What are the staff positions in a typical police department? Essay
What are the staff positions in a typical police department?
1. What are the staff positions in a typical police department? Is there a difference between the terms “pyramidal structure” and “hierarchy”? Explain the difference between unity of command and chain of command. What is the purpose of law enforcement management? What is an informal organization? How could you reorganize to force decision making downward? Is this desirable? What changes in management do you foresee in law enforcement agencies in the year 2000? Explain your answers in detail.
Staff personnel in a law enforcement agency provide administrative services, legal advice, and support for the line organization of an agency. The line personnel conduct field services which directly accomplish the goals of the department. Staff positions in typical police departments include recruitment and training, records and communications, planning and research, legal, and technical services. Staff personnel assist line personnel by acting as liaisons, specialists, and consultants. They are generally technical specialists, who can provide expert information. Staff providing technical communications are unique, because they are operatives assisting the entire agency, including other staff personnel.
There is a difference between the terms of “pyramidal structure” and “hierarchy”, however, they are very closely related. Hierarchy is defined by our text book as “a group of people organized or classified by rank and authority.” The usual law enforcement agency is a particular type of hierarchy; a pyramid shaped hierarchy (pyramidal structure).” It is typically shaped with a single “authority” at the apex (chief or sheriff) expanding down and out through the ranks to the broad base of “workers” (captains and lieutenants, sergeants, and patrol officers).
There is a difference between unity of command and chain of command. Unity of command refers to the principle that members of an organization are accountable to a single superior who is vested with the necessary authority to coordinate personnel efforts to achieve common objectives. In its absence, coordination may still be achieved through voluntary mutual cooperation, but this may break down if disagreements occur.
The chain of command is the relationship of juniors and seniors within an organization. The unity and chain of command: Ensures efficiency–all personnel are able to accomplish their job without confusion and in a minimum amount of time. Defines responsibilities–personnel know exactly what their responsibilities are, what their obligation to the organization is, and what they are expected to do. Identifies job accountability–workers are answerable to all senior persons in their chain of command for carrying out assigned tasks. Provides direction–personnel are assigned specific duties. All members of the chain of command know their specific duties. Seniors assign duties, juniors carry them out. Provides smooth communications–good lines of communication let people know where they stand, up and down the chain of command. There are no questions or doubts where a person fits in the chain of command.
Effective communications lets everyone know who has the authority to legally influence others and/or their actions. Smooth, rapid, and effective communications ensures good order and discipline. Everyone in the chain of command knows what his or her duties and responsibilities are. Also, juniors are informed about matters affecting them and seniors are aware of problems which may exist among juniors.
The purpose of law enforcement management is to control, direct, administer, and take control to combine resources in accomplishing the goals of police and related agencies. These resources are typically, gear and supplies, communication and information technology, buildings, vehicles, and most importantly; people.
An informal organization is a group of workers that operates without sanctioned consent, but have an effect on department performance. It operates parallel to a formal organization (a group of people that is officially structured on paper). The informal organization is perhaps often more representative of how an actual police department operates daily. Some people will emerge as “natural” (non-official) leaders, while some people may form their own un-official work groups, because they like to work with one another, etc. These informal groups can negatively or positively affect the goals and flow of the formal organization. It best benefits formal leaders to utilize and integrate these naturally forming informal organizations. However, they should aim to keep scuttlebutt (rumors) arising from these groups to a minimum, as gossip can be detrimental to unity of the command.
An agency’s management can delegate decision-making downward and empower front line employees to take responsibility for daily decision-making. This means changing the decision-making process and culture of the department. Management must articulate their decision making rules and communicate their sincere desire for workers to take responsibility for making decisions. This can be achieved by stressing the importance of setting priorities at all levels of the planning and budget processes. Also, more staff should be made involved in the decision-making process, which forces the decision-making downward in an organization.
