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Jul 13th, 2015
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Question description

Ethical Policing

Read the following case study and answer the questions below.

Sergeant Tom Gresham is newly promoted and assigned to patrol on the graveyard shift. He knows each officer on his shift, and several of them are his close friends. You are his patrol lieutenant. Gresham is an excellent patrol officer and prides himself on his reputation and ability to get along with his peers. He believes that doing so will result in greater productivity from his officers, and he makes efforts to socialize with them after work.  Gresham also believes that a supervisor should not “get in the way of good police work” and his officer’s say he is a “cop’s cop.”  In his view, his duty shift officers perform very well, generating the highest number of arrests and citations in the entire department. Unfortunately, his shift is also generating the highest number of citizen complaints for abusive language and improper use of force. Gresham believes that such complaints are “the price of doing business.” One Monday morning, Gresham is surprised at being summoned to your office. You show Gresham a substantial number of use-of-force complaints lodged against his officers during the past two weeks.  Despite your best effort to explain the gravity of the situation and the fact that Internal Affairs may become involved, Gresham fails to grasp the seriousness of the complaints and how his supervisory style may have contributed to them.  

Answer these questions pertaining to how you would handle this situation:

  • What do you believe are some of Sergeant Gresham’s problems as a new supervisor? Could anything have been done before he assumed his new position to help him understand his role better? If so, what?
  • As Gresham’s superior officer, what advice would you give him? Are there any other supervisory or command officers who you should ask to be involved in dealing with this situation? Who and why?
  • What corrective action must Sergeant Gresham take immediately with his team of officers? Why?

Peak, K. (2012). Policing America: Challenges and best practices (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education

Pearson Education. (n.d.). Ethics and corruption [Learning module]. Retrieved from http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/chet/chet_criminal_justice_1/assets/review/Challenges/index.html

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