Management of Criminal Justice Agencies.
Problem solving and decision making are the essential job functions and the responsibility of all supervisors and managers in law enforcement. This usually includes from the rank of chief down to corporals. Also included in the team are patrolman who utilize these techniques on an everyday basis. As a supervisor you may encounter problems that deal with the public, internal, short term, long term, personal, organizational, and complex situations. There is no formula for true problem solving. Decisions may be made by using strategic planning-long term (chief), administrative planning-middle management (captain or lieutenant), or operational planning-first line supervisor (corporal or sergeant). .
Law Enforcement organizations regularly use three types of decision making (1) command decision where a supervisor or chief will make their own decision with little or no input from others, (2) consultative decision where one uses input and opinions from others. The final decision is still made by the one in charge but only after considering the input of others, and (3) consensus decision made democratically by a group usually a joint decision made by members of a committee. .
In today's society supervisors should take a logical and creative approach to problem solving and decision making. This is referred to as whole brain thinking. A supervisor who is creative will or should make contact with all types of leaders and business owners in his community. This can help the supervisor and the department as a whole by having valuable support by the community. A good supervisor should have good people skills and a vast knowledge to answer questions quickly, accurately, and correctly. In my opinion one of the hardest positions in law enforcement management is the sergeant's position. The sergeant is stuck in the middle. He is a mediator in between the patrolman and the upper level administration ( Major, Captain, Lieutenant).