Leadership and Decision Making
Competencies Addressed in This Assignment
Competency 2: Apply decision-making and leadership skills in a police
Competency 3: Analyze the culture of police organizations from a leadership
Competency 5: Apply ethical behavior to social control concepts.
Competency 6: Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
Leadership is the process of influencing organizational members to use their
energies willingly and to appropriately facilitate the achievement of the police
department's goals. Anthony Downs described four types of leader behavior in
bureaucratic structures: 1) climbers, 2) conservers, 3) zealots, and 4) advocates
(Swanson, Territo, & Taylor, 2017). Climbers are strongly motivated by power and
prestige needs to invent new functions to be performed by their units. Conservers
exhibit bias toward maintaining things under their control. Zealots have narrow
interests that focus almost entirely on them. Advocates promote everything under
their control (Swanson, Territo, & Taylor, 2017).
Review the Leadership and Decision Making media from this unit's studies.
From the perspective of a law enforcement officer, prepare a three-page paper,
citing a minimum of one case on point and two academically verified references. In
Analyze the leadership style demonstrated by the lone union member.
Explain the leadership style of the union executive board members.
Lay out the leadership style you would use in reacting in this situation, with
Explore whether there would be any repercussions for your chosen leadership style.
Your paper should meet the following requirements:
Written communication: Must be free of errors that detract from the overall
Resources and citations: Format according to current APA style and formatting
Length of paper: Three typed, double-spaced pages, not including the title page or
the references page.
References: A minimum of three references. (If you create a hypothetical case,
references will not be necessary.)
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
You are required to submit your paper to Turnitin. Once you review your results
and make any needed changes, submit your paper for grading.
Note: Your instructor may also use the Writing Feedback Tool to provide feedback
on your writing. In the tool, click the linked resources for helpful writing
Swanson, C. R., Territo, L., & Taylor, R. W. (2017). Police administration: Structures,
processes, and behavior (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Leadership and Decision Making Scoring Guide.
APA Style and Format.
Capella Online Writing Center.
Community of Excellence.
Criminal Justice Undergraduate Research Guide.
Submit an Assignment.
Writing Feedback Tool.
Leadership and Decision Making | Transcript.
Leadership and Decision-Making
Leadership and decision-making go hand in hand. But sometimes, the way someone makes a
decision is as important as the decision itself — and that way is often dictated by the leadership
style or styles they’ve adopted. The following scenario shows different styles in action as police
officers react to a critically important decision.
Section 1 : The Chief and the Police
A lot of officers on the Riverbend City police force keep up on what’s going on by reading a
blog called The Police Blotter. Many of the posts relate to the doings of the department’s chief,
Glen Edwards. Read each post to get an idea of what the department thinks of Chief Edwards.
The Police Blotter
Headline: New Chief Starts Friday
Date: AUGUST 6, 2014
Well, it’s official: We have a new chief. He’s coming to us from Seattle, where he was the
assistant chief for several years. Apparently he was the big noise out there; later, when I can find
it, I’ll post an article about a big fight with the city that resulted in Assistant Chief Edwards
offering to resign rather than work one more day without better bulletproof vests for his officers.
It won’t be in the article, but I hear through the grapevine that he also offered to be shot in one
on live TV, and that convinced the City Council that he was dead serious.
We’ll see how he does here. We all hope whatever he’s like, he has to be better than Chief
Radcliffe. But if there’s anything we police officers know, it’s that things can always get worse.
Stay tuned for more updates on our new chief and his doings.
Headline: Survey Says: So Far, So Good
Date: APRIL 23, 2015
Since you probably filled it out, you already know that the departmental survey is complete.
Well, the results are in, and I’ll be writing a series of posts about them.
For today, I’m going to focus on the results that relate to our not-so-new chief.
Out of about 828 officers, 738 of you filled out the survey. That’s a response rate of 89 percent,
for those of you who care about such things. Here’s how the answers to the questions about
Chief Edwards went:
Approve of the job he’s doing: 74 percent either approved or approved a lot.
Trust him to make good decisions: 69 percent agreed or strongly agreed.
Values our input: 78 percent agreed or strongly agreed.
Pretty good, Chief! You can only tell so much by a survey, but these numbers suggest that the
chief is taking hold and making a solid impression among the rank and file. Let’s see if he can
keep it up.
Headline: Kudos for Chief Edwards
Date: NOVEMBER 12, 2015
Our own Chief Edwards continues to be the golden boy. You may remember last month’s post
about his departmental Hazardous Duty Award. For those of you who live under a rock, that was
when he got Officer Reinhardt, who had taken two rounds in the leg, out of the line of fire in the
shootout with the Southside Killers gang members.
