Performance Appraisal if I Were Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Of course, while it is important that an officer be able to inspire confidence in the community, it is also very important for an officer to be able to solve crimes. Therefore, part of the evaluation process should look at the percentage of crimes that an officer is able to clear. In addition, deterrence is a major goal of community policing. While one would expect a temporary upswing in minor crime rates at the beginning of a community policing approach, any effective appraisal system would look at whether minor crime rates eventually declined or continued to rise.

There are several different types of evaluations that would provide a better measure of individual and group performance than traditional performance appraisals. The first type of evaluation is a group evaluation and looks at the long-term changes in crime and crime rates. The primary goal of deterrence is to deter major, violent crime; because those rates have declined, an appraisal that focuses on major crimes would be more favorable to Thompson's officers. In addition, a good community police force should establish the type of neighborhood presence that eventually results in an overall decline in the crime rate. Because sufficient time has not passed for this to occur, Thompson should not use the overall crime rate to evaluate her officers. However, she should incorporate the overall crime rate into her officer's evaluation as a way of establishing a baseline for future evaluations.

Even more important than community performance is how an individual officer responds to a situation. The very nature of police work makes it very difficult to objectively observe officers, because police work is, by its nature, very subjective work. Furthermore, because police officer interaction with the community is primarily with criminals and crime victims, relying on anything akin to customer service surveys would not be fair to the officers. However, in community policing, officers are encouraged to actively engage with the community. Therefore, Thompson should identify community leaders and ask for their feedback regarding individual officer performance. This feedback should not be quantified and used to reward or punish officers. On the contrary, it should be made an objective part of an evaluation, which can be used to suggest further training and education for the subject officer. These objective evaluations could also be used to assess whether officers would be suited for specialized divisions within the police force.

There is also an objective element for individual performance; highly localized crime rates. By looking at the crime rates in patrol areas, rather than in the entire neighborhood, Thompson can see how effective individual officers are in their patrol areas. Officers can be graded objectively on whether major crime has fallen, risen, or remained constant in their areas.

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