What is it like to be a cop in America today in the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict? In a risky environment when dangerous weapons are used and snap decisions are required? How should police officers be treated and their grievances be resolved? A long-time expert in the settlement of disputes writes in a popular vein for those engaged in or studying police administration, labor arbitration, or industrial relations. He uses real cases to demonstrate common disputes and ways to settle them. What do labor awards indicate about the working life of police officers? How could disputes have been avoided? Should higher standards be imposed upon police officers than on other workers? Should a police officer be disciplined for breaking the law? Should there be a more flexible standard when an officer is off duty? How should a cop who misbehaves be punished? This text deals with these questions, defines the role of the arbitrator, and discusses the ways in which awards are made and grievances settled.
Coulson shows how complicated the bargaining process can be and the types of problems that can arise between police unions and local governments. He discusses the autocratic nature of police departments and problems confronting them. He describes cases involving sex and race discrimination, drugs and drinking, off-duty offenses, and policy violations. An appendix lists rules set out by the American Arbitration Association as a model for grievance arbitration procedures in the United States. A short bibliography points to further readings for students and police officers.
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