Police Management Management Irrespective of the Particular Essay

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Police Management

Management, irrespective of the particular industry, has a profound effect on organizational effectiveness. For one, management has the ability to drive results through proper motivation and incentives. A manager must also effective lead through his or her ability to inspire action on the part of subordinates. These broad requirements of management demands various skill sets. Many of these skill sets including leadership, time managements, the ability to inspire, financial acumen, and so forth are acquired over time. Through a broad array of experiences, management is better equipped to handle varying and often conflicting circumstances. The law enforcement arena is no different in this regard. Management, particular those in law enforcement must be cognizant of a litany of behaviors and activities. Policing management, has undergone extensive change due primarily to the changing societal demographics prevailing in the world today. Cultures are now becoming more profound in America. The Hispanic community is now becoming the fastest growing demographic in America with 47% under the age of 25. In addition management must now be aware of cyber crime and its implications on security efforts. Policing management has changed primarily due the overall change in potential threats. Attacks can now come from anywhere in the world. Policing management must now be aware of this fact and work more collaboratively to avert these threats. This often presents operation challenges as collaboration is not as efficient as a sole operation could potentially be. Finally, policing management must now content with various cultural backgrounds as it relates to leadership. As the working community becomes more diverse, policing management must respond with various means of adequately motivating key personnel within the work environment. Many of these changes have occurred as a result of the overall evolution of society. What once was a more homogenous mix of individuals has now been replaces with a broad array of cultures and demographics. The fast paced nature of the internet makes an imminent attack both troublesome and difficult to detect. As such reforms in both management style and organization structure must insure to better acquiesce to these impending changes.

To begin, management must now become more team oriented than it already is. The nature of law enforcement is such that it requires vast amounts of teamwork. However, due primarily to the globalization of society, collaboration on multiple fronts is now needed. Teamwork, particularly with other agencies around the world will now become more important as threats mount overseas. Policing management must therefore reform their actions and behaviors to be more collaborative rather than authoritative. This concept essentially boils down to effective leadership. Leadership requirements on the part of policing management have now changed. What once was a more authoritative bureaucracy has now been replaced with a flatter organizational structure based on collaboration. The past organization structure was predicated on chain of command. It was often frowned upon to "go above the head" of superiors in the chain of command. This bureaucracy made decision making very slow and cumbersome. However, the decisions that were made had been researched extensively resulting in a high degree of confidence within the overall decision being made.

In the information age, the need for layers of bureaucracy has changed. Police management must now be more nimble with their overall decision making process. Attacks, as was the case with September 11th need immediate response. Large bureaucracies of the past make this very difficult to do. As such, management has responded with flatter organization structures will less bureaucracy. This allows for quicker responses and more decision making authority on the part of policing management. This increased authority on the part of management does however have its negative aspects. These aspects pertain mainly to the job requirements themselves. Given more authority, management is now responsible for the well being of their subordinates. In the law enforcement industry, errors in judgment could results in death. This stress has direct implications on the overall management of police organizations. A major issue in regards to the environment is the constant threat of safety within the work place. Correctional officers for instance have the highest rate of non-fatal on-the-job injuries. In fact, many of these injuries are caused with confrontations with inmates. This provides a very stressful working environment as the threat of confrontation is constantly around the facility. Furthermore, this stress is often exacerbated by the employees themselves. The constantly pressure others within the work environment with stress as they attempt to deal with the working environment themselves. The work environment is also unpredictable. Humans, by nature, enjoy consistency with little interruption. Working in a corrections facility is anything but consistent.

Many prisons and correctional facilities have shortages in officers. This requires officers currently on payroll to work additional shifts, thus adding to their stress. This shortage of officers also requires current officers to work longer shifts on weekends and holidays as well. One study has also indicated that working in a corrections facility can reduce one life expectancy to 59 years rather than the national average of 75. Management must also content with burnout within the work environment. Burnout becomes particularly profound when the individuals is distressed and incurs feelings of fatigue. Job burnout is the continuing sense of frustration and tiredness. This often occurs when a person is dedicated to a career or cause and does not receive the rewards he or she expected. One cause of such burnout is the time constraints embedded in the work environment. Officers have too much to do and too little time to do it. This, combined with an unpredictable day can contribute heavily to officer burnout.

From an operational perspective, police management now has a broader array of responsibilities. Namely, they now must contend with decisions that could ultimately affect the well-being of their subordinates. Management must now deal with lack of staffing and the resultant burnout associated with it. Finally, management must deal with the stress of making quick decisions in response to a crisis as oppose to relying on the bureaucracy of older organizational structures. Below is a chart from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics outlining the number of incarcerations from 1920 to 2006. Notice the large increase in recent activity. Policing management must now contend with a large population of potential offenders with a smaller staff. This creates a strain on the criminal justice system overall as criminals simply repeat the crimes they commit. 56% of violent felons are repeat offenders and 61% of all felons are repeat offenders, due in part to an antiquated prison education system (Seabrooks, 2008). This ultimately effects policing management as they now must protect a greater amount of individuals from a larger amount of repeat offenders, with less staffing.

Current management theories that impact the nature of police management revolve around leadership. As mentioned in detail above, the overall functions of management have now become broader. Management now has an ever increasing role of both managing personnel while also motivating and leading them effectively. As such two prevailing leadership theories are now entrenched within the overall policing management arena with the first being servant leadership. Servant leadership is a very effective means in which to alleviate the problems associated with the law enforcement work environment. Leadership is primarily about inspiring all those within your team to achieve superior performance. As mentioned above leadership will be needed to inspire a diminishing workforce to protect a rising population. One method in which to accomplish this task is through servant leadership. In many instances a leader must also be humble. He or she must be willing to help provide needed assistance in order to better serve the collective efforts of the team. Servant leadership is the catalyst that can propel team buy-in in regards to certain initiatives (Fiedler, 1967). Within the law enforcement industry, much initiative may not be well received by all personnel. However, for the initiative to be successful, police management must have the ability to inspire buy in. When a leader is willing to work just as hard or diligently as the entire team, results will subsequently occur. By providing attention and priority to colleagues, the leader also becomes more transparent. In law enforcement situations that require management's leadership will undoubtedly occur. This circumstance provides excellent opportunity for the leader to display servant leadership. By quickly and effectively acknowledging the needs of his colleagues, the leader can effectively drive results through servant leadership (Carlyle, 1941).

Another leadership model that would have a profound effect on this issue is that of the Four Framework Approach. This framework suggests that leaders display leadership behaviors in one of four types of frameworks: Structural, Human Resource, Political, or Symbolic. The model allows for flexibility on the part of police management.

Police management is unique in the sense that everyday can be different in regards to organizational needs. Attacks, as discussed earlier, can come from anywhere in the world. With the advent of the internet, police management must now contend with a litany of potential threats. The Four…[continue]

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