1. Read Case Study 2, “Rixton” (the case study is located at the end of the weekly reading assignment). In narrative format give an overview of the facts and issues of this case study.2. Describe how the officers’ behaviors might be improved by using the basic principles of police organization as well as policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and discipline.3. Is there any time that too many policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and discipline can lead to problem employees? Give some examples.4. If you were appointed to the lead executive of a law enforcement organization. Would you rather take over a department with numerous policies and procedures in place or one with very few? What are the benefits of one over the other?***The minimum word count is 1200 words and you must include three scholarly sources. Scholarly sources doesn’t count towards word count.
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rinciplesI and Policies in
Define the authority-level principle.
Define the principle of chain of command.
Define the principle of unity of command.
Define the principle of span of control.
Cite three criteria by which functions may be examined for similarity.
Explain why organizational guidelines are especially important in policing, but also difficult to
Compare policies, procedures, and rules and regulations in terms of specificity.
Identify the four sources of organizational policy.
Identify the five key stages in the development of originated policy.
This chapter addresses two related issues: (1) principles that guide the structure of the
9 that guide police employees in their
police organization; and (2) policies and procedures
decision making and actions. The information in0this chapter lays the foundation for the
discussion of the functions of police management9presented in Chapter 6.
Authority, Responsibility, and Accountability
Any organization in which someone has authority over someone else is a hierarchy.
Governments, corporations, fraternities, universities, and police departments are all hierarchies. Most organizations are hierarchical in some respects; some are more hierarchical
110 The Traditional Perspective
than others. The greater the number of levels of supervisors or administrators an organization has, the more hierarchical the organization is. For example, Figure 5.1 shows that
police department A is more hierarchical than department B, even though both have the
same number of employees.
Typically, larger organizations are more hierarchical than smaller ones, simply
because more employees require more supervisors, more supervisors require more midlevel managers, and so on. If too many levels of hierarchy are created, however, many
different kinds of organizational problems can arise, such as delays in communication
from the top of the organization to theMbottom and lack of feedback at the top of the
organization. Many organizations today,
I including police departments, are trying to
become “flatter” by eliminating unnecessary levels of hierarchy.1 As with most elements
of organizational structure, balance is required—in
this case, balance between the need
Police Department A
Police Department B
Two Seven-Member Police Departments. Department A is more hierarchical than Department B
Principles and Policies 111
Authority and Responsibility
Standard 11.3.1 A written directive requires that:
responsibility is accompanied by commensurate authority;
each employee is accountable for the use of delegated authority.
Source: Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies: The Standards Manual of the CALEA Law
Enforcement Agency Accreditation Program, fifth edition, as amended. 2015. Gainesville, VA:
Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.
L the organizational structure as much
for sufficient supervision and the desire to streamline
as possible. See “Authority and Responsibility,” Box
When we say someone is a person’s boss, we generally mean that he or she has the
authority to give the person orders. In terms of authority, the boss is the supervisor and
, boss has the power to command the
has the power to command the subordinate. If the
subordinate, it follows that the boss has the right, as well as the responsibility, to command the subordinate.
Besides bestowing on the boss the right and the responsibility to command, authorH and take actions. A police sergeant,
ity also gives the boss the right to make decisions
for example, has the right as supervisor to approve
A a patrol officer’s request to leave an
assigned patrol area. The sergeant makes such a decision based on the responsibility to
exercise delegated authority. The patrol officer, who by departmental policy is manNhas no authority to leave it without
dated to remain within a designated patrol area,
Authority and responsibility should be balanced in each position in the organization.
It would not be fair to make an employee responsible for a function without also providing sufficient authority to make decisions and take actions in carrying out the function.
By the same token, employees should not be given
1 authority without commensurate
responsibility, because of the possibility of abuse of that authority.
Police chiefs should never make the mistake9of assuming that those to whom they
0 to minimize the ever-present possihave delegated authority will use it wisely. In order
bility that delegated authority will be misused or9abused, chiefs must institute a formal
system for monitoring the activities of all officers who have been delegated authority.
Such a system is based on the principle of accountability.
The principle of accountability means that S
all individuals to whom authority has
been delegated must be held accountable for its use. It demands that action be taken
if and when individuals exercise their authority improperly or irresponsibly. Further, it
requires that a conscious effort be made to identify organization members who fail to use
their authority, use too much authority, or use their authority improperly.
112 The Traditional Perspective
The police chief can monitor the use of authority by organization members in several
ways. The basic way is through supervision within the chain of command. In addition, the
inspections and internal affairs subsystem tasks described in Chapter 4 provide information (feedback) about the use of authority throughout the department. The organization’s
information system should be designed to aid in monitoring performance, including use
of authority. The performance appraisal process by which each employee’s performance is
periodically reviewed and evaluated is another important source of information.
The principle of accountability is put into effect through swift and certain action that
is uniformly and fairly administered. All
Mindividuals should be treated alike, regardless
of rank or position, and no favoritism should
be shown in implementing the principle.
