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Law Enforcement Leadership: Don't Let it Become an Oxymoron
Written by Jack R. Gates
American Police Beat
When a lackadaisical administrator - this is especially true for a small department - fails to be a leader it will assuredly result in a downward spiral of morale and the loss of good officers who will choose to move into a better situation. When a department lacks leadership it opens itself up for the incompetent and corrupt to drop an anchor and plunder away. How is leadership defined?
The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines leadership as: "1. The office or position of a leader; 2. Capacity to lead; 3. The act or an instance of leading." With all due respect to Merriam-Webster, perhaps it can best be stated that the definition of leadership is the sum many things: Responsibility, integrity, loyalty, respectability, honesty, competence, and an ability to motivate and inspire by example.
According to the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." In other words, leadership is better defined by action, not position. In what ways can leadership affect a department? It's as different as north and south. Good leadership will foster a department's growth, efficiency and public image.
Bad leadership will see high turnover rates, decreasing public support and personnel who simply quit caring.
Fairness, accessibility and being honorable in every facet of the position must be the tenets practiced of anyone in a leadership position for departmental success. Short of that, an agency will suffer a black eye and exemplary officers will find another place to practice their profession.
Do you have someone in your upper "echelon" who really could benefit from reading the following article?
You know....someone who is leading by "Rank".... thinking the uniform makes him a real "man" and everyone should basically bow down to him?
The last "quote" I got from a person in upper management was "If you don't like what I'm saying....turn in your stripes."
I thought "Wow!....what a leader." It just made me laugh as I proudly walked away.
"There are no limits to our future if we don't put limits on our people."
"If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place."
- Nora Roberts
"Sandvig for Sheriff"
"Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers."
"If we believe a thing to be bad, and if we have a right to prevent it, it is our duty to try to prevent it and damn the consequences."
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
"Big egos have little ears."
"Don't equate activity with efficiency. You are paying your key people to see the big picture. Don't let them get bogged down in a lot of meaningless meetings and paper shuffling. Announce a Friday afternoon off once in a while. Cancel a Monday morning meeting or two. Tell the cast of characters you'd like them to spend the amount of time normally spent preparing for attending the meeting at their desks, simply thinking about an original idea."
A leader helps others do and become more than they ever thought possible. Leadership is all about unlocking potential. Good leadership gets things done. It is not about telling people what to do, but inspiring them to see what they are capable of, then, helping them get there.
Can leadership be learned? We think so and reading our growing collection of leadership stories is an excellent way to illustrate this. They help bring different perspectives to the meaning of leadership.
Search Amazon.com for "leadership" books and you'll find over 40,000 titles from which to choose. It seems everyone has a view on leadership but how is it possible to learn about leadership, and how do you learn how to be a better leader? The debate over whether leadership can be taught has gone on for some time. If it can be taught how do you learn how to lead?
Articles - Our Leadership Stories
Characteristics of Leadership: Seeing Things Differently
How leaders see things differently is powerfully illustrated by this motivational story about IBM's CEO Tom Watson Jr.
Leadership Concept: Valuing Ideas
A key leadership concept is to ensure you place a high value on the ideas of others, ensuring you allow time to foster creativity. This story illustrates how one famous leader did just that.
Leadership Quote: the "ultimate measure of a man"
In confronting one of his own personal challenges, U2 singer Bono referred to a story about Dr Martin Luther King, one of the world's most famous civil rights leaders.
Leadership Philosophy: it's the little things that count
If you were asked to consider a basic leadership philosophy, what immediately springs to mind? Vision, inspiration, communication and drive are all important. But never overlook the little things.....
Essence of Leadership? Seeing Triumph in Tragedy
Thomas Edison showed the essence of leadership in this story from Jim Clemmer. Renowned as one of America's most famous inventors, Edison showed powers of leadership which would rival any General.
Leadership Quality: Seeing the Bigger Picture
"I'm building a cathedral!" Seeing the bigger picture is an essential leadership quality. Read these great lessons from one of the most powerful leadership stories.
Leading With Vision: Bridging the Gap
Leading with vision requires foresight but do leaders also need to look elsewhere? Looking ahead is important but thinking about those who will follow is the sign of a great leader......
Quotes About Leadership Success: 3 Things Successful Leaders Have in Common
This page contains a story and some quotes which look for a "common" thread in what makes a successful leader.
Excellent site.....excellent leadership stories
See lots more at: www.the-happy-manager.com
"... the key question is not how to motivate employees, but how to sustain - and prevent management from destroying - the motivation that employees naturally bring to their jobs."