It is imperative management teams create lateral relationships to change the decision making process downward, because it does not naturally follow the organization’s hierarchical structure. These relationships allow decision making to be moved downward in the organization without actual reorganizing. Lateral relationships can take any of a large number of forms. Some possible forms are direct contact between managers, liaison roles between divisions and other departments, and task forces involving several divisions and departments.
There are disadvantages and advantages to downward decision making process. The disadvantages are that it can be time consuming, influenced by groupthink, and some lower-level personnel may have difficulty in taking initiative in the process. The advantages are that it can provide a broader perspective, workers are more likely to be satisfied with the decision, develops workers’ interest in making sure the decision succeeds, and reduces uncertainty in the decision making process.
Overall, I believe the downward decision making process is desirable. It is particularly useful in handling crises requiring inter-agency response and coordination on-scene. To try and eliminate the negative effects of this process, supervisory personnel should be assigned to manage it. They should do their best not to produce an unfair influence on decisions made by junior employees.
The changes I foresee in management of law enforcement agencies in the 2000’s is the incorporation/use of information and communication technology and anti-terrorism tactics. This change is not unique to law enforcement, but to all institutions in today’s postindustrial and post 9/11 society. There have been recent leaps made in patrol communication systems, information and report filing systems, and tactical gear used. These changes are going to continue to be made as long as technology keeps on evolving. Police departments are now required to be more terrorist conscience to aid federal departments in their war on terrorism on the home front.
I believe these developments in management are more difficult for law enforcement agencies to make compared to other institutions, because police departments operate 24 hours a day; 365 days a year. It is more difficult to balance and control the installation of the required equipment and procedures, give proper training to personnel regarding their use, and implement them into daily routine use. This is because, law enforcement managers are replacing equipment, systems, and standard procedures that operate “non-stop”.
2. What is strategic management? What are the different management styles? What skills does a law enforcement manager, at any level, need to develop? What are the main problem areas of the different levels of law enforcement managers? If you were recently appointed as an executive police manager, what would be your main concern? Explain your answers in detail.
Strategic management can be defined as the art and science of formulating, implementing, and evaluating cross-functional decisions that enable an organization to achieve its objectives. As this definition implies, strategic management focuses on integrating management, community relations, logistics, patrol/operations, research and crime laboratories, and computer information systems to achieve departmental success. The term strategic management in our assigned text is used synonymously with the term strategic planning. The term strategic management is used to refer to strategy formulation, implementation, and evaluation, with strategic planning referring only to strategy formulation. The purpose of strategic management is to exploit and create new and different opportunities for tomorrow; long-range planning, in contrast, tries to optimize for tomorrow the trends of today.
Douglas McGregor described two management styles in the 1960’s: Authoritarian (Theory X) and Participative (Theory Y). Each style operating under contrasting assumptions regarding motivation, trust, and decision making capability of workers. In an Authoritarian organization, managers do as they are told, transmit orders to workers who are expected to carry out the task without question. Decisions are made at the top like military type organization. Theory X assumes people hate work, have to be forced to do it, and have to be forced to achieve company’s objectives– motivation is feared.
In a Participative organization, work is delegated. Managers coordinate their own group’s work with the group or person senior to them. The manager attempts to clear difficulties out of path of their subordinates. Work can be a source of satisfaction (voluntarily performed) or punishment (avoided) dependent on controllable conditions. Managers encourage participation in decision making at all levels. Theory Y assumes people learn not only to accept, but to seek greater responsibility and work at a higher level–motivation is awarded.
Later, Rensis Likert separated management styles into four different systems. The management types were ranked in order from worst to best, worst being one and best being four. His managing types start with the exploitative authoritative (System 1) organization. These organizations are run through motivation in the form of threats, fear, top-level decision making, and include all of the negative characteristics of the classical and scientific approaches to organizational communication. This system can be called the “tells” style of management.
Second is the compassionate authoritative (System 2) organization. Can be referred to as the “sells” style of management, this style is similar to the exploitative authoritative, but will often give reasoning behind decision making. There is still a top level of control and limited communication.
