The one recurring issue we have as supervisors is dealing with problem employees. It's never easy but you can simplify it by remembering that most issues stem from either ignorance or noncompliance.
Many supervisors assume that performance appraisals are only about the subordinate being evaluated, but an evaluation almost always ends up being more about the supervisor. Let me explain why with an example.
A call comes in about an alarm going off at a very popular pawn shop just a little past midnight. You've handled a large number of false alarms at this location, but this time it could be a real burglary.
As you approach the store's entrance, you realize the clerk is being robbed at gunpoint. As far as you can tell, no one else is in the store. You also note that there are two people getting gas at the pumps and there are no other people around.
Supervisors must be specific when they communicate, or expect to pay the price for not doing so. Specificity is important for three main reasons: to ensure the success of the task, to eliminate any questionable officer issues, and in case disciplinary actions become required.
It's 03:50 in the morning when dispatch advises you to respond to a remotely located residence in reference to a missing 4-year-old boy. The mother had gotten up to go to the bathroom and noticed her son was not in his room and the front door was unlocked and open. She immediately called the police.
Over-supervising quashes initiative, creates morale problems (no one likes to be micro-managed), and creates respect issues.
In order to survive our complex environment, we must have a complete understanding and thorough working knowledge of what I call the "seven essential components" of a successful law enforcement career.
The end of your report is merely the start of a process that involves many gatekeepers. The keys to getting past the gatekeepers are found within your agency's records section.
Reacting is guided primarily by emotion and responding is influenced by logic. In this context, it's not hard to see which one of the two is more beneficial to law enforcement officers.
Every profession espouses the virtues of leadership. But what about followers, which are the flip side of the equation? You can't have good leadership without good followership.
If you're not sure what your supervisor expects of you, here are some universal truths that should help you make sure you pass muster, no matter how long you've been on the job.
One of the biggest things you can do to correct confirmation bias is to try to disprove your theories instead of trying to prove them. It seems it is human nature to stop working once you have proven your theory to your own satisfaction.
If you are a "cup is half full" person, then having the right perspective, attitude, and imagination can conquer the frustration of an ever-shrinking budget. It is possible to still make things happen.
I have found there are three essential characteristics that are common to all outstanding LEOs: having curiosity, maintaining a sense of urgency, and having a thirst for knowledge. It's easy to remember the three if you use the acronym "CUT."
It only makes sense that local law enforcement should help find ways to help motorcycle enthusiasts, even veteran riders, ride more safely. The only viable option most law enforcement agencies can help with outside of traffic enforcement is rider education.
My agency recently presented an in-service training program on how to handle vehicle ambushes. We tackled the issue by focusing on the only three possible options available when attacked in your vehicle: retreat, run the suspect over, or get out and fight.
If you don't work to maintain a healthy mind, you will lose a running battle with things like memory, stress, and empathy, which are all important for a law enforcement officer's daily routine.
Can we ever stop law enforcement officers from being killed? I don't think so, but we don't have to make it any easier for it to happen either. There are things we should be doing that are well within our reach, but we don't.
Law enforcement combatives are about obtaining control, and knowing how to strike properly is a big part of that. This concept is brought home every time we see an ineffective officer struggling for control in a YouTube video or in a story on the local nightly news.