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The Police in America, 4/e
Samuel Walker, University of Nebraska
Charles M. Katz, Arizona State University-West

Officers and Organizations
Police Organizations

Chapter Outline

Chapter Fourteen: Police Organizations

Lecture Outline

I. Introduction

II. The quasi-military style of police organizations
	A. Resemble the military in several respects
		1. Police officers wear uniforms
		2. Departments use military-style rank designations (sergeant, captain, etc.)
		3. Command structure is hierarchical--command flows from the top down
		4. Organizational style is authoritarian-penalties for failure to obey orders
		5. Legal authority
			a. carry weapons
			b. use force
			c. can deprive people of their liberty
	B. Differences from the military
		1. Police serve citizen population rather than fight a foreign enemy
		2. Provide services to help people, services often requested by individual citizens
		3. Constrained by laws protecting citizen rights
		4. Routinely exercise individual discretion
	C. Criticisms of the quasi-military style
		1. Cultivates the "us versus them" mentality, justifies the mistreatment of citizens
		2. Encourages idea of "war on crime", inappropriate for serving citizens
		3. Authoritarian style is contrary to democratic principles of participation
		4. Authoritarian style produces:
			a. low morale
			b. insufficient job satisfaction
		5. 1960s-1970s, critics argued police should de-emphasize military image
			a. primarily to improve police-community relations
			b. suggested civilian-style blazers instead of uniforms
				i. Menlo Park, CA-no problems
				ii. Lakewood, CO-problems arose due to public association with military-style uniforms

III. Police departments as organizations
	A. The dominant style of American police organizations
		1. Similar in terms of organizational structure and administrative style
		2. Characteristics
			a. complex bureaucracy
			b. hierarchical structure
			c. authoritarian management style (except in smaller departments)
			d. civil service rules (except in smaller departments)
			e. legally bound by collective bargaining contracts and unions	
	B. Police organizations as bureaucracies
		1. Departments share similar bureaucratic characteristics of other organizations
		2. Bureaucratic form 
			a. most efficient means to organize and direct activities in pursuit of a common goal
			b. ability to carry out multiple tasks
		3. Characteristics
			a. complex, performing many different tasks to pursue common goal
			b. tasks are grouped into separate divisions
			c. structure is hierarchical--clear division of labor among employees
			d. task responsibility is delegated to lower-ranking employees
			e. clear chain of command
			f. clear unit of command
			g. written rules and regulations--designed to ensure uniformity and consistency
			h. information flows up and down according to chain of command
			i. clear personnel career paths
	C. The problems with bureaucracy
		1. Rigid, inflexible, unable to adapt to external changes
		2. Communication within organization breaks down
		3. Tends to become inward-looking, self-serving and isolated 
		4. Does not use the talents of its employees--stifles creativity
	D. Police organizations as bureaucracies
		1. Emerged in the early 20th century as part of the professionalism movement
		2. Leaders of the movement
			a. August Vollmer
			b. Bruce Smith
			c. O.W. Wilson
		3. Milwaukee police department (example, figure 14.1)
			a. organizational structure reflects hierarchical management style
			b. organization is structured to perform many different tasks
			c. tasks are grouped in a logical fashion
			d. lines of authority are clear
			e. chart does not indicate rules governing employee behavior		 

IV. Problems with police organizations
	A. Share problems characteristic of other bureaucracies
		1. Failure to respond creatively to changing social conditions
		2. Closed and unresponsive to citizens they serve
		3. Fail to utilize talents of rank-and-file officer;  fail to offer sufficient opportunities for career advancement
		4. Not true bureaucracies but "mock-bureaucracies"
			a. have appearance and some of the form
			b. lack actual substance
			(EX: departments do not necessarily control officer street behavior)
	B. The positive contributions of bureaucracy in policing
		1. Specialization
		2. Coordination of activities
		3. Control of police discretion
		4. Administrative rulemaking
	C. Informal aspects of police organizations
		1. Office politics, cliques and informal relationships
		2. Gossip--information that flows outside of regular channels
			a. false information circulated to discredit someone
			b. true information often useful
			(EX: information that someone is leaving or retiring)
		3. Work groups
			a. patrol officers and detectives
			b. may result in rivalry between groups
		4. Friendship networks

