The assignments shall require that you conduct a more detailed analysis of a subject area than what is covered in our text. The written assignments will be a case study from the book as described in the course syllabus.
In the “Rixton” case study there are obviously issues with the department itself from the top to the bottom of the department. The chain of command is not enforced properly, which creates further issues when concerning “authority-level principles” from being applied to issues that present themselves. The first depiction of this department starts with the description of the small size of the police force (36) and generally small city it serves (16,000) while also introducing the top cop, the highest level of their police department, Chief Walter Eager (Cordner, 2016). It would be easy to assume a smaller department would be easier to support and produce a high-quality problem free police services, but that would be a mistaken assumption in this case.
The Chief is “one of their own” an administrator who came from the internal police ranks. This could be a positive thing in some departments, but it doesn’t appear to be the case in Rixton. This Chief is not a capable administrator which in several ways can be attributed to the departments lack of leadership development which is shown further in this case study. Chief Eager chooses not to embrace the command structure and common administrative techniques such, as well thought out and disseminated policy and procedure. By simply tacking up departmental policy changes on a cork board loaded down with old, cluttered information. This implies to the lower officers that this is not important, if it were important, their chief and or supervisors would instruct them on what the changes were or what they meant. The chain of command aspect being ignored here is the need for clear and concise communication from the top of the department to the officers and back to the top. The method of communication being used is neither formal nor is it using the supervisors or middle management to push new policies or procedure.
The small department size creates an environment where there can be division and factions within the larger group. In this case the patrol officers, six to be exact, are causing internal strife through their conduct and police style. If the department were clearly guided by a well thought out policy and procedure, a mission that all members were aware of, there could be consistency in the police services being provided to the community. Especially with a smaller department the whole organization should be aware of the goals of the administration and the method by which those goals will be attained. Without clear guidance the department personnel who deal with the public on a daily basis are essentially free styling their encounters versus knowing what the department seeks to accomplish with each encounter. It should be noted that the overall department is doing a respectable job, even without the solid leadership usually needed for police success. The majority do a decent job and are effective at their job with little supervision or guidance. But as the old saying goes “one bad apple can spoil the bunch,” the few that are in the minority clique can taint the community’s perception of the department as whole.
These officers are militaristic hard-handed males who view their job and role in the community very differently from the rest of the department. Without the entire department being held to the same standards through appropriate policy and procedure to include well defined disciplinary policies many problems can be caused by a relatively small number of officers. In this department’s case Chief Eager has neither empowered his officers, nor has he controlled them which are hallmark responsibilities of a police administrator (Cordner, 2016). These officers who are not acting appropriately should be dealt with through supervisory control and disciplinary actions while the other officers who are doing a decent job need empowerment, guidance, and reassurance. The administrator job is not an easy one, but in order for there to be a measure of success or failure the standards must be known to all, and all must be held to the standards.