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I've gotta give a dep the bad news- you're fired......


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  • I've gotta give a dep the bad news- you're fired......

    I have a guy who was put on my shift about a month ago while under investigation. Today I was called into the patrol LT.s office when I came in. He told me that he's headed out of town and I have to give the bad news- and the shift starts at 11pm. I came in early to do a few things and work out and I get this crap dumped in my lap. I've never had to fire anyone and the Lt is too chickensh*t to do it himself. Anyone got any advice? Believe it or not he's a good cop and a good guy he just made a very bad decision on an arrest. It took them almost 2 months to decide what to do with him. I'm pretty worried about this so any advice will help. Teh Lt. told me they were dumping him to try to avoid the lawsuits being filed. Nice - huh?! HELP!
    "When I held that gun in my hand, I felt a surge of power ... like God must feel when he's holding a gun. " Homer Simpson


  • #2
    My advice is to be honest with him. I have only been a cop for a little while but I have been in a management position in the past and have had to fire a few people. The truth is he probably knows it is coming and is already looking for a new job. If he is a good cop he will find another job.


    • #3
      Go home sick?

      Okay, with the joke out of the way...I gotta say, "Wow, your bosses are truly 'C/S.'

      Never done it myself, but I would want to place myself in the seat of the person being fired.

      Although they say you never not take credit for disciplining the employee, in your case it would be fair to do so, as you're not in the chain of COMMAND that makes the decision, the job was just given to you.

      You perhaps have heard of the sandwich method, whewre bad news/crticism is placed between two layers of good news/strokes, but how could that possibly work when you're dealing with termination.

      In our office we have several management books, including the, The Complete Idiot's Guide for Managing People. The final chapters deal with termination. It says:
      *Prepare for a termination meeting by studying all the pertinent documents, reviewing the employee's personal characteristics, and psyching yourself up for the meeting.

      *Check with your Human Resources Department to ensure all policies/laws are complied with.

      *Invite a third party to participate in and witness the termination meeting.

      *Other than for reasons prohibited by law or waived by contract, an employer can fire any employee for any reason r for no reason ("employment at will").

      *Oral commitments to an employee about tenure or conditions of employment are as binding as written agreements.

      Maybe you can Google "management skills terminating employees" and get some info on-line.

      Have you thought, too, about asking him if he would like to resign "for personal reasons," so he can try and get an LE job, elsewhere, without a firing in his work history?

      No matter what, good luck and let us know how it goes....good or bad!
      "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

      Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

      Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.


      • #4
        Good advice guys. His union steward is on this shift so I'll have him come too. He's usually here around 1/4 to so he'll be here soon. My hands were sweating and shaking terribly- but you point about he's probably expecting it really helped that. I'll be back later.
        "When I held that gun in my hand, I felt a surge of power ... like God must feel when he's holding a gun. " Homer Simpson



        • #5
          I would approach it like the end of a criminal interview or follow up interview. The evidence has been examined and the situation was investigated. The administrations finds that you are in violation of _________ unfortunately there is not opportunity for suspension, the only recourse is to terminate your employment.
          Sometimes, doing the right thing means p***ing off the bosses.

          "And shepherds we shall be, for thee my lord for thee."

          Originally posted by dontknowwhy
          I still think troopers and deputies who work in the middle of no where with essentially no back up are the 'men among men' of the LEO world.
          Originally posted by weinerdog2000
          as far as your social experiment, if we cant film you then you cant film us, we will arrest you for obstruction of our freedom.


          • #6
            Make sure he is not in uniform with a gun on...yep, that happened on my dept years ago with a trainee, started to pull his gun before he was tackled,,,guess what our policy reads now....must not be in uniform when non-confirming/firing..ect...


            • #7
              Never sandwich it between good news. It's like a slap in the face and seems like your trying to pass the serious issue aside. However do let him know that he has your support in a new job and give him a direct number for other department heads to call for a reference.

              Be honsest as you can be and don't sugercoat it. Trying to sugercoat a pile of crap is an insult.


