Sergeant Tom Gresham is newlypromoted and assigned to patrol on the graveyard shift. He knows each officeron his shift, and several of them are his close friends. You are his patrollieutenant. Gresham is an excellent patrol officer and prides himself on hisreputation and ability to get along with his peers. He believes that doing sowill result in greater productivity from his officers, and he makes efforts tosocialize with them after work. Greshamalso 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 shiftofficers perform very well, generating the highest number of arrests andcitations in the entire department. Unfortunately, his shift is also generatingthe highest number of citizen complaints for abusive language and improper useof force. Gresham believes that such complaints are “the price of doingbusiness.” One Monday morning, Gresham is surprised at being summoned to youroffice. You show Gresham a substantial number of use-of-force complaints lodgedagainst his officers during the past two weeks. Despite your best effortto explain the gravity of the situation and the fact that Internal Affairs maybecome involved, Gresham fails to grasp the seriousness of the complaints andhow 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’sproblems as a new supervisor? Could anything have been done before heassumed his new position to help him understand his role better? If so,what?
- As Gresham’s superior officer, what advice would yougive him? Are there any other supervisory or command officers who youshould ask to be involved in dealing with this situation? Who and why?
- What corrective action must Sergeant Gresham takeimmediately with his team of officers? Why?
Peak, K. (2012). PolicingAmerica: Challenges and best practices (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:Pearson Education
What doyou believe are some of Sergeant Gresham’s problems as a new policesupervisor Could anything have beendone before he assumed his new position to help him understand his role better?If so, what?
Sergeant Gresham will have to face the fact he isn’t one ofthe guys anymore, he is now a supervisor. When law enforcement officers are newly appointed to a supervisory rolefor the first time, there isn’t enough training to help them get ready for their new role. “A promotedofficer, usually a sergeant, leaves behind being “one of the guys” and thatchange alone is a difficult change for many” (Sutton, 2009). A newly appointed Sergeant can seek counseland advice from the guys who are more experienced then them. If Sergeant Gresham received comprehensive trainingthen that could have helped him prepare for his new position.
AsGresham’s superior officer, what advice would you give him? Are there any othersupervisory or command officers who you should ask to be involved in dealingwith this situation? Who and why?m
As a superior officer I would give Sergeant Gresham thisadvice. First thing is you need to remember you are a role model. “ The minute you sewon those stripes people are going to be watching you” (Smith, 2013, par.2).Leaders are not just leaders, so act accordingly. Communication is essential ,as you need to communicate to everyone,and watch your body language.
As a superior officer I wouldadvise Sergeant Gresham Officers need to follow department rules, regionallaws, professional ethical standards and establish protocols” (Ethicsand corruption, [Learning module], p.2) Also know the extent towhich they socialize with his juniors. Your peers may end up not respecting youas their senior officer, as well as not taking what he say . I would alsorecommend the various officers in different shifts to be involved in dealingwith this situation since they will be in a position to supervise the otherofficers in their shifts. This will help in the reduction of citizen complaintsfor abusive language.
Whatcorrective action must Sergeant Gresham take immediately with his team ofofficers? Why?
Sergeant Gresham needs to employ a number of methods. As for the abusivelanguage. One would be to interview adistrict attorney. Interview police executives. This would be to “ determine what they aredoing in terms of training and policies to minimize the chances of successfullawsuits against their officers” (Peak. 2012, p.385). He can also determine howpolice protect themselves.
There is nothing like the feelingof having a police uniform. It comes with a awesome responsibility. Everypolice officer out there needs to be vigilant when it comes to ethicalbehavior. “Modern law enforcement, in its zeal to protect the people of ourcountry in the wake of the reality of terrorism, must be on guard against“noble cause corruption” — doing the wrong thing for “good” reasons” (Sutton,2009, Conclusion). Law Enforcementfaces many challenges in today’s world,and needs to face these challenges in amanner that is ethical. If we do this we will truly be “policing with honor.”(Sutton, 2009, Conclusion, par. 4).
Peak, K. (2012). Policing America: Challenges and best practices(7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:Pearson Education
Pearson Education. (n.d.). Ethicsand corruption [Learning module]. Retrieved from http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/chet/chet_criminal_justice_1/assets/review/Challenges/index.html
Smith, B. B. (2013,March 22). A Little Advice for a New Sergeant | Officer.com. Retrieved fromwww.officer.com/article/…/a-little-advice-for-a-new-sergeant – Similar
Sutton, R. (2009, December28). Policing with honor: The three levels of accountability – … Retrievedfrom www.policeone.com/…/1983356-Policing-with-honor-The-th… – Similar