Having been drawn out of the hat in what wass claimed to be a transparent and fair draw, I had the pleasure of visiting the hallowed and sacred ground at HQ to give a bit of a talk from the Dog perspective to those willing and keen Police staff who staff the communications suite on one of their training and awareness days. They are kept up to date with the latest of the CTCC’s missives, missions and trendy new-speak directives. A few experienced words to let them know what things are important in the world of specialist canine support so they can fit this into the structure they face when deciding which units to deploy.
Apart from the unfortunate timing of my visit, first thing after lunch, it was clear that some of us in ‘the big room’ had varying agendas. Mine was not to sleep off my free lunch.
Whilst I might not see the importance of quickly allocating a resource to attend any specific job, time is one of the most important things that we dog handlers have on our minds if there is to be any scope for us to make the best use of our canine colleagues.
For the audience, time is vital because they have to allocate a resource because they have a target to hit for allocation of a resource to a job. If we cannot hit the target then they are under-performing against the activity matrix. Part of the communications activity matrix is directly based around the false and unrealistic promises from their mission statement. False and unrealistic for those who have to work there, corporate and strategic for those who dream up the mission statement in the first place without full realisation of some of the operational hurdles that the people in the real world have to face.
For the dog handlers, time is important because of the scent deterioration due to time exposure.
Somewhere between the two there is some common ground but time exposure at a scene is not as important as hitting the target for allocation of a resource to a attend a scene, even if that resources is a long way away and already has a backlog of jobs allocated.
That’s the really good thing about targets. They are great for obtaining one small part of the picture but totally unsuitable to getting a clearer sense of the total package. They take one point without the wider context of how this target negatively affects other areas.
I decided to stick with the easy stuff, K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid, hence the trusty T.S.B. For us this is track, search, bite. The bones of what we do.
I began to sense the signs of people not really wanting to be here so remained attached firmly to the easy and straightforward, with speed of thought towards the important things for dog handlers, when we attend at a scene we want to have the chances to use our specialist skills and not just attend to fill out the crime forms because we are deemed to be a resource. Also we don’t know the numbers to ring to log crime information into the latest computer software package. This got lost on those who have the privilege of their air conditioned space and comfy seats and matters of relative importance within this environment. This seemed to be where the common ground ended.
Its good to talk, as they say, and polite to listen. Unless we get a morning slot in the future before the afternoon nap, forget it.
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