PSPOL – 212
CASE STUDIES IN POLICE SUPERVISION
PSPOL – 212
POLICE SUPERVISION CASE STUDY (2A)
Police Officer Jacob Goulde is a member of the Town of Utopia Police Department. He’s a married father of two. Officer Goulde has had a very good track record in the nine years he’s worked for the Utopia Police Department, but recently he’s been observed making careless mistakes and his behavior is increasingly disturbing to his supervisor, Sergeant Wentworth.
During the last four or five months, Office Goulde has been turning in his reports late and with many mistakes. He’s called off from work repeatedly, and shown up late to several of his tours, which is an unusual pattern for him. He’s missed an important squad meeting simply because he forgot about it. He’s also forgotten his radio on the roof of his patrol car, he drove off and the radio sustained damage that amounted to over six hundred dollars ($600).
After being confronted by Sgt. Wentworth in a meeting between the two, Officer Goulde was evasive with his answers and confrontational toward his sergeant saying he was “probably coming down with a cold or something” as a way of explanation for his abnormal behavior. As a parting remark he said “get off my back” and left the meeting suddenly.
After being assigned desk duty, Desk Sergeant Katz also observed odd behavior from Officer Goulde on his tour. He brought it up to Sergeant Wentworth who then asked Desk Sergeant Katz to put this in writing so that he can take a different course of action with Officer Gould.
Mainly the issues that surround this case are the fact that Sergeant Wentworth has observed all of this declining behavior from Office Jacob Goulde and has not immediately intervened to find out the cause of this extreme attitude shift. Sergeant Wentworth should not have had an unofficial meeting with his officer, but instead a more official gathering and offered support to the officer in order to figure out what is causing all of these serious mishaps.
Desk Sergeant Katz is also suffering from the “passing the buck” syndrome. After Officer Goulde was assigned desk duty on his shift, Sgt. Katz should have taken more extreme measures after discovering Officer Goulde drinking from a suspicious looking bottle and later smelling alcohol on his breath. Even though Officer Goulde isn’t his immediate responsibility, in a police department everyone is responsible not only of solving the crime but of holding each other accountable for their errors.
A police officer is held accountable to the highest degree of the law, but a supervisor is held at an even higher standard because they’re in charge of overseeing their subordinates. Sgt. Wentworth has failed to approach the issue when it first started, therefore not being proactive. Now, he’s stuck with this issue and isn’t exactly sure how to follow suit. He must remember that he is the one in command and the one that needs to set rules and guidelines for the subordinates to follow. Perhaps giving the officer desk duty to be observed closely wasn’t the best idea since he should have been the one to look more closely into this problem with his officer. Sergeant Wentworth should have made Officer Goulde go to mandatory counseling to help him with his problems, whatever they are. If he suffers from any sort of substance abuse or emotional distress, he would get the necessary help through the psych services offered by the department (EIU). Also, they have to set up a plan for the two to meet regularly and discuss the effects of the therapy and map out a route with a mutual goal. If this...
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