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Course Catalog

Confronting the Toxic Officer


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

 Public safety professionals are recognizing a common problem in agencies throughout the country: a small but distinct element in the workforce that generates the overwhelming majority of stress for fellow officers and supervisors. These are an agency’s toxic employees—who can be such a distraction from the agency mission that supervisors and other employees seem to spend more time dealing with internal issues than they spend actually serving and protecting the public. Toxic employees tend to be perpetual plaintiffs who file baseless grievances, complaints and lawsuits throughout their careers.  They work to intimidate supervisors while deflating the morale of their fellow employees due to management’s apparent inability to hold them accountable for their actions.

This is not a traditional leadership course.  This course will introduce public safety leaders to strategies for confronting this small but extremely damaging presence in the workforce in a way that both protects the integrity of the organization and is legally defensible. Ensuring that these management techniques are legally defensible is particularly important in light of the fact that so many toxic employees demonstrate an obvious willingness to challenge agency efforts to hold them accountable.

Recognizing the Toxic Officer

  • What are the common character traits?
  • The unleadable, the unfixable, the un-motivatable
  • The impact of the toxic few on the agency

Identifying Toxic Individuals Before they Become Your Toxic Officer

  • Background investigations—back to basics
  • Utilizing the FTO process as a crucial part of the hiring process

Recognizing the Legal Avenues that Toxic Individuals Abuse

  • Discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower protections
  • Arbitration and personnel review boards
  • If it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen

Confronting Toxic Officers

  • Performance evaluation systems that reflect the realities in the field
  • Progressive discipline—demonstrating a good faith effort to make all officers successful
  • Separation agreements and toxic officers

Upcoming Training

No classes currently scheduled.
Request this training in your area.


Confronting the Toxic Officer

  • Officers in patrol need to take this course.

Officer / Deputy, Georgia

Developing Organizational Performance Leadership