Well, now he’s been honored with the 2015 Governor’s Public Safety Award for Outstanding
Contribution to Community Safety. His leadership on the department’s anti-gang initiatives
caught the governor’s eye, and he’ll be honored in a big ceremony on Thursday.
Date: JULY 24, 2016
We knew it had to happen sometime. The honeymoon is over.
Most of you know that last year, Officer Nate Leavy arrested Pokey Dre, aka Leonard Dresden,
one of the Southside Killers. For the last year, there’s been a big controversy over whether it was
a good arrest, whether Officer Leavy had grounds, and whether there was police brutality. Well,
expect the controversy to get even bigger, folks: Chief Edwards has agreed to release the full
The media is going to have a field day with this, and so will the people who think everything the
police do is wrong. Buckle your seat belts, cops. It’s on.
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Section2 : The Union Meeting
Last week, Riverbend City Police Chief Glen Edwards agreed to release the video of a
controversial arrest of a known gang member. The arrest has been controversial because the gang
member, a man named Leonard Dresden whose gang name is Pokey Dre, alleged police brutality
and the community supported him. To quiet the controversy, Chief Edwards released the video.
But now he’s got a new problem – a police union whose leadership is angry about the decision.
All right, let’s come to order. As everybody knows by now, the chief has decided to release the
video of Officer Leavy’s arrest of Pokey Dre, aka Leonard Dresden. Now, we all know that this
is bull. This will only feed the media frenzy, and give aid and comfort to the anti-police crowd.
It’s a bad decision, and he’s putting us all at risk. So we’re here to hold a vote of no confidence.
Let’s start with procedure. Ordinarily, we would vote by secret ballot. But this is so important
that I think – and I so move – that we have a hand vote.
All in favor?
Looks like the ayes have it.
All right, now it’s time for the vote of no confidence. My opinion is that this should be
unanimous. If you vote for the chief, you’re essentially voting against the union.
Wait a minute. Everybody here knows I’m totally for the union. But I’m not sure about the vote
of no confidence. Nobody’s going to brand me as against the union just because I disagree with
[Sarcastically] Wow, your loyalty is impressive, Ray.
My loyalty? Or my ability to think for myself?
You know, Ray, the union stood up for you when Internal Affairs was after you about that
domestic violence call that went south on you. I’d think about that. You never know when IA
might come after you again.
What exactly are you saying? I’m a 5-year cop and I pay my dues, and I earned this union’s
Okay, hold it. You guys are in a big hurry to hold this vote. But I say it’s wrong to even have it.
This union has only held one no confidence vote before this, and it was for Chief Radcliffe, and
we were right. But Chief Edwards is no Chief Radcliffe. Wait a minute! You know he isn’t.
You’re mad about this decision, but have you forgotten everything else he’s done? The pay
raise? That time he had Reinhardt’s back?
We’re sending him a message that he can’t put his political BS ahead of officer safety!
No, we’re not.
Of course we are! In fact, this kind of decision shouldn’t be the chief’s at all. The union should
make this call! We’re the ones who are most affected by it, and it should be our decision!
Now, that’s just crazy.
Hold it! In all the years I’ve been on the force – which is a lot longer than you, Kowalski…
Not a lot longer. Just longer.
…the chief has never given in to political pressure on matters of officer safety.
And that’s still true.
No, it isn’t! This will empower the anti-police crowd!
You keep saying that. Where’s your evidence?
Just my eyes. We’ve seen this movie before! The last thing we need is to change a policy that’s
served us fine for always. We’ve always kept internal evidence, like videos and recordings,
internal. Changing that now is going to open the floodgates.
Even if you’re right, we don’t hold no confidence votes when the chief does one thing we don’t
agree with. We hold them when we think the chief is corrupt, or can’t lead anymore, or is acting
outside of his authority. If we hold this vote, we’re using a no confidence vote to say, “Hey,
chief, we’re mad at you.” We’ve got plenty of ways to say that! But if we poison the well with a
badly-thought-out vote of no confidence over a difference of opinion, then we’re not going to be
taken seriously the next time. And the next time might be something really bad!
What, like putting cops’ lives in danger isn’t bad? Come on!
Calm down. Remember, a no confidence vote says we don’t approve of anything the chief is
doing. That’s not true, and everyone in this room knows it. Some of us don’t like what the chief
is doing in this one area, but that’s a disagreement, not a no confidence vote. Do you want to
throw him out of office? What if the mayor picks some moron who’s a lot worse? Edwards is a
good chief and he doesn’t deserve this. We’re better than this. We’re police officers, and we’re
not scared to disagree. Come on. I say that holding this vote is an act of cowardice. The execs are
trying to hijack the union and use it for their own purposes. But we don’t have to follow their
lead! Are we cops or are we patsies??
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