Succession Planning at UCPD
Lieutenant Scott Scheffler became a Bruin in Fall 1997 as a freshman with plans to fulfill his childhood dream of pursuing law enforcement. While a student, Scott worked with UCLA Police (UCPD) as a Community Service Officer (CSO) and later as a dispatcher. After he earned a B.S. in Mathematics/Applied Science with a minor in Accounting, Scott went on to train at the police academy and become a UCPD sworn officer in June 2003.
Over the years, Scott has worked on patrol and as a detective, investigating complicated fraud cases, and risen through the ranks from officer to sergeant to his current position as a lieutenant. Promotions at UCPD are an important part of succession planning as officers promote from within to fill newly created positions and replace supervisors who either promote, retire or leave the department to pursue other opportunities. Generally, sworn leadership positions at UCPD rotate about every two to three years.
(At right: Lieutenant Scott Scheffler, UCLA Police Department)
Promotions at UCPD are highly competitive so training and working in multiple divisions is critical to a successful career. To prepare officers, UCPD provides opportunities to apply for special assignments and rotates duty assignments so that everyone gains the knowledge, skills and experience to respond and take action. Per Lt. Scheffler, "If something happens on campus, all sworn supervisors are police officers first and then rank second. You are expected to take action and respond as an officer. If others are available, then you can back-away and set-up command to supervise and manage the situation."
Rotating assignments provides the opportunity to learn new skills, see how different parts of the department work and ensures a well-rounded knowledge base of how UCPD and the university operate. Officers are eligible to apply for special assignments, including accident investigation, dignitary protection, honor guard, detective, lead officer, threat management and crime prevention. Sergeants also have the opportunity to serve in some of these specialty units as supervisors. UCPD currently has six lieutenants overseeing the patrol, investigations, administrative and community services divisions. The lieutenants also rotate periodically like the rest of the department. There are many benefits to rotating assignments, not the least of which is that "If you've done it before, you can step in to help if someone is unavailable or during a crisis," according to Scott.
In his spare time, Scott is an avid traveller who enjoys bargain hunting for airfare deals to absolutely anywhere in the world.