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Police Supervisory Styles

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Introduction Often times the terms supervisor and leader are used interchangeably. However, in the field of policing they are very different indeed. Anyone can be given the title of a supervisor simply by scoring high enough on a promotional civil service exam and being promoted to a higher rank. To be given the honor of being called a leader you must have much more than book smarts. Effective leaders are often said to share in common traits like having the ability to articulate a vision, motivating others towards achieving said vision and using their people in a way that maximizes the outcome positively while minimizing their exposure to potential liabilities (Schafer, 2010). Supervisors complete their tasks by adhering to structure, …show more content…
Regarding the field of policing, research has been limited as compared to the corporate world. However, with recent changes in theories on the organizational structure of America’s police force changing from a quasi-military bureaucracy towards a Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving structure, ideals about what type of police supervisor is most effective have changed thus leading to additional research on the topic (Engel, …show more content…
This supervisor feels it is their duty to protect their subordinates from what is perceived as unnecessary, unfair and unjust criticism or discipline. This supervisor type is seen as not having a positive view of the management above them. Like the innovative supervisor, supportive types are less worried about being strong enforcers of department regulations and are more likely to praise officers recognizing effort and showing empathy and concern about their personal lives (Engel, June 2003). Supportive supervisors are also seen as advocates for subordinates, often times forming alliances with patrol officers in an “us against them mentality” (Engel, 2001). These supervisors may be distinguished as being “a cop’s cop” which translates into one who looks out for his own thus adding to the “thin blue line” belief of a secret culture amongst police officers where unscrupulous and misconduct may become prevalent (Engel,

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