Thirdly, the consultative (System 3) organization still relies mostly on top level management for decision making, but employees are often consulted about their views and they are taken into consideration. This system can be called the “asks” style of management.
Fourth, the participative (System 4) organization, can be referred to as the “joins” method of management, looks at the employees and management all on the same level. Each member of a participative organization makes decisions, and members’ views and opinions are strongly valued.
Chris Argyris developed the Mature Employee Theory. He suggested that directive management styles foster immaturity and dependency and that more participative management styles foster mature and active employees. He went beyond the personal level to suggest an organization might be viewed as an individual itself; worthy of self-actualization. Today, such movements as quality management have related notions such as the empowerment of employees as central ideas.
In 1964, two academics in the field of management, Robert Blake and Jane Mouton, published the Managerial Grid. A review of the Grid and its underlying assumptions can help managers look at managing people and resources more effectively. In general, the Managerial Grid measures a manager’s biases toward the two major elements of success in organizations: the concern for people and the concern for production. The basis for the Managerial Grid theory is plotting these concerns on a grid and then identifying five different management styles based on the relationship between these two elements.
Managers with a high concern for people and a low concern for production are identified in the Grid as practicing Country Club Management. These managers have a tendency to give thoughtful attention to the needs of the people involved in the organization and in creating a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. Country Club Managers can be identified as those who have lots of social interaction, play on department sports teams, etc.
Those who operate at the other extreme of Task Management are identified as authority-obedience managers. These managers focus on productivity with little concern for individuals. They focus on streamlining operations so that the human resources interfere as little as possible with the other resources. These managers are frequently labeled as “tyrants” or “slave-drivers.” They get the work done, but at the sacrifice of some of the human resources.
The Impoverished Manager tends to focus on doing no more than is the absolute minimum to get the required work done, and keep his superior off his back. He or she tends to have very little concern for either the human element or the production level of the team. Impoverished managers don’t last long in responsible organizations.
The manager known as an “organization man” is categorized as utilizing Middle-of-the-road Management style. This is a manager who is constantly trying to balance the concerns of the workforce and the concern with getting out the work. He or she constantly tries to compromise between the two competing forces, keeping morale reasonable, and production close to expectations without significantly exceeding them. He or she tends to burn out rapidly as they keep both elements neither happy or unhappy.
The ideal manager is identified by Blake and Mouton as the Team Manager. The team manager understands the need for high concern for both the employees and resources of the organization. These managers work toward helping their people improve their commitment, developing relationships of trust and respect with workers and other managers, and in enhancing productivity through a focus on common vision and mission.
A law enforcement manager, at any level, needs to develop skills at planning, organizing, coordinating, reporting, and budgeting. Nevertheless, people skills such as communicating, motivating, and leading are equally essential. A manager must hone basic technical, administrative, conceptual, and people skills in order to complete their tasks. Without these basic skills, a manager can not effectively complete their duties at any level.
Each position and level of law enforcement management contains exceptional problems unique unto themselves. However, most of these problems can occur at any level of management. In my experience, they tend to be more frequent at certain levels as described below. The underlying problem areas in all levels of management is conflict resolution, communication, and priorities.
Supervisors (sergeants at the first-line level) are at the second lowest level of the typical hierarchy pyramid; above only line staff and support personnel. They are “working” managers, meaning they still work amongst their subordinates day to day while leading them. Problems at this level include: (1) having numerous people (officers) report to them, while being required to report to numerous personnel (lieutenants and captains) themselves. (2) required to be an expert in the intricacies in their field of supervision and stay proficient. (3) having to resolve many personnel conflicts–almost on a daily basis–otherwise known as babysitting officers. (4) are sometimes told to “just make things happen” with limited resources, personnel, and training. (5) must maintain a physique, rendering them capable of “hitting the street” any moment necessary.
