Wake Up! Time For Change


  • Police must realize that major changes in their use of deadly force and how they connect with their communities is on the horizon.
  • Smart police organizations will understand this and begin the change process. It may look something like this:

• CHANGE. Change inevitable. Effective police organizations must adapt in order to meet society’s needs. The failure to adapt will result in a lack of confidence/trust in the police.

• PRESSURE. Pressure for change will come from citizen-customers and elected officials as well as police employees.

• EMPOWERMENT. The positive result of this pressure for change will be police organizations that empower employees and meet their needs.

• LONG-TERM, TOTAL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION. Police organizations will begin to seek and maintain long-term, total customer satisfaction. They will identify citizens as their customers. They will ask and listen inside and outside the organization.

• CUSTOMERS. Attention to citizen-customers will result in a more effective police department through increased cooperation, information, respect, and trust for police.

NEW ORGANIZATION AND NEW LEADERSHIP. All this will require a significant change in the structure, relationships and leadership of your organization.

LONG-TERM. These changes will not happen overnight. They will take five to seven years of leadership commitment in a good police department.

  1. What is your organization’s plan to do this?
  2. What will happen if you don’t?
  3. How will you develop and train your officers in a better use of force protocol?
  4. How will you establish deeper and more effective ties with the communities you serve?
  5. How will you “ask and listen” to those you serve — both inside and outside the department?
  6. How will you develop agreed-upon goals with your community and ways to measure achievement?
  7. How will you know when you are making progress toward achieving those goals?

[From The New Quality Leadership Workbook for Police by Couper and Lobitz, 2014]

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