Therefore, an action must be taken in every instance in which authority is misused or
L is shirking responsibility or not doing the
when it becomes apparent that an individual
job as assigned. Distinctions must be E
made, of course, between intentional acts and
honest mistakes made by employees trying to do their jobs properly.
If a chief does not use the principle of accountability as a control device and takes no
action, everyone tacitly understands that, the department will condone certain improprieties and misbehavior. When officers realize that they can misuse their authority or neglect
their responsibilities with impunity, authority will be misused and responsibilities will not
be met on a continuing basis throughout the organization.
In departments in which functionsHare poorly defined and little or no authority
is delegated, it is impossible to put theAprinciple of accountability into effect. In such
organizations, authority, which is the glue that holds an organization together, becomes
an administrative tool by which friends are rewarded and enemies are punished.
Personalities, rather than organizational N
principles, take over the department and become
the focal point around which the organization
is administered. In such departments, an
officer gets ahead by siding with the right people politically, not by doing the job. The
job becomes incidental to personal priorities and prerogatives. The department becomes
self-centered rather than community-centered.
Delegation of Authority
In a properly organized police department,
the chief delegates authority for decision
making to people at all levels within the organization. Authority is the power to make
T authority in a police department lies with
decisions or to perform tasks. The ultimate
the chief, who must wisely and widely delegate
authority to others so that decisions can
be made and tasks performed.
Every person within an organization who is expected to perform a specific task should
be delegated the necessary amount of authority to perform it well. In police departments
in which chiefs do not understand this necessity, there will be few operational decisions
Principles and Policies 113
made and little work accomplished. For example, when the chief of one small department
was first appointed, there was only one other member of the department. Thirty years
later, the department had more than 20 members. Although the chief was well intentioned and had the best interests of the department and the town at heart, the department
had grown so much that he was not able to adjust to the fact that he could no longer
retain all authority and make all decisions in the department. He gave the one lieutenant
and three sergeants little authority to make decisions and to assume command and supervisory responsibilities. As a result, the patrol officers’ work was totally unsupervised. The
sergeants were little more than patrol officers withM
three stripes on their sleeves and greatly
resented the fact that the chief would not give them
I the authority to do their job. Both
the town and the department suffered because of the chief ’s unwillingness to delegate his
L and meet their responsibilities.
authority to others who needed it to do their work
The failure to delegate authority is not at allE
uncommon in police organizations. In
many instances, police chiefs simply do not understand the mechanics of the delegation
process. In other cases, chiefs are unwilling to delegate authority, fearing that it will be
abused by subordinates and reflect negatively on, both the department and themselves.
Many chiefs are aware that ultimate responsibility is theirs and, accordingly, are extremely
cautious about allowing others within their organizations the opportunity to make
mistakes that could prove to be embarrassing. Often, though, police chiefs are the least
H decisions, because they are generally
qualified people within their organizations to make
furthest removed from the people and the situations
A their decisions will affect.
The ironic aspect of this unwillingness to delegate authority is that it affects adminN
istrative matters more than operational matters. Police chiefs often refuse to delegate the
authority for such actions as purchasing a tire toNkeep a patrol car on the road, issuing
flashlight batteries, switching from summer-weight
O to winter-weight uniforms in the
autumn, or making minor work schedule alterations. Yet the authority to use force or to
take away a person’s freedom is delegated to the lowest-ranking members of the organization, almost without a second thought. Perhaps it is because police chiefs realize that
such awesome legal authority is so widely delegated
1 that they jealously guard the limited
administrative authority they have.
In delegating authority, chiefs should make 9
absolutely certain that everyone within
their departments has a precisely defined understanding not only of the authority he or
she has been delegated, but also of the circumstances
9 under which that authority may
be used. In order to be sure that the person receiving delegated authority thoroughly
understands it, it should be delegated in writing. T
Except for emergency situations, a chief
S the spoken word. Confusion, forgetof police should never delegate authority using only
fulness, and misunderstandings can quickly dissipate authority that is not in writing. It is
imperative then, that any delegation of authority be put in writing.
Just as the chief has total authority over the entire police department, officers in
high-ranking positions have more authority than those in lower ranks. Captains generally
114 The Traditional Perspective
would have more authority than lieutenants; lieutenants, more authority than sergeants.