In the next highest level, middle management, lieutenants and captains have authority over all officers below the chief or sheriff. The problem more prevalent at this level is balancing the preparation of work plans, schedules, and budget reports, while inspecting assigned operations, reviewing reports and evaluations, and overseeing records and equipment. Middle managers must constantly balance their schedule with daily operations and tasks with planning and implementing change. They can not simply “manage the now” as the typical sergeant is expected to. Middle managers often have trouble trying to use their allotted funds to purchase the equipment needed by their officers. When organizing and implementing changes in the department, conflict usually occurs between middle managers and first line personnel. Lieutenants and captains often feel frustrated when communicating to their superior about what they need authorization to do “to make things work”. While first-line personnel are defensive about changing routine, methods, and policy.
At the apex of the managerial pyramid is the executive manager (chief, sheriff, or director). The person at this level has to deal with a lot of problem areas, because they are responsible for the entire police department, and ultimately, the entire publics’ safety within his jurisdiction. The executive manager of the police department works in relation to the mayor, governor, and/or other elected officials. Police chiefs should try to remain aloof from politics and stay objective. They must evaluate their employees, but must also be aware that employees are evaluating them. Chiefs are constantly under scrutiny and must perform professionally at all times. Due to all their tasks and high level of responsibility to their department and the public, time is very valuable to police executive managers. They must establish priorities intelligently and learn to delegate accordingly. They must be able to make time to get out in the community, occasionally ride with officers in the field, and communicate with staff. It is important they integrate themselves in the informal and formal organization of their department.
I am currently working as a military police officer at a U.S. Naval base in Guam. My job in the police (security) force here, is that of a staff position. I work in administration, providing daily customer service to field officers, other staff personnel, and the director of the force. My duties include human resource related services, reviewing and making recommendations on reports and evaluations, maintaining records, and providing receptionist services to the director and his assistants.
To further develop my current managerial skills and prepare myself for a higher assistant position to the director, I do very simple things any person should do in any organization. I have been practicing these things since I enlisted in the military over four years ago. First, is preparing and developing myself for advancement. This course itself is a part of that. I also study my military police manuals and basic military knowledge guides.
I make myself available everyday to my subordinates, peers, and seniors. I provide them service with pride, and volunteer for new and challenging assignments and tasks. I have a “give me the ball, and I’ll score for you” mentality. I love to show off my expertise and administrative skills. I truly enjoy being relied on by personnel in my department. I bring them something others can’t do as well, or at all. I have a very positive outlook towards my job and the service I provide.
Besides just simply being there for my managers, I support my manager. In the military, I’ve had to learn to tread the waters between myself and my superiors cautiously. I complete the tasks they assign the way they want them done. If I want to criticize their methods, I do so constructively and after the task is complete.
I utilize my mentor to help guide me in my advancement to the next highest position. I have an assigned (formal) mentor and many informal mentors. My former mentor is the person directly above me in my chain-of-command. He is helping me learn his job, because he wants me to replace him when he moves up! My informal mentors are fellow staff personnel who teach me the dynamics of their roles in the department, and field supervisors that keep me up to date to how they lead on the streets. I listen to a lot of “sea stories” about other sailors management successes and failures, and apply them to my work.
It is through these things, I have learned that developing interpersonal relationships is the most important thing you can do to be a successful manager. Almost any officer can be trained to file paperwork a certain way, balance a budget, etc. But is takes a person with strong people skills to get things done through others by training them, combining their strengths, and keeping them together as a team.
If I was recently appointed as an executive police manager, my main concern would be reviewing and preparing the budget. As a leader, I am always told by my seniors, peers, and subordinates to “take care of my people first, and everything else will fall into place.” To take care of them, I must first take care of the budget. I have enough experience to know that unless you have a good plan for the usually limited amount of funds you have been allocated, you can not effectively operate your department.