The Value of a Good Manager? People Leave Managers, Not Companies
Here's perhaps the best management tip of all. Whilst there may be many things we dislike about our jobs, the relationship between managers and employees is arguably the most critical. Employees who are well managed can forgive many of an organization's shortcomings. When people are badly managed, there can be unhappiness, reduced efficiency and high staff turnover. When we resign, we often leave poor managers, not the organization.
Evidence suggests very clearly that managers make the critical difference in organizations. When employees are asked why they leave companies, time and again they cite their manager as the main reason. To answer the question "what makes a good manager?" perhaps we should ask: what do employees expect from, and hope for in their managers? Extensive research from Gallup suggests that good management-staff relationships rest on four foundations. Employees would like:
1. Managers who show care, interest and concern for their staff;
2. To know what is expected of them;
3. A role which fits their abilities;
4. Positive feedback and recognition regularly for work well done.
What motivates us all at work? Employees seek three things from their work:
1. Achievement - to be proud of one's job, accomplishments, and employer.
2. Camaraderie - to have good, productive relationships with fellow employees
3. Equity - to be respected and treated fairly in areas such as pay, benefits and job security.
Ooooooh.....I love this one!!!
"Are we confusing activity with productivity?"
Okay.....I know you all can relate with this one!!
Lead with respect, not fear
Have you ever worked with someone who leads with fear? When I mean lead with fear, it does not mean that the leader is constantly afraid of anything. It’s more like he is using the authority to lead the people under him, by constantly scolding them and threatening them – pretty much like a master and a slave. Some people call this the “military style leadership”.
But is this the right way to lead your people?
In my humble opinion, NO.
I rather lead with respect, and not fear. If your people are constantly afraid of losing their jobs (or afraid of being scolded in front of everyone in the office), they will STILL be able to work hard but the atmosphere is different if compared with people who are working for you because they love to work for you.
Totally different working environments and the end results will be totally different too. Let’s try to summarize the 2 types of leadership.
Lead with respect- People willingly work for you
Lead with fear-
What a "DIFFERENCE" between these two.....eh!
Let me know if your are/were a recipient of a "Leader who leads with fear."
From what you can see, most of the things associated with the latter are bad things and yet, there are many leaders out there who prefer to use this way. Perhaps it’s due to the way they’ve been brought up in the corporate world, or perhaps it’s due to their ego. But either way, it’s bad for the employees and also the organization itself (having high turnover rate is not a very good thing to have in any organization).
For me, the keyword here is “respect”. Respect other people and others will respect you. If you cannot even understand that simple word, then I doubt you have the rights to lead.
p/s……. and in an extremely stressful environment, the last thing you want to do is to force people to do things they don’t want. Everyone has their limits and as a leader, you need to know that.
What do you do when your Administrators have poor management styles?
Get rid of the “air” of superiority. One of the big problems with some your "Senior Managers" is their power. When people are promoted to higher positions they often get carried away with "power."
Your employees will feel the air of superiority and they will not enjoy their jobs as they feel like they are not treated with respect. Talk to your top executives about the way they interact with their employees and give them helpful suggestions that will help to remove the “air” of superiority.
The problem with many "Senior Managers" is that they ruin their employee’s motivation. Employees are used to being talked down to so much that they start to predict rejection from their managers. This causes them to lose confidence in their ability to work hard and to be creative. When you give your employees challenges and encouragement, they will feel appreciated and respected and they will have a stronger desire to please their managers.
The "Coercive Management Style" is probably one of the worst. This style of management rarely allows the people being managed to take any ownership of their tasks and quite frankly can wear a person (the manager) out. What's worse is that typically there is always an implied, if not direct threat involved.
Coaching Style Managers:
The "Coaching Management Style" is all about developing a team in a team environment. Like the name implies, a good coaching style manager will teach, observe, offer feedback and better their employees as individuals. There are not many downsides to this style of managing; in fact, it could be argued that this is the best of the aforementioned managerial styles. The one main requirement to be successful as a coaching manager is to have credibility with your employees, without it, the suggestions and pointers will fall on deaf ears.
This video definately makes you think & ponder. Beautiful perspective of where you are now and equally important....where you are going in life.
Only you know what you want out of your life.
(Its like a "slow bleed")
Poorly managed activities in an organization. A mismanaged operation fails to achieve its goals and is usually indicative of administrative procedures that are not well thought out and directed. Managing ineffectively, incompetently, carelessly, or wrongly. Mismanagement ranges from making poor decisions (poorly thought out "bandaid" decisions) to making other people think "you are all that" because of your Rank or The Bright & Shiny Pins You Put On Your Uniform.
When someone "in charge" mismanages your agency....they AUTOMATICALLY mismanage its people.
Once again.....You DO NOT "manage" or "lead" by RANK.....if you do, you are mismanaging your agency and it's employees.
