The goal of the
EdPDLaw is to
from law enforcement. This is an age old problem that plagues
Departments nationwide. Many Departments and agencies recognize this
problem and have taken steps in an attempt to rectify the problem.
have seeped into
every aspect of law
enforcement. Large police agencies hire Police Chief's from outside
departments in an attempt to curb the favoritism. They realize that
favoritism is another type of discrimination which results in very
large and expensive lawsuits for their agencies.
Promotions are ideally to
be given by merit. State agencies (Civil Service) have taken great
pains to assure that
promotional tests are fair and that only qualified candidates receive
promotions. However, when the candidtates are interviewed,
the score is subjective. Moreover, their have been
Departments who initiate discipline against future candidates prior to
calling for a test. I am also aware of one that called for a
promotional test and never posted it. Subsequently, only 1
candidate showed up and took the test.
is an officer
determined to be qualified?
Through his training and
does an officer
Through his schools.
officers receives which
The Department. EdPDLaw recommends
that each officer in a Department be permitted to take at least one
non-mandatory class per year at the Departments expense. If
the Department is large enough, then 2 non-mandatory classes of the
officers chosing should be offered. This insures that every
officer is qualified for the position they want and that training is
not a decision making issue.
are officers that pay for schools out of pocket and use their time to
attend. This should not be necessary.
your state testing agency deduct
points from your
promotional score depending on the amount of discipline you have
These are questions that
you should know the answers to, sooner than later.
Although many efforts have been made to
remove politics from law enforcement, the efforts have started at the
top. EdPDlaw starts at the bottom, and suggests preventative
your career and keep it heading in the direction you want it to
go. EdPDlaw helps you gather the tools you
will need to succeed in your chosen career path.
the beginning every officer is equal; they all go to the Police
Academy and receive the basic courses necessary to perform their
assignments. From this point on the officer accumulates training and
experience, both of which should be memorialized in his personnel file.
down the road the officer makes a career decision, whether it
is to get a promotion,
a day shift assignment, community police, join SWAT Team, narcotics,
This is where the problems
start, when numerous officers start jockeying for the same positions.
is the decision made?
you first start out, you don't have the
training that you need to advance, so how can you compete for these
positions? You need to get sent to a class to gain the training to
qualify you for the position you want.
if the Sgt./Lt. or other superior
officer has already decided that there is someone
else that they would prefer to have the position. Will you be sent to
the school or will they?
determines which schools you attend? Who
has the final say?
you ever wondered why
there have been safeguards set in place to assure that promotional
tests are fair?
is because the experienced officers who
are denied these promotions have sought legal
counsel and challenged their respective Departments on so many
occasions that it has brought
the problem to light and corrections have been instituted.
a rookie challenge their
Department and survive?
not, it would be career suicide.
recognizes this dilemma and has been
developed for exactly this reason. The protections that are afforded
are designed to be simple, started in the early stages of a career and
designed to create the best personnel record possible for the officer.
In the event that the officer needs his personnel file, he will already
be aware of its contents.
you do not keep your personnel file in top
condition you will never reach a position where
the State Agencies cannot interfere on your behalf.
EdPDLaw has witnesses
numerous horror stories, where an officer who is about to be
disciplined learns there is prior discipline in his file that he had no
knowledge of. Know what is in your file.
POLITICS OF DISCIPLINE
it comes time to make decisions, the decision makers need to justify
the decisions they make. There are two common ways that they do this.
The first is that the candidate is
"qualified", has received the necessary training and has some
usually by being involved in an incident and/or case that is similar to
second is that the candidate has "great potential", i.e., has never
has an outstanding record, numerous accolades and is very easy to get
happens when there is one position to fill and ten candidates who
applied for the position? (Assuming that your Department even bothers
to solicit resumes for the position)
person wins and nine lose. Feelings are hurt and the decision makers
are put on the spot to justify their decision. Officer "A" got the
position because he is a brown-noser, because he is the Chief's
chauffeur, because he washes so and so's back.
happens when the rumors start to fly?
get angry, tempers and egos flare (the nature of the law enforcement
beast), and then........discipline is imposed.
Unbecoming an Officer
"one size fits all" charge wreaks havoc throughout law enforcement
It is the second most used charge against officers (after Sick Time)
and the most
difficult to defend. There is almost no way to defend this charge as it
is not defined beyond conduct that someone deems
inappropriate for a law enforcement officer. This charge can garnish
any discipline from a letter
of reprimand to termination, or be escalated to a criminal charge of
An equally abused charge in law enforcement. This charge is equally
difficult to defend
as it pits a superior against a subordinate.
EdPDLaw has been developed to track these charges and the disciplinary
trends of Departments and regions in an effort to identify and define
these areas whereby reducing the ability of the Department to randomly
use these charges against its members.