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DCG Articles
Title Excerpt Author Link
Reducing Vandalism at Places of Worship

Surveys of church leaders have revealed that more than 70% have experienced at least one act of vandalism to their church within the last year. More than 60% of these acts of vandalism have included graffiti.[i] Though often minor in the amount of actual danger posed, these acts blemish the appearance of the building, break […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Don’t Just Rely On Criminal Justice Students When Trying To Recruit Officers

We frequently hear from law enforcement leaders that they are struggling to recruit enough quality applicants to fill the law enforcement officer vacancies they currently have or soon will have. Often times, agencies look to university criminal justice programs as a pipeline for future officers. On its face, this strategy is a common sense one. […]

Attorney Matt Dolan, Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Making Discipline Stick in the Fire Service©

Some individuals in government have suggested that grievance arbitrators’ handling of employee discipline cases in the fire service tends to be biased in favor of the employees and against the fire department. The mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, for example, criticized the grievance arbitration process after being required to rehire a number of city employees that […]

Attorney Matt Dolan, Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Making Discipline Stick in Law Enforcement©

Some individuals in government have suggested that grievance arbitrators’ handling of law enforcement officer discipline cases tends to be biased in favor of the employees and against management. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, for example, has criticized the grievance arbitration process after being required to rehire a number of police officers that had been terminated from […]

Attorney Matt Dolan Read More
Your Department Doesn’t Match the Diversity of your Community?

Consider The Effects of Rapidly Changing Demographics Public safety agencies are facing ever-increasing pressure to have the racial and ethnic diversity of their employees match or exceed the racial and ethnic diversity found within the communities. Sheriffs, police chiefs, and fire chiefs are often being called to account by municipal government leaders, citizens’ groups, outside […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Reducing Crime and Calls for Service through Nuisance Abatement

A nuisance abatement law is a local ordinance holding property owners civilly liable to the city for excessive criminal law or health code violations that occur on their premises. Under most of these ordinances, property owners can be assessed fees or fines in civil court to reimburse the city for excessive use of public safety […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Pick Your FTOs Carefully

Field Training Officers (FTOs) play a crucial role in preparing new officers for the complexity of the job, and transmitting the police department culture to these new officers. In the police academy, recruits develop a foundational “book knowledge,” but it is the field training portion that teaches them how to fairly and impartially apply all […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
What is Your Real Hiring Pool?

Law enforcement agencies are often confronted about the racial makeup of their departments by members of the news media, civil rights activists, community groups, or local politicians. Often those who are criticizing police agencies compare the racial composition of the police department’s employees to the racial composition of the city or county that they police. […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
The Public’s Confidence in the Police Might Be Better Than You Think

We frequently see stories in the national news media about the public’s lack of trust in the police. When these stories move beyond anecdotal accounts, they often cite Gallup Poll data regarding public confidence in the police. For instance, much media attention was paid to the fact that public confidence in the police dipped to […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Fair Leadership Matters

“Procedural justice” is a popular term today. This term generally means fairness and respect in processes that resolve disputes or allocate resources. Many use the term when discussing police-community relations, arguing that law enforcement officers must act in a procedurally just manner (showing professionalism and respect) when interacting with the public in order to have […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Don’t Have a “Rubber Gun Squad”? Separation Agreements in Public Safety

For years, the New York City Police Department has reserved a place within the department that is widely known as the “rubber gun squad”. This “squad” is comprised of individual officers who cannot be put on the street to conduct normal police operations for a variety of reasons. Many of the officers have been reinstated […]

Matt Dolan, Attorney Read More
4 Performance Evaluation Pitfalls Your Agency Should Avoid

Broken performance evaluation systems damage public safety agencies across the country in two ways. First, they inaccurately give positive documentation to officers that are later used to reverse important disciplinary decisions in court or in arbitration. Second, by selecting “meets expectations,” supervisors are denying performance merits to officers who have earned much greater recognition. More […]

Matt Dolan, Attorney Read More
Improving Case Clearance Rates in Criminal Investigations

