The Everly Police Department is facing a problem in which there is not an policy or procedure in which complaints from the newly formed Diversity Complaint Bureau can follow to resolve the complaints that are being submitted.
Recently a report was made public by the Minority Police Officers Organization regarding the lack of diversity within the Everly Police Department. Results detailed the fact the Everly Police Department is a male dominated and paramilitary force and it has not taken any steps in order to promote or celebrate it. Numbers show that the majority of all force members are white males, with the minority being women, Hipics, African-Americans and Asians.
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Since this report was made public the newly appointed assistant superintendant of public for administration, Linda Michaelson, has been given the role of damage controller in order to reverse the results of the report and show the public that the Everly Police Department is diverse and that they have the right procedures in place for employees to submit their complaints regarding diversity in the department.
Linda started by formulating a plan for a new bureau within the Internal Affairs Bureau called Diversity Complaints. This plan was approved by both the superintendant and the city council and was put into action. The plan brought forward some hesitation from both mid-level field-commanders and union representative as they felt as if someone was always going to be looking over their work and it was not approved into agreements by union officials. The plan was put into action anyway and proved to be successful with 7 complaints submitted within the first month.
Complaints are submitted by forms which can be accessed through a variety of sources, including electronically (on-line) and hardcopy (a copy mailed to each employee, and located visibly in all departments). Once a form is complete, it is submitted via email or regular post. From a complete formal complaint, an internal affairs detective would investigate it and form a reasonable resolution.
Linda suggested that the ending resolution of a complaint could come in the form of sensitivity training to employees or possible position dismissal of employees involved. Once a resolution has been reached the complaining employee would be contacted.
With seven complaints in one month, reviewed and investigated, Linda and her fellow diversity bureau employees had one more step to take and that was to resolve the complaints in fashion in which all parties involved would be disciplined, should the complaint be legitimate after the complaint was investigated. This is where Linda was stumped.
Linda needs to formulate a guideline for the Diversity Bureau to follow once a complaints investigation is complete. The guidelines must be fair to the parties involved. Another problem is that each complaint is going to be different so it is going to hard to set a resolution for each and every complaint that may be submitted.
Linda Michaelson has been with the Everly Police Department for 22 years and was the key player in the making of the ‘Hostile Work Environment’ report and implementation process of a new bureau within the Internal Affairs Bureau called ‘Diversity Complaint’ within the department. She like most started off as a patrol officer and moved her way up into higher positions within the department. According to the case however, these moves up did not come easily without critism and judgement from other officers, as she was a female in a male dominated field of work. Her positions have included being a patrol officer, a public school safety officer, a contact for the detective bureau and most recently an assistant superintendent of police for administration.
Linda’s father was a retired sergeant with the Everly Police Department and always gave Linda advice on how to overcome the biases of her gender in the department. He also was her greatest supporter of following her dreams to keep moving up. He gave advice saying ‘to be the best at what she did’.
As now the assistant superintendant of police for administration, one of Linda’s roles was to manage the results of the recently released report, paid for by the Minority Police Officers Organization, on the diversity within the Everly Police Department which came back as quite damaging to the force. Linda was told that her job was to do the damage control for the results.
Linda was able to relate and react to some of the complaints being issued and brought forward by fellow department employees as she too has been the subject to gender and sexual harassment in the workforce and has seen others be subject to the same.
Linda was influenced by her father to succeed and move higher in the force if she wished to do so. As woman in the male dominated career field she knew it would not be easy and her father was the one who gave her advice on how to proceed, especially if someone got in her way and told her she could not do it, or gave her difficultly doing what she has wanted.
Linda knew that even though she was a woman, there was no job within the department that a man could do better than her. With these thoughts she proceeded to move up and not letting anyone get in her way.
I believe that the Everly Police Department could have indeed avoided the situation in which they have now found themselves in. Should the Everly Police Department had done something, whether it be their own research, changes with time and the changing workforce in their in existing policies and procedures for complaints, they would not be in such a reputation damaging situation.
