Law Enforcement Administration
Law enforcement administrations and agencies inherently utilize the top-down management style. However, the activities are implemented by the lower-ranking personnel. The long history of police being perceived as an oppressive force has had a negative impact on the recruitment of minorities in law enforcement. Additionally, police have been known to be racially biased in enforcing the law, eroding trust between the force and the communities they serve. Law enforcement agencies have gone a step and attempted to be transparent and accountable. Police executives recommend training for officers of all levels on cultural competency, implicit bias, and diversity. This helps officers to communicate effectively and understand the cultures of different community members. Community policing, a strategy majorly a bottom-up management model, is quickly gaining popularity in law enforcement agencies. Community policing has been shown to improve communication and encourage feedback from the community members, and this has enhanced effective and timely service delivery by police officers resulting in increased satisfaction and collaboration among the parties involved.
Table of Contents
2.0 Top-Down Management Model 4
2.1 Best Practices in Top-Down Management 5
2.1.1 Best Practices in Top-Down Management in the Criminal Justice Administration 7
2.2 Issues of Top-Down Management: Community Relations. 8
2.3 Issues of Top-Down Management: Staff and Community Diversity. 9
2.4 Issues of Top-Down Management: Departmental Morale. 10
2.5 Issues of Top-Down Management: Organizational Design. 11
3.0 Analysis of the Review.. 12
3.1 Role of Diversity in Administrative models. 12
3.2 How Police Administration Models Address Issues of Community Relations. 13
3.3 Community Policing and Bottom-Up Police Administration Model 14
Management theories are the concepts surrounding recommended management strategies (Chang, 2016). Law enforcement agencies inherently utilize the top-down management style. However, that has shown to be ineffective with the changing community dynamics. Police departments are fast adapting community policing to collaborate with community members in combating crime and preventing criminal activities (Gau & Gaines, 2012). Police officers are going an extra mile in interacting with community members outside their line of duty and getting involved in other activities such as sports events and community projects. The driving force behind community policing is rebuilding broken trust and creating relationships that will encourage openness, transparency, accountability from the police, and genuine feedback from the communities they serve (Acevedo, 2013). This paper discusses the top-down management style, its drawbacks, and the mostly bottom-up management style of community policing. The literature on the two styles will shed light on the most effective and futuristic way law enforcement must adopt for effective service delivery.
2.0 Top-Down Management Model
Management theories are defined as the concepts that surround recommended management strategies and may include tools such as guidelines and frameworks that modern organizations can implement. Generally, professionals utilize more than one theory and tend to introduce different concepts from diverse management theories that best fit the company culture and workforce (Chang, 2016).
According to Kezar (2012), retaining a management culture that is effective has countless benefits for an organization. Employees feel a greater connection with business goals and missions and become more motivated, productive, and engaged. There are generally two ways in which organizations can have effective management; top-down and bottom-up. In top-down management, the leadership sets the direction, which is passed down to the team. Bottom-up management is the opposite, where feedback from employees is funneled upwards (Kezar, 2012).
Top-Down management occurs when the senior leaders in an organization determine tasks, projects, and goals and is usually independent of the team’s participation in decision-making. The tasks, projects, and goals are then communicated to the team members (McGrath, 2010). The main advantage of this management style is that the leaders who are most connected to the business allow for goals to be set, as well as tasks and projects that are in alignment with the company’s vision and mission (Jeston, 2014). The main disadvantage is that the management relies on the thoughtfulness, focus, and strength of the senior leaders, who may not always be well-equipped to set top-level goals effectively; may lack feasibility, alignment, and clarity (Jeston, 2014).
Bottom-up management occurs when the tasks, projects, and goals are largely informed on employee feedback, which is then communicated to the senior leadership (Hornung et al., 2010). The main advantage of this kind of management is that employees feel engaged and involved, which in turn makes them empowered. The main disadvantage is that employees may not have the continuous resources, education, and support they need to successfully navigate this approach (Hornung et al., 2010).
