I'm an officer having a problem with another officer. This guy has had alcohol, marital and relationship problems since I've known him. The key is - he's allowed a lot of this personal business to be widely known in our department. As a result he's lost a lot of respect of the guys. An episode occurred over a year ago involving him and firefighters I supervise. He ranted and raved about some fairly trivial stuff that didn't really involve my guys but they recognized that he only did it when I was off duty or not around. I discussed the matter with him and he stated that my guys didn't show him any respect - I felt that there was no since in b**s****ing him so I told him that my guys had lost all respect for him due to how he was conducting himself not only personally but professionally. They knew he was cheating on his wife (women calling the station at 2am and it's not even his shift), drinking (he's been in rehab), and occasionally throwing temper tantrums on the fireground. Not only had they lost respect but they didn't care for him as a person. His response has been to refuse to speak to me or my crew and try to paint my company as the source of everything wrong at our station. The truth is, most everybody gets along fine here and the source of most dissension and divisiveness can be traced right back to him. The ironic thing is - he's a state instructor and travels around touting the brotherhood found in the fire service. I'm not at the end of my rope with this guy yet, but before I tell him to go **** himself I would prefer to get input from others outside my organization. I believe that an officers job is much more than giving orders at emergency scenes but has more to do with promoting harmony and team work within the ranks. Any input would be appreciated.
SOUDS LIKE THIS GUY HAS A REAL PROBLEM HE NEEDS TO COME TO REALALITY AND ADMIT TO HIMSELF THAT HE HAS A PROBLEM AND THEN HE COULD START FACING THE FACTS AND GETTING HELP. YOU SAID THAT HE HAS BEEN IN REHAB BEFORE AT THAT TIME HE DIDN'T WANT TO ADMIT THAT HE HAD A PROBLEM. IT TOOK A SITUATION WITH ME TO FINALLY COME FORWARD AND ADMIT THAT I HAD A PROBLEM. THIS PROBLEM ALMOST COSTED ME MY JOB OF 16 YEARS. WHAT A WAIST THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN. I AM NOW BEEN RECIEVING HELP NAD THINGS ARE STARTING TO GET BETTER. THE PEOPLE AROUND ME ARE STARTING TO RESPECT ME AND LIKE ME.
You're in a tough spot.We had a similar problem at our Company. I'm President at the Company and one it became apparent to me one of our officers had a drinking problem. Our members were losing respect for him and it was having a negative effect on moral. I tried dropping subtle hints to him that his behavior was unacceptable but was unsuccessful. I brought him before our Commissioners to offer him counsling but he refused. The Commissioners put him on notice and within two months he was arrested for assault while intoxicated. Our Commissioners' position was that they were unable to take disciplinary action until he violated a law, not Department rules. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
Your officer is aware that the men show him no respect, maybe you can work off this. Despite the saying "I demand respect", respect is something that has to be earned and can't be demanded. You can try speaking to him on a co-worker or friend basis, whichever the case may be, but I have a feeling you will end up having to go to your superiors to correct this. In this business, disrespect can be dangerous and if your officer's behavior is affecting his judgement (but then he has already shown poor judgement, hasn't he?) then your whole Company is at risk. There's no room for this in Emergency services.
I don't know if the two of you are buddies, but tough as it sounds,the men's safety is more important than your friendship, or his career. He has chosen his own path, no one else has put him there.
That is a tough situation. As an officer, it was your responsibility to go to him about this problem. Many future problems can be avoided by addressing it before it snowballs. It seems that you have done all you can do to help this guy. It is up to him to recognize that he is wrong and needs to change. It takes a big person to admit when he is wrong.
As far as his respect goes, I would still make my firefighters have respect for his rank, but not him as a person. I know alot of fellow officers that are **** poor in a lot of ways, but they are still officers.
His problem seems to be one that can't be solved by himself. If what you have done has failed, it seems that this one needs to go up the ladder. Also, when you do speak with him, make sure everything is documented, even if it's on a scrap of paper. You never know when the content of you conversations will need to be brought up again.