Station sergeant

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Station sergeant was a rank in the London Metropolitan Police and continues as a rank in the Hong Kong Police Force, and Royal Barbados Police Force. It is also a rank used by the Australian Federal Police whilst members are attached to the International Deployment Group.

Australian Federal Police[edit]

Whilst on deployment in peacekeeping operations members of the Australian Federal Police are appointed to the ranks of senior sergeant (three chevrons below a crown which is surrounded by a laurel leaf), station sergeant (a crown surrounded by a laurel leaf), superintendent (a pip and a crown), or commander (three pips and crown).

Station sergeants serve as team leader and senior NCO.

Garda[edit]

The Irish Garda Síochána used the rank until at least the 1960s.

Metropolitan Police[edit]

The station sergeant, or station police sergeant (SPS), was the senior sergeant in a police station. He either acted as the station inspector's deputy or commanded a smaller station that had no Inspector. The insignia was a crown over three chevrons, the same insignia as a staff sergeant in the British Army.

The rank was officially introduced in 1890 to replace the short-lived rank of sub-inspector, although the term had been used unofficially before that time. Officers who already held the rank of sub-inspector retained it, however. In 1890, a station sergeant's pay started at 45 shillings a week (a sergeant's maximum pay was 40 shillings a week), rising by an annual increment of 1 shilling a week to 48 shillings a week.

The Criminal Investigation Department equivalent was the first class detective sergeant, who was in charge of the allocation of cases to the detectives in each division.

Originally, station sergeant was a mandatory step between sergeant and inspector, but later it became common to miss out the rank entirely and it became more of a reward for long-serving sergeants who did not wish to be promoted to inspector. The rank was never available to women officers.

No further promotions to the ranks of station sergeant and first class detective sergeant were made after 1973. The last officer to hold the rank was Station Sergeant William Palmer, who retired in 1980. However, the term continued to be used to denote the senior sergeant in a station, although it was no longer a separate rank with its own insignia.

Possibly the most famous fictional station sergeant was George Dixon in the long-running television series Dixon of Dock Green.

An equivalent rank was clerk sergeant, or clerk police sergeant (CPS), held by the officer responsible for all administration in a division. Clerk sergeants were regraded as inspectors in January 1954.[1]

Royal Parks Constabulary[edit]

The Royal Parks Constabulary used the Station Sergeant rank (known as Crown Sergeant) until 1989, when the last incumbent, Sergeant John Stewart, was appointed to the rank.[2]

Port of Felixstowe Police[edit]

The Port of Felixstowe Police, a small British specialised police force responsible for policing the Port of Felixstowe, has one officer of the rank of Station Sergeant.[3]

Hong Kong Police Force[edit]

In the Hong Kong Police Force, the rank of station sergeant (SSG) is senior to sergeant but junior to inspector. A station sergeant is required to have served three years at the rank of sergeant and be recommended by a selection board before being promoted to the rank. Station sergeant is the highest non-commissioned rank in the Hong Kong Police Force. Because of that, station sergeants tend to be the most senior and most experienced NCO in a unit, serving as the commander or second-in-command of a unit and/or a station if necessary.

To progress to the rank of inspector, a station sergeant must undergo the same application process as other junior officers. The rank badge of a station sergeant is the Hong Kong Police badge surrounded by a wreath worn in the centre of the shoulder strap.

A distinctive feature of the uniform of a station sergeant is that they wear the white shirt typically worn by commissioned officers as opposed to the cornflower blue or dodger blue shirts worn by sergeants and all ranks below. However, acting station sergeants may wear the blue shirts with station sergeant insignia.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Report of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis for the Year 1953
  2. ^ Chief Officer's Annual Report, 1989
  3. ^ http://www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk/PUBLICATIONS/JOURNAL/publicationscheme.pdf