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Andrew Cassidy




Saint Leo University

Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice Administration (CRJ 575)

July 18, 2014

Dr. Donald G. Campbell



The organizational design is a model that is used to structure a police department.  Colorado Springs Police Department operates by using a Matrix Structure organization.  The design attempts to more effective by making employees answer to more than one supervisor depending on the type of relationship status within the organization.   





















Colorado Springs Police Department serves to protect the family community since 1872.  The department stands to serve as a prevention in controlling crime.  They will enhance their agencies effectiveness and efficiency by cooperating with all law enforcement agencies in the criminal justice system.  Increasing confidence is part of their goals, objectives, policies and practices in the make up of this police department.  The Colorado Springs Police Department takes pride in controlling their liability exposure, accountability, community advocacy and improving morale in the community.  The mission statement promotes quality of life in this community.  The police department will do this through police services that have the highest integrity and sprit of excellence.  The Colorado Police Department has partnership with its community The Colorado Spring Police Department has a history like any other police department.  Current day in time they have their first African American Police Chief. 

The police department has an organization structure that is unique in style.  Colorado prides itself in their department by the make up of multiple units and divisions that work together servicing the needs of the community.  The office of the chief of police goes two separate ways that report directly to the chief.  Those divisions are the patrol bureau and the operations support bureau.  The organizational chart looks something like a grid.  The department uses their own resources when policing the police by reporting to multiple supervisors. 

Matrix Structure

            A matrix structure operates by separating operations decentralizing the department and spreading them across all geographical areas. Combining specialized departments within this department is how this system works.  The matrix structure was design for larger departments.  An great example of this would be a department that has a large number of patrol districts who have detectives responsible for reporting on each of their assigned district.  The opposite of this would be to have all the patrol districts report into a central center.  The matrix Structure is very popular among state agencies such as highway patrol officers.  The whole system is designed and driven by the large geographical location in the area that they serve as well as the load of work they posses in this particular area. 

            Matrix structures can be expansive in their designs.  Most of these elaborate designs have a focus point of interest such as high crime rates in their particular surrounding area.  Others high reasons might be sexually transmitted diseases, juveniles, and unemployment.  These areas might use patrol divisions, gang units, narcotics units, social workers, probation and parole, public health and safety officials, and school officials for juveniles.  The goal is to attack a primary reason but serve to help reduce other crime involved.  Governmental agencies represent over 60 percent of the matrix structures used in the law enforcement community.  Problem-solving partnerships are key in making the system work properly and effectively.  Constructing matrix types of units and organizations allows the police department to be flexible (Gaines, L.K. and Worrell, J.L., 2012).  Allowing Police departments to gather a mixture of resources exhibits better problem-solving skills.  The pitch can be made that by restricting a particular agency or unit to gather information could be detrimental in the alternative solutions that could have be drawn.  The biggest problem with a matrix structure is that they are very hard to coordinate properly with the large number of units and divisions contributing. 

Colorado Spring Police Department Organizational Design

            Officers in the Colorado Springs Police Department understand the big picture.  These officers are referred to as beat officers who practice their mission and values in everyday service.  The department strives in education and training by providing fiscal and human direction by way of direction form local governmental agencies.  Identifying priorities through this type of direction provides intelligence from local agencies, which help problem solving strategies.  Colorado Springs Police Department uses problem identification by way of intelligence through local supporting agencies in the way of cooperativeness for valuable input.

            The advantage of this type of organizational design is in the formation of specific groups of individuals, combining varied talents and levels of expertise in order to fulfill a designated mission or goal (Swanson, C. R., Territo, L., and Taylor, R. W., 2012).  The Colorado Springs Police Department uses their expertise when designing their organizational structure.  The department is based of the Chief of Police who presides over the Administrative services bureau, operations support bureau and the patrol bureau.  The patrol division has four different divisions and communication center in their portion of the department.  The operations bureau also has four divisions which are investigations, (MVNI), Metro Vice Narcotics and Intelligence Division, Specialized Enforcement and Management Services.  The Police department is made up into two divisions using the matrix structure by falling into one or the other category all the while answers to the chief of police.  The essential aspects of the Colorado Springs Police Department concern the identifying and implementing process that support the strategically structure of this department.

Matrix Structure Advantages and Disadvantages

            The matrix system is a vertical organizational design.  It is meant to be understood from top to bottom by engulfing a ladder.  Everyone has a boss in more than one aspect of your job.  The set up brings together all supervisors and employees from all different departments within the organization to fulfill the mission.  One efficient advantage to this system is the information exchange.  Being that the departments work so close together this allows the communication of information more likely. The process of becoming better communicators allows for efficient productivity, which leads to faster decision-making skills.  The second advantage is increased motivation.  In this democratic leadership style, one must incorporate the team’s input in order to make decisions.  The employee and supervisor communication will increase motivation in the team.  This will allow each member of the team to bring their expertise to the table.

            A disadvantage of the matrix system is internal complexity.  The reason this is demonstrated is because employees will quickly become confused on whom there direct supervisor really is.  Employees sometimes will receive information from different supervisors and struggle to determine which one to do.  Problems associated with this are miscommunication and ineffective leadership.  The second disadvantage is the expensiveness to maintain the department.  The double management is costly for a team.  Extra salaries are also incorporated in that expensiveness as a strain on resources.  Employees also are being shared and sometimes cause internal conflicts.  This makes for an unhealthy competition between employees.  Bringing valuable information to the table becomes a part of the expertise but the competition sometimes causes hostility in the workplace that hinders the productivity of the team. 


            The matrix structure of a police department explains the organizational design.  The requirement for this functional type of system depends on the amount of resources and people involved.  Advantages and disadvantages apply to this type of system but if monitored and controlled then this system works effectively in maintaining an efficient program.  Communication is essential for this matrix design to work.  The passing and sharing of information, personal and supervisors makes for a well diverse police organization.  The complexity is that the police department is very big and sometimes causes discrepancies in the personnel by the sharing of personnel.  An overall assessment of this type of organizational design is that it is effective but precise to detail in the operations in which it runs. 
























Gaines, L.K., and Worrall, J.L. (2012).  Police Administration, Third Edition.  The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Johnson, R., and Media, D., (2014).  Advantages & Disadvantages of Matrix Organizational Structures in Business Organizations.  Houston Chronicle.  Retrieved on July 18, 2014 from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-matrix-organizational-structures-business-organizations-26350.html

Project A (2012).  City of Colorado Springs.  Colorado Springs Police Department.  Police. Retrieved on July 18, 2014 from https://www.springsgov.com/SectionIndex.aspx?SectionID=12

Swanson, C. R., Territo, L., and Taylor, R. W. (2012). Police administration: structures, processes and behaviors (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson


Switzer, M. (2010).  The Role of Organizational Design in Twenty-First Century Policing Organizations.  The Police Chief, edition 77P.100-104.  Retrieved on July 18, 2014 from http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=2161&issue_id=82010

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