Probationary Dismissals

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OCCOP
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Probationary Dismissals

Postby OCCOP » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:07 pm

I have heard that dismissals of probationary constables is rare. I recently became aware of a member who was dismissed at the end of their year for "failure to complete probation". I had heard that due to the expense invested into a new member that this is very uncommon and usually re-training and extension of the probationary period are more common. I don't know the details of the reasons that led to the dismissal but heard from several sources that the rookie was struggling, but that they thought that they were doing pretty good. They were apparently totally floored when they were dismissed.

Just curious what the process usually is. My Coach Officer training indicated that (in Ontario) there was usually quite the history of counselling and coaching after bad assessments or issues were observed, then a formal course conference...only after it has been shown that everything was done to try to rehabilitate or bring the recruit to standard were they released.
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Madeline236
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby Madeline236 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:34 pm

Answering on a completely job neutral position I've heard the "but we've invested so much into him, her, or it (in relation to infrastructure) and therefore can't just cut them loose or build a new building. In business theory, and smart business, these are called sunk costs and should really form no consideration in future decisions or in decisions to fire or build a new 'thing.' It is money spent and you can't really recover it by keeping an employee on longer, especially in public sector where there is no profit to be made. Part of the reason most law enforcement jobs have a lengthy application process is to avoid spending this money in the first place on a poor fit but no process is perfect and sometimes you just have to write something off as a loss.

Keeping a new staff member on because you spent money on him or her already is like saying one should just keep sinking cash into maintaining a crumbling building because you've already spent a lot keeping it from falling down so far. If a staff member is not working out now it is best to cut them loose on probation when it is easiest rather than keeping them on when there is a risk they will be a liability and cost you money and or embarrassment in the future. Not to mention firing them once off probation requires a lot of paperwork, records keeping and union battles.

All that said public sector is till very big on reflecting on money spent on poor projects or staff.

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Dave Jenkins
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby Dave Jenkins » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:00 pm

Speaking based on my experience in the university special constable environment I can say that both were done. Keep in mind Mac as an example has a 1 year probation, there was plenty of time to see what the recruit had to offer. There were some blatant no fits that had somehow seemed good on paper and in interviews but showed their true selves once hired. Then there were the so-so ones that had their probation extended with the good old "but we've spent so much on them" as the excuse.

It is not rocket science! Within the given probation period the recruit should be found to either be worth keeping or not. Freezing a bad piece of meat may hold the smell at bay but you still have a bad piece of meat that is not good for anything. Get rid of it. Lengthy probation periods, such that are found in law enforcement circles, is plenty of time to correct of purge the problem. Extending the probation is much like freezing the bad meat. Holds back the smell but doesn't save the meat.
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cardz25
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby cardz25 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:35 am

Dave Jenkins wrote: Extending the probation is much like freezing the bad meat. Holds back the smell but doesn't save the meat.
That's a good analogy.
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby OCCOP » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:52 am

I don't disagree. I was just wondering if dismissal was more common then I'd heard. I am supportive of a strong training process with regular on-going assessment and coaching of new members. I don't believe any member should be floored by a dismissal. Their coaching and training shouldn't stop after training and should continue throughout their probationary period. If all the steps were done and failed, the member should be all too aware of their tenuous position. The fact that the member was so surprised led me to the possibility that they were given rope and allowed to hang themselves, versus given on-going coaching and negative feedback.

The last release that I heard about the recruit had struggled and after their coach had thrown up their hands and said "I can't do any more with this person", they were sent to a second coach officer who went back to basics and tried a different approach. The recruit was unsuccessful and at the end of training (not probation, they never got to go solo) they were given the option of resigning (and having their OPC loan forgiven) or termination. They took the former (and got a job as a direct entry with another service which saved on not having to pay for their OPC).
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby Bald Man » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:56 am

I;ve heard of if happening, dont know how common it is though, but it does happen. One guy was hired from Nepal who couldn't speak english, yet made it through interviews and OPC? :ponder: He was sent for english classes but was terminated in the end. He was likely hired because he worked with the UN. We've had french people let go for the same reasons, again not sure how some makes it through all the training but can't speak english. I remember hearing of an asian girl hired with no drivers licence, could never pass driving but was given some desk job somewhere.

