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The organization is described as "drowning in puddles."

>> ONE CONCLUSION:

January 04, 2002

Following are some of the conclusions and all of the recommendations of the POST evaluation of the El Centro Police Department.

Conclusions:

· The rating for Chief Loera shows his leadership behaviors are acceptable to a majority of those who responded (to a survey), but a group of nine, of 29, see his behavior as needing improvement.

· The organization is described as "drowning in puddles." The city manager does not have confidence in the police chief because of his lack of experience. The police chief feels the city manager allows members of the Police Department too much access on disciplinary issues, which in turn weakens his authority to manage the organization.

· There are too many levels in the organization. This causes communication to be distorted. There needs to be fewer levels of the organization with fewer managers. The supervisors must assume a leadership role in the day-to-day operations of the organization.

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· The perceptions of the organizational profile — a study to determine if an organization tends to be bureaucratic, innovative and supportive — overall show an organization that does not have clear policies and procedures to conduct the day-to-day operations. Without these, the decisions made are not consistent and lead to the perception of favoritism and retaliation. The organization also is perceived as low in innovation and support of employees. This is probably due to continual in-fighting that seems to occupy a high percentage of the time.

· The department is in the first stage of maturity — dependent. The phases are dependent, independent and interdependent. Throughout the entire interview process, except for Loera taking responsibility for his lack of experience, the entire organization blamed others for the problems the organization is experiencing. Line staff blamed the supervisors and management; supervisors blamed line staff and management.

· Because of the lack of maturity of the organization, mistakes in policies and procedures, and "old baggage," there is significant lack of trust in the organization. Line members do not trust other line members, supervisors do not trust other supervisors or managers, detectives do not trust patrol and patrol does not trust dispatchers, etc.

· The issue of trust needs to be addressed before the organization can move forward.

Recommendations:

· Bring "change management" to the organization

· Start building trust in the organization

· Train people to think quality and service

· Examine roles, goals and strategic planning agreements for leaders

· Utilize the "eight performance dimensions" principles of assessment, training, evaluation and accountability

· Improve recruiting and retention efforts

· Develop a training/personnel coordinator

· Strengthen processes

· Increase the flow of information

· Change the organizational structure

· Re-examine and implement the new policy and procedure manual

· Change the discipline process

· Examine city policy and the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements

· Develop annual training for all staff on current "terms and conditions of employment."

· Empower the police chief to perform as the appointing authority

>> Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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