Developing a Professional Standards Disciplinary Matrix
Course Description: Campus police and public safety officers often have the authority to effect arrests; restrict the freedom of individuals; and/or use force, including the use of deadly force. With this high-level of authority and discretion comes a tremendous responsibility to perform public safety duties using sound professional judgment. But how do agency leaders ensure that if an officer violates their oath of office, appropriate discipline will be imposed consistently and fairly to ensure human rights are protected? How will your campus community know and trust that the discipline imposed was appropriate, fair, and impartial, while remaining transparent?
A disciplinary matrix provides a pre-established baseline for supervisors to impose discipline fairly and appropriately. The disciplinary matrix helps eliminate the perception that relationships, rather than facts, drive a sanction. Although a professional standards investigation may not involve preferential treatment, the perception of favoritism may still be present in the disciplinary phase. This perception can undermine the credibility of the entire disciplinary process and the reputation of the department and the university/college.
A disciplinary matrix will help ensure:
- consistent and impartial discipline properly addresses campus police/public safety officer misconduct;
- consistent application of professional standards,
- internal and external legitimacy and trust in the disciplinary process,
- internal procedural justice through a consistent and fair application of professional standards across all ranks and positions, and
- transparency within the disciplinary process.
This course will teach attendees how to develop a disciplinary matrix, including developing best practices for engaging campus partners and implementing an institution-specific matrix. (Attendees may find it helpful, to also take Course 5- Professional Standards Investigations – A 21st Century Procedural Justice Approach, following this course, but taking Course 5 is not required. Course 5 will provide guidance on how to utilize a disciplinary matrix as part of the organization’s overarching professional standards process.)
Some of the key topics that will be covered include:
- Internal and external procedural justice
- Balancing transparency with confidentiality
- Incidents requiring disciplinary action
- Best practices in developing an employee disciplinary sanction matrix
- Considerations for union and non-union environments
- Considerations for melding the matrix into other campus disciplinary processes
- Considerations for campus buy-in and implementation
Audience: Campus Police and Public Safety Command Staff and Supervisory Personnel
This course will be taught by higher education experts who have a background and expertise in developing and implementing Professional Standards Disciplinary Matrices for Public Safety and Law Enforcement agencies on college campuses.