Personnel Action Memo Assignment

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CJUS 300 Personnel Action Memo Assignment Instructions


The ability to clearly, concisely, and completely provide feedback to problem employees is essential in a leadership role. This assignment will give you the opportunity to compare an officer’s behavior against the departments standard of conduct and compose a written warning as seen in Module 5: Week 5. It will also expose you to using a preformatted memorandum to communicate your content as learned in Module 2: Week 2, another highly important skill.


Consider the situation and the Standard of Conduct below in accordance with Chapter 9 of the Whisenand textbook. You will then write a memorandum as a written warning, using the document template to guide the content and format. Your submission will:

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· Be 1-2 pages in length,

· Use the current APA writing style guide and format the document in accordance with the assignment template,

· Not use a Reference list section or in-text citations,

· State the reason for the memo and include the facts and observations described in the Situation section of the assignment instructions,

· Articulate why the officer needs to change his behavior, and

· Outline actions that the officer will do after receiving the memo.

Complete only the bracketed information of the template using current APA writing style. Do not change any font or paragraph settings in the template document. The template is single spaced and does not require additional resource references with in-text citation.

Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.


You are a Police Sergeant in charge of a patrol section that routinely covers two difficult areas in your city. Officer John Doe is a member of your section. He seemed to be very motivated when he was transferred into your section. However, over the past six months, you have noticed a change in behavior and performance.

It began with small errors on citations. When you would point them out after reviewing, Officer Doe would respond with a shrug and say “It’s just a typo, man. You know how long I’ve been on shift?” The errors continually worsened, as did Officer Doe’s responses to the corrections.

Shortly after, Officer Doe would routinely check-in his patrol vehicle without cleaning the interior or exterior and with less than a quarter of a tank of gasoline. He typically moped about and was barely on time for any assignment. He was also more outspoken during roll-call training and constantly complained about department policies.

Three months ago, you assigned Officer Doe to a partner, Officer Thomas Akers. Officer Akers is a solid performer and seemed to help Officer Doe’s behavior for a short while. However, Officer Akers would frequently make you aware of Officer Doe using profanity and threating force when removing pan handlers or kids skating in the public park after hours. Officer Akers also mentioned that Officer Doe would accept free coffee and other small snacks from two convenience stores he insisted they frequent. Officer Doe would explain by saying “There is nothing in black and white about taking a cup of joe to keep me sharp on patrol. I’m just living in the gray.”

On five separate occasions you have issued verbal warnings to Officer Doe regarding these issues. Each warning was recorded, identified the behavior needing improvement, and identified the actions required of him. You have now decided to issue a written warning due to the seemingly ineffectiveness of the verbal warnings.

Standard of Conduct

It is the purpose of this policy to provide specificity to the standards of conduct embodied in the law enforcement officer’s code of ethics and this agency’s statement of values and mission, so that officers[footnoteRef:1] have a clear understanding of agency expectations pertaining to conduct and activities while on and off duty. [1: The term “officer” is used throughout this document. However, agencies should consider whether sworn, civilian, or reserve officers; volunteers; interns; cadets; explorers; or any individual engaged in agency-sponsored mentoring activities should be cognizant of and adhere to the directives set forth herein.]


It is the policy of this law enforcement agency that officers shall conduct themselves both on and off duty in a manner that reflects high ethical standards consistent with the values and mission established by this agency and the expectations of the community it serves.


A. General

The following items shall be reviewed and/or developed.

1. A statement that explicitly states the agency’s mission, goals, and values;

2. Code of ethics;

3. Oath of honor.

B. Conduct

General conduct includes the following:

1. Officers shall follow this agency’s mission and values statement, oath of honor, and code of ethics. If an officer experiences an ethical conflict with these items, they should consult a supervisor for further clarification.

2. Officers shall be truthful in all matters and shall not lie, falsify, conceal, purposely distort, diminish, embellish, or fail to fully disclose facts associated with any law enforcement business.[footnoteRef:2] [2: This policy recognizes the fact that there are legitimate needs for deception and/or non-disclosure of information in furtherance of the law enforcement purpose.]

3. Adherence to laws, regulations, and orders:

a. Officers shall abide by all laws, regulations, agency policies, rules, and procedures.

b. Officers shall obey all lawful orders.

c. Officers who are arrested or come under investigation for any offense in any jurisdiction shall immediately report this fact to their supervisor.

d. A court conviction for a crime that carries a possible sentence of incarceration shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this policy.

4. Unbecoming conduct – Officers shall not conduct themselves in a manner, on or off duty, that:

a. Casts doubt on their integrity, honesty, moral judgment, or character;

b. Brings discredit to this agency; or

c. Impairs the agency’s efficient and effective operation.

5. Neglect of duty:

a. All officers shall perform their duties faithfully and diligently and shall take responsibility for and exhibit attentiveness, care, and thoroughness in the conduct of assignments and responsibilities.

b. Officers shall conduct themselves in an expeditious manner to avoid any unreasonable delays to the public in the performance of law enforcement duties and activities.

