Do you feel that the leadership of a department should be held to a higher standard than the rest of the group? Should a disciplinary action be more harsh for an officer than it is for a firefighter who commitied a like offense?
I believe that the leaders themselves should hold themselves to higher standards. They are the role models of the department and will help guide and determine the overall functionality and professionalism of the department.
Should disciplinary action be more severe? No, I don't think so. Disciplinary actions should be stated in your departments policies or HR guidelines. As Chief Mike said, they should be progressive in nature for everyone but the rules should be the same for all.
There should be "one professional standard" for which the entire membership has to follow. If so, then the Leadership by Example method of emmulation would be in effect and the followership will fall into line.
The same goes for the discipline side, if you have rules regulations and policies, do you have a manual for officers and one for firefighters? Probably not, therefore, one set of procedures, hopefully progressive discipline format for the entire body to follow.
The ultimate goal is to have everyone be as professional as possible, regardless of name, age, rank, color, religion, etc. and that will never occur should you have different standards for different people.
Absolutely yes, without question the Officer should be held to a higher standard in all regards. last to eat, first to wash dishes, early to work and late to leave, clean uniform, first in the fire building and last to exit, proficient with every tool and piece of equipment available, first to speak up for the members and the last line of defense for their rights, he should be an advocate for fair and equal treatment as well as the first line of discipline for the offender. If I, as the Officer and a firefighter commit the same offense, my punishment should be more severe because I should be setting an example. The Chief should hold me to an higher standard, my crew should me to an even higher standard, the other Officers should hold me to an even higher standard than that, and I should hold myself to yet another higher level of standard. The two hardest working people in a firehouse should be the rookie and the Officer.
Actully i am part of a by-law and policy development commitee, and this has come up in conversation. no actully situation has arrised but thanks for speculation it does alot to move the conversation forward.
Most ethical dilemmas have no textbook solution.some will praise your decision,others will criticize it.Different leaders will arrive at different solutions.Because the consequences of ethical decisions can be great,and you may be asked later to justify your decisions, you should take careful and thorough approach to ethical decisions whenever time allows.