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CRM 4108 Police Organization and Administration

Course Description

Police Organization and Administration examines police organizations and administration in the U.S. Discusses in detail current and future trends in law enforcement. Also examines police recruiting, selection, management, leadership, and policy.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to

  • Understand the evolution of the policing profession in the United states
  • Describe the complexities of community policing
  • Identify the external influences endemic to law enforcement
  • Explain the controls on police from other components of the system
  • List and describe the various organizational theories available
  • Identify the concepts in police organizational design
  • Discuss the dynamics of leadership
  • Identify the various styles a leader might assume
  • Explain the importance of organizational communication
  • List and describe the various types of effective communications
  • Discuss the importance of human resource management
  • Identify federal laws that affect personnel management
  • Describe an effective discipline system
  • Explain the importance of good labor relations
  • Identify the legal aspects of police administration
  • Describe the components of evaluating program performance
  • Explain the dynamics of organizational change

Week 1

Lecture: The Evolution of Policing in America


  • Explain the influence of politics on early policing strategies
  • Define the tenets of the profession of law enforcement
  • Describe the contributions of August Vollmer to early professional policing
  • Identify the influence of the Pendleton Act on local policing
  • Describe the crime control strategies from Prohibition through the turbulent sixties
  • Identify the major research carried out in the law enforcement field that changed approaches to the control of crime
  • Describe the partnerships formed between law enforcement and private security
  • Identify changes in American policing brought about by its response to terrorism
  • Describe the major differences between traditional approaches to policing and community policing
  • List the elements of the SARA acronym in community policing
  • Explain the various initiatives in America’s cities that exemplify community policing successes
  • Describe the components of COMSTAT
  • Explain the nexus of community policing and emerging technologies
  • List the components of a viable crime analysis system
  • Identify the benefits of GIS/GPS applications in law enforcement
  • Describe the benefits of information sharing among separate departments

Week 2

Lecture: Leadership in a Law Enforcement Agency


  • List and describe the U.S. Supreme Court decisions affecting law enforcement in the 60s
  • Explain the evolution of Miranda v. Arizona
  • Identify major scandals and brutality incidents that affected law enforcement
  • Describe racial and ethnic profiling
  • Identify the effects of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies
  • List and describe the local political forces influencing the police
  • Describe how politics affect police chiefs and elected sheriffs
  • Distinguish between tenure and contracts for police chiefs
  • Describe the influence of the other components of the criminal justice system
  • Define the role of citizen involvement in law enforcement agencies
  • Identify the influence of the news media on the operation of law enforcement agencies
  • Explain the concern about terrorism by law enforcement
  • Define situational leadership
  • List and describe a law enforcement leader’s three responsibilities
  • Describe the nature of leadership, authority, and power
  • Explain the leadership skill mix
  • List and describe the theories and styles of leadership
  • Explain the concepts of a transformational leader
  • Describe how a good leader responds to conflict
  • List and describe the specifications of organizational control

Week 3

Lecture: Organizational and Interpersonal Communication


  • List and describe the components of the communication process
  • Identify the elements that enhance the credibility of a communicator
  • Explain the various barriers to effective communication
  • Describe downward communication in a police organization
  • Evaluate the process of upward communication in a law enforcement organization and the barriers involved
  • Discuss the importance of horizontal communication in an organization
  • Explain the existence and importance of the “grapevine” in communications
  • Discuss the elements of a supportive communication climate
  • List and describe the various styles of communication as enumerated in the Johari Window
  • Explain the nuances involved in group communication
  • Distinguish the different approaches required for cross-gender communications
  • Define the styles available for conflict resolution
  • Determine the multicultural issues involved with communications
  • Determine what medium of communication is best suited to the recipient
  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various communication methods
  • Identify the pitfalls involved in email communications

