Comms are busy with the allocation of the outstanding jobs, also trying to update the open logs with closures that have not yet been given. They have their targets to hit. The time from a call being received to answer, the time between receiving the call to the allocation of a unit to attend, also the time taken for the log to be effectively closed after finalisation. Itis vitally important stuff.
The response units are carrying 3 or 4 jobs on their to do list and trying to deal effectively with one job at a time. They are grading the calls and some just have to wait.
Comms consider other things, other possible resources, Traffic, Dog handlers, but not firearms as they usually have other things to do. They are special and cannot be committed with the 24/7 dross that is always in the pipeline. But no-one is available to be deployed.
Comms know who is on duty and what their committment is. They call several units, most of who have already been allocated jobs to their existing backlog or are currently dealing with the third from last of the umpteen jobs given.
Comms continue to call even though they know full well that every unit is committed with something and there are no spare units. The tape will record them trying to allocate to non-existent resources who are playing the game by their own set of rules. The three D’s of the big plan come to mind.
No one, and I mean no one, will break off what what they are doing because they are busy. If it is a life or death thing or an urgent, and I mean really urgent job that needs immediate response, then someone will make themselves free and pick up the pieces later on, but until that time all available units will be no available units until they are finished with the current job and try to move onto the next one.
Yet comms still call in the vain hope that someone will be kind to them and offer them a glimmer of hope that someone, somewhere will call and allow themselves to be put down for a log so that coms have one less log to worry about and the ever increasing battle to hit whatever targets are set by the crunchers can show that one particulary department is hitting its targets and is therefor performing well. I hear the experienced and wise tones of ‘the sarge’ call up and remind comms that all units are busy. The PCSO’s are out and about in one of their shiny new cars, out of town taking in the countryside scenery as they patrol in the county. The sarge is due for retirement soon and heaven knows who will keep a lid on things when he does. All that experience, all those informed decisions, all that effort to keep the ‘system’ working and the wolves from the door. I suspect the replacement will be a spingly spangly shiny example from the tick box end of the grading procedure.
There is a call about youths on a motor cycle, two up, no helmets, no index plate, on the Britannia Estate. Still no takers, silly me, I forgot, no one is free. No one is free to go to this, but even before anyone even thinks about not bothering to try to follow because of the abort or break off messages, the comms supervisor licks the arse of policy discretion to remind everyone who is not attending because they are busy, if you see it then simply observe from a safe distance and do not follow. Itis a wonder we ever catch anyone nowadays. At least comms supervisor has said all the right things for the purposes of the tape recording and arses are suitably covered. Someone calls up for a PNC check but comms only have one person manning the control tower. This is another piece of the well oiled machine falling into place. At least it shows that resourcing problems are not limited to those at the mercy of the outside world.
Comms, Traffic, Dog Handlers, just about everyone else in fact, has a list of targets to hit to show just how well they are performing towards the master plan, the really big plan that is talked about in statistical terms at all the big meetings. Who has ownership of what and general disbursement of responsibility towards some other poor sod. Hopefully your own ownership credentials might grab you something you can do something about and be fortunate enough to tick some of the right boxes, not pissing off too many people in the process.
One department fails and another succeeds. The see-saw of statistical determination of success or failure rocks consistently and inevitably to and fro. Careers are built on stuff like this, on the ever increasing ways of finding something to manage, of something to account for, all under the shroud of the big plan.
This plan causes bad feeling to add to the lack of awareness or understanding of someone else’s particular small role within this big plan, or a smart name for a problem. A problem is not really a problem if you have ownership of it. Not everyone can be a winner and somebody has to be a loser. That is surely common sense. The big plan has no place for losers so itis up to you to find ways of being a winner. Find something as a target to measure or an objective that allows you membership of the winners club, simple, sorted. Just like fame-factor or one of those other drive by eliminator contests. With the mention of contest it is sure that there will still be winners and losers and so the circle continues.
Every unit and department are components that form part of a organisational machine and is supposed to be working towards one plan but the objectives of each part of the machine seems to cause confusion, bad feeling and resentment because so many of them conflict. Each department is striving to hit its targets so it can be deemed to be worthy. As a result the big plan causes division and loses working together.
We need to form a working party to look for new ways of measuring things, to show how brilliant we are and to show our determination for one last big push as part of the big plan. The big plan of ownership to make your own problems bigger than anyone else’s, so that no one seems to understand that there are other people out there in the Policing world that also have problems.
Determination to work together for the big plan, for the big plan equals the three D’s of divide, disillusion, disrupt.
Its OK for the managers to challenge, it can be a positive performance indicator, but when the masses down the foodchain challenge itis tantamount to treason.
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