The Knoxville Police Department: A Case Study

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Unity of command and unity of direction are concepts “related to authority and responsibility” that help organizations rum more smoothly (Cronkhite, 2013, p. 140). Under unity of command, subordinates must have one superior who they receive directions or orders from, which prevents confusion and “dual subordination” (Difference of unity of command and unity of direction, 2012, par. 2). Police officers can work on special teams or task forces, but they should ultimately have one supervisor who is responsible for them and their progression at work. If not, major job performance, morale problems, and confusion could develop. I saw this recently at my department, the Knoxville Police Department. Our squads have two Sergeants, who split twelve officers…show more content…
5). “All of the activities are aimed at a specific goal or plan” and one person is in charge of the whole operation (Difference of unity of command and unity of direction, 2012, par. 7). The use of this principle helps with coordination and reduces the chances for duplication (Pathak, 2015). A recent kidnapping at my agency was a good example of unity of direction at work. A male murdered his ex-wife, kidnapped his toddler daughter, and left in his ex’s vehicle in an unknown direction. Almost every division of the Knoxville Police Department became involved including Search and Rescue, Patrol, K-9, Domestic Violence, Crime Lab, Public Information Office, and Criminal Investigation Division (CID). Each division had their own way of doing things, but CID took charge and coordinated efforts to capture the suspect and safely retrieve the toddler. Because of the unity of direction, the suspect and child were found within a few hours in Ohio. Unity of direction is a must in law enforcement to be

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