Introduction: Organizational Theories That Apply to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Agencies
The first applicable organizational theory, in this case, could be the human resource theory. Explicitly, this theory was designed to deal with hiring, implementing procedures and policies, promoting and enhancing workplace safety, and minimizing labor costs (Glaser, 2017). Therefore, it is relevant because the body armor is for the police officers’ safety. When officers have proper equipment that safeguards them, they consequently protect citizens with optimum efforts.
The other theory is the Inverted-U theory which talks about allocating tasks to people and planning on assigned workloads. The fact that there is a need to watch commanders and oversee ten officers makes this theory applicable. The Inverted-U theory states that one should begin thinking about the current pressure to best handle duties (MindTools, n.d.). Starting by planning how to conduct the research and designing appropriate policies for body armor would be feasible. Afterward, taking the newly designed policy recommendations for review and approval could be practical. Thus, it is imperative first to complete the task involving pressure according to the Inverted-U theory.
Address Arguments That Can Be Raised Against the Policy to Illustrate Typical Organizational Behavior
Possible arguments against this policy could be the potential reliance on the body armor, which could often lead to negligence and poor reaction. The precautions that an officer who is not wearing body armor takes are severe than a counterpart without the armor. Officers are tasked with high-risk duties that require quick thinking and decision-making (Hine et al., 2018). Hostile environments and unpredictable suspects sometimes prompt officers to think faster and make informed decisions based on their analysis. Soft body armor could be associated with overconfidence in their safety. As a result, they may not be responsive enough to react to emergencies and hostile environments appropriately.
The other potential argument is the fact that no body armor is 100% bulletproof. Furthermore, soft body armor is susceptible to stabs compared to hard body armor (Cavallaro, 2011). Some bullets can penetrate soft body armor, mainly when using longer barrels. Longer rifle barrels efficiently focus and harness a bullet’s energy. Thus, in the right circumstances, some specially-designed bullets can pierce through soft body armor, injuring or killing an officer.
Describe Law Enforcement Culture and This Agency’s Unionized Law Enforcement Culture
The police culture is grounded on safety and service delivery aspects. In all police departments countrywide, officers perform their duties depending on their supervisors’ instructions. Law enforcement involves numerous risks while an officer is performing their duties in various environments. Over 84% of police officers say that they are concerned about their safety and 86% state that the public does not understand the risks they face (Morin et al., 2017). While interacting with the public, the responses and reactions can be functional or dysfunctional. Most offices argue that they feel proud about their jobs but with less fulfilment.
The agency’s unionized law enforcement culture is built on officers’ security, protection, and service. The agency is concerned about the welfare of its officers while they conduct their services in various regions. Part of the agency’s welfare program is body armor for its officers to protect them while they are on duty in different regions. It is the responsibility of officers to obey the agency’s rules and regulations.
Solutions to The Arguments Against the Mandatory Wear Policy That Take into Account and Describe Law Enforcement Culture and This Agency’s Unionized Law Enforcement Culture
The first solution to the arguments mentioned above is that the soft body armor vests protect officers. According to Green (2018), the most significant equipment for officers’ safety in any department is body armor. Police officers must be protected while on duty because they face difficulties and dangers in modern society (Fraternal Order of Police, n.d.). A recent Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) survey fulfilled that 80% of officers who wore armor vests reported feeling safer (Pending, 2016). Compared to hard body armor, soft body armor is comfortable to wear while discharging one’s duties. Therefore, soft body armor not only protects officers but is also convenient. Hence, it ensures officers’ safety and welfare on duty, a critical aspect of law enforcement culture.
The other solution is to hold a meeting with the police officers and explain the essence of implementing body armor, with a purpose attaining unanimity. According to Informit (2021), a lack of consensus causes team dysfunction. Therefore, I will ensure that we reach an agreement on the implementation of body armor to prevent issues such as lack of cooperation. The third solution is to give valid reasons and facts to support body armor’s need, citing police departments whose officers wear body armor.
The fourth way is by tabling the experience from other departments I have been in charge of in my previous duties. Mentioning that none of the former officers had issues wearing body armor because it was for their protection would convince them. Finally, citing the concern of the Dome City Police Department’s unionized law enforcement culture about its officers’ safety will motivate the officers. These solutions will persuade the officers to think about their safety and consequently oblige.
It is imperative to include employees while making changes in any department. Incorporating employees’ input during decision-making, particularly in a police setting, will minimize resistance to change. By informing and educating officers about the essence and safety of the soft body, they will feel valued and eventually comply. One fundamental aspect for officers is that they need to feel appreciated and recognized. As a result, mentioning the need for their safety will translate to easy organizational policy changes concerning wearing body armor.
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Hine, K. A., Porter, L. E., Westera, N. J., Alpert, G. P., & Allen, A. (2018). Exploring police use of force decision-making processes and impairments using a naturalistic decision-making approach. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 45(11), 1-21. Web.
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MindTools. (n.d.). The inverted-u theory.Web.
Morin, R., Parker, K., Stepler, R., & Mercer, A. (January 11, 2017). Police culture. Pew Research Center. Police culture | Pew Research Center
Pending, P. (2016). Body armor impact map system [Doctoral dissertation, Worcester Polytechnic Institute]. Web.