Failure in Leadership

Leadership is a key driver of success in an organization that requires that the leader should be understandable and able to compromise on their understanding to be in better position to relate with those they are leading. In many cases, the police are accused of being the perpetrators of violence and poor work ethics through misuse of power. However, a recent trend is showing that the police are increasingly being reported victims of poor leadership from their superiors. In fact, it is possible that as a result of the poor working conditions that the police are subjected, they tend to engage in other unethical practices usually out of desperation and distress (Yates, 2014). The incidence where an entire police force in Bunker Hill, a small town in Indiana decides to quit citing poor working condition underscores the fact that the menace deserves much more attention (Andrews, 2016). There have been a flurry of similar incidences when the police tend to decline continuing to work as reports have been noted in Sweden and the United Kingdom, which makes the inference that the problem is widespread in many parts of the word (Brilbeck, 2014; Christison, 2016; Radio Sweden, 2016).

One of the notable issues that are identified from the Bunker Hill scenario of police quitting from the whoa department is that there is leadership failure as the Bunker Town Council was quoted on several occasion have failed in acting as the leaders in the town. An investigation into the role of poor leadership in poor outcomes has shown that many police officers end up being victims of poor leadership. According to Christison (2016), the trend where 800 police officers quit in Scotland since the launch of the single force was because many felt that they were undervalued, feeling pressured while in the workplace, and were unhappy with the work-life balance. The finding thus corresponds with former Bunker Hill’s town marshal Michael Thomson who also cited being told to work for 29.75 hours a week while there were additional benefits associated with overtime working. The case where Thompsons explain being required to cover for the time he was sick by working overtime continues what Schafer (2014) describes as focusing one’s self more than others. The council was only focused on satisfying their ego and not mindful of the strain that the police officer was experiencing, especially considering that Thompson had just come back from sick leave. It thus implies that poor leadership that fails to create a balance between the employee’s work schedule and motivation at work tends to increase the rate of leaving the workforce.

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From the report of the Bunker Hill quitting spree, it is also noted that there was a characteristics failure by the authorities to communicate while the affected parties never aired their views. To elaborate on the subject of communication, Schafer (2014) describes a failure it communication as any process where there are omissions in the communication process. One particular instance where there was a mismatch in communication was in consideration of the incidence where the police complained that they lacked enough supply of body armor, which meant that they were more at risk during operations. In response, the town council denied the allegations and stated that while there were financial issues, there were sufficient body armors for all the officers (Andrews, 2016). Such conflicting statements underscore the fact that there are poor communication patterns in the workplace and the police usually end up as victims. According to Policeone.com, (2014) the trend where communication tends to fail has been cited as the single most common cause of the lack of motivation in many work settings and is not only a trend that is featured in the police force. It is suggested that those in leadership positions should be able to communicate accountability, authority, and discipline so that the team can be able to emulate from those in the administration positions.

The Indiana police force is also described to have been motivated to quit their jobs because of a failure in proper budgeting that led to financial cuts and other problems related to the funding of the service. It is noted that from the available research, there are notable trends of poor budgeting in may work settings and for the police department, it could take diverse forms. In Scotland, the financial challenges were as a result of a spending large amounts of money on the recruiting of new police officers after the others had decided to quit (Christison, 2016). In his findings, Christison, (2016) describes a scenario where the government is forced to incur high budgetary costs in the recruiting process, which is likely to create a deficit in the funds available to pay for the newly employed officers. In a similar effect, police in Winter Springs have also described that they opted to shift from the police to other professions having desired to have a higher pay or the private sector that was offering more lucrative pay structures (Springs, 2015). Thus, it is also likely that regardless of the format that it undertakes, financial challenges within the police force can result in other seeking to opt out of serves

