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How to deal with bad leadership?

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  • How to deal with bad leadership?

    I currently work for a sheriff's office where the Sargent is a very bad leader including encouraging a lot of young deputies to drink their worries away, makes comments about employees wanting to sleep with his wife, makes comments about employee's pregnant wives were Impregnated by him, etc. He is best friend's with the Undersheriff (second highest in the office). What would be good ideas to attempt to help steer the agency in a better direction. We recently had a corporal leave for a different job because he attempted to help bring these things to light and was placed into the corner for doing so. He recently opened up with me after he left the agency and informed me he was seeing some of the same things I have seen. I have less than two years with this agency.

  • #2
    That’s always the downfall of working for a sheriff,......he answers to no one, except the voters; tread lightly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TG110896 View Post
      I currently work for a sheriff's office where the Sargent is a very bad leader including encouraging a lot of young deputies to drink their worries away, makes comments about employees wanting to sleep with his wife, makes comments about employee's pregnant wives were Impregnated by him, etc. He is best friend's with the Undersheriff (second highest in the office). What would be good ideas to attempt to help steer the agency in a better direction. We recently had a corporal leave for a different job because he attempted to help bring these things to light and was placed into the corner for doing so. He recently opened up with me after he left the agency and informed me he was seeing some of the same things I have seen. I have less than two years with this agency.
      Unless you are in a command position you have no rudder with which to steer the agency in ANY direction .

      You either put up with the BS in the agency or you follow the corporal and find another job
      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

      Comment


      • #4
        Think carefully about what you’re trying to do from where you are. Two years on means you’re barely more than a rookie. You don’t have the experience, knowledge, and time in the department to be accepted as a leader. If this doesn’t go how you want, your career could be permanently locked right where you are now.

        It looks like you work for a very small department, which probably means insular and on the good ol’ boy system. If that’s the case, you won’t change anything.
        Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

        I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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        • #5
          I am currently in backgrounds with another agency. Ateamer that is exactly right haha. For the record, I do not want to personally change the SO I was just curious how it is done or to hear if other people have seen their agency's culture shift for the better after working for a toxic agency.

          Comment


          • PeteBroccolo
            PeteBroccolo commented
            Editing a comment
            Here's hoping for you that you can patch-over to the other Agency, and if they accept you...RUN LIKE HELL from that craphole SO!
            I echo keeping your head down, but also keep a CYA notebook...in a VERY safe spot!

        • #6
          Originally posted by TG110896 View Post
          I For the record, I do not want to personally change the SO I was just curious how it is done or to hear if other people have seen their agency's culture shift for the better after working for a toxic agency.
          Then you should have asked that question.............but actually that question makes no sense. If you leave a toxic agnecy why would you care if it changes. also if you leave you just MIGHT get into a worse environment

          Sometimes agencies change with upper leadership changes. Sometimes the upper leadership just continue the same ole crap

          Upper leadership define the way first and second line leadership work. Sometimes they change things other times they just let things go with the flow. Sometimes they want upheaval down below
          Last edited by Iowa #1603; 08-20-2019, 05:54 PM.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

          Comment


          • #7
            Well I would still care if it changes because my friends would still work there, and no agency should maintain that type of toxicity. It's not so much that the agency is toxic but maybe this certain sgt. and everyone else in the supervisor chain enables him. They do not offer any type of correction of his behavior. He is unprofessional.

            I do not believe this will be the case at the agency I am in backgrounds with because I know people in the agency, and they do not testify to this kind of conduct.

            That is the thing though the Sheriff is a good guy and has definitely brought great positive change to the community, so you really can't blame him for anything other than tolerating the Sgt.

            I don't know. It is a tough situation. That is why I am getting out, but I feel bad for my cohorts who may feel more locked into the agency than I.

            Comment


            • PeteBroccolo
              PeteBroccolo commented
              Editing a comment
              Save yourself first, then maybe reach back for your buds. Sounds like your Shire Reeve can't see the trees for the forest, or else the Sgt has stuff on him.
              Did I mention running like hell?!

          • #8
            I can’t see a Sheriff and ranking staff tolerating a bad Sgt. In most depts Sgt is the lowest rank, although I’ve seen a few with Cpls.

            So your saying that this one Sgt is setting the tone in the entire dept?

            Not a single Lt, Capt, Maj, Col, Deputy Chief, or even the Chief Deputy have an issue with this Sgt, let alone the Sheriff himself?

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            • #9
              We're talking about an office that in 2012 laid off nearly 80 people. The office went from 24/7 coverage to two patrol deputies for an entire county of 80,000 people. This Sgt. was one of those two deputies. The other is now the undersheriff. So, yes. He does set the tone for patrol. The LT above him only became a LT about one month ago and before he a Sgt. and co-worker to this Sgt. That is the dynamics at play here.

              Comment


              • PeteBroccolo
                PeteBroccolo commented
                Editing a comment
                Sounds like the County is broke, or its officials are stupid, or both.
                RUN, Forrest!

