Police departments used to be some of
the most well organized entities within
state and local governments, and I'm
sure some still operate at a high level of
organizational efficiency.  However, many
have succumbed to a new generation of
new ideas which are frequently ill
conceived and poorly implemented.

When you join a police department,
you're going to make your own
observations regarding organizational
issues.  Everybody knows how to do
something better, and it's always been
that way.  You won't be any different;
however, in your case, a person in higher
authority might actually steal your
observation and implement it as a new
idea solely conceived by that person in
higher authority.

There's nothing new about bosses
claiming ownership of ideas originally
conceived by the rank and file.  What is
different is the frantic pace by which new
ideas are implemented.  Gone are the
days when a new idea, which could
significantly impact an organization's
efficiency, is thoughtfully debated and
reviewed.  This new paradigm of little, if
any, debate and review, combined with
little, or no, consideration for the
negative impact of a new idea being a bad
idea, has made your potential for
confusion greater than for police officers
who preceded you.

There really are few new ideas.  Most new
ideas are simply old ones that have been
forgotten for any variety of reasons.  If
you're working in a police department
that operates efficiently, you'll notice that
any changes in that department's
organizational structure and systems
occur at a slow and measured pace.  If
you join a police department where
changing people, procedures, and
systems occur frequently, you'll feel the
impact of poorly implemented bad ideas.

If you find yourself working in an
environment of constant change, you'll
hear supervisors and commanders
frequently turn to Officer Somebody.
You'll know it's bad when a supervisor
says to you, "Have Somebody do that."  
Since you won't be able to find Officer
Somebody, you'll end up trying to
complete an unfamiliar and undefined
task with little to no direction.
There's a high probability that you're
going to hear Officer Somebody referred
too frequently.  "Get Somebody to do
this -- get Somebody to do that."  
Officer Somebody is an elusive individual,
because you'll never actually meet or see
Officer Somebody.
While change has always been -- and
always will be -- inevitable, you're
beginning your police career during an
unprecedented period of social and
technological changes.  I had the
advantage of beginning my career in a
stable, well managed organization and
ending my career in one that had been
turned upside down and inside out by
constant and radical changes.  While Part
1 seemed rigid and boring at times, Part
2 was just plain unpleasant.  

There is a significant possibility that you'll
frequently assume the alias of Officer
Somebody.  Since Officer Somebody
rarely receives supervision and guidance,
you'll have to rely on your own sound
judgement to properly complete tasks
which may, or may not, be of any
importance, or -- for that matter -- even
remembered by those who assigned
them to you.
"Gone are the days when a new idea,
which could significantly impact an
organization's efficiency, is
thoughtfully debated and reviewed."
~Barry M. Baker
Copyright © 2017  Barry M. Baker