V. Bureaucracy and police professionalism
	A. Conflict with concept of professionalism in other occupations
		1. Professionals in other occupations 
			a. exercise independent judgments about critical events
			b. are not expected to follow a rigid set of rules
	B. Different approach to control behavior
		1. Hierarchical command and control rather than collegial decision making
		2. Attempt to control behavior through formal written rules
	C. Professionalism is equated with bureaucratization

VI. Changing police organizations
	A. Two schools of thought on how to improve organizations
		1. Accept basic principles of bureaucracy and apply them effectively
		2. Use alternative decision making that operates within the existing formal structure
	B. Community policing
		1. Elements to modify police organization
			a. de-bureaucratize: de-centralize both territorially and administratively
			b. de-formalize: eliminate rules and policies that do not encourage problem-solving
			c. de-specialize functions: replace specialized units with neighborhood officers
			d. de-layerize: decrease amount of social and administrative distance between beat officer and chief 
		2. Responds to the criticisms of bureaucracies
		3. Whether organizations have been able to accomplish these goals is a matter of debate			
	C. Total quality management (TQM)
		1. Seeks to transform police organizations from militaristic and bureaucratic:
			a. to democratic
			b. with participative management
			c. with shared decision making
			d. with problem solving
		2. TQM assumptions
			a. organizations that produce quality products are more likely to survive
			b. employees "naturally" care about their work
				i. if given the opportunity, will take initiative to improve work quality
			c. problems are rarely restricted to one part of the organization; important to include all parties in decisions to improve work quality
			d. top managers are ultimately responsible for quality of services and should be held accountable
		3. Little is known about impact of TQM on police organizations
		4. Madison, WI
			a. led to increased job satisfaction
			b. led to greater organizational commitment among officers
		5. Omaha, NE: no impact on officers' beliefs, attitudes or performance
	D. Task forces
		1. Comprised of officers from different ranks within the same agency--officers selected on talent rather than rank
		2. Recognizes officers at lowest ranks are competent to make decisions about police policy involving them:
			a. offers greater job satisfaction
			b. prepares for later supervisory responsibilities 
			c. increases chance that innovations will be accepted 
		3. Multi-agency task forces
			a. special law enforcement organizations
			b. formal agreements between several agencies can focus on combating pecific crime problems
			(EX: Anti-Gang Task Force)
		4. Advantages
			a. eliminate duplication of services
			b. afford smaller agencies with services
			c. shared resource management
			d. officers can work in other jurisdictions
			e. increase of information
	E. Creating "learning organizations"
		1. Matter of not working harder but "working smarter"
		2. Institutionalize the learning process
			a. departments can think about their own needs
			b. they can plan and implement changes
			c. they can learn from achievements and failures
		3. Obstacles
			a. rank-and-file cynicism toward innovation
			b. traditional research and planning units do not have capacity to accomplish their goals
			c. officers believe research is impractical
			d. police are reluctant to cooperate with outsiders
			e. fear of unfavorable research findings
			f. believe other jurisdictions' findings do not apply to them
			g. command afraid to encourage critical thinking among rank-and-file
			h. belief that "thinking inhibits doing"
		4. Steps to becoming a learning organization
			a. establish research and planning unit with adequate resources
			b. develop a process that spans all units in the department
			c. develop a process that reduces turf battles between units
			d. "talent inventory" of its employees
			e. "talent inventory" of community groups
			f. organize planning around particular problems
			g. question official assumptions and policies
			h. facilitate critical thinking 
			i. performance evaluations assess officers' critical thinking abilities
			j. meaningful procedures for receiving input from rank-and-file
			k. convince officers that research and innovation can lead to improvement
			l. expand cooperative efforts with outside organizations
			m. contract with researchers to serve as research "brokers"
		1. Departments collect data on arrests, calls for service, etc.
		2. In weekly meetings commanders are "grilled" about crime control strategies; 
		commanders who are not successful in reducing crime are reassigned
		3. Effectiveness (NYPD)
			a. policy makers and police officials state it has led to a drop in crime
			b. some argue drop in crime has come at an expense
				i. commanders have to use aggressive policing strategies
				ii. this has led to more conflict between police and citizens

