307 – Supervisory Responsibility
Every Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) supervisor shall ensure that the agency’s work is done in a professional manner. In order to accomplish this, several conditions must be met:
A. A supervisor must know and understand his or her areas of responsibility and the objectives to be achieved by the organizational unit under his or her command.
B. Well-stated goals will ensure consistent operational decisions.
C. The supervisor must have confidence both in him- or herself and personnel in order to delegate authority appropriately. However, the supervisor must remember that the responsibility for accomplishing assigned tasks remains at all times with him or her and cannot be delegated.
D. As the supervisor is held accountable for the completion of a given task by the personnel under his or her command, so are those personnel to be held accountable for the performance of their jobs.
Supervision requires effective communication skills. Personnel being supervised must understand exactly what is expected of them. Optimally, there should be no ambiguous job or task descriptions.
A. Personnel under a supervisor’s command must understand the parameters or limitations under which they work and whether they have the authority to make non-procedural decisions.
B. The supervisor should provide accurate and timely feedback at all stages of an assigned task to ensure that:
1. The personnel under his or her command know that the supervisor is aware of what they are doing,
2. The personnel under his or her command know that the supervisor is aware of how the task is being performed,
3. Mistakes are corrected immediately,
4. Positive reinforcement is provided immediately, and
5. Modifications to task performance or task objectives may be made as required.
C. Supervisors must understand that personnel may make mistakes in the course of performing job assignments. Depending on the severity, mistakes and errors of judgment made in good faith may be considered primarily as a training opportunity rather than the basis for disciplinary action.
D. Mistakes and errors of judgment made in good faith will not be confused with the willful acts or omissions that violate HCSO policy and rules. Repeated mistakes or errors of judgment shall be construed to negate good faith.
E. Each supervisor must determine the point at which repetitive mistakes cease to be opportunities for training, coaching, or counseling and instead become problems that must be resolved through other measures.
F. A supervisor is not relieved of accountability and responsibility for the completion of assigned tasks by personnel under his or her command simply because he or she is not physically present.
G. A supervisor shall know at all times the identity of each employee under his or her command. Likewise, each employee shall know at all times the identity of his or her supervisor.
H. In interacting with personnel under their command, supervisors shall act at all times in a professional, equitable, and consistent manner.
Qualitatively, not all job assignments within the HCSO are considered pleasant or enjoyable. Furthermore, many job assignments are difficult. A supervisor must enforce rules in a consistent and equitable manner regardless of personal friendships or personal dislikes.
I. A supervisor shall ensure that all applicable rules, regulations, policies, and procedures of the HCSO and its bureaus are followed by all personnel. Line inspections shall be an ongoing activity to ensure employees are acting in concert with the agency’s requirements involving personal appearance, use and maintenance of equipment, and adherence to directives and policies.
1. While on duty, a supervisor shall take action to prevent or correct any violation of the department policies that is observed or that comes to his or her attention whether the employee committing such violation is under his or her command or not.
2. A supervisor shall take action to prevent or correct any violation of bureau policies or procedures committed by personnel assigned to his or her bureau whether the employee is under his or her command or not.
3. Violations of another bureau’s policies or procedures committed by an employee not assigned to a supervisor’s bureau should, as a courtesy, be brought to the attention of an appropriate supervisor of the other bureau.
4. A supervisor who takes informal or formal action to correct employee behavior shall be responsible for follow-up to ensure corrective action has been taken. This may be done in accordance with the provisions established in the disciplinary process specified in this section.
J. Within the HCSO, supervisors are expected to serve as role models whose behavior should be emulated by personnel under their command. For this reason, all supervisors shall conduct themselves in a professional manner while on duty or while engaged in any other HCSO or law-enforcement-related activities.
K. All supervisors shall conduct themselves in accordance with the standards set by these policies.
This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:
April 21, 2009
December 2, 2020