2.1 Best Practices in Top-Down Management
The management styles in most modern organizations are about a shared environment where every employee has an equal say and group decisions are encouraged. This is typical of the millennial workforce that operates on the bottom-up method. However, a leader is necessary, especially when crucial decisions have to be made. That said, best practices need to be followed to ensure that leaders in top-down management do not become overbearing to the extent that employees are demotivated and discouraged (Kaiser & Hogan, 2011).
In top-down management, the leader is responsible for creating a work plan and breakdown structure of the same (Burlton, 2010). Once the plan is approved, the tasks are delegated to team members, and appropriate deadlines set. The leader will facilitate the management of the team while keeping them motivated and engaged. The idea is to manage the team in a manner that all members appreciate respect, intent, and clarity. The moment that the top leaders become erratic, the entire plan for the team falls into pieces. Burlton (2010) suggests that a manager should continuously coach and communicate with the team to avoid conflict. The chances of conflict are minimized when the leader is fully engaged and involved.
Not everything works according to plan, and sometimes risks must be taken. This can be trying an unorthodox approach or having to cater to an unexpected cost, among others. In such scenarios, Shepherd & Sutcliffe (2011) assert that a leader should not delegate decisions that could harm the decision maker; a strong leader, in this case, will take the top-down approach and take up the risk. When a decision needs to be made urgently, a leader with the highest level of expertise will be best suited to make the decision as time wasted in gathering input can prove counterproductive. Lastly, sometimes employees need someone to give them confidence. Top-down leadership can enable a manager to motivate demoralized employees; when employees are frightened or tired, employees look for someone who can empower them through executive decisions (Shepherd & Sutcliffe, 2011).
2.1.1 Best Practices in Top-Down Management in the Criminal Justice Administration
The criminal justice administration inherently follows top-down management, yet the activities are implemented by the lower-ranking personnel as well as other policing duties, which adopt a top management strategy (Gau & Gaines,2012). Consistent with other organizations that utilize the top-down strategy, information flows downward in a unidirectional hierarchy (Becker, Kugeler, & Roseman, 2013). Those that are at the bottom are the ones that are expected to implement the mission and vision of the organization effectively. When the top-tier leaders attempt to change the function and mission of an organization, they will most likely run into conflict with the mid and lower levels of personnel’s unwillingness to adopt the new change. This is due to the fact that personnel at lower levels are often not consulted, and their opinions are not sought. A lack of alignment between the upper and lower ranks of personnel can result in the subversion of the latter with regard to new policies, which would render the entire change void (Shane, 2010).
Management leaders often adopt best practices in strategic policy choices to avoid conflict and unwillingness to adopt policies. Luthman & Nazario (2015) state that the policies are grounded in a sufficient theoretical basis such that the policies and the basis can be tested for effectiveness. Management thus ensures that police officers are sufficiently educated or trained when they are given the discretion to do so. The policies are ensured to have a support base for long-term sustenance by active interest groups and policymakers. The management also makes sure that there is an absence of economic, political, or social change that would un-do the theoretical basis of policies and/or base of support (Luthman & Nazzario, 2015).
22.214.171.124 Best Practices in Top-Down Management In community participatory criminal justice models of administration
Community justice broadly defines all justice and crime prevention activity variants that include the community in their set and processes and which enhance the community’s quality of life as the main goal (Hough et al., 2010). Recent initiatives include restorative justice sanctioning systems, community courts, community prosecutions, community defense, community policing, and community crime prevention. These approaches have a common foundation because they address the outcomes at a community level by focusing on long and short-term problem-solving and restoration of communities and victims.
