Saturday, October 18, 2014

Police Promotions

Posted By on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 4:50 PM

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• Police Captain Questions

1. What have you done to prepare for the rank of Captain? (COM)

a. Training (Personal, Professional, POST, Other)
b. Education (Personal, Professional, Formal, Informal)
c. Experience (Acting Captain/Lieutenant, broad scope, other agency)
d. Community Involvement (personal, on-duty)

2. The problems in Ferguson and a recent opinion poll suggest there is a nationwide crisis in confidence with the police. This distrust is particularly true among young people and minorities. Eureka has some of the same challenges as seen elsewhere. As a leader how would you bridge this confidence gap? (COM)

a. Openness and transparency into EPD
b. Meeting with and listening to the community on policy, ethics and behavior
c. Taking and thoroughly investigating citizens complaints objectively
d. Creating programs where officers work with the community
e. Have a police oversight group/committee/panel

3. You are promoted to Captain for service area one. What would you do in the first 90 days to get to know the community better? (COM)

a. Meet with the community (Neighborhood watch groups, Chamber of Commerce, Eureka Main Street Association, Individual business owners, policy makers and community leaders. (The more specific the better)
b. Walk the community personally greeting people, introducing themselves and handing out business cards
c. Be part of Neighbor.com
d. Study the crime data for the area

4. Innovation is vital to the growth of a police department. How would you encourage new ideas and not stifle growth while maintaining control? (COM)

a. Read futuristic publications
b. Understand technology
c. Send sergeants and officers to classes
d. Foster a sense of experimentation with limitations and controls
e. Ensure communication with leaders is pervasive and thorough

5. In the past EPD has had a reputation of being discourteous to the public. Community Policing and a strong relationship with the community has been an unachieved goal for many community members. What is community policing? What have you done to bridge this gap with the community? What programs would you put in place to improve this relationship? (COM)

a. Community policing is the police are part of not separate from the community; the police serve from the communities perspective, involve themselves in community quality of life issues and problem solve crime problems; police from a decentralized perspective; are open and transparent to community over sight.
b. Walked and talked to the community in concrete examples of mixing with the community when possible.
c. Walking beats on barrel/overlap days, send officers to community meetings
d. Social Media
e. Effective Communications Training

6. Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview? (COM)

a. Each candidate should expound on why they are a good candidate without demeaning others

7. Your direction has been for your sergeants and watch commanders to call you on all serious violent crime. You have a watch commander who rarely calls you and when he does he has little valuable information. You have spoken to him about this several times and yet the failure to communicate continues. In most other areas he is a capable supervisor. How would you handle this person? (DH)

a. Find out from him why he/she fails to call.
i. Technology, desire, learning problems, etc
b. Document clear and concise direction to him
c. Write a reprimand for failure to follow orders and document in the evaluation
d. Send to training if needed
e. Progressive discipline with heavy documentation

8. An officer who is active in the EPOA is underperforming as a police Officer. She has the ear of other disgruntled members of the association and is very vocal. Your sergeant has spoken with her on two occasions about the same issue and her performance has not improved in that area. Overall she meets minimum qualifications but certainly qualified. Her sergeant wants to begin documentation of supplemental probation. What would you do to address the problem? (DH)

a. Make sure this is not a personality problem, if it is move the person to another squad.
b. Speak with the sergeant and officer separately and if needed together.
c. Analyze why the officer is disgruntled and what might improve performance and attitude
d. Go through the normal process of progressive discipline if all else fails
e. Assess the interpersonal skill of the sergeant and see if he/she is the problem
f. Document problems

9. You have been promoted to Captain. A council person had told you they are unhappy with a house that has been a neighborhood nuisance. You need the help of another city department with different priorities and pressures from Council. How would you work with this department to solve this problem? (DH)
a. The process begins before there is a problem. There must be a positive working relationship and familiarity with each other even though there are separate missions.
b. Meet face to face and discuss the problems and priorities.
c. See how the departments might be able to work together.
d. Find common ground and exchange ideas for collaborations.

