week 4 discussion 1
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,
- 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?
Our discussion first, individuals
response, tell good and bad of post, list reference
of the problems with Sergeant Gresham as a new supervisor is that he acts as
though he is still “one of the guys”, rather than someone who is in a
supervisory position. Another problem that was noticed about him is that he
does not see that there may be a problem with the way he and the officers have
behaved with the members of the community.
do believe that something could have been done before he assumed his new
position as a sergeant. The first thing that could have been done is that the
department could have conducted an assessment of who might be the best fit for
the position. The second thing that could have been done is that Gresham should
have attended a course designed for the transition of being an officer to
becoming a supervisor.
advice that I would give is that he would need to be accountable for not only
his actions, but the actions of those who are under his supervision. According
to Peak (2012), the term accountability could also include that the police
officers “will not use more force than necessary” and “ensuring that all
officers are well trained to meet the highest standards of professionalism” (p.
324). He would also be told that even though his shift has a high number of
arrests, they also have a large number of complaints regarding use of force and
abusive language. He would be advised that continuing to have a high number of
complaints would result in training. If the complaints persisted after the
training, there would be disciplinary action taken.
corrective action that Sergeant Gresham must take immediately is that he should
counsel the team as a way to make known what his expectations are as a leader
and the direction he may take if they are found to be acting inappropriately.
He may also follow the advice given and request that the team members attend
training on ethics and use of force.
Peak, K. (2012). Policing America:
Challenges and Best Practices (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.