Police management leadership, through top-down management, delegates the duty of community policing to line-level police officers (Gill et al., 2014). These community strategies redefine police work. The line officers are perceived to be less bureaucratic and are not caught in autocratic organizations but are more innovators whose knowledge at the line level gives them the problem-solving special expertise. In the case of community policing, Hebert (2009) states that the line police are tasked with ensuring that the community is open to discussing any issues with law enforcement and works at resolving them for the betterment of the entire society that is within the police jurisdiction.
2.2 Issues of Top-Down Management: Community Relations
Police departments that are grounded on the philosophy of community policing train and assign personnel to duties that focus on active and creative prevention of crime and problem-solving as opposed to simply responding to disorder and crime (Somerville, 2009). For officers to do this effectively, there needs to be a level of autonomy which is also an important organizational transformation aspect. Implementation varies by situation and jurisdiction, but often individual or pairs of officers in partnership with the community are authorized and given the responsibility of identifying the disorder and crime issues that are most recurrent in their rounds, prioritizing the same, and coming up with solutions for the same (Brogden & Nijhar, 2013).
The common barriers and challenges to community policing’s successful adoption are the hard work and effort needed. Community policing institutionalization through a transformation in the police organization requires sustained commitment and sufficient resources from the executives in the department staff as well as city leaders (Chapell, 2009). Altering the police department culture can be very challenging compared to changing the training, procedures, and policies. For a meaningful community partnership to be established and maintained, all stakeholders need to be educated, missing voices included, and outcomes made to be a shared responsibility (Schaefer, 2010). Engagement in problem-solving that is effective requires input from several sources of information, reliable and high-quality data, the autonomy of officers to create and implement solutions that are creative and targeted, as well as ongoing communication, all of which is extremely difficult to achieve success without any resistance from all stakeholders (Glaser & Denhardt, 2010).
2.3 Issues of Top-Down Management: Staff and Community Diversity
The long history of police being perceived as an oppressive force has had a negative impact on the recruitment of minorities in law enforcement (Reiner, 2010). Regular incidences of shootings have only increased the fear of minorities joining the police force, as many people perceive that the force does not stand for their best interests. The gap between minority representation in the police department as well as the general population continues to widen (Reaves, 2015; Lai & Zao, 2010). This under-representation tends to spill over to the communities that fall under the police jurisdiction with some citizens having a lesser likelihood of trusting the police. Once trust is eroded, other activities are eroded as well, such as the recruiting process (Corbacho et al., 2015). Additionally, effective service provision is also hindered where language barriers arise. For example, when police go to a scene and require language translation but have to wait for one to arrive (Wu, 2014). Further, some black officers react in a different way than their white colleagues in certain situations because the former can differentiate between suspicious behavior and not.
One commonly cited cultural issue in police departments is the experience of the ‘them vs. us’ mentality (Nhan, 2014). Where departments do not address the internal issues of a culture that promotes police misconduct, then the hiring of minority police officers is not likely to improve the relations that the department has with the community. Community members are more likely to relay feedback to police agencies if the latter reflects the community. This will generally maintain stronger relationships with the communities compared to agencies with poor minority relations (Rix et al., 2009).
2.4 Issues of Top-Down Management: Departmental Morale
As mentioned earlier, police departments operate on a top-down management model, and all employees know what is expected of them and therefore do their work dutifully. However, there are several issues that can arise from this type of management style. Firstly, operating in a strict top-down management approach implies that the senior team is responsible for directing all the work and this means that no one learns the skills necessary for a promotion (Johnson 2012). Secondly, people work for three reasons, the challenge, the money, and a sense of accomplishment. Employees will tend to move on when a job only fulfills the money need. A police department needs to ensure its employees are challenged and feel a sense of accomplishment; if their job is to do what they are told, it will not challenge them much (Shane, 2010). Thirdly, succession planning becomes difficult in a top-down management structure such as that in a police department (Ramshaw, 2013). When one of the leaders quits, the department might find that it needs to hire a person from outside the organization to fill the gap created. It is in the best interest of a police department to prepare employees from within and grow their careers (Rothwell, 2010). Lastly, top-down management is a way of micromanaging employees, which only frustrates them as they are not allowed to make decisions for themselves (Poister, 2010). Employees should be in a position to make decisions when they are genuinely the ones closest to a situation and need to make a decision.
