Course Catalog

Performance Evaluations for Public Safety


  • Matt Dolan
    Attorney & Director, Dolan Consulting Group, NC

It is vital to successful agency operations that employee performance be observed, documented and discussed effectively. Unfortunately, in far too many agencies, performance evaluations have little or no relationship to what supervisors are actually observing in the field. The ramifications of broken performance evaluation systems include demoralizing high level performers, depriving struggling employees of the “wake up call” that they need to excel, and providing legal protection to toxic employees—those who are known inside the agency to be prone to misconduct or poor performance but whose written performance evaluations indicate that they are “meeting expectations”.

When agencies invest in creating performance evaluation systems that require detailed feedback from supervisors rooted in fact-based observations, these systems can be a vital asset to the agency. But when performance evaluations simply become something that agency supervisors complete in order to “check the box” and move on, they can be a detriment to agency operations and an asset to plaintiff’s attorneys filing unfounded wrongful termination or failure-to-promote claims.

This training is designed, first and foremost, to assist agency leaders in determining what kind of formal performance evaluation system—if any—is right for your agency. Attendees will be trained on the legal pitfalls of continuing the use of broken performance evaluation systems that do not reflect the reality on the ground. And attendees will be trained on the common structural failings that doom so many supervisors who are attempting to accurately gage the good, the bad and the ugly that they are observing in their subordinates’ day-to-day performance.

Verbal De-escalation Train The Trainer Program: Surviving Verbal Conflict®


Chief Harry P. Dolan’s, (Ret.) Train the Trainer Program: Surviving Verbal Conflict® has been provided to tens of thousands of public safety professionals throughout the country. In response to popular requests, Chief Dolan has developed a train the trainer program providing public safety professionals with the training, tools and material required to train agency personnel in the highly acclaimed Verbal De-escalation Surviving Verbal Conflict® Program.

Verbal De-escalation Train the Trainer Program: Surviving Verbal Conflict® course develops and prepares public safety professionals to serve as trainers in Surviving Verbal Conflict®. The 3 ½ day (26 hour) course covers the Surviving Verbal Conflict® course material as well as instructor development content such as how to present the lesson plan & program, student learning styles, and teaching practical exercises. Participants will be provided with all instructor related materials supporting their presentations i.e. SVC PowerPoint presentation, workbooks, practical exercises, as well as ongoing technical support.

Today’s increased service demands and the scrutiny placed upon public safety professionals have resulted in a growing need to master verbal conflict management skills. When negative verbal encounters escalate to the point where physical intervention is used, criticism often results when it is later discovered that there is little evidence of verbal de-escalation techniques employed by officers. This is particularly true when incident video and audio reviews are utilized. In some cases, it has become clear that the verbal actions of the public safety responders served to escalate the situation. Administrators are now asking, “Is this an area in which the training tape has run out? Have we adequately trained our personnel to successfully manage and respond to verbal confrontations in a professional manner?"

Detecting Substance Abuse in the Workplace


Over 15% of the United States workforce has self-reported being under the influence of alcohol in the workplace at least once in the last year, according to according to the National Institutes of Health. Add prescription drugs, illegal drugs and other impairing substances to the mix—particularly in light of nationwide legalization and decriminalization of certain drugs—and it seems only reasonable to suspect that this trend will rise.

The cost of impairment in the workplace is enormous—due to safety concerns, liability risks, lost productivity and increased health care costs.

This course is designed to help students acquire the knowledge, skill and ability to determine if impairment exists and, if it does, whether the impairment is caused by a medical condition, alcohol, drugs or a combination of drugs. We will utilize a known pattern of signs and symptoms along with simple divided attention tests to be able to articulate the evidence of impairment.

Making Discipline Stick: Protecting Employees, the Agency and the Public through Evidence-Based Best Practices


The vast majority of citizen complaints and internal acts of employee misconduct encountered by government agencies are generated by a small number of problem individuals. It is crucial, therefore, that government agencies can successfully discipline these few “bad apples”.

In other cases, disciplinary action is necessary to hold essentially good employees accountable for misconduct that threatens agency operations. In these cases, making discipline stick is actually in the interest of the employee, as it can serve as a much needed “wake up call” to an employee before performance issues become so serious that termination is required or public safety is threatened.

“Taking the Lead”: Courageous Leadership for Today’s Public Safety


This course is a unique, one-week leadership development conference designed to provide public safety professionals of all ranks, sworn and civilian, with practical time tested leadership lessons learned from the arena. Courageous leadership strategies will be presented from some of the nation’s most experienced public safety leaders and trainers. Our overriding goal is to prepare today’s leaders to confront the new reality of heightened transparency and unprecedented expectations.

Biased-Based Policing Reports: Best Practices


In response to CALEA accreditation requirements and / or public allegations of racial profiling, many law enforcement agencies have begun to track the race, ethnicity, and gender of those who are stopped, searched, arrested, and / or were the subject of a use of force by officers.

If not researched and written properly, these reports have the potential to be misinterpreted by the media or community groups, needlessly damage the public image of your agency, undermine the legitimacy of your agency with the public, and lower officer morale. This workshop offers crucial skills necessary to present the information in your report in a manner that minimizes the risk of misinterpretation or manipulation, and presents the work of your agency in the most accurate and professionally responsive manner possible.

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Developing Organizational Performance Leadership