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Police Labor-Management Relations (Vol. II): A Guide for Implementing Change, Making Reforms, and Handling Crises for Managers and Union Leaders

NCJ Number
Michael J. Polzin; Ronald G. DeLord
Date Published
October 2006
74 pages
This guide, the second volume in a two-part series, presents advice to police union leaders and police management on how to handle a crisis situation and implement change and reforms cooperatively within an agency.
The main goal of the guide is to illustrate how police union and management leaders can develop a cooperative labor-management effort within their own departments. Chapter 1 focuses on how to begin the informal processes of building a cooperative police-union management relationship, which relies on cultivating the four tiers of a principled relationship: (1) communication; (2) cooperation; (3) respect; and (4) trust. Chapter 2 turns to a discussion of the formal process of building joint police labor-management relations. Chapter 2 discusses how a police-union management partnership is typically initiated and then focuses on how to create the charter that formalizes the agreement between union and management. The charter creates a structure that specifies what the parties agree to do together and the manner in which they agree to do it. Chapter 2 also describes how to develop an agenda for the working relationship that will guide the union-management efforts. A series of tasks are presented that will help facilitate conversations about the goal of the partnership. Chapter 3 outlines an interest-based, problem-solving method that police union-management teams can use during their planning process. The two key goals of the interest-based labor-management process are: (1) to achieve a high quality and widely accepted outcome and (2) to maintain or improve the relationship between the police union and management. Chapter 4 presents three simulated real-life cases so that union-management teams can practice applying the interest-based, problem-solving method to a range of issues. The three cases involve a crisis situation, an organizational reform effort, and a department change brought about by a grant award. Worksheets and recommendations for applying the method are provided.