Friday, January 6, 2012

Commanders on the streets

The new year has brought a new requirement for command staff on the police department. I have asked all commanders who are not assigned to patrol operations in the field to spend time out on the streets. All commanders (captains, majors, deputy chiefs and me) must now complete one evening shift and one over-night shift in patrol every six months. I want the command staff to remain familiar with activities out in the field and with street-level officers. Since I was named chief, I also have required a deputy chief to respond to every homicide scene. I have been to all but two.

The members of the Kansas City Police Department need to be in touch with the community we serve, and that applies to the highest-ranking people in our organization. Staying behind a desk all the time doesn’t allow for the citizen engagement that is necessary to build trust and relationships.

Additionally, commanders need to know the issues that are facing our city and our officers. They need to be aware of trends in crime and violence. They need to know if officers are experiencing issues that need addressing – anything from problems with computers in their cars to nuisance properties to morale.

So expect to see a little more brass on the streets in 2012.

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