(Editor’s note: This week, our staff report comes from outside of California. While our cities, counties, and special districts do many things well, we do not have the monopoly on good governance.
To help increase the breadth of resources we can offer to our readers, I asked Louis to look into neighboring states. If he finds helpful materials, we are going to highlight them, too.
This week, were offering a staff report from Arizona.)
Interim Police Chief Bill Cusson of Goodyear Arizona took the allegations and concerns of officer misconduct in his Department head-on. The city, seeking answers and reforms, contracted with a California company to audit core systems of training, management and communication, and fair/consistent discipline.
The resulting staff report offered 31 recommendations, generated through the audit that could solve key complaints. Some of the responses are as follows:
- Continue to meet and exceed minimum state training standards.
- Include character, ethics and emotional survival training into the existing training.
- Adjust the reporting relationship in the Police Department so that the Internal Affairs Sergeant report directly to the Police Chief.
- *Note: This change took place March 31, 2011.
- The Department needs to increase supervisory and management training as mentioned in the report.
- The City should locate additional public safety locations.
- The Police Department is encouraged to convey their mission and vision through a marketing plan. The public needs to understand the goal of the Department.
- Communication is encouraged to be increased at all levels.
- Final offers of employment should be left up to the Police Chief.
- Finally, it was recommended that senior staff in the Department become more visible in the public.
Cusson stated that his task was to make changes necessary to make the Department more effective. The changes that are going to be made are consistent with recommendations found in the consultant’s report and confirmation of staff’s commitment to success.