You are the human resources manager for the local police department reporting directly to the Chief of Police. Members of the police force belong to a union although the support staff does not.
The police department is organized into four divisions (street patrol, traffic, investigations, special forces), with a captain heading each division and reporting directly to the Chief of Police. Each department has 2-3 staff and at least 10 police. Police start in the street or traffic divisions and are promoted to the investigations or special forces divisions. In past years, there have been 5-7 openings per year due to retirements. Recruits have been primarily people born and raised in the community.
The community is a college town of roughly 30,000 people during the summer and 45,000 to 50,000 during the school sessions. The college students are extremely diverse with no ethnicity comprising a clear majority. The community itself is less diverse but has significant minority representation. Many in the community are either retired military or active or retired faculty members.
You have been receiving an increasing number of complaints from college students that they are being purposely targeted and harassed by the police, particularly the street and traffic patrols. To address these complaints, you worked with the Chief to assign one police person from each division to a community-policing project under your supervision. The officers you were assigned were less experienced or older and waiting to retire. Although the officers in the project continue to report positive interactions with the community, the complaints continue.
Although you have been giving complaints that name a specific officer to the appropriate division captain and Chief of Police, you do not receive any information back and, therefore, cannot determine what is communicated to the specific officers. Meanwhile, the union representative sent you a letter complaining that you are harassing the officers and causing undue stress, which increases the risk of harm and health problems.
The division captains also complained to you that their officers see the community-policing staff as receiving special privilege and not having to work as hard as the rest of the officers. Many see this as a reward for poor performance.
Based on the information you learned in this course analyze this case by thoroughly answering the following questions (remember that you are the human resource manager). You may need to make assumptions to fully answer the questions. If so, clearly indicate the assumptions you made and why. You will not need to use any outside resources.
- Identify at least 3 problems (there are more) that you should address.
- For each problem identified, develop a plan that you will follow to address and resolve the problem. Identify any issues or unintended consequences that may arise as the problems are addressed and include a way to mitigate (i.e. prevent) the issues.
- Once the problems are addressed, what steps will you take to prevent problems in the future?
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