            • #10
              I witnessed this at my last job, and the fact that there was no end in sight was one of the reasons why I left. One of the officers on my shift was sadistic and absolutely loved to get other officers fired and/or worked to death. She was one of the more senior line officers (4th from the top in seniority out of 55) AND she was the wife of one of the captains. Though she was just a rank and file officer, she had her husband's ear and he did her bidding. Her word even overrode sergeants and lieutenants, and she would warn them that if they ever attempted to give her an order or contradict her, she would have them fired...and that wasn't an idle threat (this captain fired quite a few supervisors because of her). Any grievances that an officer had against another officer went directly to.......her husband, of course. Any grievance against her usually resulted in the grieving officer working endless mandatory overtime and not getting any vacation or personal day requests for about a year. She finally pushed too far one day and said some unprovoked, exceptionally nasty things to an officer, who was smart enough to go over the captain's head and complained to the deputy warden, who finally fired this woman and suspended the captain and forced him to take business and leadership ethics classes to keep his job.

              Now, this was just the tip of the iceberg for all the crap at this job. I just survived there by being a gray man. I wasn't going to change s**t, so I kept my head down, did my job, and kept my opinions to myself. With toxic workplaces like these, a lot of times, they don't want to change. They think they're doing it the right way. Change has to come from the top, and in some places, it's just not going to come fast enough to be worth it to stick around.
              "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
              -Chris Rock

              Comment


              • TG110896
                TG110896 commented
                Editing a comment
                What was the comment, or alleged comment if you don't know, that finally did her in?

              • GangGreen712
                GangGreen712 commented
                Editing a comment
                The wife of the officer she insulted had just given birth after an extremely difficult and high risk pregnancy, and the delivery nearly killed the baby. The baby recovered (and is perfectly healthy today), but was very unstable for awhile and it looked like he might not make it. Apparently, this woman didn't like how this officer was running his post one night and called him a p*** poor officer and warned him that she better see him square himself away and such. He told her that he didn't answer to her and so she could p*** off. She said something to the affect of oh, you think you don't answer to me? Think again, and if you ever say anything except 'Yes, Ma'am' to me again, I'll make sure you don't get any days off; you'll never see that sick kid of yours again. You won't even get time off if he dies!

                And again, that wasn't an idle threat.

            • #11
              The sergeant sounds like some of the people I've worked with in the past. Joke about anything especially if it was sex related. Never bothered me enough to complain.

              But times have changed!

              If you feel sexually harassed by the supervisor follow your department's policy for reporting it. Like GangGreen said change comes from the top.

              I would just move to another department. Just in case it was unfounded.
              ​​​​

              Comment


              • #12
                None of what you've described affects your ability to go out and do the job.

                Stay out on the road, avoid the office and don't worry about it.
                "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                Comment


                • #13
                  Wow I thought for a second you were describing my SO.

                  Lots of similar stuff went on here including a mass exodus of deputies not too long ago that dropped the numbers from double digits to single digits. We are just now back into double digits.

                  I am learning the hard way to keep my mouth shut, stay busy on the road, and keep a low profile. Greener pastures are in my future if I can do that for a few more years.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    I could write a book on this topic.

                    1. You have zero power to change the culture. As a low-tier employee, you are little more than a piece of flotsam in the Mississippi River, bouncing off the rocks, going wherever bigger currents take you.

                    2. You can believe in yourself as a force for good, as a bright light in a dark space, as a seed for change all you want and hope for the day when the storms subside and the blue bird sings. But like the old saying goes... you can hope in one hand and poop in the other- see which fills up faster.

                    3. You have three options:

                    -Start documenting every misstep. Keep a little book chronicling dates, exact quotes, and circumstances. Hire an attorney for guidance on how to file lawsuits, and for advice on things like recording workplace conversations. Put on the iron pants when you have enough evidence and file a complaint or lawsuit. Be prepared to become a pariah and for the power structure to put you through the gauntlet. Be prepared for HR to do nothing, or next to nothing, on your behalf.

                    -Reconcile yourself to the daily indignities. Hide in the weeds and don't make a peep. Pray for divine intervention or karma to deliver a bolt of lightning or a heart attack. Buy a punching bag and draw a cartoon version of his face on it and spar with it for 30 minutes every day. See a counselor about how to deal with workplace misery.

                    -Spruce up your resume. Do what countless people have done in similar situations: get a new job. At the exit interview, thank management for the opportunity but when they ask why you are leaving, only say professional development. Roll the dice and hope things are better with new agency.

                    Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Lucky.

                    Comment


                    • TG110896
                      TG110896 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      lol thanks

                  • #15
                    I had bad bosses, but I also had the "advantage" that my Force transferred us every so often, so, one way or the other, the boss, or I, eventually moved.

                    I stuck it out to max pension of 35 years of service, after some back-stabbing and near-harikari, eventually due to compassion-on-medical-grounds for my youngest child that allowed me to set a record of longevity in my last post.

                    Since pulling-the-pin, I have held, and quit, numerous civilian jobs, including police-support and uniformed-private-security, mainly due to no longer wanting to put up with crap, but then I have that monthly direct-deposit, and my wife's full-time pay, to make it possible for me to be the a z z h o l e.

                    RUN, son!
                    #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                    Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                    RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                    Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                    "Smile" - no!

                    Comment

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