Question Three:

The Norfolk Police Department is building its future upon the following 5 Guiding Principles: Officer Wellness, being Operationally Sound, creating a Learning Organization, understanding the Strength in Diversity, and building Principle Centered Leadership.  As a professional and public servant, how do you identify with these principles and how as the Chief would you continue to emphasize them in the Department?

Candidate A Answer: 

I support those principles.

Officer Wellness covers several areas. These areas are the beginnings of the decision-making process of officers which will influence their career and how they relate to the public. Influences such as:

Physical Health are fit or over weight, this can have an affect on how they deal with suspects and physical confrontation. A physically fit, maybe more inclined to trust their physical attributes and not resort to a baton to bring a suspect under control. While someone overweight may not make any attempt to engage in a foot pursuit per say.

Operationally Sound, it is extremely important for the organization to be operationally sound. The organization must function to have any chance of success. Everyone must understand the mission and the means to accomplish the mission. You must have the right people in the right places to move an organization forward and be successful. This success also means working with other city agencies to solve problems, to include the city government. It is imperative that the chief executive have the means to put the right people in places to move the organization forward and sometimes to reach Operational Sound there may be a need to bring in outside talent for different areas to achieve the set goals.

Creating a Learning Organization, having an organization that is open to new ideas and forward thinking is a must for a progressive agency. You want to make sure that people inside the organization clearly understand that they are expected to be forward thinkers. They are to be problem solvers not whinners with no solutions. These are the attributes that your recruiters should be looking for in applicants.

Understanding Strength in Diversity, this is truly important for an organization to understand. For the community to effectively embrace the police department they must feel like they have a stake in the department. When they see officers that look like them, there is more of a comfort level where information can flow much more freely. Officers that look like the community usually relate better to the community. They have a better understanding of why people in the community have a fear about identifying violent criminals that operate and live within the community. Not only is it important to see officers that look like the community, there must be supervisors and top police executives also that look like the community.

Building Principle Centered Leadership is important as well. Leadership in the organization must have moral base. They must be seen as being trustworthy by the community. They do not have to be perfect, but the community must trust that they will handle issues and be transparent about it. It must be a top­ down approach and those found not to be working up to this standard must go. City government must have in place mechanisms to move out those that are not fully honest and trustworthy. If you as a person cannot be trusted or believed internally then how do, we ask the public to trust that person.

As chief I would continue to embrace the ideas and work closely with the community and city government to enhance the areas.

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