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Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The OCSD Culture Thing – It is not my Job!
May 21, 2008
The leading OC Sheriff candidates agree that the OC Sheriff’s Department needs an organizational culture makeover, the OC District Attorney finds the current OCSD’s culture lacking, the Orange County Board of Supervisors demand changes to the OC Sheriff’s Department’s organizational culture, and the President of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriff’s Wayne Quint agree that a culture change is required.
So what exactly is organizational culture? Organizational culture can be viewed as the basic pattern of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs governing the way employees within an organization think about and act on problems and opportunities. Organizational culture is a deeply embedded form of social control, is the social glue that bonds people together and makes them feel part of the organizational experience and helps employees make sense of the workplace. Observable symbols and signs of an organization's culture include organizational stories and legends, rituals and ceremonies, language, physical structures and symbols. For example, in secret grand jury testimony, an Orange County sheriff's detective described a frat- house culture (see OC Register article) in the department, yet most OCSD employees remained silent.
So what is the Orange County DA doing about it – apparently there is little the DA can legally do.
A review of the process being used by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to hire a new Sheriff indicates the process is severely flawed and may explain why two current OC Sheriff insiders involved in mud-wrestling made the final cut. ” The Board has seen all applications/resumes submitted for the position and chose to endorse the list of nine recommended candidates. The decision for appointing a Sheriff is entirely up to the Board to make”, reads a statement we received from the County’s Executive Office, as we noted the flaws in the process. In other words, do not expect the OCSD’s culture to change as a result of the supervisors’ actions.
In a KOCE interview Monday, May 19, 2008 titled “Deputies Under Fire”, Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs president Sgt. Wayne Quint is asked: “Scandals in the jail, Grand Jury criticism, the supervisors, the media, controversies over pay & benefits. Sheriff Deputies are under fire. What do they have to say? Quint agrees that a culture change in the department is needed, “but it starts at the top”, he says in the interview. Quint denies there is a code of silence in the department, but does not explain what no one stood up to demand a culture change. During the interview he states a belief in personal accountability, but assumes no responsibility for the current state of affairs.
The message heard loud an clear from the Orange County Board of Supervisors to the District Attorney to the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs is that the OCSD is in dire need of a makeover – is it not their job to do it.
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