates but wages are stagnant. You will start off around 40k and good luck making 50k unless you rank up to sergeant which usually takes 7-12 years to accomplish. You have a lot of veteran officers who were once proactive now have become disgruntled due to excessive punishment and spend most evenings sitting in their car watching the sunset over vacant parking lots. Recently, many of the new hires are lacking in quality but rather fulfill the quantity demand of keeping warm bodies in police cars. The schedule rotation can be demanding and the department is not open to permanent fixed shifts.

    Advice to Management

    Stop punishing your officers for trivial things, this is why everyone is leaving. Restructure your pay scale and take the mystery out of getting a raise If you want to be a premiere law enforcement agency as you claim to be, then pay your people more, hire quality people instead of quantity. Encourage outside training opportunities and make it easier for officers to attend Stop running the department on the premise of the constant fear of public perception and let officers do their job. Compstat is not GOD


  3. Low Morale

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Police Officer in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Police Officer in Charleston, SC

    I have been working at Charleston Police Department (South Carolina) full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Some of the reasons to work for CPD are competitive salary and fellow officers.

    Cons

    Lack of support from above. Officers are investigated for EVERY complaint, regardless of merit. Officers have a monthly gas allowance, rewarding those who are lazy and read books under trees. I have been treated better at every job I've had since I was 15.

    Advice to Management

    Care about your Officers.


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  5. Golden Handcuffs

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sergeant in Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Sergeant in Charleston, SC

    I worked at Charleston Police Department (South Carolina) full-time (More than 8 years)

    Negative Outlook
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Overall not a bad place to work. You can do as much or as little as you want. There are a lot of career opportunities within the department if you are willing to work for them.

    Cons

    Management sometimes uncaring as to family life. You are at their disposal when you get to be mid-level/upper level management.


  6. Disgusted former Supervisor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Police Supervisor in Charleston, SC
    Former Employee - Police Supervisor in Charleston, SC

    I worked at Charleston Police Department (South Carolina)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The benefits of the police department (health insurance), and retirement benefits are good. The pay is one of the highest starting in the state among police officers, however this comes at great expense as you will end up working nearly every holiday, weekend, and will be subject to extreme disciplinary action if you violate just one letter of policy.

    Cons

    Many supervisors (command staff) have serious competency issues. The command staff structure (Major, Captains) are all those who are "double dipping" the system, i.e., those whom have retired and returned and sitting on a salary of at least $75K a year plus their retirement. They will end there until their social security checks start to roll in so they can have a reasonable projection toward a six figure income.

    Advice to Management

    I was not greatly impressed with the leadership qualities and competencies of the department as a whole. As a retired officer with many years of experience, I can tell you that many other departments value their employees and consider them much more than this department did.


  7. The Charleston Police Department is a good starting point, but not favorable to long term gain.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Police Supervisor in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Police Supervisor in Charleston, SC

    I have been working at Charleston Police Department (South Carolina)

    Pros

    The Charleston Police Department has a good reputation for building new officers and allowing them to go on to Federal law enforcement. The starting pay is competitive for the area, and there are several special units that are available for those that are interested, ie; dive, bomb, swat.

    Cons

    There is limited room for long term growth. The command staff (Lts and above) have been allowed to retire and then be rehired at their orginal ranks. There is no insentive for them to leave. As a result there are very few promotions past Sgt.

    Advice to Management

    Start observing your officers. They are so afraid of making minor mistakes and receiving harsh punishment that they are putting their lives at risk and failing to make decisions that might save their lives in a crisis sitation.



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