New Year in the Chief’s World

I am beginning my tenth year as a chief and have come to the realization that this business has changed immensely in my brief tenure. So, what are the new challenges on tap for chiefs?

What will the future bring to the chief’s desk? I hate to predict dark clouds looming on the budget horizon, but I think it is in the cards. How much more staffing can we cut? More and more departments are cutting out the free and often expected public services. We all have had to provide stand-by for special events, escorts, community events. I hate to say it but we will be seeking public philanthropy if this continues. Your next citizen’s police academy may be sponsored by the local mall. The biggest crime here is that for the past few generations of policing we have offered service, quality police work and meeting the demands regardless of obstacles. If you review the professional model, community policing/problem solving model, Comp-stat model and now intelligence led policing, all require proper staffing and financial support to succeed. We are letting down our customers both citizens and businesses. Now, throw in increased numbers of officers killed in the line of duty, unfunded mandates from federal and states, and for good measure throw an Occupy movement in. Now we are expected to keep the crimes down, citizens and businesses content and do it with less staffing? Maybe one day, some chief will look back at 2012 as the ‘good old days’, as for myself I perceive this a downward spiral that has lowered the quality of police service. Maybe I am a traditionalist, but you must provide service and protect your customers. Just merely attempting this does not cut it in my book, I hope that there is a turn around and we can continue to protect and serve without having to count every staple and paperclip.


About The Author:

William L. "Bill" Harvey is a native Virginian. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. He has a BA in criminology from St. Leo University and is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute of the University of Louisville (103rd AOC). Harvey served for over 23 years with the Savannah (GA) Police Department. He served in field operations, investigations and support services, and completed his career there as the director of training. He has published several articles in professional periodicals and has lectured nationwide. He is serving as a chief of police in central Pennsylvania area; a duty he’s performed for the past nine years. He is on the advisory board of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association and other professional associations.


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