2.5 Issues of Top-Down Management: Organizational Design
The police force organizational design assembles employees into departments so as to facilitate resource and work sharing. The choices lead to the characteristics of the organization, such as creative or ordered (Gillet et al., 2013). The strong management hierarchy results in a functional organization design where employees are segregated by function, such as the patrol and community policing departments, which are grouped according to their functions. Each department has a lieutenant that is the team leader and the authority that the police officers report to, and the leadership goes all the way to the chief of the department. However, this design of the organization leaves employees with little room for creativity and initiative. This is because approvals must climb up the chain of command making a response to any challenges slow. In a community where challenges are dynamic, the top-down design cannot remain at pace with small changes within and without the department and which are based on employee empowerment and work teams (Loftus, 2010).
3.0 Analysis of the Review
3.1 Role of Diversity in Administrative Models
The challenge of diversity is in every sector of society, including law enforcement. Law enforcement fulfills a fundamental role in society; in some cases, police officers are the local government’s public face. It is, therefore, critical that the agencies reflect the community diversity they serve. Increased diversity in terms of gender, race, religion, experience, background, language ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation is significant in building trust with community members (Jackson et al., 2012). This is because when members of the public believe that law enforcement authorities are accountable, legitimate, and fair, trust is deepened, public confidence is instilled with regard to the government, and it supports democracy and integrity.
Trust is necessary to defuse tension, create a system where community members view a just and fair law enforcement, and solve crimes. The cooperation that is facilitated by the trust also allows police officers to be more effective when carrying out their duties and also in performing their job safely (Van Caren, 2013). Additionally, increased diversity allows law enforcement agencies to be more open to reformation, more willing to a system and cultural change initiation, and more responsive to the needs of the society within which it works (Cantle,2018).
Diversity has enabled some departments to be more reflective and introspective about the challenges within their departments. A culture characterized by open-mindedness and reflection can help facilitate reforms in a wide array of areas including racial bias, community policing, and civilian oversight (Murphy, 2013). Further, while increased diversity in the workforce cannot by itself ensure effective and fair policing, it can significantly influence some practices and activities in law enforcement agencies. For example, increased numbers of female officers in a department will result in lesser incidences of police force used in crime prevention (Rabe, 2009). Female officers are equally effective and competent as their male counterparts but rely less on physical force; they are also more likely to implement approaches that are community-based with a greater focus on cooperation and communication with the public (McElhinny, 2012).
3.2 How Police Administration Models Address Issues of Community Relations
The controversial use of force and other incidences can erode the relationship between communities and the police. Police in addressing such issues, should first acknowledge the existence of racial injustice in the past and never discount the negative experiences of the individuals in the hands of the police. Officers must understand that the history of racial prejudice forms a legitimate part of history in some people’s feelings toward the police (Tyler, 2015). Moving forward, some police agencies develop ‘duty to intervene’ policies and strategies that ensure other officers will intervene if one of the officers engages in misconduct (Worden et al., 2013). Such interventions often occur immediately as community members tend not to trust internal police agency affairs to investigate such misconduct. Doing so builds trust between the police and the community.
Law enforcement agencies also attempt to be transparent and accountable whenever critical incidences occur (Slatkin, 2010). Agencies release as much information as possible and in the shortest time so that the community does not begin to perceive that the information is being withheld on purpose. Additionally, most departments post information on a day-to-day basis on the website detailing policies on complaints from community members, use of force, and other issues. Police departments also seek accreditation to demonstrate their commitment to delivering excellent services to the community. They also adopt external oversight mechanisms to demonstrate accountability and transparency (Slatkin, 2010).
