POLICE Magazine

OCT 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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16 POLICE OCTOBER 2018 sure all your concerns are put on record. If you don't put them on record, they don't exist, which is especially important if you are already considering an appeal. If you are given a reprimand, you will be asked to sign it. Failure to do so can be seen as an act of insubordination. Sign- ing doesn't mean you agree with the out- come but that you received it. Instead of not signing, sign and add, "I do not concur with the findings." If you are going to write a rebuttal letter, you can also state, "I do not concur with the findings. Please see my rebuttal letter." A rebuttal letter becomes part of the dis- cipline packet. is is your opportunity to write a detailed response to the complaint and include your concerns, especially those from the notes you took while being interviewed. ough your agency has the final say, you are at least guaranteed that your side of the story is presented. A bit of a warning, however: writing a rebuttal letter will be seen as controver- sial. It will keep you on the radar longer, as administrators don't like pushback. At this point, I say who cares. If you are go- ing to fight a reprimand you feel you don't deserve then go as big as you can. Keep in mind that there might be other remedies you can use based on your agency poli- cies, procedures, or collective bargaining agreements. SOME TAKEAWAYS Receiving a reprimand is not the end of the world. It might seem that way if it keeps you from taking the next promo- tional exam or trying out for a specialty unit like SWAT. It's also not very amus- ing to know that people are talking about your faux pas behind your back. But don't worry, it won't last long. Someone else will come along and take your place. e bottom line is that only you know for sure if your reprimand was well de- served or not. If you violated some policy or procedure, accept responsibility, learn from it, and move on. If it was not de- served, then you need to decide if you are going to fight it or leave it alone. If you do fight it, take it as far as you can go. Once you start, it doesn't matter the scale of your response; it's all viewed the same by administrators. If you are going to push back, then push back hard. e positive side of a reprimand is that it's a great learning tool and a window into your future with your agency. You learn exactly how your administration acts, how politicized an investigation can be, and where you stand in the agency's eyes. After all, knowledge is power. During any investigation you have no friends; you only have the knowledge of what you did or did not do. If you remember why you became a law enforcement officer in the first place, you'll survive any reprimand, justified or not. Amaury Murgado is a retired special oper- ations lieutenant with the Osceola County (FL) Sheriff's Office with over 30 years of ex- perience. He also retired a master sergeant from the Army Reserve. How To

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