So what is the message here?.........STOP THE BLEEDING...STOP BEING A MISMANAGER (get yourself some education as there are tons of courses out there, buy some books or maybe just listen to your people).
Now how many of you can relate to this? (some "managers" are blind to this and don't even comprehend they're doing it to their agency & their people let alone THEMSELVES....sad if you ask me)
Never stop believing in yourself. Life is too short to live others' dreams Trust your instincts. Forget the words "I don't know how". Your mind is powerful. Persist and persevere May all your dreams turn into goals, Believe in Yourself, Dare To Be Whatever You Want To Be!
Believing in You
By Catherine Pulsifer, © 1997
When others doubt, don't you.
Do what you love to do,
No one knows better than you.
Follow your own dream
Push yourself to reach your goals
And live the life you once dreamed.
Be true to yourself.
You know what is right for you.
Never give up or give in.
You can learn,
You can research,
You can do.
When you believe you can.
You will find a way
You won't waste a day.
Do not fear
Because if you believe in you
You will find dreams can come true.
Believe in yourself.
And remember, all of life is a choice.
The decision is up to you.
Never stop believing in yourself.
Life is too short to live others' dreams
Trust your instincts.
Forget the words "I don't know how".
Your mind is powerful.
Persist and persevere
May all your dreams turn into goals,
Believe in Yourself, Dare To Be Whatever You Want To Be!
The passive bully: A look at calculated indifference
|By Joe Bouchard / Corrections.com
Did you ever encounter a consistently helpful colleague who suddenly ceases cooperation? The person who seemed to happy help out now quietly refuses to assist as before. Perhaps the change came because the person feels unappreciated. But the resulting behavior is a good example of passive aggression.
One of the biggest discourtesies in the work world is passive aggression. In corrections, it can become unobtrusive sabotage that also infects others with the spirit of disunity. As we all know, our squabbles amongst ourselves become weak points for enterprising prisoners to exploit. In short, when we mistreat each other with passive aggression, we allow a possible break in security.
In other terms, it is Calculated Indifference - the premeditated act of ignoring any call for or need of assistance by a colleague. The key to this form of subtle belligerence is in the word calculated. When the colleague plans to take no notice of a colleague who needs assistance, it becomes premeditated. In other words, the lack of assistance is neither innocent nor spontaneous.
For example, a colleague decides to ignore a colleague struggling under a heavy load of books by pretending to be otherwise engaged in another task. Or, a staff person pretends to be engrossed in paperwork that has no imminent deadline while others search and secure the area.
Calculated indifference is hard to prove. And that is part of what makes it a frustrating problem. Many of us know when it seems that passive aggressive behavior is used on us. But, asking the alleged perpetrator is not without difficulty. The aggressor can hide behind innocence and charge the other of harassment.
How can this understated form of lowered professionalism be mitigated? There are many strategies to take the sting out of these circumstances. Here are some hints:
On the job, we represent our agencies and the tax payers. We are also ambassadors to our colleagues. With simple tact, diplomacy and empathy, our jobs would be easier. And in our stressful vocation, positive relations between staff is an added advantage. And the common courtesy that results can enhance security.
What Are Leadership Skills?
These skills are different than those required to be a manager. Leadership and management are not the same. To be a leader, one needs an exclusive set of human relations and interpersonal skills. Tis essence is being able to influence.
To influence one needs a number of component skills. Some are fairly easy to development—others take a long time to protect. To get from A to B one can choose many different ways. for example one can ride a bicycle or ride a plane. One is easy to lear but not so fast. The other is fast but not easy to learn. For example, you can use your authority, it's quick. But leaning charisma take s more time but is more powerful.
A close relative of the boss who goes berserk is the boss who has expectations that range from unreasonable to impossible—and this is another case where documentation comes in handy.
“Some bosses see the whole picture, but they don’t see all the details,” says Johnson. “You have to show them.”
To deal with a boss whose expectations are unrealistic, Johnson advises making a work study. That is, make a list of what you work on and for how long, over a period of a few days that are representative of your typical work load. “Then you take your work study and say, ‘Look, I’m concerned about not being able to get the job done. Maybe you can help me.’”
The trick is in having the records to back up what you’re saying. “You’ve got to document your efforts to get relief,” Johnson says. Once you do that and make your boss aware of everything that is coming across your desk, the ball is in his or her court. When your boss has a better understanding of what you’re contributing, you might get yourself some relief, Johnson says, and you might even get something more. You might get greater recognition, and Johnson even knows of employees who have been given a raise after making it clear how much they were doing.
In some cases your boss might expect too much of you and your coworkers without meaning any harm, but Johnson cautions against a similar type of boss that he calls the “finger-pointer.”
“That boss doesn’t say, ‘What happened?’ They say, ‘Who did it?’” They typically look for someone to blame, instead of concentrating on fixing the problem.
