The question of discipline is vital in every workplace with police not being an exception, as the government and the public need to know how officers’ misconducts are addressed. According to Harris, Chierus, and Edson (2015), there have been numerous incidents that require the creation of specific tools that can monitor, respond, and prevent such matters. Therefore, I fully agree with Stephens (2011) that new philosophy has to be designed that can modify the present disciplinary system in policing. However, creating a new philosophy is not enough, as it has to be transformed into guidelines that can facilitate the work of police authorities.
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When officers are accused of illegal conduct, the cases have to be timely investigated, and measured consequences need be consistently and fairly applied. The disciplinary procedures should be characterized by early interventions at the lowest possible level, fairness, focus on behavior, and transparency (Stephens, 2011). Indeed, these instances aim at addressing the major problems with police discipline, as the process often takes too much time, aims at punishing, and depends on the amount of publicity (Harris et al., 2015).
Even though I agree with the philosophy presented by Stephens (2011), there is no action plan included or specific measures offered. While one pattern cannot fit all the police departments, as needs may differ depending on various factors, I believe that a clear example should be provided. Until a clear pattern is in place, I think that matrices to address officers’ misconducts are to be applied.
From the discussion provided above, a consequential question arises: “What are the exact steps that need to be taken to transform the philosophy offered by Stephens into practice?”
Harris, C., Chierus, K., & Edson, T. (2015). The prevalence and content of police discipline matrices. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 38(4), 788-804. Web.
Stephens, D. W. (2011). Police discipline: A case for change. Web.