Case Study: Effective Police Supervision

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The Management Task
Key Terms
affective skills conceptual skills conflict resolution dynamic organization Hu-TACK human skills integrity knowledge-based skills loyalty management expectations of the supervisor officer behavior participation peer expectations of the supervisor performance positive attitude responding to management self-appraisal subordinate expectations supervisory skill areas tactical skills transition


Case Study
Sergeant Douglas Harper
Department Douglas Harper has been with the Graceville Police Department for nine years. The department has added a number of new officers as the city limits expanded because of annexation. The department has 168 sworn officers and 51 full- and part-time civilians. There are three major units in the department: uniform division, investigations, and support services. Sergeant Harper works as a shift supervisor in the uniform division and he is assigned to the swing shift that works a 4/10 plan. In this division, corporals serve as assistant shift supervisors. In addition, the division has 89 police officers and six community service officers. There are also three school resource officers assigned to the local schools. The division is headed by a captain, and three lieutenants serve as watch commanders. This division accounts for the preponderance of the department’s

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Effective Police Supervision

measurable workload in terms of calls for service. Sergeant Harper’s watch commander very seldom left the station and allowed shift supervisors a free rein in conducting operations. Crime There were approximately 87,344 requests for police services during the previous year, which was a decrease of two percent. The reduction is in part due to implementation of a secondary telephone system as a means of reducing 911 telephone calls and providing citizens with another means of reporting their concerns other than actual emergencies. Requests for service included prowler calls, abandoned cars, lost children, public intoxication, road hazards, speeding vehicles, traffic accidents, graffiti, and malicious mischief, as well as violent and property crimes. In the latest year for which statistics were available, violent crimes totaled 690, which was a reduction of 4.01 percent. Violent crimes had dropped steadily over the past decade. The crime rate is going up but statistics are not available because the city is installing a new computer system. Property crimes showed an increase of 232 cases and all of these were larcenies/thefts. There were 16 homicides, 54 forcible rapes, 253 robberies, and 336 aggravated assaults. Additionally, there were 1779 burglaries and 938 vehicle thefts. An analysis of robberies reflected the fact that 23.9 percent occurred on streets/alleys and 22.7 percent in commercial buildings. Sixty-nine percent of the robberies involved the use of handguns, knives, fists, or baseball bats as the weapons of choice. Community The population of the city is approximately 94,000 and it is growing at a rate of two percent a year because many individuals have chosen it as a retirement area. Many of the retirees, over the last seven years, are former public safety officers who have long desired to live in a more rural area and get away from the traffic generated by big-city life. An additional asset is the fact that the cost of living is less and housing is below comparable housing in large urban cities. There are just under 40,000 housing units in the town, and available transportation includes a city bus system, rail, and an interstate bus line. An airport 28 miles to the south allows easy access to other regions. A major interstate highway is on the north side of the town. The service area of the community has a constituency with 79 percent Caucasians, 12.5 percent Hispanic, and 3.8 percent black; the remainder are 1.9 percent Asians and 2.8 percent Native-American. A two-year college in the...
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