The examination of the trends that results in the Indiana police moving out of service in masses also identifies that the officers were suffering from a period of a lack of citizen oversight in the issue. From the assessment of the case, however, there was not a specific mention of any intention taken by the public in trying to fight for the police officer’s rights. It is likely that the lack of response by the public was because many were unaware of the misconducts as there was a failure in communication between the public and the police. However, it is noted that the public had also complicated the situation in Indiana because instead of engaging the police in their grievances, they were also fond of misdeeds. For example, according to a young girl describing her kidnapping incidence, she claimed that she just saw men attacking her and grabbing on her hijab (Andrews, 2016). According to the police, it is a statement that constituted a lie. However, assuming that the girl was actually attacked or not, it is apparent that there is a characteristic lack of support from the public addressing the problems that the police were facing because the masses were making it even harder for the officers to thrive given the complications. There have been notable instances where citizen oversights fail in the sensitization process. In this case, however, the citizens and the government officers are required to act in favor of the police while they do not. For Brilbeck (2014), city leaders in Nevada have for a long time been reluctant and can be compared to the public response in Indiana. In both settings, however, it is expected that either the police would be assisted by either the public or the city official but in both, there is characteristic relevance of the lack of citizens’ oversight discouraged the employees and got them to quit.

Overall, the abuse of power and the overall misuse of the office for personal gain is also a trend that made the police officers leave Indian without the police after they quitted. Abuse of power takes many forms and could involve the use of force for public gain either in a direct or indirect manner. To build on the reports that the former police offers in Bunker Hill cited about the mistreatment by the council, it is noted that police in Seminole County also display a trend of misuses of office. For example, Corporal Russell Tew was once fired after reports alleged that he was fond of using his office for sexual acts and even confessed that he preferred using his handcuffs and other material provided by the agency for service in the process of playing sex (Springs, 2015). The report has since astounded many from the fact that it creates the effect of inappropriate behavior by senior government officials who think they are above the law and can decide the misuse government facilities for private gain. It thus implies that such behaviors are disgusting to the public and it implies why Thomson and his team at Bunker Hill decided to quit after it became apparent that the government officials and the city council were misusing power while they could not be fired from their positions.

From the literature review, it is important to outline that the different segments and complaints mentioned by the former police department of Indiana’s Bunker Hill Department show that failure in leadership is a common phenomenon that one could imagine. The lack of communication, acts of bias and mistreatment, poor pay and motivations, the lack of citizen oversight and a host of other major factors remain the primary reasons for police officers and possibly, other government employees to consider quitting their jobs. The overall trend is what Schafer (2014) combines into three complications that include the individual problems such as inadequate finances and poor working conditions, the occupational problem such as being accused of wrong offenses, and leadership problems that can be described in the context of poor communication. The culmination of such key issues is what drives many officers to consider quitting their professions regardless of the length of time that they have spent in service.

In summary, it is important to underscore the fact that just as the Indiana’s Bunker Hill Department outgoing police team affirmed, failure in leadership is the primary reason that makes employees consider other options out of the force. The leadership failure is a major issue that is common in many parts of the world and the failure to communicate the problem and tension only exacerbate the issues. The misuse of power and poor payments all lead to the complication because categorized into individual, occupations and leadership problems that necessitate leaving the workforce.

 

References

Andrews, T. M. (2016, December 15). A small Indiana town doesn’t have a police force because all its officers just quit. The Washington Post.

Brilbeck, A. (2014). Half of Nevada Cops are Quitting, City Leaders Refuse to Comment. WhoTv. Retrieved from http://whotv.com/2014/12/10/half-of-nevada-cops-are-quitting-city-leaders-refuse-to-comment/

Christison, G. (2016, April). Police crisis as more than 800 quit: Exodus as morale at single force slumps. Express. Retrieved from http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/657573/Police-crisis-800-quit-resign

Policeone.com. (2014). Toxic Boss Blues: Fighting back against poor police leadership. Police One. Retrieved from https://www.policeone.com/chiefs-sheriffs/articles/6983398-Toxic-Boss-Blues-Fighting-back-against-poor-police-leadership/

Radio Sweden. (2016). Fed-up cops quit over low pay, heavy workload. Retrieved from http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2054&artikel=6496775

Schafer, J. A. (2014). Perceptions of ineffective police leaders. Research Focus, 2(3). Retrieved from http://www.aipm.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Research-Focus-Vol2Iss3-2014.pdf

Springs, W. (2015). 9 Investigates: Some blame poor leadership for job loss at Winter Springs Police Department. Cox Media Group. Retrieved from http://www.wftv.com/news/9-investigates/9-investigates-some-blame-poor-leadership-for-job-loss-at-winter-springs-police-department/418028774

Yates, T. (2014). Why do good cops turn into bad leaders? Police One. Retrieved from https://www.policeone.com/police-leader/articles/7835111-Why-do-good-cops-turn-into-bad-leaders/