Nov 20, 2020 in Law

Police Officers

Equitable Allocation of Duties on the Police Force

Key Issue/Problem


The training of police officers is essential in ensuring that they are prepared for the occurrence of any event that may occur at any time. Lieutenant Sylvia Browns assignment to lead the evening shift at the airport is a significant step for her. However, her previous administrative posts have not prepared her for field work and she fails in executing her duties in the field. Her failure to function, when needed in the field, could have detrimental impacts on the operation including causing the officers in her command potential harm. The gathered information from the Criminal Intelligence Bureau that there is a planned Protest, and rally organized by the Haitian community at the airport proves to be the ultimate test for Lieutenant Brown, which she is not prepared to and experienced to undertake.

Police officers are trained on issues concerning how to deal with various situations including public unrest that may result from rallies and protests (Baker, 2011). It is evident that while Captain Watts has been mandated to treat Lieutenant Brown as an equal member of the team, he has taken Major Dominiques instructions literary. As a senior Police officer, Captain Watts should delegate duties and responsibilities equitably on the basis of an individual officers qualifications, experience and expertise. This is more so in instances that require immediate response to volatile situations and on-site decision making, which may impact both the responding police officers and the members of the public involved (Mitchell and Casey, 2007).

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In the case of Lieutenant Brown, her previous administrative positions make her ill-prepared and equipped to deal with such a volatile situation as public protests and rallies. Evidently, Lieutenant Brown does not have field work training, experience and knowledge. Therefore, she is not the best candidate to take charge of an operation that she knows nothing about nor is she experienced in such situations.

Captain Watts should have evaluated experience, training and abilities of his officers and allocated duties accordingly. It is evident that the optimal candidates for the job are Lieutenant Hernandez and Sergeant Jones. Since Lieutenant Hernandez has the same rank as Lieutenant Brown and has more experience in field work, he should have been given the leading responsibility of the operation. Additionally, Lieutenant Brown should have been required to assist in managing the operation as part of her field work training but not as the leader.

Root Causes of the Problem

The cause of the problem is attributable to poor human resource management, a task that is bestowed on Captain Philip Watts. Though Lieutenant Silvia Brown is required to be equally responsible for the duties and responsibilities of the police, her capacity to function optimally in various situations is limited by her experience and training. Previously, Lieutenant Brown was assigned to administrative posts, which did not include field work or training on responding to public related issues such as rallies, protests and violence, among others. As such, she is the least qualified candidate in the team to lead an operation that intends to confront and control crowds of protestors.

Though Captain Watts has a directive to treat Lieutenant Brown as an equal member of the team, he fails to recognize the managerial significance of delegating duties equitably. Essentially, he makes an assumption that since Lieutenant Brown has an immediate rank to his own and considering Major Dominiques directive that she should be treated equitably, she should lead the operation. Additionally, the Captains recent case of sexual harassment makes him apprehensive on how best to deal with Lieutenant Brown.

It is evident that the captain is afraid of his actions or inactions being misinterpreted; therefore, he takes Major Dominiques instructions to treat Lieutenant Brown equitably at face value and gives her leadership of the operation though she is not the most qualified candidate for the job. This resulted in her failure to function as a team leader in the field, a capacity that may require impromptu decisions making or directing officers under her command (Baker, 2011).

Viable Solutions

The management of field work, in volatile circumstances, requires an individual capable of making decisions in the field on the basis of the prevalent situation. In light of this, selection of the appropriate candidate to lead such an operation should be on the basis of capability, experience and adequate training on the job. Leading police teams require not only leadership skills but also managerial expertise (Mitchell & Casey, 2007). This ensures human resources are assigned to jobs where they are most efficient and productive.

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It is evident that though Captain Phillip Watts has significant experience in leadership roles, his managerial skills require increased development. It is evident that his experience, where he was subjected to a sexual harassment suit, has an impact on his current decision making process in as far as Lieutenant Sylvia Brown is concerned. Assigning Lieutenant Brown the leading role on the operation was primarily based on his desire to be seen as exercising equity in the team; hence he fails to evaluate all the potential candidates for the job on the basis of qualifications and experience for that defined role.

The optimal solution is to ensure that Police leaders such as captain Watts are exposed to management training programs. This will ensure that Police officers in leading roles have the capacity not only to lead but also to delegate duties according in an optimal manner (Mitchell & Casey, 2007). Police leaders will understand that equitable treatment of team members does not entail just allocating equal positions to all team members. As such, equitable treatment should incorporate allocation jobs according to team members capabilities, level of experience, training and readiness to execute jobs in an effective and efficient manner.

In light of this, officers such as Lieutenant Brown should not be given roles that they cannot execute efficiently; however, they should be integrated in the team as part of an ongoing on the job training process. New police officers to the unit should be given time to adjust, train and gain experience while on the job before they can be given jobs that require autonomous decision making and delegation of duties (Baker, 2011). This will ensure that police officers are prepared adequately before being given jobs that have significant implications to both the responding police officers and the public.

Potential Ramifications of the Viable Solutions

The requirement for senior police officers to take managerial training classes has the impact of improving their ability to manage junior officers optimally. Managerial training will enable senior police officers such as Captain Watts to deal with all the team members objectively. This essential with the aim of achieving defined goals and overall mandate of the police in accordance with the law.

Allocation of duties to police officers according to their training, skills, level of experience and rank will enable police operations and duties to be executed professionally and effectively while safeguarding the well-being of the responding officers and members of the public. Meanwhile, subjecting new officers to on the job training under the supervision of experienced and trained officer of an equal or higher rank will ensure that new police officers are not given duties that they are not prepared to undertake. This will prevent circumstances where police officers are exposed to danger as a result of poor leadership in the field.

Recommendations and Conclusion

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It is evident that Captain Watts not completely adjusted to working with a female officer as indicated by his response to her lateness for their meeting. This is also indicated through his attempt at treating all the team members equitably through assigning Lieutenant Brown the lead role in managing the operation at the airport. It is recommended that the Captain should allocate duties to officers in accordance with their level of experience and training on field work. Therefore, he should not allocate duties in order to avoid criticism or scrutiny but should consider the impacts of allocative critical assignments to unqualified officers.

The Captain should make sure there are not residue feelings, fears or prejudices from his sexual harassment case that may potentially impact his decision making process. Additionally, team work should involve all members of the team hence developing an inclusive decision making processes. This will enable team members to voice their views and input on critical issues that may impact the operation. Furthermore, Lieutenant Brown should be adequately trained on field work including expecting to be called in at any time in field work based unit unlike an administrative post that has defined work schedule; hence immediate response is critical.


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