Review the Captain Edith Strong case study in Ch. 6 of Organizational Behavior and Management in Law Enforcement.
Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper that answers all the case study questions that follow.
CASE STUDY Captain Edith Strong
Captain Strong is the commander of a Field Operations Division in the City of Rogerville that has a population of 101,603, and the community covers 65.4 square miles. Captain Strong has worked her way up through the ranks achieving the position of captain after 18 years of service. She is the first woman to hold this high of a position in the department. Prior to this she served as Lieutenant of Administrative Services. The preponderance of her service has been in patrol, where she served as a sergeant and then a watch commander.
Within the department, 65 percent of the officers are white,
and the next largest ethnic group is Hispanic, at 27 percent. Seven percent of the force is women. Based on tradition and operational policy, the department has a definitive chain of command and is keyed to job specialization. Patrol officers are assigned to a specific beat and respond to calls, conduct preliminary investigations (when minor crimes are involved), and engage in preventive patrol when time allows. The Bureau of Criminal Investigations conducts all other investigations. Job descriptions are definitive, and everyone follows them religiously.
Deviation from a job description results in
immediate supervisory action that usually calls for being written-up.
The Division handles 62 percent of the police department’s
measurable workload and has 58 percent of the manpower.
Within the Division, there is a lieutenant who serves as an
adjutant, three lieutenants who serve as watch commanders, a
traffic sergeant who supervises six officers, a sergeant who
supervises the Neighborhood Police unit that has a complement
of 10 officers, three school resource officers, and 71 patrol
officers. Officers in the specialized assignment have
higher morale and seem well satisfied with their assignments.
They have an opportunity to interact with each other and create meaningful and satisfying relationships. Almost all patrol officers feel that their workload is excessive and complain that all they do is go from one incident to the next and spend an inordinate amount of time creating police reports. In fact, they feel that they are unable to complete their preliminary investigations and in many instances have to cut corners in order to complete a shift.
Except for backup in certain cases, they never get to interact with fellow officers apart from coming and going to roll-call sessions. Every patrol officer in the department works solo, and departmental police prohibits more than two officer eating meals or taking coffee breaks at the same time in the same restaurant.
The dehumanizing aspect of an excessive workload has
taken its toll on the personnel assigned to the patrol division.
A survey conducted by a member of the chief’s staff indicates that
patrol officers feel in the following ways:
1. The job is viewed as dissatisfying.
2. Morale is low.
3. Response time is long.
4. The number of citizen-initiated complaints is up.
5. More officers are filing disability claims.
6. Employee turnover is exceeding projections.
The situation has become critical and imperils the division’s ability
to function efficiently, effectively, and productively and has to be
dealt with as soon as possible.
The solution is to design a program that meets the needs
of both the department and the employees.
What philosophical approach do you believe Captain Strong
should take in carrying out this project? What specific
motivational strategies would you recommend that she consider?
Would E.R.G. theory be applicable in this instance.? Why or why
not? Give several concrete examples. Would job enlargement or
job enrichment be applicable in this case? Explain.
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