Case Study #1 Repressing the Rumor Mill

Case Study #1 Repressing the Rumor Mill

Chapter 11 case study

CASE STUDIES

Following are two case studies that allow the reader to consider some police management-labor problems and possible solutions as they concern this chapter’s content.

Case Study #1 Repressing the Rumor Mill

The chief of police chairs a monthly meeting involving both union and command personnel to discuss issues that concern both sides and in an attempt to quash any departmental rumors before they adversely impact morale. The meetings have been ongoing for about six months, and they are cordial and productive in nature. Yet, no notes have ever been taken to document the discussions held. Today, however, the chief expresses a concern to the group that while the meetings appear to be going well and many issues are being resolved, the rumor mill seems to have become rampant with misinformation—including threats of grievances about perceived issues within all ranks. The chief is obviously very concerned and frustrated, and asks that both the union president and command staff discuss ways in which communication may be improved to reduce these rumors and the threats of grievances.

Questions for Discussion

1.

What might be some of the underlying reasons for the obvious breakdown in communications among the officers?

2.

What mechanisms could be put in place to resolve the rumor and grievance issues?

3.

Whose responsibility is it to resolve these issues?

Case Study #2 Breach of Contract or Administrative Prerogative?

The new police association president is in a meeting with the chief of police to discuss a concern regarding supervisors’ treatment of union representatives. The situation is as follows: officers bid on the basis of seniority every six months for their duty shifts, and one team of six officers is composed of three union representatives. The supervisors for that shift have taken it upon themselves to move some of the officers to different teams, so that no one team is adversely impacted by their absence or work relating to union representation responsibilities. (Union representatives are officers designated by the association to accompany officers during interviews relating to internal and external complaints so as to ensure the officers’ rights are protected. The officer’s right to have a union representative present during these interviews is provided by state law and the union’s labor contract.) The association president complains to the chief that such movement of the union officers is a violation of the contract. The chief counters that this is an issue his command staff has struggled with over the years, and that there are three other teams with similar situations that are under consideration for union representative movement. The chief also says that he could invoke his management rights under the contract and be very tough on this issue, but would rather work with the president on some alternatives.

Questions for Discussion

1.

What are the different issues and concerns that were created by moving the officers?

2.

What options would you suggest to alleviate the problem of multiple representatives assigned to one team?

3.

What process do you believe must be followed to pursue your options?

(Peak 286-287)

Peak, Kenneth J., Larry K. Gaines and Ronald Glensor. Police Supervision and Management for Ashford University, 3rd Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions. VitalBook file.

The citation provided is a guideline. Please check each citation for accuracy before use.

Chapter 12 case study

CASE STUDIES

Applying the materials presented in this chapter to the following case studies, the reader will get a “real-world” flavor of the issues confronting today’s police supervisors and managers concerning personnel deployment and scheduling. Note that the second case study has no absolutely right or wrong answers; rather, it is intended to serve mainly as a “brainteaser,” and to provide some insight as to the challenges that can arise in scheduling personnel.

Case Study #1 “Who’s on First?” (Or, Who Should Work When?)

Industry City is rapidly growing, and in the past five years, the police department has doubled its number of officers. As a result, it is not uncommon to find that the officers assigned to the evening and night shifts have less than three years of experience. It is also common to find considerable disparity in beat workloads as the city has grown, with far greater numbers of calls for service now coming from the industrial and city park areas. Contributing to this workload disparity is the fact that several veteran officers have recently been called up for active duty in the Air National Guard unit. There is also a shortage of qualified field training officers for the evening shifts because the majority of veteran officers are on day shift or on a special assignment. All sworn officers work a straight 5-day, 8-hour week, with shift rotation every four months; all special assignments on day shift, such as detective work, are seniority based. It seems that toward the end of the four-month shift period, just prior to rotation, there is increased fatigue and complaints by officers about having to adjust their work and personal lives when shifts change again; they also complain that there is little or no opportunity to attend university classes in the daytime. The collective bargaining unit for the department’s rank-and-file officers has indicated that it is going to be taking a much closer look at alternative shift patterns, and that it is concerned about the lack of opportunities for the younger officers to work other shifts and on special assignments. Much interest—and solid arguments—has been expressed by the patrol officers in their working 4/10 or 3/12 shift schemes. There have also been increased levels of traffic accidents, sick time usage, and citizens’ complaints involving the younger graveyard shift officers. The union has sent a letter to the chief requesting a discussion of these matters. You, the training supervisor, have been directed by your chief to provide an evaluation of the prevalence, benefits, and concerns of various shift schedules and rotations.

