Write a 2–4-page paper (excluding cover page) responding to the
Read the case study below, in Effective Police Supervision and apply critical thinking to
construct persuasive arguments as to what you would you do if you were Sergeant
Use the questions at the end of the case study to help you
construct your paper and be sure to address the following:
- Describe the motivational issues that
- The basic need drives for each officer.
- Assess your management style and how it
relates to Theory X.
- If your level of formal education, or
the education of the officers, would be an obstacle.
Case Study:Louis “Lou” Maynard Sergeant
The Craigview Police Department bears a striking resemblance to many smaller police departments that are found in the United States, and it has a rich history in a unique area of the state. Early law enforcement activities were provided by the army and later the first marshal was appointed as the community grew as a result of new residents coming in to work in agriculture, timber, and mining. With the influx of new residents a police force was created and charged with the enforcement of laws and protecting the community. Currently the police department has two major divisions: Field Operations and Field Support. Operations provides 24-hour protection to residents and their property. The primary objective of patrol is dual in nature—providing for security and rendering services to residents and visitors. Operations is also responsible for traffic control, and parking on city streets overnight requires an annual parking permit. It also issues overnight parking stickers for residents and visitors. This unit works four 10-hour shifts, and each patrol officer is assigned to a team that is supervised by a sergeant. The staff includes six sergeants and 24 sworn officers who work within the city limits, encompassing approximately 22 square miles. Each patrol vehicle is equipped with a mobile data computer, in-car digital video, and E-citation equipment. The head of patrol is constantly evaluating new technology that will aid and assist field officers. Downtown is a tourist attraction. One officer is assigned to foot or bike patrol of that area on the swing shift. Two other officers work at the local high school and a middle school as school resource officers. During the last fiscal year the patrol unit responded to 39,831 calls for service that resulted in approximately 4254 arrests, 9989 crime reports, and 9981 collision reports.
The Field Support Division encompasses a number of functions including training, criminal investigation, volunteers, and a property section. This division, which has sworn and civilian personnel, is headed by a lieutenant and has primary responsibility for preparing the departmental budget. It also compiles traffic criminal statistics. In this type of organizational arrangement, support is the key word. Everything is done to provide patrol with the tools and information it needs in order to perform effectively.
Craigview’s violent crime has gone up slightly in several categories, and aggravated assault has increased the most. There were 120 assaults last year, as compared to the previous year when there were 109 such offenses reported.
The preponderance of this increase seems to be caused by transients and visitors. What has alarmed segments of the community is an increase in forcible rapes from three occurrences to a total of 21, as well as robberies that have increased from 61 to 77. For both types of incidents it is a new high going back more than 10 years. It is not known for sure, but it seems to be the action of a gang that has been organized recently, and this is a new phenomenon for the community. Considerable consideration is being given to how these occurrences can be better policed.
Property crime is relatively high for a community of this size, with 1589 offenses reported. Larceny/theft incidents occurred 771 times and burglaries occurred 564 times during the last year, which is a slight increase. Burglaries have been relatively stable over the last five years. Motor vehicle thefts occurred 164 times, compared to the previous year when there were 154 occurrences. Many of these offenses in the latter category were committed by youthful offenders, and joyriding occurred more often than not. There was no reason to believe that auto theft was an organized event.
Craigview is a rather small community with a population of 26,312 and it is the largest city in the county. There are six other smaller communities, and the greater part of the county is unincorporated. Geographically it is a coastal city. It is viewed as a special place to live, and it thrives on its small-town atmosphere. Numerous residents have lived in the city for several generations, which provides considerable city and neighborhood stability. Many houses are situated on tree-lined streets, and there are few fences that separate the houses. This has proven to be a major attraction for those who are interested in a small community atmosphere. During the last decade, retirees in particular have found the community to be a great place to live. There are numerous small neighborhood parks, a large community hall for cultural and educational programs, as well as a senior center. Additionally, there is a year-round family swimming center that is used by many residents. There is a new high school that is centrally located. It provides academic classes as well as trade courses such as automobile repair, and has a strong orientation to the computer and communications world. There is exceptional support for fine arts. The teachers enjoy their work, and the community strongly supports their efforts.
In the downtown area there is a small center for artists where they can exhibit their work. The city has a shopping mall with numerous small stores that cater to the tourist trade, and a youth center near the mall has numerous programs for youths. The community has a varied tax base, with shopping and numerous small manufacturing companies. There is a weak mayor, five members of the city council who represent specific geographical wards, and also a city manager. At council meetings residents are allowed to present their views. There is a free exchange of ideas and opinions at the meetings, and the members of the city council work diligently at problem resolution. The local television station broadcasts the meetings.
Louis “Lou” Maynard entered law enforcement after returning from Iraq, where he served a nine-month tour and, though he was in combat areas, he returned physically unscathed. He remained in his National Guard unit as a sergeant in an engineer company. He has five years remaining to complete his military obligation. Prior to being on active duty with the military, he had worked as a truck driver and a bartender. After release from active duty, he applied for a position in the Craigview Police Department, was accepted, and placed as number three on the candidate list. He was hired and completed the academy, where he graduated fourth in his class. After his field training, he was placed on a team on the 4/10 swing shift—the busiest shift in the department. Maynard is 27 years old, married, and has one child who is three years old. His family lives in a house that he inherited from his mother. Additionally, they both have numerous relatives who live in the region. Lou and his wife went to the same schools in the community. Lou is low key and fits well into the policing environment. He gets along with peers, subordinates, and those of higher rank. His military service helped him to adjust to the department. After four years he took the sergeant examination and had no difficulty on the written exam or the orals. He was placed second on the promotion list and was appointed within six months in view of the fact that two sergeants retired. He was assigned to a team on the evening shift.
After being on the team for six months, Maynard believes that the majority of the team responded positively to the demands of the job except for two officers. Both were close to retirement and seemed bored, as if they were just putting in time until they would become eligible to “hang it up” in one year. All of the other members of the team feel very strongly that the two potential retirees are not carrying their weight. The reports they submit are of marginal quality and lacking in content when arrests are anticipated to lead to prosecution. Maynard feels that their performance has become problematic but not poor enough to warrant sanctions such as a letter of reprimand. The two officers, who have worked together for many years, distance themselves from other team members socially and have stopped attending a coffee session at a local restaurant prior to going on shift. Each of the officers has functioned positively over the years and participated professionally and socially with other team members. It is as if they have grown tired of police work and just want to coast until they retire.
What Would You Do?
As the immediate supervisor of the two officers, what would you do about this motivational problem? Why? Would just waiting out be a solution to the problem? Explain why or why not. What part does Theory X play in this type of situation? What effort to modify their behavior would you make? Are there negative consequences that might work in such a situation? Explain. What type of feedback would you engage in to let the two officers know that their behavior is unacceptable? Why? What would be your position in terms of advising the lieutenant about what is occurring? Explain.