Complete the Unit 7 Assignment: Officer Joe
You are a manager within a criminal justice agency. One day, during duty hours, while speaking with Officer Joe you detect a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Officer Joe has maintained the status of a top performer within your department; however, recently he has been displaying the following behavior:
There are a number of problems associated with Officer Joe. Some of the possible problems include mental health issues, trauma, or stress. According to Clarke-Miller & Brady (2013), various police stressors can contribute to the above problems. These include nature of police work, dealing with the criminal justice system, dealing with the public and organizational practice. Other stressor factors identified include family issues and underlying psychological factors. A study conducted by Pienaar et al. (2007) (as cited in Clarke-Miller & Brady, 2013) found that three aspects significantly determine police officer stress levels. The three include management style in departments, judicial decisions that are contrary to police opinions, and spending lengthy period away from family.
Stress has severe impacts on the physical and mental wellbeing of police officers. Most police officers will display a range of symptoms when they are under stress. Common symptoms include fatigue, restlessness, excessive consumption of alcohol, poor interrelationships with coworkers, and other symptoms (Clarke-Miller & Brady, 2013). These symptoms match some of those manifested by Officer Joe. Officer Joe violates the rules of the department simply because he perceives it as one of the stressor factors contributing to his misery. His disheveled look clearly indicates that Officer Joe has neglected his personal grooming due to the high stress levels. Officer Joe has poor interrelationships with other employees as evidenced by his disrespectful nature towards others.
Officer Joe’s actions may have severe consequences upon the police organization. The first consequence is a negative image of the police department among the public. When a single officer acts in an unethical manner, the public perceives rot in the entire department. Officer Joe is engaging in unethical behavior such as appearing to work under the influence of alcohol. The public may develop a negative attitude towards the department upon learning about the officer’s behavior. His actions can lead to development of strained relationships with other employees including the seniors. Officer Joe is rude towards other employees, which means they will likely develop a negative attitude towards him. This also makes it difficult to work with him.
Officer Joe’s effect may lead to reduced performance of the department. With the kind of behavior the officer exudes, it would be difficult to cooperate with him for the benefit of the department. The success of police departments is based on team efforts, which means that when some of the team members produce poor results, the entire department suffers. Violating the rules of the department may lead to legal litigations against the department. It is important for police officers to act in accordance with the department protocols to avoid legal litigation. Maintaining a disheveled appearance may make the public lose trust of the police department. The public expects police officers to be properly groomed at all times.
There are various management priorities to put into consideration. The management priorities should be in line with the mission of the police department. The first management priority is to establish and maintain ethics and integrity within the organization. The department aims at fostering an environment that promotes ethical conduct, accountability, integrity, respect for civil and constitutional rights, and ethical decision-making. The second management priority is to implement the best practices in policing. Policing is a critical police role. The department aims at overseeing the implementation of safety guidelines for police officers. The department also ensures the implementation of appropriate crime prevention, detection and investigation strategies to improve security among the community.
The third management priority is to develop and maintain strong community links or partnerships. The community is a critical partner to the department in the fight against crime. Developing and maintaining positive relations with the community ensures that the community is willing to volunteer vital information to the department and thus help in preventing and apprehending crime. The forth management priority is to ensure departmental efficiency and effectiveness. The management should ensure that the department minimizes operational costs while still providing quality services to the public. Use of modern technology and equipment can help achieve efficiency and effectiveness within the department.
As a manager, one should be able to anticipate problems and develop solutions to these problems (Baker & Doran, 2007). One of the possible options is to recommend Officer Joe for a mandatory attendance to employee assistance programs. Qualified counseling professionals who can help Officer Joe identify the causes of his behavior change and provide appropriate remedies run the employee assistance programs. These programs may focus on relaxation, physical fitness, diet, or other remedies. Another option is develop an open communication plan within the department that can encourage police officers to talk about their problems. Developing open communication can enable officers share the problems they are experiencing within the department and in the line or work. This can help the department improve on its management practices.
Another option is to allocate adequate financial resources to stress identification and management programs to police department. Increased funding to stress management programs can help reduce stress among police officers in the department. Another available option to manage the problem is to reorganize duties among police officers. As a manager, Officer Joe should be given different roles or duties to handle. This can help reduce stress especially in the officer’s behavior is related to the current assigned duties. On-duty work hours should be limited to give the officer time to relax. The best solution is to recommend Officer Joe for a mandatory attendance to an employee assistance program. Such a program will be able to help Officer Joe in identifying the causes of his problems and recommend possible solutions.
One of the indicators that determine the success or failure of the employee assistance program is the qualification levels and experience of the counselors. The qualification level and experience determines the quality of counseling provided to police officers undergoing various challenges in the line of duty. Counselors having high qualifications and many years of experience are more likely to find the causes of the problems facing the officer as well as the solutions. Another factor that determines the success or failure of the employee assistance program relates to the amount of financial resources allocated to the employee assistance program. When the amount of financial resources allocated is high, the department can be able to provide quality-counseling services by employed qualified personnel. The department is also able to provide the resources necessary for the welfare of the police officers.
Baker, J. R., & Doran, M. S. (2007). Human resource management: A problem-solving approach linked to ISLLC standards. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Education.
Clarke-Miller, J., & Brady, H. C. (2013). Critical stress: police officer religiosity and coping with critical stress incidents. Journal of Police Criminal Psychology, 28(1): 26 – 34.