If you’re a scapegoat for this type of boss, Johnson advises paying particular attention to whatever performance reviews you might get. If your boss is taking something out on you in a written evaluation, Johnson advises against signing it. “Ask for another performance review. If you don’t do that, it can become a part of your record.” Once again, the key to your credibility—and the ability to make a case to others, if necessary—will likely be your ability to document the contribution you’re making.
Steve* knew his boss had a temper—he just didn’t know how bad it was until he ended up in the line of fire.
“A project that my team was working on had a number of delays, and one of them involved something that I was responsible for,” he says. “The pressure was on, and we were all putting in long hours to catch up. But in the middle of that, my boss called me into his office, and with the door wide open, he started yelling about the delay, about how much it was costing, and about how it was making him look bad. Anyone in that whole corner of the building could easily hear.
“It was so ridiculous. I was doing everything I could, and yet he lost his temper and acted as if I was doing something to personally offend him. And of course, he would rarely thank or congratulate us for the things we’d done well.”
Dealing with a berserk boss is bad under any circumstances, but it’s even worse when you haven’t done anything wrong. How should you respond?
“When your boss treats you like an amoeba, the very best response in 99% of cases is not to react,” says Joyce Lain Kennedy. “Acknowledge that you heard the diatribe—‘I understand. Thank you for the information.’—but don’t allow your face to get bent out of shape and don’t mouth off. Go home and sleep on it.
“No one does his best thinking on an adrenaline rush. You’ll have more power and better strategy the next day when the shock has worn off.” If nothing else, Kennedy says, if you do end up getting into a shouting match even after trying to cool down, “you’ll have had time to think of better counter punches.”
At times, however, you might not have the option of a temporary retreat. If your boss calls you out on the mat in the middle of a meeting, for example, you might need to respond right then and there.
“When your boss is having a bad temper day and you must answer in detail, keep your voice low and your delivery slow,” Kennedy says. “Speaking in moderate tones makes you seem like the adult and the belligerent boss like the child.”
Looking more mature than your boss might impress your coworkers, but that might not be enough if the problem continues. If your boss is doing something that’s unreasonable or unprofessional, Gerald Johnson, the author of Bad Bosses, Bad Jobs, Fight Back!, advises talking to the boss about it in private.
“Go to your boss and say, ’If you need to talk to me about something like this, can you do it in private?’” At the same time, however, Johnson says it’s important to document your efforts to get your boss to behave more professionally. Keep a record with a brief description of what you said and when, and what your boss’s response was. If your boss repeatedly blows up at you even after agreeing not to, a paper trail will come in handy if you have to take your complaint to the next level: your boss’s boss.
“More than likely that boss will come in and will actually solve the problem for you. They don’t like to lose good people, because it will cost them money to hire and train someone else,” Johnson says. If your boss already has a reputation for blowing up, the records that you’ve kept can become a part of helping to do something about it. If nothing else, showing that you’ve tried to solve the problem yourself, before you took it to anyone else, makes it clear that you’re not just a complainer and can boost your credibility.
A variation on the ballistic boss is the boss who only goes ballistic with certain people. Meanwhile, a “pet” of the boss might be allowed to get away with more and expected to do less.
“The fundamentals of being a good boss are respectful treatment and a concern for fairness in the workplace,” says Johnson. Not getting that, he says, is one of the most common complaints that people have about jobs, even more than pay. “It’s one of the things that gets people most upset.” Favoritism can happen at all levels, Johnson says, “and it really does hurt people.”
Boss favoritism creates unfair and uncomfortable situations, but again the way to deal with it involves documentation, says Johnson. Keep an eye on company policies that your boss is violating or overlooking, and be ready with specifics if you ever need to defend yourself or raise the subject with someone higher up. “If you sit back and do nothing about it,” Johnson says, a boss’s favoritism toward another employee “can reflect badly on you.”
Cara’s boss never lost her temper, but she had unrealistic expectations.
“No matter what I did, it was never enough for my first boss,” she said. “She didn’t realize how many things I had become responsible for in the first year since I’d been hired.”
While some bosses expect too much (see the Unreasonable Boss), it can also be a problem when bosses expect too little. That is, some don’t expect much independence or initiative because they don’t leave room for it. Instead of delegating, a micro-managing boss gets involved in your work to the point of getting in your way.
Whether your boss is delegationally challenged—or whether it’s just that a lot is riding on your work and the boss wants to be sure you can handle it—Joyce Lain Kennedy, author of Resumes for Dummies (3rd Edition) and a syndicated career columnist, says the solution is the same.
“Ask for a time when you can discuss the best ways to improve your contribution,” Kennedy says. “Be deferential, not ready for a fight.”
