Effective Police Supervision
eBook - ePub

Effective Police Supervision

Larry S. Miller, Harry W. More, Michael C. Braswell

  1. 580 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Effective Police Supervision

Larry S. Miller, Harry W. More, Michael C. Braswell

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About This Book

Effective Police Supervision, 9th ed., is a time-tested text providing complete coverage of the organizational dynamics surrounding leadership of teams in an effective police department. This revised edition provides readers with the tools to excel and advance with up-to-date and timely scholarly research and legal case law on supervision. Special attention is given to recruitment, selection, and retention of police, commonly believed to be the most challenging internal issue facing agencies today. Supervisory tactics are evaluated in terms of how they work not only in the United States but in the United Kingdom and Canada as well, and chapters are enhanced with boxed features that help the reader connect ideas with realistic situations.

Combining behavioral theory and updated case studies, Effective Police Supervision is the preferred textbook for college-level classes on police supervision and is an essential resource for preparation for promotional exams and career development for law enforcement officers and supervisors. Information has been included to respond to current issues facing law enforcement with Covid-19 and managing protests.

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Criminal Law

CHAPTER 1 Supervision—The Management Task


  • affective skills
  • conceptual skills
  • dynamic organization
  • Hu-TACK
  • human skills
  • integrity
  • knowledge-based skills
  • loyalty
  • management expectations of the supervisor
  • officer behavior
  • participation
  • performance
  • positive attitude
  • responding to management
  • self-appraisal
  • subordinate expectations
  • supervisory skill areas
  • tactical skills
  • transition

