On The Beat for Sunday, November 23, 2008

In this series of On The Beat, I would like to share with you what I learned from attending the International Association of Chief’s of Police conference in San Diego, Calif. from Nov. 8-12.

This is an annual conference where law enforcement chiefs, senior staff and invited guests from all branches of government meet to learn about best practices and new technology.

This year there were 17,000 participants with more than 750 vendors and exhibits. As an example, I met Sam from Nigeria. He told me 114 officers from his station flew for over 20 hours to attend the conference. Hawai‘i’s four county police departments were represented.

Exhibits ranged from shoulder patches and badges, to helicopters and armored trucks, police vehicles, Segways, motorcycles, software, hardware, computers, non-lethal and traditional weapons, and many more. To give you the magnitude and scale of the exhibition, try to visualize all of Vidinha Stadium to KPD’s headquarters with hundreds of display areas.

There were more than 160 educational sessions during the conference but unfortunately some of the better sessions conflicted with one another. Even so, I tried to pack in as many relevant sessions as possible.

Among the training classes I attended, here are some of the most interesting sessions:

Why Good Chiefs Can Fail

“Don’t let the 2 percent of malcontents radicalize and ‘hi-jack’ the organization”

“Essential support units: Human Resources, Budget and Technology departments must be in alignment with the Chief’s mission or failure is assured”

Leadership Development Training

“Sworn and Civilian employees leave their immediate supervisor, not the Chief or the organization”

“Leadership is a choice, and the first-line supervisor is critical to maintaining the integrity of the organization; the Chief cannot do it alone”

Psychological Well-Being and Job Satisfaction among Sworn and Civilian Employees

“Today’s employee depends on the organization to fulfill their unmet needs; identifying those needs is critical”

Police Stress and Alcohol Abuse

“Alcohol and drug abuse is symptomatic of deeper problems; administrators must address these issues as quickly as possible for the welfare of the employee and organization”

“The worse thing someone can do is to take a depressed employee out for a few drinks”

Rapport-Building, Persuasion, and Influence (Using Your Body Language)

“93 percent of what is related to others comes from non-verbal communication: your body language”

“To survive, police officers must be experts at reading non-verbal communication during their contacts with individuals of all cultures”

Partnering to Prevent Crime

Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D. (Author of “7-Habits of Highly Effective People”)

“Successful leadership must encompass: Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit of every employee to unleash a winning culture”

Generational Difference and the Impact on Police Leadership

 “Today, there are four distinctive generations co-existing side-by-side with different value systems, but even so, every generation expects honesty from its leaders, and to be treated like partners”

Shaping Organizational Culture

“The power to change the organizational culture comes from Moral Authority (doing what’s right); not from Formal Authority (your position)”

Ethics in Policing

 “Doing the right thing is not ‘I’ focused, but instead ‘we’ focused, and it starts at the top of every organization, not only in policing”

Taking Control of Your Agency’s Crime Mapping Capacity

 “18 percent of law enforcement agencies are using CrimeMapping to assist in the allocation of staffing and resources both by time and distance”

This was my very first IACP conference, and it was a bit overwhelming. Things that I took away: Recalling past practices I forgotten over the years; being introduced new concepts; networking with my national and international brothers in law enforcement; learning that technology and information sharing in law enforcement is moving at exponential rates and that we have to keep up; understanding that no matter where we work, we all have the same law enforcement challenges.  

I also want you to know that contrary to popular belief, KPD is not considered a small department, because the majority of police departments throughout the nation still have only five to 20 officers.

The challenge we have at KPD is playing catch up to best practices with departments of similar size and population base.

With that said, and in keeping with our commitment to provide the best service possible with our limited resources, I want to ask a favor of you.

I want your input on the following questions:

What do you envision a high performing police department to be like?  

What are your expectations of KPD?  

In what areas can we improve?

And finally, I would like to thank everyone who attended, participated, and coordinated the meeting at the Anahola Community Center entitled Suicide: Hope, Help and Healing.

We understand the need to bring this awareness to our communities and we intend to continue this effort to offer resources, support and hope to those who are in need.

• Darryl Perry is the chief of police at the Kaua‘i Police Department. Send your comments or questions to dperry@kauai.gov

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