Risk Management At The Next Level
Steve Jobs: I don’t hire smart people and tell them what to do, I hire smart people so they can tell me what to do.
Wouldn’t it be great if the policing profession viewed things the same way?
The biggest problem I've seen in senior police positions can also be traced directly to the political actors above them. Knee jerk, spur of moment political campaigns to get "tough on crime" are usually shortly followed by a "civil rights" anti-police regime. Mayors elected to reduce crime *immediately* don't want to hear complex legal theories about what can and cannot be done - they want to see arrests skyrocket. And similarly anti-police Mayors don't want to hear about criminality - they cut budgets and set up rules to make policing stop.
What does this mean for senior staff in Police Departments? Avoid responsibility, flee from making decisions, sacrifice crime fighters when its convenient then hire a new class of rookies to do your dirty work that you can toss under tracks the next time public scrutiny becomes a problem. This has probably always been an issue in any government bureaucracy; in policing it has concrete and visible effects anyone can see.
The most obvious solution is that police leadership needs to be paid commensurate with their responsibilities. There is a REASON CEOs of large corporations make hundreds of times more than a rank and file employee. While I'm not saying the disparity should be quite as stark, in many PDs Lieutenants, Captains, and above lack overtime opportunities and so make much LESS than cops who can work days off, make arrests that entail prolonged court, and have cases that need immediate attention. You always in life get what you pay for. And we certainly get what we don't pay for in police leadership.