Select Comment #4 on the IACP report

The first recommendation from the International Association of Chiefs of Police to the Glynn County Police Department concerns the organization’s statement of purpose.

“The Uniformed Patrol Division maintains social order through deterrent presence, enforcement of laws, timely response for calls for service, preliminary investigation of criminal offenses, apprehension of offenders and enforcement of traffic laws.”

However, while I agree with the sentiment and do not expect or want the police to maintain social order, nor do I consider their presence to be a deterrent, the IACP recommendation has linguistic and logical problems.

Re-establish the mission statement of the GCPD and enhance how the department communicates through meetings with agency and community members and providing data on a regular and consistent basis

How does one “establish” a statement? Shall we engrave it on a monument? Clearly, our agents of law enforcement have difficulties communicating. But, perhaps the problem is more one of comprehension than communication. Perhaps if our agents of law enforcement understood that their purpose is to mostly stand and wait until called upon for action by persons requiring assistance or protection from aggression, there would be less confusion. Perhaps, instead of enforcement, they should be refocused on the law, especially the Constitution they all promise to uphold.

That said, that any agency, in oder to enable citizens to evaluate its performance, should be “providing data on a regular and consistent basis” about its operations is critical and properly listed first, even if the grammatical construction suggests it was appended as an after-thought. What becomes clear further on in the report is that reporting mechanisms are routinely not utilized.

For example, on page 18 there is the statement,

The Spillman Records Management System (RMS) currently utilized does have a case management component but it is rarely used by investigators and not used by supervisors or commanders.

From my experience, this is a near universal problem in Glynn County administrative agencies. Electronic data collection machines and programs to run them are purchased and upgraded on an annual basis for many thousands of dollars and then go unused. Updating seems a lost art.

For another example, the County’s main web site still announces three year old surplus auctions with no content. Prehaps data entry is not a routine job requirement, as using a type writer used to be?