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Operational Mid-Level Management for Police, third edition.

Operational Mid-Level Management for Police, third edition, by John L. Coleman, Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois, 2002.

Operational Mid-Level Management for Police is a book researched and written by an experienced officer. The author has provided a functional and practical, as well as theoretical, information-based approach for operational mid-level law enforcement managers to improve productive performance in themselves and their line subordinates. He has advanced the book's information and its application to law enforcement beyond the traditional performance in serving the community clientele and enhancing subordinate personnel's overall job performance.


This well-researched book entails a dynamic flow for leadership and management to expand the knowledge of its readers that will improve the mid-level manager's own daily performance behaviors. It addresses the need for mid-level managers to be proficient in analytical problem solving and decision making, concerning controls and behavior skills of their own that are inseparable from job performance.

Various sequential components of the analytical and decision-making processes are given as they relate to the productivity of mid-level law enforcement managers. This ranges from the detection and recognition of their own personal and performance problems, motivation and distribution of workloads, and managerial elements of task accomplishment in terms of followership and command execution to the assumption of an atmosphere conducive to positive subordinate performance.

The research sets forth pressures that affect logical judgments in a manager and subordinate performance, such as anger, environmental factors, and unfamiliarity of situations, all of which impact decision making. It offers goal-oriented leadership as procedures in harmonizing essential tasks in the department at the mid-level of management and identifies alternative methods of describing and establishing task obligations.

The book identifies six core responsibilities of the mid-level manager and six rules for their delegation critical to the position and the interface with upper management, including subordinate development. It also documents interesting correlations and causations in subordinate performance, such as addressing sexual harassment, work discrimination, and rights of subordinates from a mid-level management position.

A comprehensive chapter on the forms and methods of communication involves most any aspect of upward (feedback), downward (direction), lateral (peer), and diagonal (not in the chain of command) communication. Another chapter on leadership vision enhances a manager's effectiveness through creative thinking on influencing subordinates' performance to elevate their efforts to much higher levels of productivity and personal behavior. The chapter also defines personnel usage strategies, as well as internal and external relevant factors, when preparing a flexible plan or blueprint to eliminate wasted work efforts. An example on strategy projection and charting of personnel use toward that projection supports this blueprint. The book also contains a chapter on the obstacles to effective appraisals, their common errors by mid-level managers, and the establishment of a viable appraisal process policy with an example of a 10-criteria credible evaluation.

While the book has several strong points, three stand out. First, the author provides examples of mid-level management behavioral measures from an upper-level management perspective. Second, he presents a 10-step subordinate counseling session structure. And, third, he includes a four-step model process for managerial training.

Operational Mid-Level Management for Police is highly recommended for reading and for practical use by mid-level law enforcement managers in all types of jurisdictions. It is essential reading for those involved in management selection, assessment center operation, policy and procedures writing, civil service and promotional examination preparation, and management training and development.

Reviewed by

Larry R. Moore

Certified Emergency Manager

International Association of Emergency Managers

Knoxville, Tennessee
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Author:Moore, Larry R.
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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