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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220179 Find in a Library
Title: Empowerment and Accountability: Tools for Law Enforcement Leaders
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:76  Issue:9  Dated:September 2007  Pages:8-13
Author(s): Tracey G. Gove M.P.A.
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 6
Document: HTML
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the features of law enforcement management that enhance and impede the empowerment and accountability of officers, factors that are essential for effective officer decisionmaking and performance.
Abstract: Empowerment means that officers are prepared and encouraged through training, organizational structure, and supervision to make decisions in the field without being required to first obtain the permission of police managers through a bureaucratic process. One empowerment strategy is for leaders to delegate power and authority to officers, who share in decisionmaking. Once power is decentralized, officers will solve problems and find innovative ways to achieve organizational goals. The motivational approach to empowerment places emphasis on communication, goal-setting, and feedback, along with praise for initiating effective action and problem solving. Regardless of the particular strategy used by a law enforcement organization to achieve the empowerment of its officers, the key is to make empowerment part of the overall work environment that is practiced and encouraged at each management level. Empowerment fails when there is not proper education, training, and initial guidance in the field by veteran officers, as well as when managers seek an identity based in their control of officers' behavior. Empowerment, however, does not mean that employees are not held accountable for their performance. Empowered employees are responsible for completing tasks properly, diligently, and efficiently. As performance improves, officers become more empowered and self-directed because of their proficiency. Accountability begins with careful planning by supervisors, who establish performance standards, measurement milestones, desired outcomes, a system for reviewing progress, and contingency planning for unexpected adversity. 1 figure and 15 notes
Main Term(s): Police management
Index Term(s): Accountability; Police discretion; Police officer performance evaluations; Police organizational structure; Police performance evaluation; Police training management
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