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  • Memorandums

    Have you ever been told, basically word for word, what you are to write in *your* memorandums? Keyword being "your." I ask this because it seems wrong for a supervisor to order a subordinate to write a memo concerning an incident, and then dictate the content of that memo to that subordinate and expect it to be returned verbatim.
    Case in point: I was told to write a memo by my supervisor. The request for the memo came from a civilian staff member, who apparently has the authority to demand memorandums from officers, as my supervisor has directed me to comply. I don't have a problem doing it, but the civilian has my memo already planned out for me, word for word. I'm not comfortable signing my name to anything, as if I actually thought it up and wrote it out, when it's not so. I plan to tell this to my sup. and offer to write it in my own words, after I see documentation of the particular incident.
    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Originally posted by InspctrClouseau View Post
    Have you ever been told, basically word for word, what you are to write in *your* memorandums? Keyword being "your." I ask this because it seems wrong for a supervisor to order a subordinate to write a memo concerning an incident, and then dictate the content of that memo to that subordinate and expect it to be returned verbatim.
    Case in point: I was told to write a memo by my supervisor. The request for the memo came from a civilian staff member, who apparently has the authority to demand memorandums from officers, as my supervisor has directed me to comply. I don't have a problem doing it, but the civilian has my memo already planned out for me, word for word. I'm not comfortable signing my name to anything, as if I actually thought it up and wrote it out, when it's not so. I plan to tell this to my sup. and offer to write it in my own words, after I see documentation of the particular incident.
    Thoughts?
    While I may well depend on the context of the situation and the genesis for the memorandum being directed, I would seriously consider talking with your union rep; if you have one that is.

    You may want to look into your particular rights and the requirements to which you are beholden to in this type of case. Specifically under Garrity (http://www.mofop15.com/garrityrule.html) and/or under Weingarten (http://www.teamsterslocal324.org/rights.htm).
    Originally posted by SSD
    It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
    Originally posted by Iowa #1603
    And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by InspctrClouseau View Post
      Have you ever been told, basically word for word, what you are to write in *your* memorandums? Keyword being "your." I ask this because it seems wrong for a supervisor to order a subordinate to write a memo concerning an incident, and then dictate the content of that memo to that subordinate and expect it to be returned verbatim.
      Case in point: I was told to write a memo by my supervisor. The request for the memo came from a civilian staff member, who apparently has the authority to demand memorandums from officers, as my supervisor has directed me to comply. I don't have a problem doing it, but the civilian has my memo already planned out for me, word for word. I'm not comfortable signing my name to anything, as if I actually thought it up and wrote it out, when it's not so. I plan to tell this to my sup. and offer to write it in my own words, after I see documentation of the particular incident.
      Thoughts?
      Inspctr...
      I guess it would depend on the content of the memorandum. If it was just a "general BS" thing, then I would be more inclined to go along with it. If it were something procedural or directed toward policy, then that's when my heartburn would kick in. The relationship between the civilian and your supervisor also has a lot to do with it. Supervisors, especially the ones that aren't sure of what their responsibilities are, often try to impress the unimportant for what reason I will never quite fully understand. I have signed memos that were totally absurd, but were distributed none the less. I guess what I'm saying is research the possibilities, cover your a--, and above all, choose your battles carefully! Some fights can't be won and just aren't worth it!

      Comment


      • #4
        There have been situations where a few of my officers have needed to write important memos but their skills at articulation have been less than impressive. Had they drafted them using their language, they probably would have gotten into a lot of trouble and their careers might have been on the line. In those instances I have drafted the memos for them but the choice to sign them was up to them. I always told them to point out anything that was incorrect so it could be fixed and not to sign if the content was false.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by L-1 View Post
          There have been situations where a few of my officers have needed to write important memos but their skills at articulation have been less than impressive. Had they drafted them using their language, they probably would have gotten into a lot of trouble and their careers might have been on the line. In those instances I have drafted the memos for them but the choice to sign them was up to them. I always told them to point out anything that was incorrect so it could be fixed and not to sign if the content was false.
          I agree 100%

          To the OP................

          I fully understand you trying to talk around the incident without giving much identifying information.........but it is really hard to give advice with the information you provided

          Your supervisor gave you an instruction...............unless it is illegal or immoral you probably should follow that instruction. I would , however, have a problem signing a document that did not agree with my views, observations, and/or feelings.

          Talk the situation over with your supervisor, OR his supervisor for clarification.

          There ARE many instances where civilians have supervisory or administrative powers over sworn officer staff................it is what it is.
          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

          (F*** Off Cuz Ur Stupid)

          Comment


          • #6
            As a follow up, when I wrote memos for subordinates, once in a blue moon because of their difficulty with articulation, or their lack of knowledge in a given area, or their they unfamiliarity with certain procedures they would question the accuracy of what I had written for them. In other words, they were dumb sh*ts who either didn't know why they did what the did and I had to explain why it conformed to policy for them, or they simply didn't understand the meaning of grown up phrases (victims of the California school system). That sometimes led to some lively discussions that usually ended with, "Write it your way and you may as well bring in your Legal Defense rep, not because you did anything wrong, but because your version reads like a confession to misconduct. OTOH, sign what I wrote and you will be in the clear. It's your call"
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by L-1 View Post
              As a follow up, when I wrote memos for subordinates, once in a blue moon because of their difficulty with articulation, or their lack of knowledge in a given area, or their they unfamiliarity with certain procedures they would question the accuracy of what I had written for them. In other words, they were dumb sh*ts who either didn't know why they did what the did and I had to explain why it conformed to policy for them, or they simply didn't understand the meaning of grown up phrases (victims of the California school system). That sometimes led to some lively discussions that usually ended with, "Write it your way and you may as well bring in your Legal Defense rep, not because you did anything wrong, but because your version reads like a confession to misconduct. OTOH, sign what I wrote and you will be in the clear. It's your call"
              What always got to me was the radio transmission or phone call telling me what happened in a particular situation --------------and me making a decision based on that description.................


              THEN reading about it in their report---------------------which was absolutely nothing like the original conversation. Of course it always made the subordinate look a whole lot better than the phone call did------------------

              I often then refused to approve the report..................and added a supplemental as to why.
              My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

              (F*** Off Cuz Ur Stupid)

              Comment


              • #8
                It's been a while, but thanks for your responses. Figured I'd give ya'll an update, at least for those who may have been interested in hearing what happened...
                I told two different supervisors that I couldn't just copy and paste her memorandum and attach my name to it, as it would be a clear violation of several policies. They were fine with that. I then contacted the civilian employee and asked her for an official copy of the report that she was needing me to write a follow up memo on, which she gave me. I wrote the memo, in my own words, and referenced the report she gave me. She was happy, and I didn't have to violate any policies.
                Yay

                Comment

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