She suggests saying something like, “I think I can better support your efforts if I clearly understand the outcome you expect, and I would benefit from knowing more about your experience or preferred ways of working.” Then tell your boss that you will report back on a regular basis to receive feedback on your progress, explaining: “The more you have reason to trust my performance, the more time you’ll have to pursue other important matters.”
If you approach it like this, “the boss will get the drift,” Kennedy says. “Each time you receive a new assignment, do a mental checklist of desired outcomes, performance expected, land mines to avoid, resources available and deadlines. Then obtain confirmation from your boss that your understanding of the assignment agrees with how she sees it.” After going through this process a few times, Kennedy says, “trust will build and you’ll have fewer empowerment issues to ruin your day.”
Bettina Seidman, a career management coach in Manhattan who works with individuals and groups, advises that micro-managing bosses can be a particular problem in technology fields. “This is work that requires linear thinking,” she says, “and sometimes the people who do it best are the detail-oriented people, not the big picture people. It’s a fundamental dilemma.” Seidman offers some additional advice for dealing with this type of boss.
“If you’re new to a company, it’s important to wait a little bit and get a sense of the company culture,” she says. What you perceive as micro-management might simply be the way things work. It might also be that your boss—or the whole organization—is particularly stressed, and that you’ll be trusted more when a particular deadline has been met. It might even be that your boss is forced to micro-manage you in order to satisfy the demands of a micro-managing boss who’s higher up the ladder.
“Success requires a certain understanding of what’s going on around you,” says Seidman, who suggests asking around—tactfully—to see if others perceive your boss the same way you do. You’ll get a better sense of what’s going on overall, and you might find some allies.
“If everybody’s feeling the same way, then maybe two people can ask for a meeting with the manager and put together a discussion plan in advance.” One way to do it, Seidman suggests, is not to talk about micro-management as such, but to provide examples of things that have affected your ability to get your work done.
What you don’t want to do is simply charge into your boss’s office one day and announce, “I’m having a problem with the way we work together,” says Seidman. “How you present yourself, and the timing, are critical.”
“I thought my boss was actually afraid of me,” said Mike, who took a job with a software start-up company after graduating. “He seemed like a nice enough guy, and I never really noticed anything odd during the job interviews. But after I’d worked there awhile, I realized that he never said much during meetings or in person. But then he would send me these emails, sometimes ‘yelling’ at me and other people who worked under him for things that we never even knew about. It was especially bad because things would kind of bottleneck around this boss, and then all of a sudden everybody would get emails from him about things that needed to be done yesterday.”
It’s surprising but true: some bosses don’t know how to be bosses. They might know their field well, but they don’t know how to work with and manage other people—and it can be a particular problem in technology fields.
Seidman says that this scenario is not unusual and suggests that many people with introverted personalities tend to be drawn to technology-related work in the first place. On top of that, they might never have received training or practice managing people, especially if their technical skills moved them up quickly in their company or organization.
“They came out of school, they were smart, they won awards, they came into companies, they worked their tails off, they got promoted, and their whole lives they’ve always been recognized for their abilities, for their skills,” Seidman says. “But all of a sudden they have to be able to talk to people, to manage people and to evaluate people. In some cases, they just don’t know how to do it.”
“They’re not dumb,” Seidman recognizes, “but just because you’re good at one thing doesn’t mean you’re good at another. In today’s world, you’ve got to be an expert and you’ve got to be a good manager.”
Christine Wilson says that discovering your boss doesn’t know how to be one can be particularly confusing if it happens to you right out of school, when you don’t have a lot of on-the-job experience and confidence yet yourself. “As a new employee, you go in thinking that your boss is supposed to know what to do, and they don’t.” Wilson says she consulted once with a boss who felt frustrated because his employees weren’t giving him reports on what they had been working on each day. She asked if he had simply ever asked them to do this, and he admitted, “No, I never have.”
In cases where your boss isn’t doing—or isn’t able to do—something that seems obvious, Wilson says it might help to accept your boss’s style (or the lack thereof) and learn to work around it.
“Figure out how the boss ticks,” she says. “Ask the boss periodically whether there’s anything else you can be doing. In this world of 24/7, it’s probably also useful to ask your boss what kind of reporting they want from you.” Bosses might not want you to talk to them in person everyday but would appreciate a quick email summary. On the other hand, they might only want to hear when you’ve finished a major project, not in-between. Adapt as much as you can to their style.
“You can’t usually change your boss’s behavior. You can only change yours to deal with what’s there,” says Wilson.
It's as inevitable as death and taxes. At some point, you're going to have to deal with a bad boss. Here's how to handle them.
