A police chief controls the police department. He has to ensure that everything runs smoothly. One challenge facing a police chief is the lack of enough money to manage the police department, and to provide resources needed for police work. The police chief has to ensure that the department has enough equipment for combating crime and for training. This becomes hard without enough money. The chiefs have to find ways of allocating the little money they have to different departments, and this can mean sacrificing an important area of police work. In the end, lack of enough money in the police budget has a negative effect in law enforcement and security provision. Another challenge facing police chiefs is the misconduct of some of the police officers. Some police chiefs have had to deal with allegations of police misconduct in their departments. This has included activities such as police involvement in crime and drug peddling, corruption, and police harassment and violence. This is a primary challenge facing police chiefs. Chiefs in such a situation have to identify ways of dealing with such cases, in a fair and just manner that will not cause any form of conflict between the other police officers and the citizens they serve.
The other challenge that chiefs have to deal with is the internal politics and conflicts, which might be detrimental to the quality of operations within the department. Like other organizations, the police force faces internal conflicts. For instance, some police chiefs have to deal with the lack of cooperation among police officers. Some police officers might disagree with the chief on different issues. They might reject any changes that the chief proposes, if they are not in favor, or they might be reluctant to implement the proposed changes. The police chief has to find ways of ensuring that there is cooperation and unity within the department. He or she has to ensure that all the police officers work towards achieving a common objective. This can be a major challenge in some cases (Harrington, n. d.).
Police chiefs should have excellent communication skills, and should be competent negotiators. Police chiefs ensure that they have sufficient resources for their departments. This involves negotiating with the relevant authorities, especially in periods of economic crisis when resources are hard to obtain. Police officers consider the chief as their representative in government, and they expect him to advocate on their behalf. Police chiefs who lack the ability to negotiate, risk losing many opportunities for their department. They risk being sidelined in the distribution of resources, thereby losing opportunities to get increased resources for their departments. Police chiefs should know how to use the power they have wisely. Police chiefs hold a lot of power, and they are able to influence the other police officers. Police chiefs who lack integrity can use their power for selfish purposes. Knowing how to use power in a wise manner will ensure effectiveness and success within the police department. Police chiefs with the right knowledge of the power they hold will be able to influence other officers, members of the community, political leaders, and other stakeholders, towards attaining the objectives of the police force.
Police chiefs should have people skills. Police chiefs interact with different people in their work. The chiefs interact with people who have different emotions and temperaments. These people have different status and ranks in the society. The chiefs should know how to work and interact with different people. The chiefs should recognize the differences in people’s character. The way that a chief will talk to one of the officers in his department is not the same way that he will address the citizens. Having the skills to interact with people will enable the chief to be more successful in his work. It will also enable him to succeed by getting the results he had intended (Cronkhite, 2012).
Police chiefs should be people of integrity. Having a police chief who has character and virtue, and who understands the meaning of observing ethical values is a sure way of ensuring success within the department. The police officer should show these qualities in the decision making process. Chiefs often make decisions within the confines of their office. Unlike other police officers, they are autonomous, and they are not told what to do constantly. Without character and virtue, police chiefs are bound to take advantage of this autonomy for their own selfish gains. Chiefs make decisions concerning the officers. These decisions include disciplinary measures. Chiefs should ensure that they observe the ethical values, as this will help them maintain fairness and justice within the department. Failure to do so will result to favoritism and discrimination tendencies.
As a police chief, one cannot avoid being involved in political affairs. This is because the chief interacts with different legislators and other political individuals and groups. The chief is involved in various activities involving the city. A police chief lacking in character will be tempted towards making decisions that will favor one side, instead of making decisions that will favor all the parties involved. Chiefs lacking character and virtue are bound to compromise on their principles when making decisions and they are swayed easily. Therefore, character and virtue should be reflected in all the decisions that a police chief makes. They should be reflected in all laws he instills in his department, and in all the changes that he proposes. They should be reflected in all the interactions that he makes, in and outside the department. The police chief should reflect these qualities in his leadership and managerial position, including the way he treats the subordinates. These qualities should be reflected in all that the chief does and says (Perez & Moore, 2012).
Ethical decision-making has changed the way people behave and do businesses in every sector. In the criminal justice profession, ethical decision-making has contributed to several changes within different departments. It has led to the establishment of some legislation and laws, aimed at guiding different professionals in the sector. The trend is bound to continue in the future. This is because many people have become aware of observing and maintaining ethical values. They have become increasingly conscious of the ethics involved when making decisions. Ethical decision-making involves the knowledge of the entire case before proceeding with solving the problem. One has to know all the details of the case, so that she can solve the problem adequately. This means the collection of all facts and information involved in the case.
Ethical decision-making will improve the way evidence is collected and handled in the entire process of solving cases. It will influence various activities within the system, including how offenders are treated, and how the lawyers present their arguments in court. It will also influence the way the judges make decisions and pronounce judgment. Having a code of ethics within the system will enable the people within that system to maintain ethics. The code of ethics will guide the people by showing them the expected conduct. The code of ethics will enable people to know how to treat each other, and how to interact with one another. It will enable them to know the situations they should avoid, and the behaviors they should maintain. This will create a suitable working environment, since people will treat each other with respect.
The code of ethics will guide those senior in authority when making decisions, such as when solving disciplinary cases. The senior management will use the code of conduct in determining the disciplinary action to take, and it will enable the management to decide the severity of the action. Everyone in the system should understand the content of the code of ethics. The management of any organization should be active in teaching the employees the contents of the code, and explaining the consequences of unethical behavior (Braswell et al., 2011).
Braswell, C. M., McCarthy, R. B., & McCarthy, J. B. (2011). Justice, crime, and ethics. Burlington, MA: Elsevier
Cronkhite, L. C. (2012). Law enforcement and justice administration. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers
Harrington, E. P. (n. d.). Challenges facing police administrators. Retrieved from http://www.pennyharrington.com/challenges.htm
Perez, W. D., & Moore, A. J. (2012). Police ethics. New York, NY: Cengage Learning