A captain in charge of an operations bureau, for example, should have the authority to
decide what priorities will be assigned to various types of investigations. The captain exercises authority by establishing these priorities responsibly in terms of a number of factors,
which might include workload, seriousness of the offense, current crime problems, and
availability of personnel. The captain might reasonably choose to delegate the authority to
establish the priorities to the lieutenant in charge of the investigations division or retain
the authority and establish the priorities personally. As a good administrator, the captain should probably delegate the authority
M to the lieutenant in writing. The lieutenant,
however, should not delegate this authority
to investigative sergeants. The lieutenant,
with an overview of the entire investigations division, is in a much better position than
the sergeants to establish investigative priorities
because he or she knows the work of the
Whenever feedback within a police system indicates that authority is being abused
or that officers to whom authority has been delegated are not using it responsibly, that
, When they delegate authority, police chiefs
authority must be recovered or taken back.
must be fully aware that the delegation is never permanent. This must also be understood
by everyone to whom authority is delegated. When a department is reorganized, when
duties are rearranged or reassigned, and when departmental objectives, policies, and proH be recovered.2 The delegation of authority
grams are modified, authority will inevitably
and the recovery of authority are continuing
A processes by which the organization is made
more responsive to the interests of its clientele (citizens, in the case of a police departN
ment) and more productive in terms of its output (services).
If the concepts of authority, responsibility,
and accountability are fully understood
by everyone within a police department O
and if the chief follows some simple principles of
organization in administering the agency, there should be no difficulty in using authority
delegation as an organizational device to increase departmental efficiency and effectiveness.
The Authority-Level Principle
0 on the premise that authority exists within an
The authority-level principle is based
organization at all levels and only decisions
9 that cannot be made at a given level because of
lack of authority should be referred upward for resolution. It is based on the assumption
that within an organization there will beTproblems everywhere that must be solved on an
S its goals and objectives. Further, it dictates
ongoing basis if the organization is to meet
that “all decisions should be made as low as possible in an organization.”3
In police departments in which functions have been improperly grouped, in which
the chain of command is not in effect, and in which individuals at various ranks lack the
authority to do their jobs, departmental personnel tend to ignore problems or rely on
Principles and Policies 115
the chief to make most of the decisions. Ignoring the problems is the easier of the two
alternatives; the chief, lacking a viable chain of command, will in all likelihood never be
advised that problems exist.
The authority-level principle is perhaps the most difficult principle of organization to
put into effect. Weak command-level personnel and inept supervisors can be expected to
avoid their problem-solving responsibilities and allow problems to increase in number and
severity. Insistence that problems that cannot be solved at lower levels be communicated
upward is, therefore, essential. In police departments, this insistence should be procedurally formalized, with officers and managers at all levels
M required to write regular reports on
problems that have surfaced that they lack the authority
to solve themselves. This proceI
dure was developed as a result of the work of Hrand Saxenian, a management consultant
Lsuccessfully applied it in working with
and former Harvard Business School professor who
business and industry. By writing down their problems
and passing along their reports
to the person within the organization to whom they report and from whom they receive
their authority through the chain of command, they are in fact referring the problems
, outlining problems from subordiupward for solution. When superiors receive reports
nates, it is incumbent on them, if they have the necessary authority, to solve the problems
themselves. If they lack the authority to solve the problems, they, too, are obliged in their
regular reports to their superiors to list the problems that they lack the authority to solve
personally. If such a system is put into effect, andHif reports are kept by the department,
accountability can be placed on officers, supervisors,
A and managers who are shirking their
Most problems in a majority of departments will probably be solved more inforN mechanical difficulties with a patrol
mally. For example, a patrol officer who is having
vehicle should only need to mention this to the O
sergeant in order to have arrangements
made for the vehicle’s repair. If this problem is then solved, it would not be listed among
the problems the sergeant outlined in his or her regular report. On the other hand, if the
sergeant refuses to make arrangements to have the vehicle repaired, thereby refusing to
make a decision on the matter, it would be the patrol
1 officer’s responsibility to list this as
a problem in his or her report. By insisting that the patrol officer commit this problem to
9 it will be a relatively easy matter for
writing, and by keeping the reports for at least a year,
the lieutenant in charge of the shift, or for the captain
in charge of operations, to place
accountability on the sergeant for not dealing with
for which authority had
been delegated. Both the captain and the lieutenant should, by departmental policy, be
required to make periodic spot checks on reportsTin an effort to find problems that their
subordinates may be attempting to keep from them.
Although this example may seem to be a rather inconsequential matter, it should be
understood that when combined with a number of other little problems, this problem
can seriously impede the effectiveness of the patrol division. In one police department
that was studied, minor problems similar to the one above seriously affected the morale
116 The Traditional Perspective
of police officers and stood in the way of achieving departmental goals and objectives.
Almost no problems were solved at the operating level, and no systems existed for referring problems upward. Although the department consisted of almost 200 police officers,
it had a very loosely knit chain of command and no organization chart. If the chief was
aware of the principle of accountability or of the authority-level principle, he was certainly not applying them to the management of the department. As a result, portable
radios were in varying stages of disrepair, and many were missing. Police vehicles were
poorly equipped and maintained. Several would have had difficulty passing state inspection; one car had a nonfunctioning frontM
headlight, another had a blown muffler. A patrol
vehicle was once out of service for five Idays because no one assumed the responsibility
of cleaning vomit from its rear floor rug. Patrol cars had no fire extinguishers or first aid
L unsolved because no one had the authority to
kits. These and other problems remained
solve them and …
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