Out of curiousity I recently searched online for the Top 10 New Year's resolutions. The list contained the usual suspects: lose weight and exercise more, but I also found that many of these promises could easily be adapted to police departments as well. So in 2008, maybe your department could:
- Fit in fitness. Being fit reduces one's chance for cancer, increases longevity, helps maintain a healthy weight, lowers blood pressure, etc. In short, fit officers are better able to handle the physical challenges of the job.
- Quit smoking. Our company once brought in a hypnotist to help employees quit smoking. We've also had "smoke out" days where employees are encouraged to leave their habit behind for one day, or better yet, for good. What programs might you adopt to help officers leave their "cancer sticks" behind?
- Save money. Today's departments have to do more with less, and the federal funding situation isn't likely to improve any time soon. Are there some creative ways to help you get the things you need next year without breaking the bank?
- Reduce stress. Many things contribute to stress in a department — poor morale, low pay, understaffing, poorly trained supervisors, etc. What can you do to change those things next year?
- Get organized. Nearly every office, whether a law enforcement agency or a private business, seems to drown in a sea of paper. How can you better organize your department next year? Would a new records management/information sharing system make sense? Maybe wireless ticketing or reporting software? Figure out what you need, then develop the means to acquire it and get it implemented.
A New Year's resolution can be a really powerful way to "force" yourself to do some things you really should be doing anyway. As you ready your department for 2008, ask yourself what you can do to change things for the better next year. Make some resolutions, then resolve to stick to them.