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Ethical Question


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  • Ethical Question

    I am aware that our new chief of police is in violation of a minor uniform policy. He is wearing service stripes for his out of state police experience. Our policy allows our officers to wear service stripes only for experience on our department or for California law enforcement experience.

    I have a big mouth. I am tempted to write a very politely phrased letter to the chief telling him what the policy is and suggesting that he change it so that he may wear service stripes for his out of state service. My girlfriend tells me that I should just ignore the issue.

    What do you think? Should I write the letter or not?

    Note: Based on the advise in a later post, I edited this to delete the name of the chief and the department involved. I don't think that this effects anything but I added this note to avoid confusion.

    [ 11-17-2002, 11:01 PM: Message edited by: Underdog ]

  • #2
    I would ignore it, we all know the rules don't apply to those in the "Ivory Tower".
    He's a REMF, just ignore him.


    • #3
      The letter is up to you but I would be mindful of name dropping on the forums. A few others have gotten in hot water with their departments over statements they have made on the board.
      No partner is worth your tears -
      the one that is won't make you cry. - Anonymous

      <a href=" Raychel&ByArtist=Yes" target="_blank">My Photo Gallery</a>


      • #4
        UnderDog, do you honestly believe the new Chief isn't aware of "policy"? He of course realizes it and chooes not to obey, maybe he is allowed to as an incoming Chief from another agency?

        Do what I and others do: write the letter, show it to your GF and have her burn it. Relieves allot of stress, and saves your fanny from the fire.



        • #5
          Actually, I suspect that the chief doesn't know what the policy is. We have several different manuals containing thousands of pages. I can't imagine anybody new to the department being aware of all of the policies. It also seems to me that it would be quite simple for him to change the policy so that he could wear the service stripes and still set a good example for the troops.

          [ 11-17-2002, 10:10 PM: Message edited by: Underdog ]


          • #6
            I'd write the letter.

            Your deptartment has it's share of moral problems as it is without the Chief setting a bad example.

            I'd put it pretty much the way you did, that he is probably unaware of the policy, but that many of the troops may assume that he does and doesn't care.

            I also wouldn't be able to resist the opportunity to take a jab at an SOP that is so long that it is impossible to abide by.

            They should cut alot of that out and go to a shorter approach which models behavior, defines missions, and recognizes descretion.

            But what do I know.. I am just some podunk cop.

            If you want, I'd be more than happy to write the letter for you.


            • #7
              Service stripes is a pretty small issue. He's the Chief. Leave it alone & don't undertalk about it with the other officers. If you think he truly doesn't know the policy & would be the kind of person who would change his uniform, rather than write a letter to him, talk to a mid-level supervisor who might be better able to approach the subject with the Chief or somebody who could. For Pete's sake don't make it sound like you are nit-picking just because he's the Chief. Actually though, I'd just let it be.


              • #8
                If your chief is like other chiefs, he thinks minor policy doesn't apply to him. The Rules were made only to keep the rambunctious patrol officers in line. How long do you think he takes for lunch? Ignore it and be happy that you don't know any more. Ignorance is bliss. If you're determined to **** the guy off and make life miserable for yourself, wait to catch him doing something significant before you open your mouth.


                • #9
                  In the grand scheme of things, this is small potatoes. I think it's best not to cause a rift over something that really doesn't affect you personally. Sometimes it's best to keep quiet. Pick your battles wisely.

                  [ 11-17-2002, 11:40 PM: Message edited by: Yenta ]


                  • #10
                    I agree with Yenta.. why cause trouble for yourself over something so trivial?
                    No partner is worth your tears -
                    the one that is won't make you cry. - Anonymous

                    <a href=" Raychel&ByArtist=Yes" target="_blank">My Photo Gallery</a>


                    • #11
                      Good grief. Why not just go up and tell him or ask him why before you write a letter. How many times have I read people complaining because they are written up over somethings that could have simply been resolved through discussion. Would you handle it this way with a fellow officer?

                      I always am reminded of a smartass that thought he would be cool and make a minor complaint on another only to be totally humiliated when he found out the guy lost his son recently. Whether right or wrong every turned on him because he didn't have the jam/guts, whatever you want to call it, to check out the facts with the person concerned first.


                      • #12

                        My general approach is to speak directly with another officer whenever I have a problem. In the case of the chief, however, that isn't realistic. My department is very large with many officers working out of numerous different offices. My experience has been that the chief of police is simply not available for an officer to speak with. It would be somewhat on par with a factory worker trying to speak with the CEO of IBM. Thus, the idea of writing a letter directly to the chief instead of starting a complaint.

                        [ 11-18-2002, 02:11 AM: Message edited by: Underdog ]


                        • #13
                          If you write it, don't sign your real name.


                          • #14
                            Let me qualify my answer by saying that I love a fight, I'm a smart-*** with a big mouth and more balls than brains a lot of the time.........

                            That being said, I wouldn't make an issue of it. Perhaps it's old age, but I'm starting to realize that I'll live longer if I pick my battles better. This doesn't even seem like an issue worth the time it would take me to write the letter, IMO.


                            • #15

                              You cannot talk to a Chief about such an issue, it's like tugging on "Superman's" cape. You would be probably labled as a malcontent.

                              I'm with the majority, I'd let this one go (but I would make note of it).

                              Now, if you REALLY can't let this one go.....

                              You could always anonymously mock the Chief's hypocrisy. For instance, post an (obviously bogus)letter in the locker room from the Chief that states only the rules on the odd numbered pages in the department's rules/regs manual shall apply to him (BTW, do NOT use Department stationary).

                              My department has had many such "cartoon attacks", they were immature but effective. You can make your point and have a chuckle at the same time.

                              I must disclose that as a Patrol Supervisor, I would discipline any officer I observed engaged in the such activity. It is intended for entertainment purposes only. [Wink]
                              Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.


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