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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby Toonces » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:49 pm

I'm a coach officer and this subject caused a lively discussion during the coach officer's course. In my outfit, probationaries can be dismissed, and it does happen. Like you said, these are situations that are very well documented, and often several different approaches are attempted. There is plenty of opportunity to document any work performance deficiencies, as we do 7 performance evaluations (some extend over a two month period). It is up to the coach to properly and thoroughly document the probationary officer's performance - good and bad. If a coach feels that a probationary officer is unsuitable for a career in policing, there better be a mountain of paperwork to support that.

I've never been in a situation coaching a difficult probationary officer, the OPP Academy does fairly well with weeding out unsuitable candidates.
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cardz25
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby cardz25 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:14 pm

Toonces wrote: In my outfit, probationaries can be dismissed, and it does happen.
Just curious...are you able to provide an example of WHY a probationary officer may be dismissed?
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby Dave Jenkins » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:52 pm

cardz25 wrote:
Toonces wrote: In my outfit, probationaries can be dismissed, and it does happen.
Just curious...are you able to provide an example of WHY a probationary officer may be dismissed?
I can only speak to McMaster U, where anything that revealed that the recruit was found unsuitable to be kept on.

Some examples:
-can not or will not follow instructions
-can not grasp what is expected of them
-lazy
-tardy
-dishonesty
-can not deal with shifts
-over zealous (power tripping, heavy handed....)
-can not pass post hire courses (OACUSA, use of force....)
-discreditable conduct

I have seen a number of recruits that looked great on paper and bullshitted their way through the process only to show their true colours once on the job.

-One could only focus on an opportunity to "hook" (hand cuff) someone up. It was an obsession! He actually begged to be the one to place the cuffs on a guy that was arrested. Despite some "counselling" sessions he didn't change. He was dismissed.

-Another would sneak a patrol car and the laser unit and do traffic enforcement after being given clear instructions to carry out certain duties that he seemed to find boring. Same numpty went and brushed his teeth before responding to a medical call.....because there might be some hot chicks there.... :roll: He was shown the door.

-Yet another needed a nap on nights. Didn't like walking. And.....opened a box of recovered (freshly recovered) stolen pizza and started to snack on it. Here is a napkin and there is the door.

There were some others but you can get a grasp of what went on to cause the decision to terminate. Now granted, a special constable agency doesn't spend what a police service would but both must be mindful that they may have to suck up the cost to date rather than risk keeping that bad apple. If there is the slightest hint they should go then make that happen. Hiding them within the service means that you are most likely simply delaying when you get bitten on the ass by them.
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby SourSkittles » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:16 am

Bald Man wrote:I;ve heard of if happening, dont know how common it is though, but it does happen. One guy was hired from Nepal who couldn't speak english, yet made it through interviews and OPC? :ponder: He was sent for english classes but was terminated in the end. He was likely hired because he worked with the UN. We've had french people let go for the same reasons, again not sure how some makes it through all the training but can't speak english. I remember hearing of an asian girl hired with no drivers licence, could never pass driving but was given some desk job somewhere.
Curious tho, if a person spoke french only could that not be sufficient enough to keep your job. Canada is a Bi-lingual country (thats another can of worms)
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby cardz25 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:31 am

Dave Jenkins wrote: I have seen a number of recruits that looked great on paper and bullshitted their way through the process only to show their true colours once on the job.
It's too bad you couldn't fast forward during the hiring process to reveal their true character.
Dave Jenkins wrote: -One could only focus on an opportunity to "hook" (hand cuff) someone up. It was an obsession! He actually begged to be the one to place the cuffs on a guy that was arrested. Despite some "counselling" sessions he didn't change. He was dismissed.
This is definitely "unusual" behaviour...almost sounds like a fetish.
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby Bald Man » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:47 am

SourSkittles wrote:
Bald Man wrote:I;ve heard of if happening, dont know how common it is though, but it does happen. One guy was hired from Nepal who couldn't speak english, yet made it through interviews and OPC? :ponder: He was sent for english classes but was terminated in the end. He was likely hired because he worked with the UN. We've had french people let go for the same reasons, again not sure how some makes it through all the training but can't speak english. I remember hearing of an asian girl hired with no drivers licence, could never pass driving but was given some desk job somewhere.
Curious tho, if a person spoke french only could that not be sufficient enough to keep your job. Canada is a Bi-lingual country (thats another can of worms)

No because the comm centre, radio use, note book and report writing language must be in English only. Info on police computers is all ENGLISH. How do you think your platoon mates would feel if you couldn't understand them on the radio while they ask for help? Or if you're on a call and you're standing there like an idiot because you can't converse with your platoon mates? Could you imagine the chaos if some spoke english and some french? Do you really think that would work and would be safe? It's the same with air traffic control in the world regardless of country, ENGLISH is the only language used. Quebec is the only province that uses all french for reports and computer info.


