Sunday, February 07, 2010

On the Police Demotion Issue

Comments are still coming in on the blog post about one police captain who is not going to take a demotion for budget reasons. Click here for that post.

I spent some time looking up news stories about demotions. Historically, they are given for infractions and the word itself has a negative connotation. I came across one story where a deputy police chief, the son of a chief, committed suicide when given a demotion for budgetary reasons. Another story described a posthumous promotion which doubled the salary and increased family benefits for a rookie cop who died after being mistakenly shot by a fellow officer.

The importance of rank attained in law enforcement is indisputable. Some officers choose to serve faithfully until retirement without seeking higher rank, but those who take the tests and achieve successive titles deserve all possible respect. The Plainfield Area Ebony Police Association made support of those seeking higher rank one of its goals over the years and members proudly celebrated as promotions took place.

A commenter points out that the proposed demotions will leave no African-Americans at the captain level. Captains were already shut out of the possibility of become police chief, when the title was abolished in 2008.

Budget amendments are expected to be revealed next week. If demotions are part of cutting expenses, how and when will those demoted get their titles back? It may be legal to demote public safety staff to save money, but what is being lost in the process?

No City Council agendas were available Saturday online or at the library, which was closed due to the snowstorm. The regular meeting is 8 p.m. Monday in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave. The exact timetable for introduction of amendments and a hearing on the amendments is not known at this time.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Tony said...

Bernice that is very good point on how demotions can affect someone who took the time and energy to pass the test and perform at a high level. As a retired Army officer, I can really apprecitate how it can affect morale up and down the chain of command. In the military we only demote people who don't perform and we promote people who do perfom. Without that distinction what is the insensitive to perform and gives you more insentive not to put an extra effort

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernice, I find this another example of how different government and non-government businesses are run. And why people in each area find it hard to relate to the other.

In corporate America, people are constantly being "demoted" if not downright fired. They accept ait and move on. I am constantly amazed at the difference in work ethic between the public and private sector.

Maybe because of the economic hardship, the government sector is experiencing what has been going on in corporate all along. It's not pretty, and not preferable, but no one should be "guaranteed" a job, position or salary. That guarantee is the starkest difference that I see.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They accept it and move on".

In Corporate America, there is no "choice" but to do so. Many of the workers cannot transition nowhere near as easily and are not trained for anything else.

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 6:18am - What are you talking about? It sounds as if you are saying that government workers are not as smart as corporate workers. Where do you get your info and what do you have to back it? Admins are admins, no matter where you work. Marketing is marketing no matter where you work. I do not understand your logic, unless you are talking about motivation and drive.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are you saying that government workers have no choice in what they do? I don't get it.

12:51 PM  

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