Copservations is a blog dedicated to the field of personal and self-development. Here we explore a variety of principles, strategies and philosophies for better living and a better you! What differentiates this blog from other personal development blogs is that much of what is discussed here is based on observations of life and people through a cop’s eyes. Hence the name, copservations.
Copservations’ primary purpose is to help you become better today than you were yesterday. It is based on the philosophy that achievement, accomplishment and success are not things that happen by accident. Rather, they happen on purpose, through design and discipline.
Copservations is a blog premised on the fact that if you’re not moving forward (i.e. learning, growing, changing) then you’re falling behind.
Commission on Safety and Abuse in American Jails/Prisons
CORRECTIONS OFFICERS DESCRIBE A DIFFICULT, STRESSFUL JOB AND CONDITIONS THAT PUT STAFF AND PRISONERS AT RISK
"What we're seeing is a vast, but poorly understood workforce that shoulders tremendous responsibilities, many times without adequate leadership, training, or resources," said Commission Co-Chair Nicholas de B. Katzenbach in his opening remarks. "These failures harm prisoners, put officers in jeopardy, and ultimately have an impact on our society."
We all possess the capacity for leadership, but only those who cultivate it will ever become truly effective leaders. With the resources provided on this site, we would like to encourage you to develop the leader in you — to become an active participant in shaping your future and the future of others.
Life doesn’t happen to us, it happens through us. Leaders don’t have all of the answers, they know the questions. They create an environment where the questions can be answered. The world needs you to live up to your potential. Imagine yourself leading. Where is your leadership needed … now?
An Unhealthy Occupation
“Of the hundreds of Correctional Officers I have treated, 60% of their
anxiety and stress can be attributed to the Administration, 15% from
inmates, 15% from other staff and 10% from personal issues.
-Dr. Donald Steele, Ph.D.
Master's Degree, Central Michigan University
Bachelor's Degree, Central Michigan University
Doctorate, Ohio State University
60% sounds a little "low" to me.....Sergeant Sandvig
This is a very good video
(Some are born to be Leaders.....others are trained to be Leaders)
January 19, 2011
MADRAS, Ore. -- In three years, $7,993 in Jefferson County Jail inmates' money has gone unaccounted for.
"It's a headache. I think it's embarrassing," Sheriff Jim Adkins said Wednesday. "And I think it's a learning experience."
When inmates are booked into jail, they're patted down and their possessions -- including any cash they might have - are put into a zipped plastic bag, then placed into a bucket.
That money is collected and counted by the sheriff's office bookkeepers, then given to Jefferson County Treasurer Deena Goss.
When the money recorded at the sheriff's office was not the same amount deposited, Adkins said, an investigation was in order.
"If there's a discrepancy, I believe we have to be looked at and scrutinized," Adkins said. "And that's why I called in the Department of Justice."
The investigation was closed after the state sent Adkins a letter. "Basically ,there was not enough evidence to say that a criminal act had occurred, that it could be an accounting error," the sheriff said.
When NewsChannel 21 asked Adkins if the letter suggested there were $8,000 worth of bookkeeping errors, he replied, "There just was not enough proof to say that somebody had taken that money."
The county treasurer is an elected position, meaning county officials cannot take any more action.
They are, however, increasing checks and balances a great deal.
"We only have limited authority. We do have policies and procedures we can implement, and that's what we are doing," County Commissioner Mike Ahern said. "We're working with Deena Goss, we're moving her physically into the rest of the county offices, instead of across the street. And we're changing some of the duties -- we're making a lot of changes."
Adkins said the inmates' money will be restored, and the money will come from other budgets.
"This is the way it should be handled! Bravo to you Sheriff!
MUSKEGON COUNTY — A Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office plan, being considered by county commissioners, would change the way money is handled for jail inmates.
Sheriff Dean Roesler’s proposal would allow for money to be put in an inmate’s account and bonds to be paid by an inmate’s family and friends through the Internet or by phone. Currently, any cash transactions involving inmates’ accounts and bonds must be made in person at the sheriff’s office and require staff time handling money.
The project calls for Canteen Services to install two cash-handling kiosks — one in the jail to accept inmates’ money when being booked and the other inside the Hall of Justice atrium for public use — for money deposits. As part of the new system, Canteen Services would provide a website and phone number so bond payments and deposits could be made off site by the public.
Roesler stated in a memo to commissioners that he considers the proposed project a way to further automate processes within the sheriff’s office and enhance services to the public. Fees would be charged for the users for transactions, and the project would be free for the county.
If the plan is approved, inmates and their families would be required to use the new electronic payment system.
County commissioners gave their preliminary approval of the proposal this week during a Courts and Public Safety Committee meeting. They are set to finalize the project at their full board meeting Tuesday.
Called the EZ Card & Kiosk, the system is promoted as a way to eliminate cash handling from corrections officers and save on jail staff time spent counting and handling cash.
