• What You Measure is What You Get.

    Einstein : Not everything that can be counted counts. And not everything that counts can be counted.
  • About me.

    I know enough to know that at 04.00am it gets dark out on the streets. It has done this for the last twenty odd years, to my knowledge and will probably continue for the forseeable future. At some stage in this ‘future’ I shall retire and probably won’t give a damn if it still gets dark at 04.00am. Until then I shall be out there, somewhere, lurking in the shadows because someone, somewhere will be doing stuff they shouldn’t and then, well then I will introduce myself. In the meanwhile I shall try to remain sane and remember why I joined in the first place and try to ignore all the people who piss me off by making the job more complicated than it should be.
  • Opinions

    Any opinions contained in posts are mine and mine alone. Many of them will not be those of any Police Force, Police Organisation or Police Service around this country. The opinions are based on many years of working within the field of practical operational Police work and reflect the desire to do things with the minimum of interference by way of duplication for the benefit of others who themselves do not do the same job. I recognise that we all perform a wide range of roles and this is essential to make the system work. If you don’t like what you see remember you are only one click on the mouse away from leaving. I accept no responsibility for the comments left by others.
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  • C.T.C. Constabulary.

    A Strategic Community Diversity Partnership. We are cutting bureaucracy and reducing the recording of target and monitoring related statistics. Our senior leaders will drive small, economical cars from our fleet surplus to save money to invest in better equipment for our frontline response officers. We are investing money to reinstate station canteens for the benefits of those 24/7 response officers. We have a pursuit policy. The message is that if you commit an offence and use a vehicle, we will follow you and stop you if necessary. It is your duty to stop when the lights and sirens are on. We take account of the findings of the Force questionnaire and are reducing the administration and management levels and returning these officers to frontline response duties. We insist on a work-life balance. We have no political masters. We are implimenting selection processes that take account of an individuals skills and proven abilities for the job. Our senior leaders will have one foot in reality and still possess the operational Policing skills they have long forgotton about and seldom used. All ranks are Police Officers first and specialists second. We will impliment career development and performance evaluation monitoring of our leaders by those officers who operate under that leadership. The most important role is that of Constable. All other roles are there to positively support the role and the responsibility of Constable and the duties performed.
  • Whichendbites

    “We trained very hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising. It can be a wonderful method of creating the illusion of progress while creating confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.”......Petronius
  • Just so.

    Taxation is just a sophisticated way of demanding money with menaces.
  • Reality.

    Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.
  • Rank V’s Responsibility

    Don't confuse your idea of how important you are with the responsibility of your role.
  • Meetings.

    If you had to identify, in one word, why we will never achieve our full potential, Meetings would be that word.
  • There is always a bigger picture.

    When there is no answer to your problem, there is always deflection from the need to justify giving an answer.

The Dog Handler

The Dog Handler.       

A fable for a long and cold night…………or perhaps not.

 

Every shift a dog handler arrives for work.

 

The dog handler arrives early and begins work immediately. After booking on with comms by either phone or radio, or both, or even by the new and radical computerised booking on and off system that is not simple to use, if there is a computer available, he (for the purposes he is a he) gets his van and goes out onto the streets to offer his own form of specialist support to district response teams. When he gets some spare time he also trains his dog and directs his patrol time towards local crime target areas and current crime trends he finds out from the district response briefings which he attends regularly.

 

The dog handler works well and supplies a good level of support. He is really happy at work. They have a good relationship this dog handler and his district response colleagues.

He reports to his sergeant, who monitors his work and ensures that he trains his dog to a high standard. The dog handler is trusted to work without close supervision because he is a reliable, dedicated and responsible officer

 

On day, the chief superintendent was surprised to see that the dog handler was working without close supervision. Although there is a dog sergeant, this role is not a specialist management and leadership role.

 

He thought that if the dog handler could produce so much by working alone, how much more could be produced if the dog handler was properly supervised. Properly supervised by someone who had been schooled in the specifics of management and leadership. Supervised by someone who has a better understanding of the modern and innovative management and leadership styles.

 

So he recruited a superintendent who had extensive experience as a supervisor and who was famous for writing excellent reports.

 

The superintendent’s first decision was to set up a computerised booking on and booking off attendance system.

 

He also needed a secretary to help him write and type his reports and …

 

… he  recruited a chief inspector, who managed the administration and monitored all the information he collected by tasking others to supply him. They also recruited a support staff member who made notes and typed their long reports. They also answered the phone, took messages and appeared to generally efficient about the office.

 

The chief superintendent was delighted with the superintendent’s reports and asked him to produce graphs to describe demand profile rates and to analyse trends, so that he could use them for presentations at the weekly senior management team‘s meetings.

 

So the chief inspector had to find some money from the budget to buy a new computer and a laser printer and 

 

… recruited an inspector to manage the IT department.

 

The dog handler, who had once been so productive and relaxed, hated this new plethora of paperwork to supply for the benefit of all the others and meetings which used up most of his time explaining what he did…! This seemed to make his life far more difficult than it should be. Far too much of his time was spent sending out seemingly worthless statistical data of what he did, how he did it and why he did not do the things that the management thought he should be doing. All this for the benefit of the organisation of course.

 

The chief superintendent looked at all the evidence put forward by the management. He looked at the graphs, projections and recommendations presented to him after a 6 month review and came to the conclusion that it was high time to nominate a person in charge of the department where the dog handler worked.

 

The position was given to another inspector, whose first decision was to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office.

 

The new person in charge, the inspector, also needed a computer and a personal assistant, a sergeant, who he brought from his previous department, to help him prepare a Work and Budget Control Strategic Optimisation Plan …

 

The Department where the dog handler works is now a sad place, where nobody laughs anymore and everybody has become upset…motivation and moral are not trendy words any more.

 

It was at that time that the sergeant convinced the boss of the absolute necessity to start a full health and safety review, a shift pattern review, a health and safety awareness course, a diversity course, an activity monitoring scheme and put forward a business case proposal to reduce the vehicle fleet by 17%.  

 

Having reviewed the costs for running the dog handler’s department, the chief superintendent found out that the production was much less than before.

 

So he recruited another chief superintendent, a prestigious and renowned outside consultant to carry out a full review and viability study to see if the dogs section was financially viable and gave value for money. They created a working party to carry out this difficult an arduous task for 3 months.

 

After 3 months in the department they came up with an enormous report, in several volumes, that looked glossy and covered every fact in microscopic detail. There were several nice pictures included, some of which showed a police dog and its handler.

 

This report concluded:

 

“The department is overstaffed …and was unaffordable within the current budgetary constraints.” Considerable real time savings could be made and allocated towards better things that allowed the management to supervise and closely monitor how well their staff were working and their performance could be measured in relation to the set targets. A time and motion study into performance and how the working time directives affected the statutory provisions was deferred until the next budgetary quarter as it was likely to interfere with the monthly review of the strategic diversity involvement review committee’s 2nd quarter review and assessment programme. 

 

Guess who the chief superintendent got rid of first?

 

The dog handler, of course, because he “showed lack of motivation and had a negative attitude, appearing reluctant to support the management’s philosophy”.

 

Unfortunately there were not sufficient finances to allow for the GPS tracking for both the dog vans and the personal issue radios so these will have to wait until the Police Authority can get some money back from Icelandic banks or the Chief Superintendent can make further efficiency savings or reduce someone else’s budget to pay for them.

 

The characters in this fable are fictitious; any resemblance to real people or facts within any other organisation is pure coincidence…

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