Assessment and Discipline

Assessment and Discipline

Damian Anderson

Columbia College


Progressive discipline is defined as “slowly increasing the severity of sanctions unless a higher level is immediately required;” the highest of which is termination (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).  This is used by law enforcing agencies across the country as their proper means of discipline within the department (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). This system can include the following steps: 1) verbal counseling, 2) oral reprimand, 3) written reprimand, 4) monetary fine, 5) transfer/reassignment, 6) suspension without pay, 7) loss of promotional opportunity, 8) demotion, and, as mentioned, 9) termination (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). There are some situations in which this system isn’t functional, and at times termination is immediate (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

Early warning systems are designs to identify when abuse of power is occurring in law enforcement agencies. These abuses can occur in administration and with patrol officers. The unfortunate truth is that abuse of power does occur and officer across are nation are stereotyped because of that behavior. Statically, a low percentage of officers actually cause of problems.  After an 8-year study was conducted, results shows that out of 2000 officers only 100 of the officers “were associated 25% of the use of force reports” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).  This system was “rebranded” as the Early Identification and Intervention Systems (EIIS), which works as a support to officers and “includes them in decision making” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). The 3 goals of the Early Identification and Intervention System are: 1) to guide officer to more successful performance, 2) to reduce the number of incidents involving supervisors that create liability exposure, and 3) to enhance the accountability of supervisors for the actions of their subordinates (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

Assessment centers use several exercises and job simulation that are designed to elicit from the candidates the behaviors  of which are fount o be important to success in a job through analysis (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). These centers in the past have been hotels, technical schools, community colleges, and civic centers (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). Police departments have not proven to be the best location for the assessment center as there is lack of neutral feeling and unbiased (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). The exercised conducted by assessment centers include: 1) press conference, individual presents a brief to a “new media” on an incident, 2) role play: citizen meeting, example is sergant meets with an agitated citizen who wished to complain about the sergent’s subordinates, 3) in-basket,a candidate replaces a sergent who is currently away which includes paper work and make dispositions, 4) Written problem analysis, 5) leaderless groups discussion, a group is assigned to discuss problem and there is no leader designated, and 6) video-based, a video showing an officer conducting  traffic stops and performing other responsibilities (Swanson, Terriro, Taylor, 2012).

In assessment centers, candidates are tested based on several dimensions. These dimensions include perception, oral communication, written communication, decisiveness, judgment, planning and organizing, and finally, leadership (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). The six ratings are as followed: 1) unable to perform, 2) needs much improvement, 3) needs some improvement, 4) satisfactory/adequate, 5) effective, and 6) outstanding.




Works Cited:

Swanson, Charles R., Territo, Leonard, and Taylor, Robert W. (2012) Police Administration: Structures, Processes, and Behaviors. (8th ed) Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Print.


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