Police Psychology | Morale
by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
My very first job and first elected office, I was voted president of the Mighty Mouse Club by the kids in my neighborhood. Mighty Mouse was a cartoon super hero mouse character that beat up cats in the 40’s 50’s and early 60’s. The club members talked behind my back and all got a penny from their parents and each gave me a penny for my being the president. I was so honored. They didn’t tell me I was going to be paid! I remember I was about kindergarten age at the time. I remember I snuck to the ice cream truck when it came by later in the day, and I spent that seven cents on seven ice cream cones and gave one to each of the seven kids in the club. I remember I didn’t order one for myself because I didn’t think I had enough money, but the ice cream man gave me one anyway. (When I look back, my mother probably really paid for the cones, she had to watch while I went into the street). I thought I was doing something that made all the kids happy. I remember a girl named Margery, who lived two doors down from me, saying before we left that day that it was the best club in the whole world.
I had a conversation this week with an officer from a Midwest state who called me out of the blue. He said he was a reader and that he wanted to get it across to his superiors that morale was very low and the trainings they are having don’t seem to address this issue or things that were important to the officers. He said there has been a little bit of research in their department that showed that job satisfaction was in the low 20 percentiles and that was a major issue. It was heart wrenching to have a guy say that 80 percent of his department isn’t crazy about their job anymore, a job many of them probably dreamed of taking. He asked me how do I get a training on something that really mattered to his officers doing the job.
I personally have seen low morale across the country lately and want to spend a couple of paragraphs to address this issue. (more…)