Police Officer Jacob Goulde is a member of the Town of Utopia Police Department. He’s a married father of two. Officer Goulde has had a very good track record in the nine years he’s worked for the Utopia Police Department, but recently he’s been observed making careless mistakes and his behavior is increasingly disturbing to his supervisor, Sergeant Wentworth.
During the last four or five months, Office Goulde has been turning in his reports late and with many mistakes. He’s called off from work repeatedly, and shown up late to several of his tours, which is an unusual pattern for him. He’s missed an important squad meeting simply because he forgot about it. He’s also forgotten his radio on the roof of his patrol car, he drove off and the radio sustained damage that amounted to over six hundred dollars ($600). After being confronted by Sgt.
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Wentworth in a meeting between the two, Officer Goulde was evasive with his answers and confrontational toward his sergeant saying he was “probably coming down with a cold or something” as a way of explanation for his abnormal behavior. As a parting remark he said “get off my back” and left the meeting suddenly. After being assigned desk duty, Desk Sergeant Katz also observed odd behavior from Officer Goulde on his tour. He brought it up to Sergeant Wentworth who then asked Desk Sergeant Katz to put this in writing so that he can take a different course of action with Officer Gould.
Mainly the issues that surround this case are the fact that Sergeant Wentworth has observed all of this declining behavior from Office Jacob Goulde and has not immediately intervened to find out the cause of this extreme attitude shift. Sergeant Wentworth should not have had an unofficial meeting with his officer, but instead a more official gathering and offered support to the officer in order to figure out what is causing all of these serious mishaps.
Desk Sergeant Katz is also suffering from the “passing the buck” syndrome. After Officer Goulde was assigned desk duty on his shift, Sgt. Katz should have taken more extreme measures after discovering Officer Goulde drinking from a suspicious looking bottle and later smelling alcohol on his breath. Even though Officer Goulde isn’t his immediate responsibility, in a police department everyone is responsible not only of solving the crime but of holding each other accountable for their errors.
A police officer is held accountable to the highest degree of the law, but a supervisor is held at an even higher standard because they’re in charge of overseeing their subordinates. Sgt. Wentworth has failed to approach the issue when it first started, therefore not being proactive. Now, he’s stuck with this issue and isn’t exactly sure how to follow suit. He must remember that he is the one in command and the one that needs to set rules and guidelines for the subordinates to follow.
Perhaps giving the officer desk duty to be observed closely wasn’t the best idea since he should have been the one to look more closely into this problem with his officer. Sergeant Wentworth should have made Officer Goulde go to mandatory counseling to help him with his problems, whatever they are. If he suffers from any sort of substance abuse or emotional distress, he would get the necessary help through the psych services offered by the department (EIU). Also, they have to set up a plan for the two to meet regularly and discuss the effects of the therapy and map out a route with a mutual goal.
If this problem persists, Sergeant Wentworth has to take the written report by Desk Sergeant Katz and go through the appropriate channels for a formal hearing, that will somewhat force Officer Goulde to answer questions without allowing him any opportunity to walk out. He has already demonstrated that he has no regard for his Sergeant by being evasive and walking out. Sergeant Wentworth has to become a democratic leader in order to aid his subordinates with any problems they’re facing.
Sergeant Wentworth is a sergeant at the Town of Utopia Police Department. After graduating high school and attending at the University of Pleasant, he took the exam for the Utopia Police Department and scored number 3 which landed him a job in 1986. After his probation period ended, he was placed into one of the more productive squads. Sergeant Robert Hulett, who was known as an energetic workaholic, trained Wentworth. He scored number one on the entrance, sergeant and lieutenant examinations for the department.
He was even better known for his ability to train and develop new officers. Wentworth was bright, quick to learn and had very high aspirations about becoming a great officer in this department and was grateful of being trained by Sergeant Hulett. Officer Shapiro has been an officer with the Utopia Police Department since 1971 and is assigned to Squad Z. He is known around the department for being a quiet individual who worked at his own steady pace. The work he turned in contained errors but generally it was done pretty accurately and mostly on time.
