Every police department has a mission statement and a set of core values. You know, the plaque on the walls with the mission statement that nobody ever reads. The core values always make up some acronym that is supposed to give more meaning to it. By the way, where do all of these acronyms come from anyway?
Basic police work
The other day I was in a discussion with a colleague regarding a complaint on an employee. Let's just say there was not proper delivery of the quality service that any agency wishes to be known for. Bottom line, they dropped the ball here. Citizen customer called in for help and it was not offered. The external customer (the citizen) is very unhappy. Internal customers (fellow officers) were unhappy for they had to deal with the aftermath. Additional internal customers (supervisors) were very dissatisfied with the pitiful attempt at customer service. Despite all of rules, regulations and orders ever written in Copland this was basic poor customer service. Now, we could all agree one regulation or another that has been violated. However all involved forgot two basic canons of policework. One is the mission statement and core value plaque that is hanging in the room. Second is the job description
Mission Statement and Core Values
I am not going to bore you with what they are and how they are written. I want every reader to find theirs, dust it off and read it. Not give it a blush but actually read it. Go on... I'll wait.
OK, you are back and now what did it say? Better yet have you fulfilled this mission today? What about the core values and did you meet those words today. Did it have words like service, teamwork, fairness or whatever? Have you done these on your recent shift? If not, you are probably failing at what we do... provide service to our customers.
Well, the customer can not always be right you say. Some of our customers we have to arrest or use force on, what about that? Did you apply fairness to the arrest? You gave them a fair shake and treated them with some dignity, helped them out of the car to lockup.
When was the last time you read your job description? Hint to supervisors and managers: you might consider revisiting it for in it may have tools or skills required. You have added collapsible batons, Tasers and so forth; it could require updating. After you read the basic police officer job description which can run for pages at times, can you summarize it in ten words of less? I can in three words: human service provider. Basically that is what we do, we advertise to call us when you don't know what to do. We have the best known phone number in the country and nearly have a monopoly on what we do. We provide human service. We do not sell anything. We do repair the emotions of the frail or the lost kid. We remove the impaired motorist from the motorway to make it safe for others. We remove pedophiles from the street to make the kids safe. We provide peace to a neighborhood when a domestic dispute gets out of hand. If there is an evil man in the city that wants to hurt or kill others, we go after him. It is a customer service focused vocation. It is what we do and do best, care for our customers. So again on the original dilemma, did the employee provide service within the job description?
I have said many times that this job is not that difficult. We often make it harder on ourselves by not doing right. Read and apply the monikers on the wall, live the job description and you will excel.