Police executives also recommend training for officers of all levels on cultural competency, implicit bias, and diversity (Alhejji et al., 2016). This helps officers to communicate effectively and understand the cultures of different community members. Personal interactions between police officers and citizens are another way of remaining visible in a community (Fenster, 2016). Agencies interact with citizens through involvement in local activities, community-led events, ride-along, sports teams, and y
3.3 Community Policing and Bottom-Up Police Administration Model
Policing in the US faces a crisis of purpose and legitimacy. Police can rededicate their purpose as a service based on trust with the communities they serve. Spoiled and ruptured relations between the police force and the communities are among the greatest challenges that American society faces (Cordner, 2016). The overreliance on punitive enforcement and more so on minor transgressions has resulted in adversarial dynamics that recur and increase the deeply-rooted acrimony toward law enforcement agencies in communities that already have to endure systemic challenges of limited social services access, high crime rates, poverty, and racism. Additionally, the damaged relationships between the police and communities make it difficult for the former to protect the public and respond to violent crimes (Jones, 2015).
To change the status quo, police departments are quickly dissolving the top-down management and adopting the bottom-up management model. In the bottom-up model, entire agencies are informed by, responsive to, and collaborate with the community. This kind of policing is community-informed, understands and measures the relationship between public safety and public satisfaction, applies enforcement alternatives where possible, and reflects law enforcement’s right-sized role in crime response and the underlying social problems (Tankebe, 2013). Community policing that majorly follows a bottom-up administration appreciates the role that historical and present racism and other biases have played in corroding goodwill and trust. Similarly, law enforcement agencies engage the rank and file in the development of community policing reforms. This is because police work has become oriented more toward crime prevention and involvement with the communities, which demands discretion and high commitment from the police (Alexander & Prasad, 2014). Thus, law enforcement agencies have adopted proactive, collaborative leadership, where employees are involved in the decision-making within the line of duty. Community policing has been shown to improve communication and encourage feedback from the community members, and this has enhanced effective and timely service delivery by police officers resulting in increased satisfaction and collaboration among the parties involved.
Retaining a management culture that is effective has countless benefits for an organization. Top-Down management occurs when tasks, projects, and goals are determined but the senior leaders in an organization and is usually independent of the team’s participation in decision-making. Bottom-up management occurs when the tasks, projects, and goals are largely informed on employee feedback, which is then communicated to the senior leadership. The criminal justice administration inherently follows top-down management, yet the lower-ranking personnel implements the activities. This has resulted in restrictions on lower-ranking officers from making decisions when needed during the line of duty. Community policing, a bottom-up management strategy, is shown to be more effective in service delivery. However, barriers and challenges need to be eliminated for the success of community-based policing to be successful. Issues of racial bias, gender, and un-proportional representation of minorities in the police force need to be completely eliminated for communities to regain trust in the police force. Doing so will increase the trust and positive perception of the community of law enforcement agencies.
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Week 8 – Assignment: Law Enforcement Administration
Synthetize literature related to top down versus community participatory leadership in criminal justice.
For your Signature Assignment (12-15 pages), develop a comprehensive review of the literature as it relates to the latest theories and best practices in top-down criminal justice administration versus community participatory criminal justice models of administration. Please be sure to carefully address issues that relate to community relations, staff and community diversity, departmental morale and organizational design. Listed below are some guiding questions for your literature review:
- What role does diversity play in administrative models?
- How do these models address issues of community relations and the communities’ ability to provide feedback and input?
- Does the literature support one model over another?
Be sure to draw upon what you have learned and written over your time in this course. Be sure to review your work and assignments throughout this course for some guidance on different approaches. A good place to start would be to re-read Klienfield, 2017. What are some of the challenges presented in his thesis? What types of management in administration would you suggest help align with the state of police work in the United States as he sees it. Be sure to include the latest research on styles of leadership and administration.
References: Include a minimum of 20 scholarly references
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