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Book Review: Basic Handbook of Police Supervision: A Practical Guide for Law Enforcement Supervisors, 2nd edition

0423-book-review-Basic-Handbook-Police-Supervision.jpgBasic Handbook of Police Supervision: A Practical Guide for Law Enforcement Supervisors, 2nd Edition. By Gerald W. Garner. Charles C. Thomas Publisher Ltd.;; 218 Pages; $35.95. 

Basic Handbook of Police Supervision: A Guide for Law Enforcement Supervisors is exactly what the title suggests—a very well written, beginner-level guide for what newly promoted law enforcement supervisors should know and expect as they transition into this frontline supervisory role.  

The book is structured in well-defined topic specific chapters with a summary at the end of each chapter, and it is written in an easy-to-read conversational tone. The chapters cover a broad range of topics, including the transition from coworker to boss, performance management and addressing failure, and even managing the media. The book is loaded with good law enforcement-inspired examples, making it easy to understand within the career field. Additionally, much of the content and certainly the easy-to-follow lists used to describe various do’s and don’ts are equally applicable to any other entry-level supervisor position or basic leadership student.

The book does include a chapter on the challenge of modern times, though this chapter feels too small given the substantial impact that the last few years have had on the profession. There is some opportunity to have included a greater discussion on the impact of the pandemic and rising tensions towards law enforcement, as well as to some degree the impact of the Defund the Police movement on the role of these frontline supervisors. 

Overall, the book is well written and highly beneficial for all levels of experience, and even across the industry. Many frontline security supervisors and aspiring security supervisors would find it of benefit to read the book and study the concepts. Its easy-to-follow structure by chapter and summary make it a good course resource for college or trade schools in criminal justice, and any student of leadership would find the material familiar and relevant.  


Reviewer: Yan Byalik, CPP is the security administrator for the City of Newport News, Virginia, where he manages a team tasked with protecting the city’s critical infrastructure and serves on numerous city multidisciplinary working groups providing security input on major city initiatives such as mass vaccinations, election security, and special events. Byalik is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has worked in the security industry since 2001. He is the regional vice president for ASIS Region 5A.