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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202520 Find in a Library
Title: How To Reduce the Potential of Workplace Violence
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:70  Issue:9  Dated:September 2003  Pages:32-34
Author(s): Dick Grimes
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 3
Document: HTML
Type: Instructional Material; Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In explaining how to reduce the potential for workplace violence in a police department, this article first defines "workplace violence" and then addresses the identification of the roots of such violence and the procedures for developing an organization capable of countering workplace violence.
Abstract: As defined in this article, "workplace violence" is much more than a fight between coworkers, threats of assault made by one against another, or the wanton destruction of property. It can also involve the subtle intimidation of one employee by another; the harassment of a newcomer by members of the "old guard;" and the covert sabotage of departmental equipment, data, or records by a disgruntled employee. This article argues that workplace violence is rooted in the subculture of a department, such that preventing it requires an assessment of the dynamics of an organization and its impact on employees. This article presents a checklist of 15 questions for police supervisors to ask themselves, the answers to which can expose the impact of the department's organizational life on the supervisor and probably other personnel. The article recommends that the questions be disseminated downward through the management levels of the organization to help find the sources of potential workplace violence in the department. The core of this article focuses on steps for building a "professional" organization that will create a climate that reduces the risk of workplace violence. The development process begins with the selection of someone from outside the department to act as the facilitator for a series of meetings to collect input about creating a professional organization. These meetings can focus on getting answers for the questions presented in this article. The questions should be incorporated as part of the leadership training for all levels of the organization. If the departmental leadership finds that the answers to the questions make them uncomfortable about the organizational climate and employee attitudes, then steps must be taken to hire an organizational development consultant who will work with the department to help create a culture that will attract, retain, and produce the best law enforcement professionals possible.
Main Term(s): Police management
Index Term(s): Organization development; Police attitudes; Police professionalism; Police subculture; Violence in the workplace; Workplace Violence
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