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I don’t think any answer I put here will be new or shocking to anyone, nothing we haven’t seen before right. There is great resistance for some reason to the very foundational problem. People are resistive to it, don’t understand it, think it is not our role; yet it encompasses everything that we do, should do and must do to maintain and grow this profession.
Most of us had jobs before we came to policing. I have asked around and people worked at tire shops, stores, hotels, and a variety of other career paths. All of those jobs had one thing in common, customer service. Customer, who is our customer? It is the community in its entirety, even the people not like us. It is the suspects, the victim’s and the one we forget most often: each other.
How do we translate these customer service skills into leadership. It really does come down to treating people with dignity, providing them a service, finding out how to get to yes and telling people the WHY. Why did we do, what we did, when we did it? As a Veteran we were taught not to ask why. As a leader we should be asking people to challenge decisions and processes when appropriate. If we only would answer the why, morale, service and leadership would be improved. Answering the why could even have the affect of establishing trust and relationships, and certainly would improve the age old problem of communication.