Case Study

From Patrol Officer to Supervisor

The Sierra Police Department serves a community in the Southwestern United States that has a population of 136,665 people. There are 78,241 residents in the county area surrounding the community, with the city of Sierra being the county seat. The sheriff’s office has 228 sworn personnel. Most of them work in the jail or for the court system. Forty-three officers are assigned to field operations.
For a middle-aged 20-year police veteran, Chief Ralph Kruger was in good shape. He may have lost his hair, but not his sense of humor and keen observational skills. He looked over at the City Manager, Tom Hill, and took a sip of coffee. “I just got back from ‘Louise’s Coffee Shop.’ She cooks up one of the best ‘blue plate specials’ I have ever seen for a town this size.”
The City Manager smiled. “I never can pass up her coconut pie. We still have a decent downtown business-wise—three restaurants, an Ace Hardware store, and a couple of clothing stores. That said, the future looks like more strip malls than downtown businesses. Of course, that’s not too surprising. Our property taxes are low.”
Chief Kruger nodded. “Basically we’re a bedroom community for commuters to the big cities to our north and south.”
“Maybe so,” Tom replied. “Still, the major four-lane connecting us with the larger urban areas has been key to our stability and development. Our city park and recreational facilities along with the seasonal festivals we started promoting have also been key. Public transportation’s not too shabby for a town our size either and the regional airport is only a half-hour drive from downtown. The four-lane is primarily what has brought us the families and new businesses.”
The Police Chief shrugged. “That’s not all it brought us. Drugs, especially with the lower price of big-city heroin, are on the rise as well as related crimes involving burglary. Auto theft is also increasing. Can’t quite figure that one out.”
The City Manager leaned back in his chair. “You haven’t been here that long, Ralph, but in the fifties and sixties, Sierra was known as the chop-shop capital of the State. There used to be a diner on the edge of town where you could park your two wheel drive truck outside and tape $150 onto the bottom of booth 6. The next evening your truck would be there with four wheel drive. Times have changed, but there’s still some chop-shop shops doing a thriving business out in the county. That’s why our auto insurance rates are so high.”
Tom checked his cell phone. “I just read a report last week that shows our population is 42 percent Caucasian, 31 percent Hispanic, 23 percent African/American, 2 percent American Indian, and 1 percent other. Quite a mix . . . and with the City Council members elected at large and the Mayor basically a ribbon-cutter, I have my hands full.”
Kruger grinned. “I wonder who the other one percent are? I’m not sure I want to know.”
The City Manager scratched his head. “I’m not sure I want to know who they are either. I have enough problems with what I already know. Last year’s crime index indicates that our city exceeded other cities of comparable size. I believe we had a dozen murders . . ..”
Chief Kruger picked up a document off his desk. “Got it right here . . . 13 murders, all but three gang-related . . . 37 rapes, 211 robberies, 345 aggravated assaults, 622 burglaries, 1,678 larceny thefts, and 571 auto thefts. Overall crime has trended down a bit with the exception of gang homicides. Two-thirds of burglary arrests were nonresidents who focused on residential communities rather than commercial targets. My investigating officers tell me a lot of the residents seem indifferent or lackadaisical about protecting their property, too often leaving windows and doors unlocked.”
Tom Hill straightened his tie. “Many of our residents commute to the city for work and feel they live in safe neighborhoods. Last I heard, there were only three neighborhood watch programs, primarily in subdivisions where mostly retired folks live.”
“If that’s what they think, they have a false sense of security,” the Chief replied, propping his feet on his desk. “Ed Jones who owns Jones Security Systems did tell me his installations were on the upswing . . . probably the result of all the new automation technology combined with an increase in the fear of crime and terrorism. Ed did say all the cheap home security devices flooding the market through television ads and online is hurting his business and making folks think they can buy home security on the cheap.”
“At least, Ed Turner finally retired,” the City Manager mused. “He was a nice enough fellow, but 21 years was about 10 years too long. He took a laissez-faire approach to management. He liked to say he was ‘old school’ and didn’t need all the new-fangled ideas and fads to run a good department.”
Chief Kruger drummed his fingers on his desktop and gazed out the window. “I know that all too well. When I took the job, I moved slow the first six months because I knew the old heads would be resistant to change . . . and some of them were. In fact, Simmons and Smith ended up taking retirement rather than get with the program. Community policing, information and data driven policing, and other innovative ‘best practices’ are the future of policing whether veterans like it or not.
“All in all, the fact that of our 158 sworn and 16 auxiliary officers, we are in the process of making a decent transition. The mix is a bit complicated: 7 percent female, 10 percent African/American, and 26 percent Hispanic. Of course, with the three major divisions—investigations, patrol, and administrative services, patrol has the majority of sworn officers. They conduct the preliminary investigation before turning things over to the investigative division to follow-up.”
The City Manager rose from his chair. “Got to get back to the grind. By the way, speaking of the community, I’ve been hearing some good things about one of your Sergeants. I think her name is Dawson. . . Wilma Dawson.”
“Name’s Willa Dawson,” the Chief replied. “Yeah, she’s one of the bright spots. I’ve got some plans for her.”
* * * * * * *
Sergeant Willa Dawson is 29, married, and lives in the county south of the city. She has been married to Harry for five years, and they have one child, a little girl. She has completed a four-year degree in criminal justice, with a minor in Spanish. She is currently a part-time graduate student working on her master’s degree in management at a nearby branch campus of a state university.
After serving in the patrol division for five years on the midnight shift, Willa took the sergeant’s examination. After completing the assessment center, she was in the top three candidates after the results of the written examination were posted. On the basis of the result of her total score, she ranked first on the promotion list.
Wearing the coveted sergeant’s stripes, Willa Dawson knocked on the door of Chief Kruger’s office.
“Come in!” Ralph Kruger bellowed. “Have a seat.”
Pouring her a cup of coffee, he smiled. “Those sergeant’s stripes look good on you.”
“Thank you,” Willa replied.
“Don’t thank me. You earned it. You’re the first female officer to be promoted to sergeant, but you won’t be the last. Red Turner was a decent man and Chief, but he was a little too much into the ‘good ol’ boy’ school of policing for my taste.”
Chief Kruger leaned back in his chair and sipped his coffee. “Did you celebrate your promotion?”
“Harry, Tommy, and I spent the weekend in a cabin at Traylor State Park.”
“Good for you,” the Chief replied with a smile. “The good news is you made sergeant. The better news is that I have a special assignment for you to consider. In fact, I want to move you to the day shift and consider heading up a special unit where you will supervise four officers in an operation to do something about the increase in burglary and auto-theft crimes, especially in high-frequency areas. I don’t know where the investigation will lead . . . may even involve some of the recent gang activity. Who knows for sure? What it will involve is community policing and gathering and assessing information and data. Jim Bell in the Records Department will be your go-to guy for evaluating crime reports, interviews and such. Your direct supervisor will be Lieutenant Bart for anything else you need. Plus this will give you a chance to put those research and statistics skills to work that you learned in College. So what do you think, Sergeant?”
Willa placed her coffee cup on the saucer. “I think I’m interested, Chief.”
Chief Kruger grinned. “That’s what I was hoping to hear. Questions?”
Willa thought for a moment. “Will I be able to have a say in who the four officers are on my team? You may recall under Chief Turner there was some resistance to me from several of the older officers. It’s not anything I can’t handle, but . . .”
“It won’t be a problem,” the Chief interrupted. “You will hand pick your team from 12 candidates—seven veteran patrol officers, a community relations officer, and four officers who have also served as detectives. All of them have at least two years of college.”
“What about training?” the new sergeant queried.
“Good question,” Chief Kruger replied. “You and your team will attend a three-day workshop on research design and problem solving taught by Professor Whitehead over at State U. He will also serve as a resource consultant to you and your team.”
“Didn’t Whitehead just move from somewhere up North?” Willa continued. “I heard he used to be a probation officer.”
Chief Kruger laughed. “Don’t hold that against him. Maybe he’s just tired of those cold winters. Anyway, he knows his stuff. You’ll like him.”
“One final question, Chief—what’s the timeline?”
Kruger folded his hands together. “I want a full evaluation and data/information assessment on my desk in six weeks and an action plan in eight.”
Sergeant Dawson rose from her chair. “I appreciate the opportunity, Chief. It sounds interesting, but I need to talk with Harry before making a final decision. Can you give me a couple of days to think about it?”
“No problem,” the Chief replied, standing up. “Again, congratulations. Give Harry my best.”