Sometimes, Officer Shapiro’s slow manner of speaking and of working irritated his fellow officers and most of all Sergeant Wentworth, who needed him to respond a little more promptly to situations that needed attention. Officer Shapiro’s work attendance was fairly reliable though he never placed punctuality very high on his priority list. Shapiro’s absence last Monday however, caused a great deal of issues to his squad. Several officers had been sent to the Police Range for their firearms qualifications that left the squad short handed for road patrol.
Shapiro didn’t call in until an hour after his shift was supposed to start, to say he wouldn’t make it in to work. Sergeant Wentworth had to cover his shift after speaking to Lieutenant Dunbar, who expressed his disappointment with Wentworth about his mismanaging his staff. Lt. Dunbar became even more infuriated when he learned that the tasks assigned to Sgt. Wentworth had not been completed. Sgt. Wentworth summoned Officer Shapiro to his office on Tuesday and advised him that this situation needs to be rectified or there would be a formal complaint filed against him.
Squad Z and Sergeant Wentworth are having serious issues with the work performance of Officer Shapiro and the issues that have risen because of his erratic work attendance. Officer Shapiro’s slow work demeanor presents a serious contrast between the fast pace work environment of his squad. Officer Shapiro’s work attendance has caused serious issues not only for Squad Z but also for Sergeant Wentworth who was reprimanded by Lt. Dunbar. Sgt. Wentworth was forced to cover the shift of Officer Shapiro when most of the squad members were sent off for their firearms qualifications. Lt.
Dunbar expressed his disappointment in Sgt. Wentworth for mismanaging his staff and not keeping proper track of the people he oversees. Although Officer Shapiro’s work is turned in and completed in a timely fashion, it still contains errors and he seems to be suffering from low work morale, which is why he seems unmotivated to be the best officer he can be. After discussing the possible repercussions of this continued behavior with Officer Shapiro he simply shrugged his shoulders and asked to be dismissed, a clear indication that he doesn’t care or isn’t intimidated by a threat of ormal complaints against him.
Sgt. Wentworth, as a supervisor has to have the ability to be a decision-maker and set up strict guidelines for his staff to follow. Also, have the correct attitude to train his subordinates. A supervisor cannot criticize his subordinates, but instead needs to create an atmosphere where his officers will want to work efficiently. Sergeant Wentworth has to create a work environment where there is high morale and his officers feel productive and united, and demonstrate he is capable of patience with training the subordinates.
As a supervisor, he has to recognize the necessity of training employees because they are the organization’s most important resource. Sergeant Wentworth should send officer Shapiro for a refresher-training course where his skills will be refreshed and reinforced, to ensure that he is performing to the best of his abilities. His skills play a very important role in the day-to-day smooth operations of his squad. Also, he should set up some time aside to review his work performance until he is satisfied they are up to department standards.
As the squad supervisor for Squad Z, Sergeant Wentworth has been concerned with the poor performance of the squad’s officers and the recent drop in summonses and arrests. Sergeant Wentworth has been determined to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of his squad and as a result has decided to arrange a squad meeting and has placed it for the last day of the 8x4 tour of squad Z, to ensure that the whole squad will attend. This meeting is an open forum style to allow everyone to air his or her grievances.
On the day of the meeting, Sgt. Wentworth opened the meeting by inviting everyone to voice their concerns about the reasons why there’s poor performance and lack of productivity coming from this squad. The first one to offer to speak was Officer Lockwood, who has always been someone hard to communicate with. According to Sgt. Wentworth she blames the supervisors for the lack of production from the squad. She went on to say that the faulty radar units purchased by the department are the reason for the decrease in summonses since they’re always in for repairs.