The user fees for the system range from $2 charged when an inmate is booked to 8 percent of the bail amount plus $10 for an online payment with a credit or debit card. The fee breakdown is:
• Booking — When an inmate is booked, the county charges a $12 booking fee and, if he or she has the money, then Canteen charges the inmate up to $2 in addition. If an inmate is booked with less than $12, Canteen receives no fee.
• Inmate account deposit — Family or friends who deposit cash into the kiosk for an inmate are charged $2.99, or 7 percent if it is more than $200, while family or friends who make a deposit with a credit or debit card are charged $3.99 to $9.99, depending on the amount deposited.
• Inmate bail — If bail is paid through the kiosk, the charge is 7 percent of the bail plus $10. If bail is paid remotely, the charge is 8 percent plus $10.
Roesler expects the system to reduce staff time spent counting money at the end of each shift, making cash deposits at the bank and locating cash discrepancies. It also would eliminate issuing checks to inmates upon their release. The new system would allow for an inmate’s remaining funds to be deposited on a debit card for the released inmate.
Written by Julia M. Dendinger/News-Bulletin
09 March 2011
It all started with a phone call.
When Valencia County Adult Detention Center Warden Joe Chavez received a call in late December about an overdrawn account, he knew something wasn't right.
The account that was short was the jail's inmate cash account. And after an initial internal audit going back to June 2009, it looks like the account is short nearly $98,500.
That account is the checking account the jail uses to hold inmate cash. Cash comes into the jail in two ways: Either carried by a prisoner when booked into the facility or through a kiosk in the jail's front lobby.
If an inmate has cash when booked, Chavez said that money is counted by an officer, double checked by the records clerk, put in an envelope initialed by both of them and then put in a safe.
The kiosk — basically an ATM with a deposit-only function — is available for any family member of an inmate to make cash deposits that are turned into credits for the inmate's jail account.
That cash, along with the cash processed during intake, is then deposited into the bank account.
"They use the credits to get things from the commissary, to make phone calls," Chavez said. "Any money that comes in during intake is also credited to that inmate's account for their use."
If there is a balance when the inmate is released, a check is written from the bank account where the cash is deposited.
"It's a dollar-in, dollar-out system. The county isn't making money on this, neither is the jail," Chavez said. "If every inmate left today, that account should zero out. And it certainly should never be overdrawn."
The vendor that supplies the kiosk is paid depending on the amount deposited into the machine.
When he was told the account was overdrawn, Chavez said he went to the one employee who collected the money from intake and the kiosk, and made the deposits at the bank.
"When the kiosk is opened, a receipt is printed out showing you the total and the number of each bill denomination in the machine," he said.
"When I asked for the receipt from the machine, at that time the receipt could not be found or wasn't kept. So I had to wait until the company sent the invoices."
The company tracks the deposits remotely so it knows how much it should receive at the end of each month, Chavez said.
After he received the invoices, Chavez began looking at the deposit records and found discrepancies in what the company was saying was deposited in the kiosk and what was recorded in a ledger from intake, and what was making it into the bank.
"We realized more money was missing so we sent a letter on Jan. 4 to the district attorney and state Auditor Hector Balderas alerting them to the possible embezzlement," Chavez said.
Chavez also asked the county's financial administrator to perform an internal audit on the account.
Because money is constantly coming into the jail and being deposited, checks were clearing and inmates were getting their accounts credited, Chavez said.
According to the initial audit, the total jail receipts from intake and the kiosk ranged from a low of $9,351 to a high of $28,266 per month.
The cash flowing in covered any shortages quickly enough. Unfortunately, cash built up in the jail's kiosk, Chavez said, deposits lagged and the shortages caught up.
Chavez said that during the course of the internal investigation it became evident that one employee was responsible for counting the cash from intake and the kiosk, then making the deposit.
There was a check and balance in place during intake, but that one person removed it from the safe, counted it and entered the amount into the ledger and made the deposit, Chavez said
That employee has been let go after a hearing following the county's human resources process, Chavez said.
"We looked at the entire situation, but it kept coming back to one person. I don't believe that anyone else was involved or aware," he said.
At the Feb. 16 meeting, in response to inquires from Commissioner Ron Gentry about the status of the investigation, Chavez said the matter had been turned over to the Valencia County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Louis Burkhard said the case has been assigned to an officer and, "We are pursuing that very quickly."
In looking at the initial audit, the discrepancies between the total jail receipts and the bank deposits have varied.
In February 2010, the bank deposit was $16,603.30 less than the jail receipts. But in June of 2009 there was actually $3,614.53 more deposited into the bank than received at the jail.
But even with that, and a few other over deposits, over 19 months $98,460.58 didn't make it from the jail to the bank.
