Eliminating Mandatory Specialized Division Rotations in Law Enforcement




Moran, Gerald

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



There are traditionally two forms of rotation commonly used throughout law enforcement. These forms are mandatory rotation and performance rotation (Stachnik, 2001). These rotations are more often seen among specialized division positions within police agencies. There are pros and cons offered on both sides of the argument as to whether mandatory rotation of officers is preferred to that of performance rotation. Performance based rotations is often more involved in that it requires supervision to take a more active role in an officers development and day to day work activities. Whereas under mandatory rotation a predetermined time limit is set and once that time is up an officer simply rotates back out. If officers are not performing their duties in a specialized division, it is the supervisor’s responsibility to document their progress, and if need be, remove the officers from the specialized division. While it can be argued that rotations are more “fair” and allow other officers the chance to excel, the reverse can be argued in that some specialized fields require the expertise of officers who are highly trained and motivated. The cost of training is expensive and not always readily available. Experienced, motivated officers in a specialized division should not be rotated out simply to be fair to others. This pertains to all levels from detective, to supervisor to command staff.


Police--specialized units, Police-- personnel management