She also expressed that it is the supervisor’s responsibility to provide their officers with working equipment. A remark by Officer Gardenia was very insensitive to Officer Lockwood, who left the room in tears and never returned. Next was Officer Griffin who has issues with several officers who do not clean out the squad cars, then called them “sloppy pigs”. Officers Goulde and Shapiro supported Griffin’s claims stating that maybe they’re dirty because supervisors fail to report them but they also took personal offense to Griffin’s name calling, which then set off several exchanges about sexism and passing the buck.
Sgt. Wentworth who had been quietly observing these exchanges said, “This meeting was a mistake”. Officer McBride, who is usually quiet, spoke and said that the supervisors never really listen to their complaints. She also went on to say that in several occasions they’ve reported the faulty equipment, the conditions of the squad cars and that the morale on the squad has fallen dangerously low. Officer Griffin agrees with Officer McBride’s claims saying he believes the supervisors are only interested in productivity and not listening to what they have to say.
Sgt. Wentworth promised that he would take seriously the claims he’s heard today. He then thanked Officer McBride for voicing her opinion and she stated that it’s only the tip of the iceberg and that there are other more serious things going on in this department than he realizes. She advised him to patrol the streets and check on what his officers are doing.
The main issues in this case study are the lack of productivity and decrease in arrests/summonses of Squad Z. There is an obvious underlying reason as to why this squad’s morale has taken a nosedive.
Sergeant Wentworth’s demeanor during the squad meeting was unnerving. He should have never allowed Officer Gardenia to speak to Officer Lockwood in such a way. If his intention was to hear the issues of his officers then he should have never allowed these shouting matches to go on in his presence. Although Officer Griffin’s concerns were valid he shouldn’t have let him go at it with Officers Goulde and Shapiro. Lastly, he shouldn’t have said that the meeting was a mistake, that’s not reflective of a leader. He should’ve considered that the meeting wouldn’t just go smoothly.
In fact, he should’ve prepared himself for several possible outcomes of the meeting, that’s what a true leader does. Clearly there are serious issues that aren’t being handled by supervisors in order to restore morale and productivity to this squad. Sergeant Wentworth should’ve have undermined Sergeant McBride by telling her she’d only been here a little while when she intended to give him further perspective about the real issues going on around the squad. Sgt. Wentworth needs to stop the buck here.
In order to solve the issues that plague Squad Z, Sgt. Wentworth needs to sit down and make a plan that will show goals he wants for the squad and a time frame in which they must be done by. He has to consider the claims made by his officers and take them seriously. This is the moment when he has to become a Democratic Leader and seek ideas from his subordinates to ensure that these problems are eradicated. Sergeant Wentworth has to lead by example and treat his subordinates as colleagues, as oppose to trying to exert his will over them. He should make it mandatory that his officers attend a team-building seminar to bring his quad together and help them communicate with each other better and therefore making them better communicators toward their supervisors. Sergeant Wentworth seems to not take seriously the internal complaints of his officers, but this should be so. A supervisor’s job is to take serious and show importance to all complaints no matter how important or not they seem to him, because clearly it is important to his subordinate. Sergeant Wentworth needs to work on paying close attention to these complaints, as they seem to be the start of the bigger issues.
Sergeant Wentworth went out on patrol shortly after twelve midnight, when he observed two patrol cars parked side by side in an alleyway. After approaching the cars, he asked officer Shapiro and Ashford what they were doing outside their sectors. Officer Shapiro replied they were just talking about where they would meet up later in their shift, which is in clear violation of the regulations set forth by the Utopia Police Department.
Sgt. Wentworth sent them both on their way. As he continued to patrol the town, he heard dispatch call patrol car 91 for several minutes. Without response, dispatch gave the call to patrol car 92, which was in a different sector. Sgt. Wentworth called headquarters and asked what was car 91’s last known location and went in search of it. He tried to locate car 91 and the officer but neither could be found. Officer Ashford, of car 92, told the Sergeant that some cars went on to Castle Avenue to sleep.
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