Questions for Discussion

1.

What would you report to your chief regarding what are the most popularly used—and not used—shift schedules now employed in the U.S.?

2.

Compared to the current situation, what are some of the advantages and disadvantages that officers would likely realize if the department adopted the 4/10 or the 3/12 shift schedule? If it discontinued the shift rotations? What are the implications if Industry City is already engaged in, or is about to implement, the community policing and problem solving strategy?

3.

What could be underlying the night-shift officers’ traffic accident, fatigue, and citizen complaint problems, and what might be done to analyze and correct them?

4.

What labor considerations might be posed by a shift rotation or some non-traditional shift scheduling plan?

5.

What protections do federal laws apply to those police officers who are returning to Industrial City following their active duty military service upon their return?

Case Study #2 Scheduling School

You are to assume the role of Sergeant Doe in the Gotham City Police Department. This is your first shift since leaving for a two-week vacation; the date is June 10. Not counting yourself or your middle-managers, you are in charge of a 12-person patrol team and work 4:00 P.M. to midnight (swing shift), with Sundays and Mondays off. Due to the increased activities that occur during the summer months, it is the policy of your department to not allow more than two officers to take vacation or training leave at a time. You have two senior officers (Officers A and B) off on vacation for the entire month of June. Some urgent scheduling issues have come up for the week of June 16-22. Your lieutenant needs you to work up the swing-shift schedule. The following issues have arisen:

· Officer H is on vacation for the week.

· Officer K injured her knee over the weekend and is on sick leave.

· Officers C and D have to teach at the academy on Wednesday and Thursday.

· Officer D’s wife is having surgery on Friday. He has requested Saturday/Sunday as days off.

The Human Resources Division is offering Workplace Violence Training on Friday, June 19th, and wants as many officers as possible to attend. No officers have Fridays off, so you schedule as many officers as possible to attend this training. Officer L is the regional gang unit liaison and Officer J is the regional drug unit liaison, but both are available for other assignments as exigencies arise. Your lieutenant wants to know if you can maintain minimum staffing of 6 officers per day without any overtime expense.

(Peak 309-311)

Peak, Kenneth J., Larry K. Gaines and Ronald Glensor. Police Supervision and Management for Ashford University, 3rd Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions. VitalBook file.

The citation provided is a guideline. Please check each citation for accuracy before use.

Chapter 13 case study

CASE STUDIES

Following are three case studies that enable the reader to consider some of the substantive issues described in the chapter and to consider some options as solutions to problems.

Case Study #1 C.S.I.: Boone City

John McCauley recently was promoted to the rank of captain in charge of criminal investigations in Boone City. Previously, he was a lieutenant in patrol and earlier in his career he was a detective; therefore, he has limited experience in managing criminal investigations. The detectives in the unit view him suspiciously because of his lack of investigative experience. The unit is divided into several sections: burglary, crimes against persons (homicide, sexual assault, and robbery), narcotics, and general investigations, which includes fraud, cybercrimes, vice, and identity theft. The veteran detectives and supervisors have assured McCauley that things are working smoothly and that they will show him the ropes. On the other hand, the assistant chief in charge of the operations bureau advises him that the previous captain was not a strong leader and allowed the detectives to dictate policies and priorities for the unit. He wants McCauley to take a more assertive role in the unit, increase the detectives’ clearance rates, and generally do more thorough investigations of a larger proportion of cases.