Since the problem has come to light, Chavez said the jail has rewritten its policy and procedure on handling the money.
"Basically we have two people count all the money, where before it was just one," he said. "We have the safeguard of two people as a check and balance system and they both count and initial everything. And now I do a monthly audit myself."
Chavez said the county's system is typical of other jails.
"I think this person was trusted and that trust was abused," Chavez said. "When I found out, it was an awful thing."
One small silver lining is that the cash discrepancies are not effecting the inmates, Chavez said. They are still getting their accounts credited and their checks are being cashed.
"Right now it effects mostly my vendor. We are working with them, and they understand that payments will be slow. It still trickles down to the taxpayer," he said.
"We've had to move money from other line items, such as supplies and training, to make vendor payments," he said. "The county is ultimately responsible."
March 7, 2011
Dear Evil HR Lady,
My coworkers and I are all miserable because our manager is, in a word, terrible. While I'd love to list her shortcomings (they are many), I'll just say that in the seven months she has been here, she single-handedly ruined what used to be a fantastic, high-functioning group.
Finally, one of our coworkers (we'll call her Tanya) approached HR about the problems we've been having. This launched a little investigation into our team. Over the past eight weeks or so, HR has been meeting with each of us individually, Tanya and our manager together, and the manager's boss (who visibly bristles every time this woman talks) separately. We were sure this investigation would culminate in our manager's termination. Yet, she persists.
As far as we can tell, our manager is railroading us at every turn, and HR is blaming Tanya for being insubordinate. They also seem to think the rest of us are all on edge because Tanya and our manager don't get along. Dumb. It seems completely infeasible that they don't see what's really going on, but they've shown no indication that they're going to do anything but develop more "process" for us and mediate the conflict between Tanya and the manager. We're feeling pretty helpless right now.
We're all actively looking for other jobs (and helping each other look), but we'd really love to salvage the situation here if at all possible. Is there anything you recommend we can do as a group to tactfully communicate, "You're about to lose an entire team of people if you don't get rid of the boss"? We're vaguely considering approaching HR as a group, but we're not even sure how that conversation would go. Any insight you can give would be greatly appreciated.
I put some phrases from your email in bold.
"We were sure...As far as we can tell...They also seem to think..."
Notice that you all are sitting and hoping that your brave coworker, Tanya, solves the problem for you.
If the HR person and the manager's manager thinks it's just because of a conflict between Tanya and the direct manager, it's because none of the rest of you have given them any reason to think otherwise.
Yes, I frequently tell people that if they hate their jobs, they should look for new ones, and you're doing that.
But in the mean time, you're miserable even at the same time you have someone from HR actively looking to help you.
Do you know how many people would love for a response from their HR department?
Heck, just an acknowledgment that someone, somewhere, is actually concerned about the success of this department, would be welcome.
So, get off your rear ends and all of you who are helping each other look for new jobs, instead help the HR person know what is going on.
I know you want to make sure you do it the "right" way.
This desire for the perfect, risk free solution where bad manager goes away and everyone else lives happily ever after is not likely to happen.
If you wait until you have the perfect solution, you will miss all of the good enough solutions.
Here are 5 things you should do.
1. Document, document, document. You said you had a whole host of complaints about your manager. Document these, but not just as a list of faults, but as a list of examples. So, you don't write, "Manager is rude." You write, "On March 1, Manager interrupted Tanya 6 times in a five minute discussion. She raised her voice and called three people idiots."
2. Talk directly to the HR person who is investigating. Don't rely on Tanya to relay information. Don't assume the HR person will come to you if she wants to hear your side of the story. Make your own appointment, or grab the HR person in the hall, but go and talk to her now.
3. Encourage your coworkers to do the same thing. If all of you explain what's going on, the powers that be will be better able to understand what the true problem is.
4. Make sure you are direct and clear. People tend to downplay the problem when asked directly. So, when you go to the HR person say clearly, "This is not about a conflict between the boss and Tanya." Then refer to your documented list of problems. Do not sugar coat it with words like, "sometimes" or "I feel" or "maybe." You don't say, "I feel like the deadlines she gives are unrealistic and that causes stress." You say, "The deadlines she gives are unrealistic. For instance..."
5. Be prepared for nothing to change. The manager's manager isn't taking care of the problem. One of the reasons why this happens is that this person made the hiring decision. If she acknowledges that this manager is an idiot, she also has to acknowledge that she made a poor hiring decision. People don't like to admit their faults, so they tend to ignore this type of problem for as long as possible.
I know it's unpleasant and scary. But, it's clear that the "wait and see" method isn't working. Speak up and speak up now. And keep your resume up to date.
Suzanne Lucas is a longtime HR professional who blogs for BNET as Evil HR Lady.