What good is developing a mission statement and formulating goals and objectives if you can not even hire enough officers, equip them, and put them on the road? Of course, I would initially plan my budget around the general mission of any law enforcement agency, “to protect and serve”. After my spending plan has covered the essentials of the police department, I would concern my self with developing a more specific mission statement and formulated objectives to allocate the rest of the funds to. I do not want to spend my funds on secondary objectives, if I have not yet allocated the money to the primary ones.
3. Have you ever belonged to a union? If so, what were your reactions to it? Do you favor unions for law enforcement employees? Why, or why not? What are the advantages and disadvantages of unions for management? Is the law enforcement agency in your jurisdiction unionized? How does management feel about it? Explain your answers in detail.
I have never belonged to a union. From what I have read about unions, I’d have to say that I favor unions for law enforcement–provided that a union has a team attitude towards non-union members and the department as a whole. I do not believe in unions that cause unnecessary conflict with other members of the department and management. The purpose of a successful police union should be, “protecting those who protect and serve.” This should not lead to a severe division in a department that renders it unable of providing effective law enforcement services to the public.
A positive law enforcement union would possess all or some of the following activities, programs, and member services: Contract negotiations with the department. Liaison with city council, courts, state and federal elected officials. Charitable giving to local non-profits and sponsorship of community events. Political endorsements and campaign support of pro-police candidates.
Legal representation for members involved in civil cases related to the performance of their duties. Supplemental health, dental, group life, and disability insurance to what is offered by the department. Paid death benefits for families of officers who die during active service. Representation with grievances, arbitrations, and unfair labor practices. Assistance with workers’ compensation claims, sick leave, injured-on-duty matters and service and disability pensions. Various discounts and benefits for police officers and their families (insurance, credit services, stores, restaurants, etc.) Scholarship fund for members and their dependents. Lastly, sponsorship of police officer recognition and awards programs.
An obvious advantage of unions for managers is that the majority (85 percent) of unions accept managers as members. Thus, entitling them to benefits similar to those described above. Also, the collective bargaining process between representatives from the union, the department, and local elected officials helps establish a written contract that sets forth working conditions for a set period of time. With the use of experts from each group, an arrangement is usually made that is best for employees and management to work together, build mutual trust, act in good faith, and support each other. This teamwork creates a department that provides great law enforcement services to the public; resulting in reciprocal advantages to the department when requesting for better equipment, salaries, and so forth from elected officials.
Unions can potentially have negative impacts on managers. The collective bargaining process can leave managers feel their rights to decide what, when, and how work is to be accomplished has been infringed upon by the union. Managers are left in a position of following the orders of the police chief and the union president at the same time. Errors and oversights made during collective bargaining can lead to a working agreement that leaves managers from being able to “get the job done” properly for the duration of the contract. A negative contract period can lead to controversy between managers, employees, elected officials, and citizens.
The law enforcement agency in my jurisdiction is not unionized. This is because it is staffed by military personnel–federal law prohibits members of the armed forces to form unions in relation to their duty assignments. However, the design of the military chain of command and external agencies available to members of the armed forces allows for personnel to attain some of the same advantages unions provide. A military command is designed to have senior and junior personnel work together, build mutual trust, act in good faith, and support each other in accomplishment of the command’s mission.
If military personnel have conflict with policy or procedures implemented by their superiors, they have the right to discuss it with the person at the next level in the chain. This process has it’s own policy and procedure as well, but it ultimately allows a member to have direct communication with the commanding officer, inspector general, or even elected officials (congressman) regarding cases of conflict. Some of the benefits for military members which are similar to union benefits include: credit unions, insurance associations, and educational grants and scholarships.
4. What would you include in a job description for a law enforcement officer? How would you describe your personality? Introverted? Extroverted? Optimistic? Pessimistic? Have you ever been a part of a team or organization? If so, what part did you play? Was this satisfactory to you? What do you consider your greatest strengths? What skills would you like to further develop? How important would this be to your law enforcement career? Explain the “Johari Window” as described in your text on page 265. Explain your answers in detail.
