Organizational Reform, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 2005

Essay

A major issue with many law enforcement organizations is their failure to structure their facilities in a manner that is maximally effective. Although law enforcement agencies are not defined as businesses in the sense that they do not exist to make money, it is imperative to note that it is important for them to utilize their funds in a manner that is maximally effective. As a consequence, it would be useful to turn to operational and organizational strategies used by top businesses to restructure law enforcement organizations within the City of Harburg in order to ensure maximally efficacy of its forces.

Since the City of Harburg is considered small with a population of only 160,000, their law enforcement organization is small as well. Despite the clear need for a small organization, the spread of power and number of individuals working in each division would not correlate with success of this team. Furthermore, many members of the field team are asked to work 8 and 10 hour long shifts during time periods that don’t necessarily correlate to specific types of crime. It would be better to restructure both the individuals in each department and the times they are on the field in order to correlate with crime statistics that describe when certain types of crimes occur most frequently and where they happen, in addition to adding more people to the departments that will be used more frequently based on the specific type of crime the citizens of Harbug commit most frequently.

The investigations department contains four members of personnel each for homicide/robbery, drugs/gangs, and commercial crime. Each team is led by a sergeant who is above three detectives. After this level of investigators, there are 6 inspectors total, one per district, 6 sergeants total, one per district, 36 platoons, with 1 sargeant and 5 officers, and district-centered detectives with 1 sargeant and 2 detectives for district. Although it would be beneficial to divide the police force in this manner if the police agency were either unaware what types of crime were most frequently committed in Harburg or whether the same crimes occur equally throughout the six districts, this is not the case in this scenario. According to the statistics provided, “Calls for service indicate that District 3, District 5, and District 6 are the busiest sectors of the city, with 82% of calls originating from these three districts”. As a consequence, it may be useful to divide up the 36 platoons so that more platoons are in the districts who receive the calls. Furthermore, the structure of the district-centered detectives should be changed as well.

82% of calls from three districts is an overwhelming amount of calls received compared to the other three districts, who make the remaining 18% of the calls. As a result, it would be useful for the Harburg law enforcement organization to concentrate its forces in the areas that are making a majority of the calls. By calculating the proportion of platoons available to the total number of calls received from districts 3, 5, and 6, these districts should collectively have 29-30 of the platoons in these areas. To divide them evenly, each district should receive 10 of the platoons, which would provide them with a total of 50 officers apiece. It may be useful to convert some of the sergeants in each of these platoons to another job function because only 2-3 sergeants are truly needed to manage a task force of 50 individuals. The remaining sergeants could either be converted to more specialized jobs within the law enforcement agency, such as running specific forensic tests, or can be asked to incorporate more patrol functions into their daily tasks. The increased number of officers in this area will likely reduce crime in these three districts in addition to allowing the officers to respond to calls more quickly because they will already be in the area. Since districts 1, 2, and 4 have less crime but still require officers to be present, each of these districts will receive 2 platoons, which will allow them 10 officers per district. Since there are only 10 officers per district, one of the sergeants in the pre-existing platoon should be converted to another job function. Since it would be most useful to have one sergeant and 11 officers in order to increase the ability of the force to patrol more area, this conversion of job function would be ideal.

The district-centered detectives should be restructured according to these statistics as well. Since there are six districts total, there are currently six sergeants and twelve detectives in this force. Since districts 1, 2, and 4 receive significantly less crime than the other three, it would be useful to send some of the detectives to the more crime-ridden districts. The calculated proportion demonstrates that about 9 detectives should be present in the more crime-ridden districts, which would provide each crime-ridden district with three detectives instead of two. The remaining districts with significantly left crime will be each left with one. The number of sergeants should remain the same however, because there should be at least one sargeant in charge of each group of detectives in the district.

Currently, there are 8-hour shifts and 10-hour shifts that occur between 7 A.M. and 5 P.M., 4 P.M. to 2 A.M., and 11 P.M. to 7 A.M. During these three times, very different crimes are likely to arise in different districts. In residential districts, robbery crimes are more likely to occur at night and domestic crimes during the day, while the college district may have issues with parking and car-related accidents during the day and bar fights at night. The industrial district is more likely to have work-related injuries and similar crimes during the day, and graffiti crimes as night, while the shopping district is most susceptible to robbery crimes at all times. In order to have specialized workers, it would be best to assign detectives and officers to their district during the time in which similar kinds of crimes occur so they are well trained as to what to do in the particular situation. As a consequence, the three shifts should be eliminated. In districts with three detectives, there should be a shift from 8 AM to 4 PM, 4 PM to 12 AM, and 12 AM to 8 AM for both the detectives and officers. All detectives will be on call after their shift in case of emergency. The sergeant will work a ten hour shift from 7 AM to 5 PM, but remain on call outside of these hours in case of emergency. In the districts with one detective, the detective will simply be on call at all times in case of emergency, but be required to live within the district in order to ensure timely arrival to the crime scene if necessary. The officers in this district will also be split into shifts from 8 AM to 4 PM, 4 PM to 12 AM, and 12 AM to 8 AM. The sergeant, like the detective, will be on call.

