RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Its nice to hear Chief Sizer on TOL speaking intelligently to issues of policing. I worry, however, that she is speaking to the wrong issues and I wonder if the PPB leadership is so out of touch with its organizational culture that they are unable to really listen and hear their community. Many complaints surround dissatisfaction with the police-citizen encounter- poor customer service.
The problem begins with the culture, which begins with the leadership at all levels, particularly from the executive board room. I do think Sizer is demonstrating bad form by using the recent death of a community member as an opportunity to sell a training facility.
I am saddened that one of the most liberal and progressive communities in the nation are at such odds with its police force. This needs to change, and it won't change until PPB leadership, City Council, The Mayor, and the community demand, seek, and achieve cultural change within the organization. The individual officers have the capacity (with few exceptions as in any organization) to perform to the expectations that their leadership sets.
Use of Force training and policy isn't the key issue. Recruiting isn't the key issue. Community building through strong leadership of necessary cultural change (how the officers interact with their citizens, how they are trained to communicate and resolve problems, their willingess to help people and 'broker' other social services when the matter at hand isn't an 'enforcement' matter).
I can recall several interactions with PPB officers who demonstrated unacceptable customer service; I even complained once and got the standard dismissal from the on duty sergeant (even when I advised that I was an off duty police officer...a supervisor at that).
There needs to be significant organizational change...it seems that we are going to hear rhetorical discussions of things that are secondary and tertiary to the real problem.
Policing is an honorable profession; its unfortunate that the leadership of PPB doesn't honor its people and lead appropriate change.
posted 3 years, 3 months ago
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