The things I would include in the job description of a law enforcement officer is quite lengthy when compared to most occupations. Many people view a good police officer as a “jack of all trades”. Additionally, it is important to express that physically demanding and hazardous working conditions are inherent in this job description. I think the general job description of a law enforcement officer should look something like this, “Under direction, a law enforcement officer protects the lives and property of the citizens of the township(s) assigned; enforces the laws of the local, state, and federal government; serves the citizens of the township(s) within the scope of his or her particular assignment.”
The defined functions of a law enforcement officer vary depending on the particular assignment, position, experience, and so forth. However, they should all include some or all of the following: (1) respond to dispatched calls and requests for assistance from citizens, establishments, etc. (2) patrol assigned area, study geographical layout, and conduct observations of businesses, various establishments, etc. (3) prepare and maintain files of daily activity reports, incident reports, and all required paperwork. (4) initiate reports, read, and evaluate correspondence relative to operational activities and police hazards. (5) observe traffic flow for violations and issues warnings or citations to violators. (6) conduct investigations of traffic accidents, crime scenes, etc., and gather evidence, interview complainants, witnesses and victims and perform laboratory work as assigned. (7) detain, arrest, transport, and process prisoners.
(8) give counseling to citizens in answer to radio calls or when summoned on the street. (9) establish and maintain continuous communication with internal elements of the department through various communication media (e.g., by submitting a report through the chain of command). (10) actively participate in training programs as an instructor or student. (11) perform crowd control at parades, festivals, riots, etc. (12) conduct undercover and surveillance operations as required. (13) serve as liaison between the court, victim(s), witness(es), and prosecutor; and testify in court when necessary. (14) follows all safety policies and procedures of the township(s). (15) maintain all required licenses and/or certificates. (16) demonstrate regular and predictable attendance.
A law enforcement officer is expected to be able to operate police vehicles, law enforcement weapons (to include firearms), handcuffs, flashlight, and computer systems/programs. An officer must be willing to operate this equipment, and be capable of maintaining proficiency.
Most human personalities can be generally categorized as being either introverted or extroverted; optimistic or pessimistic. I consider myself to have an extroverted personality. I possess the following characteristics: unreservedness, communicativeness, talkativeness, sociability, outspokenness, and unrestraint. I use my personal expression to the activity, involvement, accomplishment, and exaggeration of my own ego. I also view myself as being a very optimistic person, which works in relation to my extroverted personality. I believe an extroverted optimist is the best personality to have to work in law enforcement, because
optimistic individuals actively engage in planning and problem solving. They may experience fewer stressors, and/or have more resources to help deal with stress. Individuals with an optimistic explanatory style have less stress as measured by daily hassles than do their pessimistic counterparts during stressful tasks. This would be an extremely valuable trait to possess during a crisis management situation.
I have been part of many teams and organizations in my life. I will reflect upon my participation as a crew member of I my first assigned ship in the U.S. Navy, the USS O’BRIEN (DD 975). The O’BRIEN, a spruance-class destroyer with a working crew of over 350 personnel was recently decommissioned after serving the fleet for over thirty years. I served onboard for three of those final years. I was assigned to the ship’s office, where my primary duties were very similar to what I do today in my current assignment. I provided administrative, human resource, and clerical support to the entire crew; from the lowest class seaman to the captain of the ship.
I was very satisfied with the role I played on the ship. My job was not only physically comfortable compared to other assignments on the ship (e.g. engineering positions), but I was in a position to help sailors and their families. I had what seemed a never ending line of customers and a bottomless in-box. After many sixty hour plus work weeks, I realized the role I played on the ship was very important to my shipmates. I became very proud of the service I provided to the crew. I would even dedicate off-duty hours to helping them out.
