five years old latino male officer W r i t i n g
You have become the new City Mayor, and the first decision you need to make is to choose the new Chief of Police. The police department has been suffering from a series of problems that you expect the new chief to address and solve:
Lack of recruitment of new officers, in particular women, Latinos and African-Americans.
A general discontent by low-ranked officers. They complain of low-morale, the department emphasizes new hiring and does not pay attention to those who are already there, a general feeling of not being heard and considered in the policy decision-making process.
- Internally, the department has had several cases of sexual harassment and misconduct from male officers towards their female counterparts. Rarely any male officer has been reprimanded for making inappropriate comments, which may not be considered as a legal violation, but have created a very hostile climate against women inside the department.
- Internally, the department has had several cases of racist events. Non-white officers have suffered verbal attacks from white officers, it was discovered that a group of officers belonged to a white supremacy organization but they have not been reprimanded. The former Chief, for example, ended his mandate stating that immigrants, in particular undocumented immigrants, are a threat to the city, and that the department should not abide by the sanctuary laws established by the state.
- All these situations have increased the complex and troubled relations the department has had with the city residents, in particular communities of color. These communities have suffered from police misconduct and brutality, and the tensions are rising. At the same time, business interests and the wealthiest residents have been very supportive of the police department.
- In lieu of this complex and difficult situation, you need to decide who your next Chief of Police would be. Before choosing the candidate, describe what type of personal traits, and leadership style and approach, this new chief should have and why. How would these traits, styles, and approaches may help solve some of the problems faced by the department?
- Next, choose one of the following candidates, and explain why you chose her/him.
Sixty-four years old white male with forty years of experience as a police officer. Born and raised in this town, he has served most of his career in the city’s police department. In the last decade, he has served as human resource officer in a different town. He is considered to be a strong, firm leader, with high moral standards. He had no trouble in suspending officers for any type of misconduct. In his previous job he did a good job in diversifying the force; however, non-White officers have complained that they have had difficulties in being promoted. He is seen as an old-fashion officer, a firm believer in the command structure. In the previous city he served, non-White communities have praised him for building bridges between the police department and these communities. Yet, young non-White members of the community have suffered from regular stop-and-frisks and police harassment.
Sixty-two years old African-American male with more than thirty years of experience as a police officer. He has served as an officer in a nearby city, and became deputy-chief of that police department. He was praised for developing strong community relations. The officers under his command talk of a very good listener, open to other people’s ideas, but not firm enough when it comes to discipline. While women officers praised him as someone they could always go and talked to, they also complained that he was a bit slow in taking measures against sexual harassment. During his tenure, very few women and non-White officers were promoted.
Fifty-five years old Latino male officer with thirty years of experience as a police officer. He was born and raised in this town, and served all of his career in the city’s police department. He created a community program for Latino youth, which reduced crime in that part of town. However, many non-White community leaders fear he has strong ties with business owners, and has not worked hard enough to stop police misconduct against these communities. The candidate’s answer to these accusations is that he represents the city as a whole and not only the Latino population, “I am a colorblind officer,” he argued. Officers under his command speak of a good supervisor, that will always have the officers’ back no matter what. He was part of a group of male officers who created a support group against sexual harassment in the department, but has always refused to file any formal complaint against a fellow officer, as he believes these things should be solved internally.
Fifty-eight years old white female officer with thirty-four years-experience as a police officer. She started working as an officer in this city and then moved to a bigger city with a much larger police department. She has had a solid career, earning several awards from City Hall. She developed a program against sexual harassment in her previous department that was critical in the recruitment of new female officers and improving the general climate inside the department. She is known to be a very strict officer, assertive, to the point of being seen as aggressive. Some officers complained of a lack of flexibility when coming to decision-making. While she developed good relations with the community, including non-White communities, the community see her as someone a bit difficult to approach.