What Would You Do?

Sergeant Dawson accepted the assignment. If you were her, what would be the first thing you would do after the initial planning meeting with your new team? Why? What information would you want from Professor Whitehead, the resource consultant? What information would you want from the Records Department and other city departments? How would you integrate the investigators into the team?
Explain how you might utilize conceptual and human relations skills when addressing the challenges and potential problems you and your team faced. How would you use tactical skills? Finally, how would you try to develop an effective and comprehensive strategy that incorporates all you have learned about supervision?
The changeable nature of our police agencies demands a viable and doable response to the dynamism of public and managerial transformation. In a law enforcement organization, the first-line supervisor is the crucial managerial point where policy is transmitted into action. All levels of police administration from the top-down must acknowledge the challenge of making the first-line supervisory position a key managerial part of the agency. Crime, disorder, and the desire of members of the community to reside in neighborhoods that truly represent the best aspects of our democratic society call for an enduring mandate to serve the public and enhance the quality of life. This requires accepting the dynamics of continuing and constant change and developing an organizational capability to take action that fulfills the mandate of every professional law enforcement agency. The position of first-line supervisor must evolve into a position where decisions are made in the best interests of the organization and community members through the attainment of goals and objectives. Supervisors must be given the training and skills needed to create a working milieu that energizes each member and allows for a multiskilled response. A common denominator present in police departments that do extremely well, throughout the United States, is the creation of a work environment that fosters the development of good supervisors. In exemplary agencies, the first-line supervisor is not apart from, but is a viable component of, management, and is directly responsible for augmenting the positive attributes of working life. Human resources are at a premium in every part of a police organization, and the task of a supervisor is to assist employees to become productive members of the organization. It is a truism that an effectively performing supervisor makes things happen through the efforts of those supervised. Moreover, departmental and personal goals become achievable through the interaction between an emphatic supervisor and subordinates. As a result, the community is better served, and officers find themselves working in a viable organization that emphasizes the enhancement of the working quality of life. An agency committed to excellence is one that challenges each member of the organization to grow daily and contribute to the realization of departmental objectives/goals.
Police work is without question an intricate undertaking. Current demands and the consequences of responding to them in new and innov...

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