Police Accountability: Increasing Supervisor Expectations in Identifying and Responding to Slippery Slope Behaviors

Police Accountability: Increasing Supervisor Expectations in Identifying and Responding to Slippery Slope Behaviors
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-07-28
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Police Accountability
Unit 2Transcript: Police Accountability
Unit 3Workbook: Police Accountability
Unit 4Recording: Police Accountability

In a time where law enforcement actions and decisions are scrutinized in great detail by the public, everyone within the profession is expected to do their share to foster trust within the communities they serve to counter the cynicism. But one role in the whole law enforcement hierarchy plays a crucial role in this mission.

Sheryl Victorian is back on the Justice Clearinghouse to unpack how first-line supervisors can make a world of difference in curtailing personnel misconduct and consequentially build trust and legitimacy in the law enforcement profession. Sheryl is currently the City of Waco’s Chief of Police. She has almost three decades of law enforcement experience where she’s been assigned to various assignments and divisions.

Points tackled in this session include:

  • How one negative incident committed by one individual impacts the whole law enforcement profession.
  • The value of a culture of accountability, who is responsible for creating it and fostering it, and how it influences the entire workplace.
  • How the culture of an environment is shaped, and how the things we do not do, just as much as the ones we do contribute to it.
  • The blue wall of silence: What it is, the reasons why it exists, its extent, its consequences, and the need to break down the wall and intervene.
  • Slippery slope behaviors – how little things escalate into bigger ones and red flags to look out for.
  • The central role of first-line supervisors in building a culture of accountability, breaking down the blue wall of silence, and addressing slippery slope behaviors given their direct influence on the frontlines.
  • Factors to consider when selecting front-line supervisors – the promotional process, requirements, assessments, and expectations to take into account and characteristics valuable for the role.
  • The responsibilities that first-line supervisors are expected to perform and in turn, what first-line supervisors expect out of executive leadership to set them up for success.
  • Records to review, items to refer to, and behaviors to observe for first-line supervisors to spot slippery slope behaviors early on and mitigate escalation.
  • The concept of relational policing and leadership, its tenets, and how this promotes fairness and procedural justice.
  • The elements of procedural justice, the importance of establishing internal procedural justice, and how this bleeds externally into the community which results in legitimacy and trust.
  • The different intervention strategies that may be used following slippery slope behaviors depending on the severity of the violation.
  • The reasons to hold people accountable and how accountability benefits the personnel, the agency, the community, and the profession.
  • Recommended courses and readings related to concepts discussed in the webinar.

Questions from the audience include:

  • The acronym for the tenets of relational policing.
  • What junior officers can do when it is the senior officers that are involved in questionable behavior or misconduct.
  • Strategies to communicate the expectations of a role to those interested in promoting.
  • Ensuring quality in the people being promoted amidst the staffing issues that the profession is experiencing.


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Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “It was great input. It organizes, reminds, and helps us reflect on improving leadership skills within our agency….. great stuff thank you.” — Michael
  • “It was a great intro on how to conduct it and the specific areas where we should be looking.” — Tokata
  • “Great resources provided!” — Kenny
  • “How the “leadership” perspective enhances the program perspective of Early Identification and Intervention Programs (EIIPs), aka “early warning systems.” — Toye
  • “The entire content of this webinar was very good.” — Joseph
  • “It had relevant topics and as a mid-level supervisor, the speaker provided great insight, especially including relevant and recent topics.” — Kevin
  • “She was great very informative.” — Shelby
  • “Enjoyed the webinar, could have gone into further detail, spent more time on some subjects but was informative. I liked the “Treat your employees the same way we expect our officers and employees to treat the public,” be fair and consistent-this should be common sense but I find it is not. Thank you for your time and for sharing your knowledge!” — Sara
  • “This webinar was great! The information on accountability and paying attention to the behaviors of employees as well as corrective actions was spot on. TTREEAT very useful. I hope to share this information and if there is a recording with command staff. This explains the need for proper evaluations and corrections as well as documentation. The speaker kept me engaged the entire time. I wish we had more time and videos could have been viewed from the phone.” — Mary
  • “Great job. Very useful. Very pleasant and professional.” — Jeffrey


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