VII. Civil service
	A. Represents a set of formal and legally binding procedures governing personnel decisions
	B. Almost every police agency operates under civil service
	C. Purpose: to ensure that personnel decisions are based on objective criteria (not favoritism, bias and political influence)
	D. Responsibilities
		1. Developing job descriptions and pay scales
		2. Developing recruitment procedures
		3. Developing and administering recruitment tests
		4. Certifying qualified applicants
		5. Developing promotional criteria
		6. Developing and administering promotional tests
		7. Developing disciplinary procedures
		8. Hearing appeals of disciplinary actions
	E. Reinforce the quasi-military structure of police agencies-two types of rank systems
		1. Rank-in-person: officer carries rank permanently, until promoted
		2. Rank-in-job:
			a. employees carry title and responsibilities of a particular job
			b. if demoted or reassigned, employees lose title and responsibilities
	F. Problems
		1. Limits the power of the chief in making personnel decisions
		2. Limits opportunities and incentives for individual officers
		3. Provisions for discipline make it difficult for chiefs to terminate or discipline bad officers

VIII. Police unions
	A. Organizations legally authorized to represent police officers in collective bargaining with the employer; under labor law, employers are required to recognize and negotiate with democratically chosen unions
	B. Aspects of police unions
		1. Majority of sworn officers in the U.S. are members
		2. Almost all big and medium-sized cities have unions
		3. No national police union
	C. Collective bargaining
		1. Method of determining employment conditions through bilateral negotiations
		2. Principles
			a. employees have a legal right to form unions
			b. employers must recognize employee unions
			c. employees have a right to negotiate over working conditions
			d. employers are required to negotiate with union representatives
		3. Representation varies; different unions:
			a. represent all officers except the chief
			b. represent all officers from rank of captain down
			c. represent officers and each management position
	D. Grievance procedures
		1. Designed to protect officers against unfair discipline
		2. Provides due process
		3. Typical procedure 
			a. requires that officer be notified about disciplinary action
			b. officer has the right to:
				i. a hearing
				ii. an attorney
				iii. appeal any disciplinary action
	E. Unions and shared governance
		1. Major impact of police unions had been the reduction of the chief's power
		2. Chief has to work with unions under certain conditions
	F. Impasse settlement and strikes
		1. Impasse
			a. when the union and city/county cannot agree on a contract
		2. Strikes
			a. illegal in most states
			b. most controversial aspect of police unionism
			c. some argue police have no right to strike
				i. unprofessional
				ii. creates a serious danger to the public
			d. union response: should have the right to strike like other unions
			e. most union leaders are opposed to strikes
			f. very rare
		3. Job actions/ alternatives to strikes
			a. "blue flu"
			b. officers refuse to write tickets or write massive amount of tickets
	G. The impact of police unions
		1. Produced significant improvements in police officer salaries and benefits
		2. Altered the process of police management
			a. reduced the power of chief
			b. introduced process of shared governance
		3. Introduced due process into union discipline procedures
		4. Negative impact on police-community relations
		5. Hindered the development of police professionalism

IX. Police organizations and their environment
	A. Contingency theory
		1. Basis
			a. organizations are structured to achieve specific goals
			(EX: crime control)
			b. organizations are rational entities--adopt structures and activities that will best achieve specific goals
			c. organizations that fail to make appropriate adjustments will not survive
		2. Often used to understand police innovation
	B. Institutional theory-basis:
		1. Police organizations operate in relation to their external social and political environment 
		2. Organizations interact with other institutions and receive their legitimacy from them
		3. Product of myths and myth building
		(EX: police attempt to maintain the appearance of effective crime control)
	C. Resource dependency theory-basis: 
		1. Organizations must obtain resources to survive
		2. To obtain resources they must engage in exchanges with other organizations
		3. They must alter structure and strategies to accommodate those who provide resources
		(EX: many agencies implement community policing due to resources)

X. Conclusion