Date of Award
Master of Business Administration
Dr. Gene S. Booker
Dr. Fred V. Hartenstein
Dr. Robert Batson
Masters Thesis-Open Access
The modern policeman has one of the most complex and heterogeneous jobs to perform in our society. He is expected to be a combination of several specialists, each one requiring a high degree of competency and special skills. He is required to be a social case worker when dealing with juveniles, a psychologist when handling psychopaths, and a doctor when working accident patrol. He needs to be a methodical chemist when conducting criminal investigations and a congenial public relations man when working on traffic control.
Can such a jack-of-all-trades possibly be a master of any? It is true that the police officer is not expected to be an expert in all of these occupations but he is expected to have a surprising amount of competency in all of them. In the larger departments there usually are experts in several of these fields but most departments have to rely on the regular policeman to handle a great variety of problems. In most instances, the policeman is taught enough about each field to allow him to competently handle crisis situations when they occur. However, the level of competency demanded in each of these areas to handle crises adequately is still considerable.
Even more difficult than the police officer's varied job is that of the police officer's supervisors. Over the years, the police administration field has utilized rather elaborate and extensive combinations of rules, regulations and procedures which quite rigidly control the actions and decisions of the police officer. This has been necessary to insure consistency and minimum standards when handling difficult circumstances. The supervisor has no such help. He must be capable of performing all the requirements of supervising the activities of these rather unique individuals performing complex work.
The police supervisor finds himself trying to master the ever changing complexities of modern police science as well as trying to meet the demands of an effective supervisor. The magnitude of these combined demands has been such that to achieve both has often seemed out of reach; and when a choice has had to be made, the effort has been to meet the demands of police science with the resulting neglect of the requirements of effective supervision.
Kelley, "An Examination and Analysis of Current Supervisory Development Programs in Municipal Police Departments" (1963). Master's Theses. 4141.