One of the major issues with the organization of the law enforcement agencies in the city of Harburg is the lack of communication between law enforcement officers in each of the six districts. The information sheet provided states that “Little or no cross-referencing of statistics takes place between districts”. This is a problem, because information concerning crime statistics will allow the structure of the law enforcement organization to continually change and adapt to the requirements of the individual district and the city as a whole. The restructuring proposal provided above is certainly more advantageous over the former structure because it provides more law enforcement in the areas that need it most, while it ensures the areas with less crime still have patrol officers and detectives present in case crimes do occur. However, without information about the specific types of crimes that are committed and relevant statistics, we are unable to create specialized task forces that target these types of crimes in each area. Currently, the best that could be done is to assume what types of crimes are committed in each district based on the businesses and people that live there and correlate these populations with crime statistics retrieved from similar cities. While this correlation is better than doing nothing, it is not as effective as reporting the cities own crime statistics and ensuring constant communication.

In order to ensure that crime statistics are recorded and communicated to officers, sergeants, and detectives throughout the six districts, the central agency needs to cooperate. Currently, each district has an internal database and reports are sent to headquarters for processing. Furthermore, the data analyzed by the intelligence specialists is usually two to three weeks old and only used to examine trends. This is problematic because crime trends that were relevant two to three weeks ago may not necessarily be now because there are many factors that impact the types of crime that are considered popular. Currently, there are only two intelligence analysts and one sargeant and supervisor in communications. These individuals should work together to implement a database that presents this crime information to all six districts and require that a summary of these reports be read at weekly meetings. This is essential because it is important for the law enforcement organization to understand that crime may not be necessarily isolated to one district; for example, it is possible for a criminal on the loose to commit a robbery in one district and then to commit one in another later on. It is important for all districts therefore to understand the information about crimes in which suspects have not been caught in order to provide them useful information so if the criminal enters their district, they will be able to do something to stop him or her.

Other than these organizational issues in the law enforcement organization, there are other broader issues. While “Working in Partnership with Our Community” is a mission statement that encourages community participation in identifying and capturing criminals, it relies on the community too much. It is useful to have the assistance of the community in solving certain kinds of crimes, but it’s essential for the law enforcement agency to understand that it is the one primarily responsible for solving these crimes. As a consequence, the sergeants need to ensure that their teams are actually doing work to investigate the crime and not simply relying on the community for reports to guide their actions. The team needs to function independently of the community in a majority of cases, even though they will be allowed to take cues from the community as they occur. According to an investment article written by a company CEO, organizations should “hire and develop managers who can energize, excite and control” (Davis, 2010). In this situation, it may be useful to provide the current members of the leadership team with training programs to increase their efficacy, or to replace them if there is no potential for this.

While these strategies are an excellent first step in improving the efficacy of the City of Harburg law enforcement agency, there are many other shortcomings that could be addressed in the time to come. However, it is best to ensure that these changes are conducted accurately, and to check that they actually improve the law enforcement agency as a whole before making more dramatic alterations. As a consequence, it is essential to be in a continuous evaluation phase so that the agency could readjust at any point to suit new and changing needs (Balanced Scorecard Institute, n.d.). Other initiatives that may be useful to the City of Harburg in the future is to train their task force in manners that inform them who is accountable for what in the chain of command, information management with relation to crime statistics, and development of a work breakdown structure (PIM, n.d.).

References

Balanced Scorecard Institute. (n.d.). Strategic Planning. Retrieved from https://balancedscorecard.org/Resources/StrategicPlanningBasics/tabid/459/Default.aspx

Davis M. (2010). Management Strategies From A Top CEO. Retrieved from http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-theory/10/manage-business-like-jack-  welch.asp

PIM. (n.d.). Management FAQs. Retrieved from http://www.pim.com.pk/faq.htm#WBS

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