10. An officer who works for you has recently come out and announced he is Gay. He did this with much trepidation as he felt he would be demeaned by his peers. His fears were correct. One supervisor sent him a text message debasing him for his sexual orientation. He showed the text to Human Resources but refused to show you when asked for it. How would you support this employee, protect the city from liability and deal with the supervisor who sent the text? (DH)

a. Sexual harassment is unprofessional and completely unacceptable. This is a bright line.
b. Explain to the employee that he is supported by the city and department.
c. Provide training to line staff explaining the rules (annual training anyway).
d. Confront the sergeant. If the phone is a city phone demand to see it and download it.
e. Take strong, decisive disciplinary action as needed.

11. You get a call in the middle of the night from a new patrol sergeant that shots have been fired at 123 Main Street. It is a three story apartment complex with multiple residents. The target apartment is on the 3rd floor and the subject is suicidal due to the loss of a loved one according to a neighbor. How would you handle this incident? What advice would you give? What are your major concerns? (LE)

a. Get dressed and en route immediately
b. Learn about the tactical configuration: hostages, active shots fired, injuries, collateral damage
c. Young supervisors need close supervision. Give explicit instructions of:
i. Control and containment of the situations
ii. Calm things down – use time, talk and tactics
iii. Get the right tools and personnel in place to resolve the situation without violence
d. Evacuation if needed, suitable place for residents to go for warmth
e. If possible don’t force a confrontation but work to resolve through negotiation
f. Get on scene and ensure procedures are followed and safety of personnel is in place if not make the adjustments
g. Continue to have the sergeant handle until beyond his/her capability
h. Debrief incident with team

12. A protest has sprung up in front of the court house. The protesters are very animated and radio calls have flooded Dispatch. Members of the protest group are standing on the lawn of the County Administration building and the County Administrator has asked you to remove the protesters or arrest them. Some protesters are committing minor offences, but are clearly expressing constitutionally protected speech. How would you resolve this problem? (LE)

a. First and foremost understand this is a constitutionally protected protest
b. Give wide berth on minor non violent offences.
c. Make contact with organizers re-enforcing their right to protest and the need for organizational control
d. Create a protest zone if possible
e. Watch for counter protest
f. Help the CAO to understand there will have to be a citizen’s arrest by the county under most circumstances

13. There has been much written lately about the “militarization” of the police in the press and academic literature. Are the police in danger of being too militarized? Is some level of militarization necessary and what would you do as a leader to ensure the police control the use of military equipment and only use it in a reasonable manner, one that protects and ensures constitutional rights are not violated? (LE)

a. Importance of policy and procedure
b. Community over sight
c. There is a need for some level of tactical superiority that may include military grade weapons
d. The understanding that the police are not the military and they have very different missions.

14. You are a captain of a service area covering a residential neighborhood. While looking at the quarterly crime report you notice there have been three sexual assaults in the past month. (LE)

a. A. What would you like to know about the problem from your staff and the crime reports?
i. Are they related and how. Is there suspect information. Will publicity hurt the case and if so how? Is it random violence or known victims?
b. It appears to you the crimes are related. Your detective sergeant has not recognized this as a problem. How would you handle it? Put him/her on notice. Find out why he does not recognize a series. Put policy or procedure in place to ensure this does not happen again.
c. At what point would you notify the community of this crime problem? How would you notify the community? Quickly. It is their right and need to know if random. Even if it hurts the case I would want the community to know and take proper procedures to protect themselves.

15. There are many challenges EPD faces in order to provide the best service to the citizens of Eureka such as budget, technology, personnel issues, changing crime threats, POST mandates, etc. What most significant challenges faced by EPD, what do you see as the future of policing in Eureka and where would you like to push the department? (LE)




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Thadeus Greenson

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Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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