From Green Bay Press Gazette:
GREEN BAY – A reorganization is coming to the Green Bay Police Department, made possible by what some insiders are calling “a historic, cultural change.”
The police union, long protective of a seniority-based promotions policy, has agreed that merit, not years of service, should be the deciding factor in meting out promotions and assigning officers to particular jobs.
What it means is, some 18- or 20-year veteran officer who has never demonstrated ambition or talent won’t be an automatic shoo-in for a shift-commander position or detective or school liaison officer as the opening occurs, as he or she might have been in the past. They will have to apply for the job, interview for it, compete with possibly younger, hungrier talent and possibly end up without it.
The structural change going into place imposes a hierarchy and eliminates the fairly flat structure that had been in place for about the last decade or more, but it represents only the first phase. Before the year ends, Smith hopes to reinstate sergeants into the organizational table. Under the current structure and contract, lieutenants are allowed to supervise but can’t perform patrol officer duties like writing a ticket. Smith hopes to reduce the number of lieutenants and reinstate the sergeant rank, to allow people who perform basic supervisory duties to also work the streets as patrol officers do.
“A sergeant should be someone who can go out and handle calls, do regular police work but at the same time, guide, mentor, train and supervise other officers,” Smith said. “I was a sergeant at one point in my career, and it was probably one of the best jobs I ever had … except for being chief of the Green Bay Police Department, of course.”
He expects the move to receive the support of both the union and the City Council.