Week 4

Lecture: Human Resource Management


  • List and describe the duties of a human resource unit
  • Evaluate the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on police personnel selection
  • List and describe the typical steps in the law enforcement officer selection process
  • Discuss the pertinent legal issues involved in pre-employment physical testing
  • Evaluate the utility of polygraph testing in the employment process
  • Explain the necessity of the character investigation
  • Summarize the value of interviews and oral boards
  • Evaluate the necessity of medical and psychological testing after a conditional offer of employment
  • Describe the duties of the field training officer
  • Identify special gender issues involved with academy training and FTO programs
  • Discuss the value of a college education for law enforcement officers
  • Explain the importance of law enforcement diversity
  • Summarize the impact of the Family Medical Leave Act on law enforcement operations
  • Discuss the elements of an appropriate performance evaluation
  • Identify some common rater errors found in performance evaluations
  • Explain the components of an assessment center
  • Describe the value of employing civilians in police work
  • Explain the components of a comprehensive discipline system
  • Discuss the value of an early warning system
  • List and describe the elements of the Internal Affairs Unit
  • Explain the necessity for retirement counseling

Week 5

Lecture: Labor Relations


  • List and describe the forces that led to police collective bargaining
  • Discuss the impact that unions have had upon police departments
  • List and describe the models that form the basis for collective bargaining
  • Distinguish between the various employee organizations that represent public sector employees
  • Describe the various elements of the collective bargaining process
  • Analyze the necessity of a scope of bargaining agreement
  • List and describe the various types of bargaining impasse resolution
  • Define a grievance
  • Identify a typical grievance procedure in a law enforcement agency
  • Describe the various job actions available to union members
  • Discuss the potential political impact that unions make
  • List and describe the appropriate administrative reaction to job actions

Week 6

Lecture: The Legal Aspects of Police Administration


  • Explain the nature of liability for police conduct
  • List and describe the various types of police tort actions
  • Discuss the importance of “1983 actions” as it influences police policy
  • Describe the parties that can be sued in a police tort action
  • List and describe the negligence areas available for plaintiffs in police lawsuits
  • Summarize the best practices for police administrators to employ to avoid being sued
  • Discuss the scope of liability for police officers
  • Evaluate the necessity for a comprehensive police pursuit policy
  • Explain the trends in tort liability for police supervisors and administrators
  • Define the elements of due process for police officers
  • Discuss the liberty and property rights of police officers
  • List and describe the constitutional rights of police officers
  • Examine the effect of an officer’s right against self-incrimination on police discipline
  • Identify the grounds for disciplinary actions against police officers
  • Discuss the legalities of residency requirements for officers
  • Examine the issue of off-duty police employment and its ramifications
  • Evaluate the effect of Tennessee v. Garner (1985) on law enforcement’s deadly force policies
  • Analyze the issues involved with alcohol and drug testing of officers
  • Discuss the liability involved in sexual harassment actions
  • Determine an appropriate procedure for preventing workplace harassment

Week 7

Lecture: Decision Making and Budgets


  • List and describe the various decision-making models
  • Analyze alternative decision-making models
  • Explain the complexities of making decisions during crisis incidents
  • Discuss how future crisis incidents impact police planning for decision making
  • Summarize the elements of group decision making
  • Examine the common errors made by decision makers
  • Explain why budgeting is important
  • Define fiscal year, operating budget, and capital budget
  • Discuss the line item budget
  • Explain a program budget
  • Describe a performance budget
  • Explain hybrid budgets
  • Identify the major ways in which a police budget may be supplemented

Week 8

Lecture: Organizational Change


  • List and discuss why change occurs
  • Distinguish the nexus between paradigm shifts and organizational change
  • Explain the ABC model of change orientation
  • Define the concept of organizational development
  • Discuss who can be change agents for an organization
  • List and describe common change agent errors
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of internal and external change agents
  • Identify where external change agents can be located
  • List and discuss the generally accepted research techniques
  • Discuss the various methods of initiating organizational change
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of radical versus gradual change
  • List and describe the features in police departments that make them resistant to change
  • Summarize the success and failure patterns in planned change
  • Identify the steps toward successfully managing the stress of change
  • Synthesize the relationship between futures research and a police department’s long-range plan

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. March 2012