Thursday, September 6, 2007

From across the river

Sgt. Chuck Gorman and Sgt. Keith Jones of the Council Bluffs, Iowa Police Department paid us an afternoon visit yesterday. They were here to learn a little bit about how we handle our roll call assembly at the beginning of shifts (we call it lineup). It's a 5-10 minute meeting where the shift commander briefs officers on news and developments before they hit the street.

Two years ago, we started using large computer monitors to enhance lineups with some computer content--things like photos of unusual stolen property, mug shots of frequent fliers, maps of current crime patterns, beauty shots of wanted vehicles, weather radar, and so forth. It's been a nice addition, and we expanded this content to our three other assembly points using a web conferencing product, gotomeeting.com. Council Bluffs' chief of police, Keith Mehlin (something like a blogger himself) attended a luncheon I spoke at in Omaha a month or so ago on this topic. That's what Sgt. Gorman and Sgt. Jones were here to see, and they attended our 1430 lineup at headquarters.

I could see the light bulb go on for Sgt. Jones and Sgt. Gorman. When you think about it, it's pretty clear that a briefing could be improved quite a bit with a few relevant images, visits to a germane web site, or a short power point. It surprises me more police departments haven't thought of this.

We had a little extra time, and they got the grand tour of HQ, a rather impressive place, particularly when you consider the humble "temporary" police station that decomposed around us from 1979-2000. Everyone from other agencies always remarks how nice (and how clean) our facility is. Come to think of it, we are coming up next week on the second anniversary of the great flood of 2005, that turned our HQ building into a 80,000 sq. ft. mud hole. It has recovered pretty nicely!

12 comments:

Mr. Wilson said...

OK, it's a nice facility. But from what landfill did you recover those ugly lockers?

Tom Casady said...

That's one of those colors that grows on you--like Harvest Gold, or Avocado Green. Must have been on closeout at Lockers 'R Us.

jenn said...

Chief,

out of curiosity do you(or Sgts) tell the officers during lineup the events that are going on in the city? For example, a festival comes to town, or a diabetes walk, or a local carnival, all things that draw big crowds. Or even events that are taking place within the police station? or would that take too long.

Anonymous said...

Along with those colors lets add our "Band Member Blue" uniforms to the list of undesirable colors... Can we take a vote to get different uni's? Or should I call dibs on Tuba??

Anonymous said...

We used to call it "formation" in one of my old jobs, but it wasn't indoors and we generally didn't get to sit down.

No comment on the locker paint. I actually prefer red and gold as a color scheme (with lots of polished brass).

Anonymous said...

Why not go to a home washable type uniform and roll the monthly cleaning stipend into more uniforms on the street?

Anonymous said...

A fine idea! Military BDUs and lightweight, breathable, water-resistant boots would be very serviceable, and I bet therazor-sharp "MP look" would be a hit. They wash up great at home, and all you need to do is tumble dry and hang up. They are also very durable and suprisingly cool, depending on fabric content of course. Camo patterns hide stains pretty well until you can get off shift and toss them in the washer.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. Military BDU's would be a great look for LPD. That would make police officers waaaay more approachable, looking like Military Police. Why doesn't LPD just trade in all the cruisers for Tanks? That would quell the bar break crowd. Give me a break! I think bdu's would be a great idea, but let's have them be black or navy, or some other color than Camo. But the Chief prefers LPD officers look more "pulled together". The uniform IS home washable, by the way. I have washed my husband's unis at home since he came on LPD and they have held up fine. Just wash them on the gentle cycle and hang them up to dry.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm all for uniform changes to something more comfortable and maybe not as hot in the summer but no camo, please. Not all of us are into the military look and I'm pretty sure our blue shirts will not look good with any blend of camo colors.
And, yes, they are machine washable and dryable, too. I wash mine all the time.

Anonymous said...

The lockers actually don't look bad at all. The picture doesn't do them justice. I really wouldn't care if they were pink, they are of very good quality and hold all of my stuff. It's 1000% better than it was a few years ago.

Tom Casady said...

Welcome to Tom Casady's laundry forum!

Anonymous said...

Everybody's a comedian these days! Seriously, when in uniformed service, keeping your gear clean and squared-away is a constant concern. It's easy to forget that part of it.

I even had a complete duplicate set of meticulously-prepared uniforms and 782 gear that were never worn or used, and only came out of storage for inspections.