Dunn County Sheriff’s Office Bestowed Ethics Award

Sheriff Clay Coker was presented the “Certificate of Integrity” award on behalf of the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office on September 5, 2014. 



Sheriff Clay Coker accepting the “Cerificate of Integrity” award from Neal Trautman

The national recognition was bestowed by Neal Trautman, President of Neal Trautman, Inc., formerly the executive director of the National Institute of Ethics.  The institute was a Congressional award-winning, nonprofit organization and America’s largest provider of law enforcement ethics training since 1991.

The announcement is made today, following an ethics seminars conducted for sheriff’s deputies at the Dunn County Courthouse on Friday, September 5th.   To receive the “Certificate of Integrity” a law enforcement agency must undergo an extensive ethics assessment and commit to a Three-Year Integrity Plan to maintain integrity in the future.

The assessment included the analysis of a comprehensive administrative questionnaire, interviews, a confidential employee survey and the examination of internal investigation reports, citizen complaints, employee commendations and internal memorandums.

A 33 page assessment report describes the department as “excellent,” with Sheriff Coker having made extraordinary improvements since taking office.  This is particularly remarkable, since there is evidence that suggests the agency was substantially dysfunctional prior to Sheriff Coker taking office.

Confidential surveys completed by employees indicate that Sheriff Coker has garnered great respect, trust and admiration by his workforce. The surveys also suggest that considerable trust and respect from deputies now exists toward the sergeants.

Morale in the sheriff’s office has greatly improved since Sheriff Coker has taken office. The employee surveys indicate this is the result of workers feeling they are now disciplined fairly and supported by leaders.

It appears that the department’s most significant deficiency is the inability to recruit applicants who are truly suitable to be a sworn law enforcement officer. This problem is aggravated by virtually all area agencies experiencing the same issue and seeking the same small group of qualified applicants.

Leadership needs are relatively small, such as the need to have someone attend a background investigator seminar and developing a few ethics-related written policies.

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