The case revolves around a patrol officer named Ima Goodenough, who have worked for the police agency for eight years and demonstrates adequate capabilities in both the patrol and detective divisions. The main issues concerning this officer relate to how she undertakes her responsibilities in the police agency. For example, the officer stands accused of not cooperating with her workmates in the call of duty, employing brutal tactics when performing her duties, failing to notify her immediate supervisors on her job-related responsibilities, as well as demonstrating a deteriorating attitude and reckless performance.
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It is also evident from the case that the patrol officer in question not only fails to respect her area of jurisdiction, but also jeopardizes investigations by messing with evidence despite her many years of experience, and employs falsehoods in reporting to her superior. The most upsetting thing is that the officer’s performance evaluations for the past eight years have been stated in her personnel file as “standard” (average to above average), and that the officer is yet to receive a suspension from duty for her actions as reported in this summary.
Problem Situations in the Case
The case demonstrates several problem situations beginning with the fact that the performance evaluations so far conducted on the patrol officer are not reflective of her true performance on the job. It is evident that these performance evaluations are not based upon job descriptions and the expectations of the job, as six complaints of brutality have been lodged against the officer during the last three years yet her performance evaluations for all these years have received a “standard” score. The deteriorating attitude and reckless performance demonstrated by the officer can never be in agreement with the job description and expectations of a patrol officer, hence the need to change the content and criteria of future evaluations.
Another problem area demonstrated in the case is the long period of time taken by the police agency to conduct performance evaluations for officers showing deteriorating attitudes and/or reckless performances. The patrol officer in the case has worked for eight years and eight performance evaluations have been conducted on her, implying that the standard practice in this police agency is to conduct one performance evaluation per year.
Although most performance evaluations are done annually as demonstrated in the reading, it is important for managers to increase the frequency of evaluations for problematic officers in order to have a true picture of the performance and capabilities of such officers. It is argued here that the performance evaluations of this particular officer could have provided a true reflection of her performance and capability if they had been done on a monthly or quarterly basis.
The last problem situation demonstrated by the case is that the performance evaluations conducted on the patrol officer in question do not follow certain categories for police evaluations, such as observance of work hours, compliance with rules, safety practices, acceptance of responsibility, acceptance of direction and quality of work, among others. For example, it is evident that the officer often fails to involve her superiors or accept their direction, yet she has been given a “standard” score in her performance evaluations.
The officer has breached several safety practices (e.g., involvement in high-speed pursuits during which her vehicle was damaged when she attempted to run offenders off the road) and has also demonstrated poor quality of work (e.g., refusing to cooperate with colleagues and interfering with evidence). However, it is clearly evident that all these violations are yet to be captured in the eight performance evaluations so far done on the officer.