Questions for Discussion

1.

How can Captain McCauley evaluate the overall effectiveness of his unit?

2.

McCauley wants to provide the assistant chief with a plan of action. What should be the major elements in this plan?

3.

How should McCauley go about evaluating individual detectives?

Case Study #2 I’ve Been Robbed!

Sergeant John Simpson recently was transferred to the second patrol watch under Captain John Waters. Simpson’s precinct is an area that encompasses businesses, strip malls, and lower-middle class residential areas. The area contains a number of bars and nightclubs that historically have reputations as being wide open with a number of patrons who are rowdy and intoxicated. The bars often have fights requiring multiple patrol units to break them up. Recently the area has witnessed a substantial increase in robberies of consumers frequenting the area’s mall and retail businesses. The media has published a number of stories about the problem, and the chief of police has been feeling the heat. The chief has directed Captain Waters to deal with the problem, and he tasks Simpson with the responsibility of developing and implementing a plan to deal with the problem.

Questions for Discussion

(Note: you may wish to review and incorporate some problem analysis methods discussed in Chapter 4 of this textbook.)

1.

How should Simpson study the problem?

2.

What alternatives should Simpson consider?

3.

What additional resources might be necessary to reduce the robbery problem?

Case Study #3 Pete the Pursuer

Members of the Bentonville County Sheriff’s Department have been involved in several vehicle pursuits within the last year. One such incident resulted in the death of a 14-year-old juvenile who crashed during a pursuit while he was joyriding in his parents’ car. This tragedy sparked a massive public outcry and criticism of the police department for using excessive force. A lawsuit is pending against the department and individual officers involved in the pursuit. You, the sheriff, immediately changed and tightened the department’s policy regarding pursuits, now requiring that a supervisor cancel any pursuit that does not involve a violent felony crime or other circumstances that would justify the danger and potential liability. All officers have been trained in the new policy. A separate policy prohibits the firing of warning shots unless “circumstances warrant.” It is now about 9:00 p.m. and Deputy Pete Prusso is patrolling in an industrial park in his sector. Prusso, having graduated from the police academy and field training about 6 months ago, engages in vehicle and foot pursuits at every opportunity. He is providing extra patrol as a result of reports of vandalism and theft of building materials in one area of the county. A parked vehicle attracts his attention because private vehicles are not normally parked in the area at this time. As Prusso approaches the vehicle with his cruiser’s lights off and spotlight on, he notices the brake lights on the vehicle flash on and off. Prusso exits his vehicle for a closer look, and the vehicle takes off at a high rate of speed in his direction. Seeing the vehicle coming at him from about 30 yards away, Prusso fires a warning shot into the ground. When it is about 15 yards away, the vehicle veers away from him and then leaves at a high rate of speed. As the escaping vehicle passes by, Ripley yells for the driver to halt, then fires again, striking the side of the vehicle. He then takes off in pursuit of the vehicle, and radios dispatch concerning his pursuit. The shift commander—a patrol lieutenant—hears this radio transmission.

Questions for Discussion

1.

What are the central issues involved?

2.

Is the deputy in compliance with the use-of-force policy? Defend your answer.

3.

Should the lieutenant “shut down” Prusso’s pursuit? Explain.

4.

Should the deputy have fired warning shots under these circumstances? Why or why not?

5.

What kinds of policies and procedures would normally cover Prusso’s actions? Would your Internal Affairs Unit find that the deputy was at fault with any of them? Which of the deputy’s actions do you as sheriff feel should result in disciplinary action against Prusso? Why or why not?

6.

Are additional policies and training sessions needed? Explain your answers.

(Peak 334-335)

Peak, Kenneth J., Larry K. Gaines and Ronald Glensor. Police Supervision and Management for Ashford University, 3rd Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions. VitalBook file.

The citation provided is a guideline. Please check each citation for accuracy before use.


Comments are closed.