What to Do in 2014? Today’s 5

What might police and CJ leaders do in 2014?  Nothing we need your windy advice about, some would (wisely) say.  But CC can’t help itself.  For today, I put together these 5 notions.

1. Pay Close Attention to The Restoration in NYC.  This one is so obvious it’s almost gratuitous.  “Expect big things from Bill.”  What an insight.  But it has to be here.

One hopes the NYPD does not become a municipal NSA to the exclusion of energetic investment in community work.  It’s clear, with old hand John Miller back on the ranch, that security is (and must be) a big priority.

There is not much crisis in The Apple and its police service for Bratton to leverage.  And PC Bratton, with the legendary duo of the late Jack Maple and John Linder, already used the tactic of manufacturing a crisis out of the Commish’s leadership acumen and  force-of-nature energy.  But he was born having his next several moves figured out.  I suspect the NY Times will become the NYPD newsletter once again and NY social and commercial media will be a source of continual learning for progressive-minded cops everywhere.

2.  Remember the Human Fleet.  Hypervigilance hurts; our LE personnel are hurting.  We need service-wide, or at least department-wide, programs that recognize the reality of hypervigilance.  We need to educate all our personnel and help them to take action on behalf of themselves and their loved ones.   (This includes, the BIG BOSS, too).

3. Go Slower. Be more deliberate at every opportunity. Consult. Include.  Listen.  Ask more questions and make fewer declarations.  Surprise the hell out of everyone by asking their views and acting on them.

Police live deeply immersed in what George Kelling calls “a culture of hurrying.”  The hurrying is a product of police having developed the greatest government service in the history of organized humanity: the 9-1-1 system.   So when you have the chance to identify and focus on patterns of behavior, whether it’s internally or in terms of community problems, seize the proverbial day. Slow it down.

4. Engage More Deeply.  Engage your community more deeply.  Deepen the mutual trust and respect and watch the improvements grow.  Police have moved far from the disinterest and the dispassion of the technician era of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.  Take it a step deeper in 2014.  Learn with your community.

5. Implement the O’Leary/Dylan Rule.  This rule comes out of the thinking of Brookline MA Police Chief Dan O’Leary and a phrase from, yes, THAT Dylan.

Bob Dylan: “He who is not busy being born is busy dying.”

Chief O’Leary: “Every year I pick one or two areas to improve thoroughly and put people together to achieve the mission.”

One of Chief O’Leary’s improvements in 2014 is to review all Brookline PD’s rules and operating procedures and identify every place an audit or review is promised or required.  He will get all of these up to date in 2014.

Pick two minor systems to improve. The exercise yields immediate benefits and, without upsetting them, gets and/or keeps everyone mindful that nothing in this world remains in stasis.  Things change.


About stephenomeara

My name is Jim Jordan. I have had the privilege of working with the Boston Police Department and hundreds more departments over my nearly 30-year career in police administration and city government. I am now teaching and consulting independently at www.sergeantsleadership.org. I have learned the best of what I know from the thousands of smart, dedicated and ethical police personnel and scholars who have guided me along the way. My address is named for the great Reform commissioner of the Boston Police at the turn of the 20th century. Commissioner O'Meara died just a short while before the Strike in 1919. He was replaced by a vicious puppet (of Gov. Coolidge) named Edwin U. Curtis. Had O'Meara lived events may have turned out quite differently.
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