              • #8
                Firings should be done by the department head, not you. Sucks those jerks put you in the position.
                What Delta said x2


                • #9
                  Well sorry it took me a while to get back here- we had a couple calls quick that night and then the patrol LT called my cell to ask about it....coward. I caught him before he got to the locker room in front of anyone adn told him I needed to talk to him a minute. He came in saw his union steward was there and looked me dead in the eye and said- "So I'm gone?" I felt aweful for him and all I caould say was - yeah theyre letting you go. He asked if I knew why and I said no I was just asked to let you know adn have you sign the initial paper that he was avised. Then he asked me if he was being charged by the prosecutor like he was threatened- which I didn't even know about and I told him I'ld ask the LT and prosecutor and called him yesterday when they told me no. I had to get his weapon ID adn badges. I told him to take a couple days and come back on my shift and we could go in to clean out his stuff late at night so he didn't have to see anyone if he didn't want to. He said he wanted to say goodby to a couple guys on this shift and the guys from his normal shift so he would come in on that shift. I gave him a couple business cards with my home and cell #'s and told him to put me down as a reference because I honestly think he's a good cop. That hit him pretty hard and he seemed grateful that I did that. Like someone said before he seemd to know it was coming and seemed releived actually- which surprised me. I guess it was like a weight lifted off his shoulders. Sunday I'm working days and I'm thinking about stopping by his house and seeing how he's doing- ask if he needs anything after I'm done with work. Thought I'ld take a 12 over in case he wants to talk- is that a good thing or rubbing his face in it? What do you guys think? Just don't want the guy to think he's all alone and noone from the department cares....

                  By the way I had him write a short letter saying what the other poster said almost to the letter. I gave it to the LT and asked him to do the right thing- but I don't know if it'll get filed that way in his file or just tossed. The Lt just looked at it and walked away so I don't know what he's going to do with it.
                  Last edited by Rohan; 03-30-2007, 09:47 AM.
                  "When I held that gun in my hand, I felt a surge of power ... like God must feel when he's holding a gun. " Homer Simpson



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PFL
                    Firings should be done by the department head, not you. Sucks those jerks put you in the position.
                    I COMPLETELY AGREE.

                    I hope I never have to do it again- I feel like I just kicked a puppy.
                    "When I held that gun in my hand, I felt a surge of power ... like God must feel when he's holding a gun. " Homer Simpson



                    • #11
                      There's no damn way you should have ever been put in that position in the first place, Rohan. Uncomfortable or not, terminating an officer should have been done by someone much higher up the ladder than a patrol sgt. I mean, you couldn't even answer any of his questions! This is a major hit in the guy's life...he deserves to at least have his the details from someone who was involved in the decision.

                      I don't know about you, but I'd seriously think about discussing this with someone above the Lt's head if I were in your position. Not putting blame on the LT for being a coward, mind you, but from a "I didn't have the infromation that the guy wanted and deserved when he got the axe" standpoint. After all, you don't want to **** off the Lt by implying that he's a coward to the admin...even though he is and deserves to get chewed for it.

                      As for going over and popping a few with him, I think that depends on how friendly you are with the guy. Maybe just give him a call, see how he's doing, and if it seems like he wants to talk it out, then a few brews might be in order. I don't think that's rubbing it in his face...he probably was, to a certain degree, relieved that the decision was finally made. Something like that puts an enormous strain on a guy.
                      "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
                      -Friedrich Nietzsche


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Rohan]I have a guy who was put on my shift about a month ago while under investigation.QUOTE]

                        What kind of agency head allows someone to remain on duty and continue
                        working when the seriousness of the investigation might result in termination
                        or prosecution?

                        He should have been placed on paid administrative leave until the final outcome and the person who hires should fire.


                        • #13
                          Bad News

                          If you're a Supervisor, giving an Officer the bad news comes with the territory. If you're not a supervisor, you should never have been tasked with telling the guy he was terminated. Even if you are a corporal or sergeant, the Lt. should have been the one who told the officer he was terminated.


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