Leadership and Supervision of Police Organizations Essays

1210 Words 5 Pages
Police organizations are just one of the large bureaucratic structures in modern America and exist because like all others, it is an impersonal, quick and efficient way to run a large institution. Along with the few benefits of police agencies having a top down structure with rigid rules, there are also many costs including poor communication and poor community relations. The problems of the bureaucratic structure are not the only difficulties agencies have faced throughout history, many of these historical complications such as the quality of officers and corruption have been addressed and dealt with numerous times and in many police commissions. Though historical issues are very relevant, the most important issue facing …show more content…
Because police organizations did not copy the military model identically, this can bring about many internal problems as the rigid and strict rules of a bureaucracy. According to Cowper (2000), one of the major problems with the structure of modern police departments is that the military model is not a true military model. The military urges creative thinking and individual decision making, whereas police agencies do not. Again, unlike the military, communication is a huge problem in the top-down structure of most departments. In Cowper’s article he gives an example of General Creighton W. Abrams being open to criticism and openly allowing his subordinates to question his authority. This would not be something generally practiced in police agencies today and can lead to bad decision making by patrol officers. Besides communication and creative thinking being non-existent, bureaucracies do not allow much flexibility and this can make adapting to changed very difficult. By not allowing for individual decision making, personal creativity, open communication and not having a flexible rule system in place morale and job satisfaction are among the many things affected by bureaucracy. It seems because there are so many problems with police agencies being bureaucratic there are no benefits, but that is not true. Walker and Katz (2013), offer a few positive contributions of bureaucracy in

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