With the new formation and implementation of a Diversity Complaint bureau within the Internal Affairs Bureau, Linda hope to achieve an easier, more effective and trusting way for employees to have their complaints and biases heard. She also wishes to achieve effective ways to respond and actions to take when dealing with the complaints; a way that the incidents will be resolved and a way that will ensure that they will not happen again.
Linda can justify feeling the way she does about the need of this new bureau to be formed in the Everly Police Department as she has been the subject first hand to workplace harassment and the hesitance that many people feel when making a complaint to the superintendant or union member.
Linda’s passion to create a diversity complaint bureau that all employees can submit a complaint(s) to without judgement and fear of the complaint being thrown out or not resolved is very much present. This new venture will make all employees, minority or majority, feel a lot more comfortable and place more trust on the organization should there be a procedure in which results and implications are being made.
I do not believe that there is another explanation for the current situation in which the Everly Police Department is in. They clearly have an issue of corruption in the complaints department that has now made employees scared, anxious and uncomfortable at their place of work, which is clearly not acceptable. Until this time, there was no talk of trying to fix the issues that they have in regards to diversity within the organization or the policies and procedures for employees to follow to submit complaints.
The Everly Police Department has found themselves to now have a very bad public image and bad reputation for being un-diversified.
The department never took upon themselves to look into and hire an outside source to research the diversity within the department. Now, an outside organization called the Minority Police Officers Organization has completed that task and has released the results to the public through many media sources.
In having these results published severe damage has been done to the department. It shows them to be a male dominated, paramilitary organization, in which has no ability to integrate minorities.
The department has also never considered the re-vamping or the new creation of a way for employees to submit complaints in confidence, knowing that action will be reached and not thrown out because of corruption within the complaint process.
The department may have also found themselves to be in this predicament as they have never approached employees on the states of the program that they have in place now. They do not know how employees feel about the processes that are in place now and whether or not employees are feeling that the complaints are being adequately resolved and are not reoccurring.
Within the Everly Police Department there has been no recent change in the policies and procedures that employees must take to submit a complaint. For years complaints were to be submitted to the superintendant or to a union representative. They then were suppose to take the complaints and resolve the issue at hand. Many times, as stated in the case, these complaints were disregarded as the superintendent or union representative said that the complaint was not legitimate and that the older employees are still adhering to policies from 20 years ago, the one that they were used to.
The external environment is pushing the Everly Police Department to change it values. The department is stuck on values that were established 20 plus years ago. The generation that is now being employed is a generation that wants values where everyone is accepted, where there is no discrimination in the hiring process, and where harassment amongst co-workers in any form is not tolerated. In today society many people of all races, ethnic backgrounds, and religions are entering the workforce and are determined to be treated as an equal. There is no explanation or reason why they should not be, they are the same as everyone else and can perform the same tasks no matter what their gender, race, ethnic background or religious beliefs, and the pressure is high for organizations to conform to these societal expectations.
External organizations have now gone as far as pursuing their own research studies into the values, policies and procedures of the police department and are publicising reports that are being proven to be very damaging to the department.
The present situation could have been prevented if the Everly Police Department’s structure and policies had been different. Should the structure and policies have been updated and revamped with the newer values of the new generation of employees and older employees educated on the ways why they should also open their minds to change, I do believe that the report that the Minority Police Offers Organization has publicised would not have been so damaging.
The Everly Police Department has made the right decision in regards to the damage control of the report that was made public. It has taken the right steps in asking Linda to create and implement the new bureau for diversity complaints. Although this move has been long overdue and the reputation of the Everly Police Department has been given a bad name, I believe that it was the push that they needed. This new bureau has already shown to be successful as within one month seven complaints have already been submitted. Now, Linda and the diversity complaint bureau must work together in order to form the right set of procedures that will allow for all complaints to be resolved and limit the complaints on the same action in the future.
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