The feelings I had about my assigned job and the dedication I felt towards the ship was very mutual amongst the all the other sailors. The crew I served with was by far the best organization of people I have ever worked with or known. Everyone completed their assigned jobs with the same enthusiasm and pride I did. Some cooked and cleaned, others kept the ship moving, while other maintained the weapon systems. The ship had divisions of personnel that provided all the things a group of people needs for survival: food, adequate shelter/comforts, medical services, administrative services, means of transport, and means of defense. I can only wish to work for similar minded and motivated people in law enforcement.
I consider my greatest strengths to be my interpersonal, administrative, and communication skills, while I consider my weaknesses to be my limited experience in the field of law enforcement patrol. After months of academy training in military law enforcement, I only spent three months “on the streets” actually doing patrol work before being moved to a staff position. The skills I would like to further develop would be on-scene control and management of crime scenes and crises. Improving these skills is very important to a law enforcement career, because no matter what your military experience, most police departments require a few years of patrol time for all officers after their academy training. After these years, an officer may then apply/test for other positions in the department (detective, sergeant, crime-lab, SWAT, etc.) I would like to be better prepared for my time in patrol, and be able to perform as an informal leader on the streets during that time.
The Johari Window is a graphical representation of those aspects of our self which are known or unknown to us and known or unknown to others. Thus, when people meet, age, sex and so on are in the Open Pane of the Window, as they are known to both people. In the Hidden Pane are those things you know about, but don’t want other people to know about–maybe irrational fear of heights, sexual fantasies etc. In the Blind Pane are those aspects of self that you don’t know about, but others do–for example, that you are quick-tempered, noisy, boring and suffer from appalling breath. In the Unknown Pane are the characteristics which no one knows about–for example a history of childhood sexual abuse, which has been so successfully repressed that one has no memory of it, even though it colors relationships with other people.
Some degree of self-disclosure benefits relationships, increases self-esteem, and leads to a more stable self-image. By changing what is in one pane, you change what is in the others. If you seek feedback from people, then you will learn things about yourself that you didn’t know before, but others were aware of. Thus, those things are shifted from the Blind Pane into the Open Pane. If you give other people feedback about yourself, you will shift things from the Hidden Pane to the Open Pane. This all involves self-disclosure, a willingness to put your trust in others. It involves taking risks, as we reveal things to others which we’ve kept private up to now.
This model of social interaction can be applied to the workplace. Truthful and friendly interaction between supervisors and subordinates can empower everyone within the workplace to mature and develop. It can help employees ponder and answer the questions, “do my co-workers see me as I see myself, and do I see my co-workers as they want to be seen?”
5. How would you compare and contrast training and education? Do you think all police officers should have a college education? Why or why not? What level of education do you think a patrolman should have? A chief? Do you think a police officer’s training should be combined with his/her education? Why or why not? What five subjects do you consider do you consider most essential for a management development program? Do you think high-stress military style training is appropriate for civilian police academies? Why, or why not? Explain your answers in detail.
First of all, training is not education, although there is generally cross-over in any education or training curriculum This course for example is predominately educational in purpose, however, the writing assignments can be viewed as training, because law enforcement managers are expected to express their ideas clearly in writing. Education is giving out information and encouraging students to communicate and exchange thoughts and feelings regarding the information. It is centered around the discussion of the theories and background of a job and it’s required tasks.
Training is about practice and building the skills of trainees. It is practicing the tasks expected to be completed at a certain level of proficiency. By training, one strives to improve performance at these tasks. Police utilizing a live weapons range to fire rounds from their patrol weapons is an example of training.
Education can be considered as a preemptory phase for training, while training can be considered a preemptory phase for actual job placement. Education is generally measured by tenure–you spent a day in the seminar or four years in college. Training, on the other hand, is measured by what you can do when you’ve completed it.
