Sometimes, finding material to write about is so easy when we have supervisors who don’t even know how to write a contact report. Not only is there a Managing Employee Performance and Conduct handbook to spell it out for them, but there should be an expected level of common sense when addressing an employee’s performance.
Let’s start with the basics. If a sergeant has an officer who they believe is not meeting standards, then we should all agree that the supervisor should have a private conversation with the officer and talk about the issue. Maybe there’s something that can be corrected with some guidance, conversation or with some additional training, or maybe there’s something outside of work that is distracting the employee.
Of course, only the better supervisors would ask the officer if everything was OK at home, and only the best supervisors would truly care to listen to their officers if there was something going on outside of work that they could help them resolve. Either way, the supervisor’s first step should be to hold a meeting with the officer and explain to the officer what their expectations are for the squad or unit. The supervisor should look for feedback from his officer and address any concerns that were brought up in the meeting.
Here is the next step: The sergeant should write an accurate contact report outlining the conversation with the employee and any concerns from the meeting, regardless of whether the concern was from the sergeant or the officer. The contact should also include a description of expectations or corrective behavior, so the officer knows how to get better and improve their work performance. No matter what the issue is, the contact report should never be written prior to the meeting.
Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t it sound like a truthfulness issue when a sergeant has already written a contact report prior to meeting with the officer, and in it, it references the meeting you had to discuss the issue outlined in the contact report. Here is an example of a recent contact report I read. Remember, the contact report was written on November 16, and the meeting was held on November 17.
It starts out, “This is to document that we discussed” … how in the hell do you write about something that you haven’t even done yet? Is this false reporting in an official document? Or at least an integrity issue?
The contact report goes on a 28-word, one-sentence report, and only one period was used as punctuation. Is this sergeant criticizing the officer for being lazy? How much lazier can someone be than to write a B.S., untruthful contact report telling someone they are “lingering” or they have the “lowest stats” (calling him lazy) in a one-sentence contact report that was written the day before it was presented to the officer? Don’t look in the mirror, sergeant, it might crack.
This same sergeant told the officer that he was placing the officer on a performance plan, and they would meet in 30 days to discuss the results. How would you feel if your sergeant came up to you and told you that he was placing you on a performance plan but failed to tell you what to improve on or what his expectations are? Or how the performance plan even works? Examples like more 467s, better reports, better radio communication. Most performance plans have a daily activity report written out with an outline or checklist so your P# 9344 sergeant can evaluate your progress.
So, here is a little reminder for all of you: You have 30 days to write a rebuttal to anything being placed into your personnel file. I strongly suggest you all do this if you disagree with anything you have been given to sign. If it’s a performance evaluation and you disagree with it, sign that you disagree and contact the PPA for help resolving the issue. If it’s a contact report, sign it and ask for a copy before the end of your shift. Refusing to sign a contact report does nothing for you — the sergeant will write “refused to sign” and just have another sergeant sign as a witness. Just sign it and contact the PPA for assistance.
One last thing! If your supervisor threatens to have you administratively transferred, please contact the PPA immediately. Generally, the request comes from one of the dirty dozen (the 12 worst) supervisors at Metro who will try to get you to “voluntarily transfer” to make their job easier and bring their buddy into your position. These supervisors like to threaten you or intimidate you into leaving, but there is a process they need to follow.
Do not agree to voluntarily transfer without speaking to a PPA rep first. Do not verbally agree to transfer without speaking to a PPA rep first. For those of you who are fortunate enough to have a great supervisor or chain of command, you are the lucky ones. Those of you who don’t, I feel bad for you. There’s nothing worse than coming to work and having to deal with a horrible supervisor. Just remember that karma always comes around to bite them in the ass. It might take some time, but through my experience, they will screw something up in time and find out what it feels like to be treated like garbage. Be safe and have a great new year! Thank you for your membership.