Your Employer: A Dumpster Fire

Last week, the consulting firm Manuel, Daniels, Burke International, LLC, released a report about the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department (SCMPD) in picturesque Savannah, GA.

For the public, that means lots of yawning.

But that department is trying to regain public trust after years of internal problems, and Interim Chief Julie Tolbert certainly has her hands full.

As in most places, change takes time.

For the most part, the report focuses on a single branch of the police department (IAD), but one released statistic is shocking.

Well, shocking in dumpster-fire fashion.

Get this:

Through attrition, the SCMPD lost 107 officers in 2012, and another 121 officers in 2013.

In other words...


The agency's website lists that the SCMPD employs around 600 officers.

So, the SCMPD lost over 1/3 of its uniformed workforce?


Dumpster Fire! Dumpster Fire!

Now, there are legitimate reasons that officers or any other workers leave jobs.

Things like maybe the workforce was older and they just had lots ready to retire.

Or, their government offered an early retirement package in 2012 and 2013 to reduce costs.

Perhaps, the 228 officers are shared winners in the latest Powerball Lottery.

Ok, maybe not. What is more likely?

It was just a super sucky place to work.

Unfortunately, I usually assume the latter reason until proven otherwise, and the consultants (via their study) found evidence with the crappy employer theory.

On Page 7 of the report, the consultants admit that it is unknown as to why so many officers left the SCMPD, as the agency did not keep such records (really?).

But, their interviews with current personnel indicated that "dissatisfaction with the climate of favoritism" played a role.

Oh favoritism. That is a morale killer.

As such, the consultants recommend that the agency initiate an exit interview program to better understand employee attrition.

Exit interviews?


I see that the police department maintains national accreditation through the The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

CALEA recognition is not easily attained.

Perhaps a good starting point for Chief Tolbert and agency reforms is to look at the CALEA standards that the SCMPD says it is meeting.

Are these required CALEA personnel and policy standards truly being met, or is it simply a game of smoke and mirrors to make the agency appear professional?

Currently, the dumpster fire continues in Savannah and the tax-paying citizens are the losers.

You can view the full SCMPD report by clicking here.

Question: Exit interviews are effective and common sense dictates that they should be used regularly by employers. Have you ever participated in an exit interview when leaving a job? 


Bijoux said...

I was supposed to have an exit interview after resigning from my first job out of college, but HR was too lazy to drive out to my store. Ironically, I was leaving because I felt the company didn't care about their smaller, outlying stores.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Who would've thought the Savannah police force would've been so tough to hack. I certainly won't be applying there...

Momma Fargo said...

Great post and I think this department is not alone. I participated in all exit interviews whether it was from promotion, (leaving the past position for another), or transfer, (different division in the police department), or leaving the job completely. I can tell you it all went on deaf ears and did so for several that left the job as well. The only time I had acknowledgement of what I said in a transfer interview, the Chief gave me an extra day off for a solution idea to a problem. When I left the job, no problems were addressed and all issues brushed under the rug. We had about 50 exit interviews that touted the same information. Sad nothing was done in a positive change. HR did nothing. Now the department is in an uproar and a lot of mismanaging going on. Hopefully, the chief in your post has gumption to fix the problems and has some forward thinking.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I work in local government so I understand the pain that local governments have felt in the poor economy. Until recently, we were THE go-to place for police and fire. It's sad when we lose great people because we haven't had a pay increase in six years (and the locals voted down the first tax increase proposal since 1978, $4 a month increase on an average priced home). Oh, well.

Bossy Betty said...

Yikes. You would think they would get a clue...

lisa said...

Wow! That should be a huge red flag…providing the department even cares. I suppose they think they'll just replace them with people at a lower pay scale and save some money in the process. I believe anytime a company has that type of attrition, something is definitely wrong. And it will catch up with them eventually.

messymimi said...

Very few places change because of exit interviews letting them know how bad things are. It takes a new leader coming in to change things. Let's hope that happens soon in this case.

Pat Hatt said...

Wow that is a high percentage, must be a crappy place to work. Never had one at my sea, I just find the exit and flee

Chrys Fey said...

They lost 228 officers? That's terrible! That really is a crappy place to work.

Stephanie Faris said...

What do they DO to their officers? I know Savannah is a great place to visit, so it seems like it would be a great place to live and work. I worked in govt. for almost 20 years and found that there's just no accountability. People are exiting our state govt. in droves and nobody really cares. They just fill the positions with new people who have to retrain all over again...the money comes out of taxpayer's pockets, not the supervisors', so it just keeps going. It's made worse by the fact that so many baby boomers are retiring, but I'm glad I got out of government work. It's thankless and most of the people who worked with me had no ambition, no motivation, and just didn't care about their jobs. For a Type-A personality, that sort of environment will make you miserable!

Brian Miller said...

wow. that is ridiculous...and there is a reason they dont keep such records as well, i am sure...ugh....intriguing story...and i imagine all the more will come out as they dig a bit deeper....

Lady Lilith said...

Ouch. That sounds like a lot. I hope they get the dumpster fire under control.

ladyfi said...

That is a lot of disgruntled employees!

A Cuban In London said...

Well, that's another job I won't be putting myself forward for. Thanks for the heads-up.

Greetings from London.

Pearl said...

Wow! What a ridiculous rate of attrition!

I have to admit that I concur with the majority of your readers here -- HR, for the most part, ignores exit interviews. People seem to be most comfortable with the status quo, and those that aren't, leave.

I've always been a leaver. Who has time for maintaining what doesn't, really, work?


Bob G. said...

That's a pretty interesting stats w/ the Savannah PD...didn't know they even HAD that many LEOs there.
And to lose a THIRD of the department for various reasons, ASIDE from retirement?
Something is certainly smelling like 3-day old fish there.
Hope the new Chief can get a handle on it and turn the department around.
(because crime NEVER takes a day off).
Good story.
Stay safe out there.

Diane Estrella said...

That's a lot of employees to "lose." There seems to be a theme underlying that hopefully will surface.

I think I had one exit interview once and wasn't that honest because I didn't want them to badmouth me if they got called for a reference check. See, nothing you can do to beat the system!!!

Gail Dixon said...

Somebody had better wake up there. Wow. With that kind of exodus you know something isn't right.

WomanHonorThyself said...

wow those are stunning stats Slam..keep up the good work! :)Angel

Mary Kirkland said...

That's a really high amount. No, never had to do an exit interview.

BobKat said...

Great post! I like your sense of humor and sarcasm too. Something unsettling about such a poorly managed department of law enforcement, but I'm almost certain I know what the problem is. Most of the community is likely in prison for marijuana! It's LE's bread and butter. Not having anyone left to bust means no revenue, no bonuses, no pay raises. Only the "well connected" get them, as a favor.

RE: Exit Interviews"?I've heard of that insane practice, but never had one. A casual sit-down with the boss at the end, that's it. But a formal interview? Yikes. No thank-you!

Lady Lilith said...

Very well written. I would not want to be in their shoes.

Jenny Woolf said...

Reading this I realise I wouldn't know how to deal with all kinds of stuff if I lived in the US. We organise everything differently here. Not better,just differently. Our police force is organised nationally and if this problem arose there would be a national outcry. I don't know how much difference there is between local forces. said...

On think that I look at in employment is turnover. That rate, for what are professional positions, is too high. That would either indicate low pay or bad management, or both.

Yes, I have participated in one exit interview.