The police management theory defines police management as the position that is responsible for forming and enforcing the police department’s organizational policies and schemes. The primary responsibilities of those in police management positions includes allocating personnel and resources and acting as both a mentor and leader. Their associated objectives include to keep track of and make decisions about goals and objectives, to track their officer’s work and progress, insures that their officer’s know and fully understand their objectives, and collect and distribute information to their officer’s in an effective and timely manner. Other important management responsibilities include prioritizing goals, assigning objectives to each member of the team, executive and participative decision making, assigning time frames for meeting goals, and to provide officer’s with feedback.
It is essential for all of these objectives to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-related in order to ensure that all objectives are met in a way that provides the best possible outcome. Total quality management generally involves increasing quality awareness in organizational processes. This involves quality circles, who occasionally come together to discuss policies and information and pass this knowledge on to the management. All officers are expected to be a part of the goal attainment process. Total quality management is a good method to adopt because it provides checks and balances between police management and the individual officers.
Overall, the police management system used by an individual leader or precinct will depend upon several factors. The performance of the officers, their maturity, needs, motivation, and ability to exercise control all come into play. Depending on these characteristics, police management theories X, Y, Z, and mature employee theory should be selected and modified to fit an individual crowd.
The typical police manager might strengthen or weaken a typical patrol officer’s delivery of police services based on several actions. A common problem with implementing new policies is that patrol officers may not agree with these policies at first. These issues include evidence that these policies did not work in other precincts, generally cynicism, and tendency to resist change. A good leader can strengthen his patrol officer’s delivery if he or she aims to explain why a new policy was implemented. Simply giving a command will not work for many officers; even though most will follow the policy without questioning, they still may be concerned. It is therefore to show the patrol officer’s that you respect them by providing them with reasons as to what and how they should do while offering to listen to their opinions.
Ultimately, it takes a police manager who is also a good leader to strengthen the performance of their officers. The qualities of a good leader includes creativity, toughness, understanding, problem solving skills, trust, ability to divide responsibilities effectively, and organizational skills. Leaders must also be committed, have integrity, be able and willing to take action whenever needed, share their authority when necessary, and be able to communicate effectively.
Good leaders will make their officers want to listen to them, which will result in a more effective command. Therefore, it is essential to select police managers who also have the natural ability to lead. People are typically born with this skill set rather than taught to be this way. Police managers who wish to be effective leaders must remember to prioritize their responsibilities, effectively coordinate their officers, focus on the objective, and aim to connect with their team.
Division of Criminal Investigation. Police Management Study, 2013. Web. 4 June 2013.
Los Angeles Police Department. Management Principles of the LAPD, 2013. Web. 4 June 2013.
Tilley, Nick. Problem-Oriented Policing, Intelligence-Led Policing and the National Intelligence Model. Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, University College London, 2003. Print.
Walker, Samuel. The New World of Police Accountability. New York: Sage, 2005. Print