Issues

Internal Transparency

True transparency begins at home. We cannot demand others in government be transparent when we hide our true motives from our own department. I want to send a clear and concise message to the members of the department-these are the rules, we will follow them and if you don’t, you will be held accountable. There will be no wavering, no fence-sitting, no testing of the waters, no identifying you as friend or foe, to deter us from a just course of action. 

Training

True strength in law enforcement is built upon continued professional training. The military trains constantly for “what if” scenarios, but we somehow feel the 6 month academy and a refresher of some sort once or twice a year is sufficient to maintain a preeminent force. The ugly truth is we don’t want to budget for it; we feel it is a financial obligation we can do without. We need to mentor the newest on our force to encourage them to focus on their professional development and assist them in their pursuits, as much as we are able. Our budgetary focus should be a bottom up model.  

Retention

Retention begins with good recruitment. Professional background checks on applicants is the start of this process. Supporting our men and women with training opportunities and collateral opportunities engenders loyalty.   

Firm, fair and honest management goes a long way to improving and maintaining high morale. Law enforcement to most of us is a calling and not a job. While salaries need to be commensurate with our responsibilities, it is not the sole reason we choose one department over another, nor is it the reason we leave.

Undocumented Persons

State and local law enforcement is not charged with immigration enforcement. That is a federal law enforcement matter. When we become the immigration police, we shut the door forever on those who need our help. They will not call when they are beaten, they will not call when they hear shots fired next door and some will not take their children to school for fear they will be rounded up and deported. If DASO is receiving grant money from the federal government and there is any clause which can compel DASO to assist ICE or CBP, we need to carefully avoid situations where DASO renders routine assistance. In matters of human trafficking, sweat shops, etc. for example, where human life is immediately at risk, those are exceptions I would make. Further, these agreements never allow for state police to be concurrently sworn as federalized officers and I believe they therefore open the door to potential lawsuits.

Community Oriented Policing

This old and tired phrase is constantly thrown around. Law Enforcement mentions this in public meetings because it “sounds good” but the truth is no one really knows what it means. It is never firmly defined and therefore cannot be implemented successfully or accurately measured for effectiveness. COP is in fact different things to different communities. Our county might have 5 different definitions of what COP means. DASO and the various communities within our county need to have frank and honest discussion about how best community oriented policing can help their community and then clear metrics must be determined in order to gauge its success or failure. Probably the best example of this concept is the citizen’s academy.

Sexual Harassment

Zero tolerance, period. I am in favor of expanding that conversation to include workplace romances. I think this has been a topic long overlooked and is often equally damaging to the work environment and morale of department personnel. There are many reasons women don’t report sexual harassment and there are many reasons they succumb to workplace romances. These women hope it will work out; they want it to work out; but these liaisons often don’t because they are most often built around the scenario of a powerful man and a subordinate woman. This is harassment too and we refuse to believe that citing it is consensual. Is it really?