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 get fixed.
The letter I received follows:
Norm, 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 accumulated.
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 compensation.
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
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!
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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.