And no this is not a can of worms. English is the only language used for many reasons.

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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby OCCOP » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:29 pm

Bald Man wrote:
SourSkittles wrote:
Bald Man wrote:I;ve heard of if happening, dont know how common it is though, but it does happen. One guy was hired from Nepal who couldn't speak english, yet made it through interviews and OPC? :ponder: He was sent for english classes but was terminated in the end. He was likely hired because he worked with the UN. We've had french people let go for the same reasons, again not sure how some makes it through all the training but can't speak english. I remember hearing of an asian girl hired with no drivers licence, could never pass driving but was given some desk job somewhere.
Curious tho, if a person spoke french only could that not be sufficient enough to keep your job. Canada is a Bi-lingual country (thats another can of worms)

No because the comm centre, radio use, note book and report writing language must be in English only. Info on police computers is all ENGLISH. How do you think your platoon mates would feel if you couldn't understand them on the radio while they ask for help? Or if you're on a call and you're standing there like an idiot because you can't converse with your platoon mates? Could you imagine the chaos if some spoke english and some french? Do you really think that would work and would be safe? It's the same with air traffic control in the world regardless of country, ENGLISH is the only language used. Quebec is the only province that uses all french for reports and computer info.


And no this is not a can of worms. English is the only language used for many reasons.
"Info on police computers is all ENGLISH".... Unless the conditions are from Quebec! Had that happen recently, the Central S/Sgt. luckily had functional French. "My French isn't all that good, but I'm pretty sure he's not allowed to drive and shouldn't have a driver's licence."

Unfortunately, some officers have decided to communicate on the radio with each other in French. My French isn't that good...so it's kind of annoying. I think that's what cell phones are for!
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby SourSkittles » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:19 pm

Bald Man wrote:
SourSkittles wrote:
Bald Man wrote:I;ve heard of if happening, dont know how common it is though, but it does happen. One guy was hired from Nepal who couldn't speak english, yet made it through interviews and OPC? :ponder: He was sent for english classes but was terminated in the end. He was likely hired because he worked with the UN. We've had french people let go for the same reasons, again not sure how some makes it through all the training but can't speak english. I remember hearing of an asian girl hired with no drivers licence, could never pass driving but was given some desk job somewhere.
Curious tho, if a person spoke french only could that not be sufficient enough to keep your job. Canada is a Bi-lingual country (thats another can of worms)

No because the comm centre, radio use, note book and report writing language must be in English only. Info on police computers is all ENGLISH. How do you think your platoon mates would feel if you couldn't understand them on the radio while they ask for help? Or if you're on a call and you're standing there like an idiot because you can't converse with your platoon mates? Could you imagine the chaos if some spoke english and some french? Do you really think that would work and would be safe? It's the same with air traffic control in the world regardless of country, ENGLISH is the only language used. Quebec is the only province that uses all french for reports and computer info.


And no this is not a can of worms. English is the only language used for many reasons.
I know that all first hand, I meant as in has there ever been a case where someone tried to challenge it legally is all.
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Re: Probationary Dismissals

Postby Bald Man » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:51 pm

"Info on police computers is all ENGLISH".... Unless the conditions are from Quebec! Had that happen recently, the Central S/Sgt. luckily had functional French. "My French isn't all that good, but I'm pretty sure he's not allowed to drive and shouldn't have a driver's licence."

Unfortunately, some officers have decided to communicate on the radio with each other in French. My French isn't that good...so it's kind of annoying. I think that's what cell phones are for!

Your bosses should be regulating that. Should be English only.If they want to parle it should be on their cell phones.

Ya, Quebec is for some reason allowed to input all info on CPIC in French. This is National RCMP database and should be English. If they want to add it in both languages, then fill your boots. But it's not helpful to the Vancouver cop who can't speak french to try and figure out what "mandate" means and if they are returning, and what the conditions are


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