6. Accountability and responsibility:

a. Officers are directly accountable for their actions, through the chain of command, to this agency’s chief executive officer.

b. Officers shall report for duty, including court and off-duty assignments, at the time and place required.

c. Officers have a duty to intervene to prevent or stop wrongdoing by another officer when it is safe and reasonable to do so.

d. Officers have a duty to report any misconduct of which they become aware and shall notify a supervisor as soon as possible when another member of the agency is violating law or policy.

e. Officers shall cooperate fully in any internal administrative investigation conducted by this or any other authorized agency and shall not attempt to conceal, divert, or mitigate any culpability of theirs or others by falsehoods or omissions.

f. Officers shall utilize agency supplies, property, and equipment only for their official purpose and in accordance with established agency rules, policies, and procedures and shall not intentionally abuse, destroy, dispose of, or damage these items.

7. Conduct toward fellow officers:

a. Officers shall conduct themselves in a manner that fosters cooperation among members of this agency, showing respect, courtesy, and professionalism in their dealings with one another.

b. Officers shall not use language or engage in acts that demean, harass, or intimidate other officers.5

8. Conduct toward the public – Officers shall interact with the public in a civil and professional manner that conveys a service orientation to foster public trust and cooperation and adheres to the concepts associated with procedural justice.

a. Officers shall treat individuals with courtesy, respect, and dignity.

b. Officers shall not employ an officious or overbearing attitude or use language that might belittle, ridicule, or intimidate individuals.

c. Officers shall perform their duties equitably in both the enforcement of laws and the delivery of law enforcement services within the community and shall strive to maintain public trust by conducting all law enforcement business in an unbiased, fair, and impartial manner.6

9. Abuse of law enforcement authority or position:

a. Officers may not accept goods, services, or discounts of value not available to the general public and shall report any unsolicited goods or services they receive and the circumstances of the receipt to a supervisor

b. Officers shall not use their authority or position:

i. for financial gain;

ii. to obtain or grant privileges or favors;

iii. to avoid the consequences of illegal acts for themselves or others; or

iv. to barter, solicit, or accept any goods or services, such as gratuities, gifts, discounts, rewards, loans, or fees, whether for themselves or others.

c. Officers shall not purchase, convert to their own use, or have any claim to found, impounded, abandoned, or recovered property or any property held or released as evidence.

d. Officers shall not permit the use of any agency-issued identification card, badge, or official document by unauthorized persons.

e. Officers are prohibited from using law enforcement sensitive information gained through their position to advance financial or other private interests of theirs or others.

f. Officers shall not steal, forge, or tamper with any official law enforcement document. Documents shall not be altered or duplicated unless such actions are approved by a supervisor.

g. Officers shall not take or release photographs capturing sensitive information or images unless authorized to do so.

h. Officers shall not undertake any investigation or other official action that is not part of their regular duties without first obtaining permission from their supervisor, unless the exigency of the situation requires immediate law enforcement action.

i. Officers involved with any civil action that arises from acts performed under color of authority shall inform their supervisor.

10. Prohibited associations and establishments:

a. Officers shall not knowingly commence or maintain a relationship with any person who is under criminal investigation, indictment, arrest, or incarceration by this or another law enforcement or criminal justice agency or who has an open and notorious criminal reputation in the community (for example, persons whom they know, should know, or have reason to believe are involved in criminal activity), except as necessary to the performance of official duties or where unavoidable or impractical because of pre-existing familial or marital relationships. In such cases where regular household, physical, or telephone contact is unavoidable, the officer shall inform their supervisor of the relationship.

b. Officers shall not knowingly engage in social or romantic relationships with confidential informants, victims, or witnesses involved with active investigations.

c. Officers shall not participate or interfere in investigations involving family members or persons with whom they have a close personal or business relationship.

d. Except in the performance of official duties, officers shall not enter any establishment in which the law is knowingly violated.

e. Officers shall not knowingly join or participate in any organization that advocates, incites, or supports criminal acts or criminal conspiracies or that promotes hatred or discrimination toward racial, religious, ethnic, or other groups or classes of individuals protected by law.

C. Public Statements, Appearances, and Endorsements

1. Officers shall follow this agency’s policy on social media.8

2. Officers shall not, when officially acting as a representative of this agency:9

a. make any public statement that could be reasonably interpreted as having an adverse effect upon agency morale, discipline, operations, or public perception;

b. divulge or willfully permit to have divulged any information gained by reason of their position, for anything other than its official, authorized purpose; or

c. unless expressly authorized, make any statements, speeches, or public appearances that could reasonably be considered to represent the views of this agency.

3. Officers shall not solicit or accept contributions for this agency or, as a law enforcement officer of this agency, for any other agency, organization, event, or cause without the express consent of the agency chief executive or their designee.

4. Officers may not, as an agent of this agency, endorse, recommend, or facilitate the sale of commercial products or services without the approval of the agency’s chief executive officer or their designee. This includes but is not limited to the use of tow services, vehicle repair shops, attorneys, bail bondsmen, or other technical or professional services. It does not pertain to referrals to appropriate governmental, community, or social services.

D. Political Activity

Officers shall follow applicable laws regarding their participation and involvement in political activities. Where legal mandates are silent on this issue, officers shall be guided by the following examples of prohibited political activities while on duty, in uniform, or otherwise serving as a representative of this agency. Officers shall not:

1. Place, affix, or display any campaign literature or other paraphernalia in or on government-owned or controlled property, to include offices and vehicles;

2. Solicit political funds from any member of this agency or another governmental agency of this jurisdiction;

3. Solicit contributions, signatures, or other forms of support for political candidates, parties, or ballot measures;

4. Use official authority to interfere with any election or with the political actions of other officers or the general public; or

5. Favor or discriminate against any person seeking employment because of political opinions or affiliations


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