I don’t think all police officers should have a college education, however, I think most should be completing college courses part-time or have achieved a degree to be promoted and/or be assigned to certain positions within law enforcement. Let me explain this in further detail. I don’t think the entry level, recruit police officer should be required to have any college education. The reason why college education should not be required for entry level applicants is to help aid departments in hard recruiting areas get at least minimally qualified applicants trained and on the streets as patrolman. Also, in some areas of the country, legislation prevents departments from requiring college education–as it would cause unequal opportunity for those not able to attend/afford college. Although, a college education can be and should be viewed as a strength over a non-college educated applicant.
After the police academy, a patrolman should be completing or have completed a certain level of college courses in order to be promoted. A police chief, for example, should have no less than a 4 year degree in very small departments, while in larger departments a master’s degree should be required. I feel this way, because a police chief is expected and required to operate the department as a whole and communicate with public officials regarding his department. In order for a chief to effectively complete these tasks, a college education is needed.
I agree with most of the research that a college educated officer makes for a better policeman. Based on a Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) study, college educated officers are better than their non-college educated counterparts in regards to the following: performance of policing responsibilities; communication with citizens, in court, and narration of written reports; handling stressful situations and people of different cultures, races, ethnicity, and lifestyles; viewing law enforcement as a profession and career instead of “just a job”; overcoming leadership and policy changes; viewing police work as only part of the “larger picture of criminal justice” vice as a final service in itself to the community. It is for these reasons that I support college be required for a continued and successful career in law enforcement.
As for college education being combined with an officer’s police academy training, I think these two learning experiences should remain separate. I believe a college education in law enforcement educates you and gives you background information about a career in law enforcement, while a police academy gives you specific training on how your police department operates and how to do your job. Due to the intensity of typical police academies, I think recruits should focus all of their learning capacities towards their training vice college education during that time. College education should be completed before or after the academy.
In regards to the appropriate level of intensity for civilian police academies, I think high-stress military style training is appropriate. I feel this way, because of the change in the quality of people who are becoming officers is changing–fewer having military backgrounds, and more have college educations. According to our assigned text, “the boot-camp style approach using stress in academy training may make officers question their self-worth and willingness to follow orders blindly.” But more importantly, I believe a military style academy will allow non-prior military trainees understand the dynamics and success of teamwork learned by members of the armed forces. As I stated about my work experiences in the military, teamwork is the primary agent in accomplishing any organization’s mission. What good is a group of “highly” trained and educated officers, if they can not work as a team?
The five subjects I consider most essential for a management development training program are: (1) making things happen, (2) communication skills, (3) motivating, (4) personal improvement, and (5) creating the best chance of success. Within each subject will be various specific topics to be discussed and demonstrated through student participation. The first subject, making things happen, will include exercises for managers to evaluate how “big” they think, are they proactive or reactive leaders, and are they planning for success or failure. Students will also discuss how to become a pioneer in their workplace.
In the second subject, communication skills, managers will focus on why excellent communication skills are so important. They will evaluate how effective their communication skills are. Students will learn how to communicate a vision and strategy, and how to make a rapport with the novice patrolman to the police chief through networking. Managers will also conduct exercises in public speaking–learning techniques and tips.
The focus of the third subject, motivation, will be understanding others, motivating, and being positive. Managers will discuss understanding what makes other people and their team as a whole tick. They will learn techniques for looking out for the signals from other people and learn how to understand their world. Students will complete exercises demonstrating the dynamics of motivating others and how to have a positive mental attitude.
The focus of the fourth subject, personal improvement, will be teaching managers to understand themselves and self image in order to make personal improvements. Managers will develop a personal improvement plan by discussing their motivations, values, standards, and how they view of the world. Students will learn how to play to and maximize their strengths, while minimizing their weaknesses and improve upon them. They will complete exercises in learning how to overcome their fears and how to beat stress. Managers will discuss what their self image is telling others, and the importance of personal appearance and developing a personal improvement plan.
In the fifth subject managers will learn the value of seeking good counsel and giving themselves the best chance for success. Managers will discuss how to get results through others by using think tanks, support, and feedback. They will learn how to fulfill their needs by integrating the informal and formal components of the department.