While it is obviously best to prevent or deter crime before it occurs, this is not always possible. Despite the fact that modern policing tactics, such as problem-oriented policing and intelligence-led policing, have contributed to massive crime decreases since the 1990s, agencies still have to grapple with the challenge of solving crimes that cannot be […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Citizen Complaints and Misconduct—The 3 Career Paths

Most research on citizen complaints and rule violations shows that allegations against police officers generally happen within the first five years of that officer’s career. If the officer is lucky enough to still have a job after these first five years, complaints and other career problems tend to subside for the rest of the officer’s […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Public Perceptions of Police Profanity

The use of profanity when dealing with members of the public has been debated in law enforcement circles for years. Most law enforcement leaders argue the use of profanity with members of the public is unprofessional and should be avoided whenever possible. Other leaders disagree with this. They instead argue that officers often need to […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
The FTO Process—A Once-in-a-Career Opportunity

The probationary employment period presents public safety leaders with a unique opportunity to evaluate performance, identify “red flags” and take proactive measures to address misconduct. For most officers, the close supervision and continual feedback that they receive from their Field Training Officers (FTOs) during this period will not be replicated for the entirety of their […]

Matt Dolan, Attorney Read More
Verbal De-escalation Techniques: How They Actually Work

Our verbal de-escalation courses help public safety professionals deal with difficult and argumentative verbal interactions with citizens without risking their careers. At the heart of this is the Rhetorical Continuum—in other words, just like there are ranges of force, there are also various levels of rhetoric that you can use to overcome citizen resistance. Like […]

Chief Harry P. Dolan (ret.) Read More
“Gypsy Cops”: Does Your Agency Have a Policy?

The intense media spotlight placed on law enforcement in recent years has often been one-sided, unfair or even disingenuously slanted against the profession.  However, at least one area of scrutiny should be welcomed by law enforcement professionals: the nation-wide problem of agency hopping, problem-prone individuals known as “gypsy cops”. For years, law enforcement leaders have […]

Matt Dolan, Attorney Read More
Sexual Harassment Liability in Public Safety

The national media has placed a keen focus on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace over the past several weeks.  Media and political figures are accused of sexual misconduct and, possibly even more importantly, a multitude of men and women in positions of power are found to have been aware of misconduct to […]

Matt Dolan, Attorney Read More
Not in Our House? Substance Abuse among Police and Firefighters

It is not something we like to think about, but the evidence reveals that many law enforcement officers and firefighters struggle with abuse of alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs. Public safety professionals experience unusually high levels of stress related to potential dangers to their physical safety and the effects of experiencing a multitude of […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
“Why?” Is Not Always a Form of Disrespect

“Why?” This is a one-word question that requests clarification, reasoning, or purpose of some thing or some request. Asking ‘why’ is a universally human concept. Aristotle pointed this out over 2,300 years ago when he said, “All human beings, by nature, desire to know.”1 It is also a truly American word. In the United States, […]

Chief Harry P. Dolan (ret.) Read More
How Dangerous Are Domestic Violence Calls to Officer Safety?

Domestic violence (DV) calls carry a reputation for being extremely dangerous for officers. Some academics and DV victim advocates, however, have challenged this reputation and have suggested that DV calls are rarely dangerous for officers. This research brief will examine the research on assaults on officers at DV calls. Specifically, it will examine the prevalence […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Helping Domestic Violence Victims

Domestic violence (DV) calls pose a number of physical safety and legal liability risks for law enforcement officers. These calls involve crimes between people with complex relationship issues that can make investigating these crimes very difficult for officers. In fact, one study that surveyed patrol officers from 13 different municipal police departments in the Chicago […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Dolan Consulting Training Members Of The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

Dolan Consulting trained members of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department on verbal de-escalation from September 5-8, 2017. The Train The Trainer Course helps participants become teachers of verbal de-escalation techniques and gives them the tools they need to teach others how to defuse potentially volatile situations.

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Performance Evaluations—Are They Helping Us or Hurting Us?

Why are we conducting performance evaluations and how are they making the agency better? These are fundamental questions for agencies that require standardized performance evaluations. Without clearly answering these questions, supervisors are often put in the position of pursuing the “path of least resistance” when it comes to conducting performance evaluations. This path is understandably […]

Matt Dolan, Attorney Read More
Developing Organizational Performance Leadership