Time Limits on Assignments in Law Enforcement




Reiter, Kathryn

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Law enforcement agencies face major issues with retention and job satisfaction, which can morph into staffing shortages, burnout, lack of opportunities to move, little or no development within the department, unethical behavior, and stagnation. Due to how long it takes to attract, hire, train, and get a fully functioning officer, this is a serious concern for all agencies. Time limits on all assignments will impact job diversity, leadership and officer development, job satisfaction, retention rates, burnout, movement opportunities, retention of skills and knowledge within the agency, and morale overall. Time limits can be introduced through a systematic approach of using job rotation or succession planning. These processes allow for officers and supervisors to gain new perspectives, experience, and a further developed sense of the big picture. As a result of this same process, time limits also addresses those officers and supervisors who need a change to bring them back from the brink of burnout, stagnation, unethical behavior, and low morale. It is important to note that the time limits on assignments and positions is not limited to line level officers but can be utilized at all levels of the agency. Ultimately, all agencies must balance the needs of their individual agencies against the needs of their employees. Agencies cannot function efficiently without retaining and developing their employees. No specifics limits will be suggested, but it is the concept that should be embraced.


Police--Personnel Management, Carrer Development