What requisites of sound disciplinary policy may Jones not understand that may be leading to the officers’ appeals?
Chapter 10CASE STUDIESFollowing are two case studies, challenging the reader to look at disciplinary issues and determine what, if any, supervisory style changes or punitive measures are appropriate for the circumstances.Case Study #1 Making Enemies Fast: The “Misunderstood” DisciplinarianSgt. Jerold Jones does not understand why his officers appeal all of his disciplinary recommendations. He takes matters of discipline seriously; it commonly takes him three to four weeks to investigate minor matters—three to four times longer than other supervisors. Jones believes that by doing so, he shows great concern for his officers and, in fact, does not even question the officers about their behavior until the investigation is nearly complete and he has interviewed everyone involved in the matter. Jones decides to speak to his officers about the matter. He is surprised when they tell him that they do not trust him. Indeed, they fail to understand why so much time is needed for him to investigate the minor incidents. They believe that he is being secretive and is always looking for ways to find fault with their performance. Jones argues that his recommendations are consistent with those of other sergeants and provides some examples of similar cases that were handled by various supervisors. Apparently unconvinced by Jones’s argument, the next day an officer appeals one of Jones’s disciplinary recommendations concerning a minor traffic accident.Questions for Discussion1.Are the officers’ allegations of Sgt. Jones’s unfairness valid?2.What requisites of sound disciplinary policy may Jones not understand that may be leading to the officers’ appeals?3.Under the circumstances, should Jones simply ignore the officers’ complaints? Are their perceptions that important?Case Study #2 Downtown Sonny BrownOfficer Sonny Brown works the transport wagon downtown and has worked this assignment on day shift for several years. Because of his length of service in this assignment, he has earned the nickname “Downtown” Brown. He loves “hooking and booking” drunks and takes great pride in keeping the streets safe and clean. Local business owners appreciate his efforts, even once honoring him as the Chamber of Commerce “Officer of the Year.” Sgt. Carol Jackson is recently promoted and receives her first patrol assignment to the downtown district. As it has been a while since she worked patrol, she decides to ride with Brown for a couple of days to learn about the district and its problems. She is pleased at the warm reception Brown receives from business merchants but quickly becomes concerned about some of his heavy-handed methods of dealing with drunks. When questioned about his tactics, Brown replies, “This ain’t administration, Sarge, it’s the streets, and our job is to sweep ‘em clean.” Jackson speaks with Brown’s former supervisor, who said he had received several verbal complaints against Brown from citizens, but none could be substantiated. Apparently no one was interested in the word of a drunk against a popular officer. Two days later, Sgt. Jackson is called to the county jail to meet with a booking officer, Hamstead, who wants to talk with her about a drunk who was booked a few hours earlier by Brown. Another prisoner has confided to Hamstead that the drunk was complaining that Brown had injured him by kicking him off a park bench and pushing him down a hill to the transport wagon. The drunk, complaining of pain in his side, was then taken to the hospital and treated for three broken ribs. When asked later about the incident, the drunk refused to cooperate and simply told Hamstead, “I fell down.”Questions for Discussion1.How should Sgt. Jackson handle this matter?2.What are her options? Her responsibilities?3.What types of disciplinary policy changes should the department consider to prevent these situations from occurring?(Peak 266-267)