I received some feedback reference on my recent column. The author is
a former Metro supervisor who retired honorably and would NOT describe
himself as having any kind of ‘grudge’ against the department. I know
that it is pretty easy for the clowns that run the current circus to
write me off as a disgruntled former employee. I was involuntary
separated after being targeted for termination and there certainly is
bitterness. Bitterness because those who were able to orchestrate the
termination were able to get away with it! Disappointment because the
union was such a joke and advocated for management instead of their
member. Shock that the department, the union (PMSA), Internal Affairs,
Employment Diversity, Labor Relations, Metro’s wanna-be cop attorney,
and even the arbitrator, ALL ignored a half-dozen written requests for
clarification about NORM JAHN NOT BEING ALLOWED TO CROSS THE STREET!
Whether anyone who criticizes Metro has a valid reason or not, the
content of their complaints should be heard. Quality organizations
listen to information provided at exit interviews and other feedback.
They try to improve when problems are so obvious. I’m pretty sure that
the former supervisor who wrote the following to me…didn’t get a
chance to lay it on the line…and if he had that opportunity, I’m
pretty sure that Duh-G would say, “We don’t have a morale problem at
Metro.” Things just “ain’t right” for the regular folks at Metro.
Those flying high are fortunate and probably have not faced the same
levels of adversity as others. We can accept that Metro World isn’t
always fair, but don’t pretend that things are fine or they will never
The letter I received follows:
Another great article. If only the agency would listen instead of
ignoring the problem or playing a blame game. Here are my comments to
the world on your article:
I do believe that many Metro officers, during their career, give their
entire lives to the agency (LVMPD). They spend countless off duty
hours, working toward Metro’s mission to “Protect the community
through prevention, partnership, and professional service”. The agency
fails to recognize that employees do this while balancing a marriage
or relationship, raising children of all ages, preventing a home
foreclosure, taking care of an elderly parent, and many other tasks
that life has dealt. Higher ranking officers are just “expected” to
work while off duty with no compensation. The agency will tell you
that you are not expected to work beyond your 10 hours, but will hold
you to the standard that can only be achieved by working well beyond
your work shift.
On several occasions off duty while hosting my children’s birthday
parties or just having my family from out of town visiting me at my
home, or while at my kid’s sporting events, I would answer work
related phone calls or answer work related emails on my department
issued Blackberry. In some instances, one phone call would lead to
making phone calls and receiving more phone calls. My wife would just
look at me and shake her head, knowing that I was going to be busy. I
remember telling the person I was talking to that I would call them
right back so I could finish watching my child play sports or cut a
birthday cake. I also remember driving through Nebraska while on
vacation and stopping for gas. I received a phone call from one of my
employees asking for guidance with an operation we had been working on
for quite some time. I could have ignored the phone call or directed
the employee to someone else, but they called ME for a reason —
because I told them I would be there for them ANYTIME they needed me.
I also remember being on vacation in California and answering work
related phone calls. Within the last year, I was asked to participate
in a conference call regarding a case I had investigated. I was in
Florida on vacation. I could have told them not to bother me, but that
is not my personality.
I was one of the LUCKY ones! My wife didn’t work outside of our home
and was able to take care of our children. She came to terms that my
extended work hours were just part of my job. She is amazing and
without her I am sure I would have failed.
You were expected to answer these calls but rarely asked for
compensation, knowing that you would be frowned upon by the
administration because you were told that there was little or no money
to pay overtime. Forget compensating yourself with time off.
Compensatory time, usually unofficial “Comp” time, would just increase
in hours and you would never be able to take all the time that you had
I remember working in an assignment where we NEVER asked for overtime.
We were called out and submitted for callback overtime. You would have
thought my fellow detectives and I had just committed treason. I was
challenged by a superior. They told me that I signed up for the job,
knew what I was getting into, and “Bought the T-Shirt”… I responded
by saying that he was correct, but I didn’t agree I would do it for
FREE. Although we were paid the overtime, this is an example of the
mentality the administration has toward working extended hours without
We all knew the employees that had an Administration TARGET on their
back. If they were challenged with a question and didn’t have the
correct answer, they knew their head would be on the chopping block.
Imagine dealing with this along with all of life’s challenges, which
some of these were more challenging than others. Some employees aren’t
LUCKY, and have difficulties balancing work and their personal lives.
You knew it was just a matter of time before the administration would
finally GET the employee.
Every Metro officer has their own weakness or tipping point. We have
all seen employees who spend so much time working together that they
turn a work relationship into a personal relationship, ruining their
marriage. The administration tries to separate personal issues with
work. However, work is what has caused the personal issues. Even
though they won’t admit to it, Metro expects you to give them hours of
your personal time, but also expects your personal life to not
interfere or get intertwined with your work performance. I’m sure in a
lot of cases, working extended hours and sacrificing your entire life
during your career at METRO has adversely affected the employee’s
personal life and well being. This is now Metro’s problem.
When will METRO wake up and realize they have employed human beings
that have or will have problems that are exasperated by being a police
officer. Officers say they are working to keep their mind off of their
problems, but the JOB only makes is worse. Again I say, “Metro can
literally suck the life out of its employees!”
I’m not writing this because I am a disgruntled retired employee or
have a grudge against the administration. I was very fortunate while
working for Metro, but I always kept my distance from the
administration. I felt that most employees had a good side and many
who were discharged could have used mentoring. I never used a mentor
while at LVMPD and achieved my rank and positions through hard work
and my own personal dedication. I didn’t use relationships to achieve
rank or position as you have seen so many employees do in this
administration. I see good people sit idle for years while others have
been spring boarded to positions that should take years longer to
achieve. And the administration either believes employees will just
accept it or that employees are not paying attention. Let me tell you,
that employees are paying attention! Many Metro employees did not know
me as I kept a low profile and listened more that I spoke. I paid
attention to all the things an LVMPD employee should to survive. I did
have to dodge a few bullets in the latter part of my career, but was
attentive enough to see them being fired at me.
Keep writing those great articles!
* * * * *
Norm Jahn is a former LVMPD lieutenant, who has also served as a
police chief in Shawano, Wisconsin, and has nearly 25 years of police
experience. Jahn now contributes his opinions and ideas to help
improve policing in general, and in Las Vegas in particular, through
his weekly column in the Las Vegas Tribune.
I received some feedback reference on my recent column. The author is