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Excessive Force in Policing and department policies

As a newly promoted sergeant, you are assigned to the patrol division working the midnight shift. You have been with the department for more than 7 years, so you pretty much know everybody assigned to your shift. You pride yourself on your ability to work with anybody and can see yourself relating to them on their own level, and in fact, they often refer to you by your first name. As a result of your efforts, your shift has the highest number of arrests, clearances, and traffic citations. However, your shift also has the highest number of complaints filed by citizens, which you attribute to good police work. Upon returning from vacation, you are called into your captain's office and presented with a number of use of force complaints filed against your shift while you were gone. You try to explain that it shows that your officers are only doing their job through aggressive policing.

1. What are some of the problems that you may be experiencing as a new supervisor?
2. As the chief, what advice would you give to address the situation? How would your advice help alleviate the situation?
3. What corrective action must you take immediately with your team of officers? Why?
4. How would the action taken impact the shift team?
5. What could be the short-term implications?
6. What could be the long-term implications?

Solution Preview

1. What are some of the problems that you may be experiencing as a new supervisor?

This supervisor is experiencing a lack of fortitude in regard to implementing formal policies to deal with possible abuses by his personnel. Excessive use of force is a serious violation of citizen's rights and should not be taken lightly. This is particularly true if many complaints emanate from the same department or unit. Therefore, this supervisor has not taken enough action to correct or investigate potentially disastrous behavior by his officers, which is a dereliction of duty in my opinion.

2. As the chief, what advice would you give to address the situation? How would your advice help alleviate the situation?

I would ...

Solution Summary

This article examines the use of excessive force in a police department while explaining what measures that a fictional sergeant would or should take in lieu of allegations against his department.

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