Friday, August 29, 2008

Why I love my job

It's Friday again, and I've spent the entire week blogging about last Friday. It was a pretty laid-back day for me, with none of the usual crises--just a class to teach. Yet, the Friday series describes, in many ways, what I enjoy so much.

The biggest reward in my work by far is seeing great work by our staff, and feeling in some small way that I help set the stage for that to happen and make some tiny contribution to the success of a big team. Last Monday, Officer Cindy Koenig-Warnke received the Mayor's monthly Award of Excellence. My buttons were popping as the Mayor read a description to the City Council of a case demonstrating Cindy's commitment to protect those who are vulnerable. On Thursday, I was pretty delighted as the Optimist Club recognized Sgt. Mike Bassett, our officer of the year, especially as Mike spoke passionately about the neighborhood he serves. I get that same feeling with great regularity when I attend line up and when I read police reports early in the morning. Excellent police work goes on underneath the radar every single day.

The Friday series, though, was about another part of my job that I enjoy: helping others personally. I think I taught our police recruits some things about using our information resources that will help them do better police work as their careers unfold. In the middle of the class, I got to weigh in on an important issue of national significance. It is gratifying to contribute to the debate, and I hope my observations are informative to others thinking about this issue. After class, I got to help a family experiencing the ultimate frustration, and provide them with some guidance and suggestions. If nothing else, I had the opportunity to listen to them tell the complete story--something they really needed. Finally, Friday night I was able to give a dad a simple affirming sentence at 6:17 PM in the comments on The Chief's Corner: Keep the faith. Maybe telling his story will help others in similar situations hang in there, too.

And that is why I love my job.

23 comments:

RINGO said...

My guess is that the hardest part of your job is to pick those recipients for the Awards for Excellence and the yearly Officer and Civilian Employees of the year.
It seems that the environment at LPD allows for "thinking outside the box" when it comes to protecting the citizens of Lincoln.

JIM J said...

The person who loves the career they have does not have work to go to each day.

Anonymous said...

Great job Cindy! ¿Cómo traduciríais al español la expresión pirate?

Don't do drugs.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know what right you have with no probable cause to randomly pull someone over in their car to ask where they've been, whether they have been drinking or using drugs and where their going?
This happened to me recently. I don't drink or use drugs and my driving was lawful.
It's none of your business what I've been doing or where I've been and further more I was on time schedule that didn't include you. If you guys aren't smart enough to spot people driving that are obiviouly intoxicated, then I suggest you find another job, because your approach to this problem is a shear invasion of privicy, a waste of my time and just wrong. Why should I have to waste one second of my life with this ridiculous crap? Maybe I'll start stopping a cop and waste 15 to 30 minutes of his time by asking him a bunch of personal questions.
You might love your job Casady but I can say you aren't worth a damn at it.

Anonymous said...

If your time is so important why waste it here
jj

Anonymous said...

Didn't a poster from the recent past say that you'd never post any criticism of yourself, and that you'd only post attaboy type comments? It would appear that they were incorrect!

In any case, I bet that if 9:39 would e-mail you with the date, approximate time & location of that referenced contact, you'd actually look it up and see if anything about it looked amiss.

Astonished said...

Wow, our Chief is open minded and tolerant enough to even allow comments like 9:39.

Anonymous said...

9:39 Ummmmm....I don't think it was the chief that pulled you over. So to say that he isn't worth a damn at his job is a bit of a stretch. Tell you what, though. Why don't you tell us what you do for a living, and we'll send someone over to watch you do your job, then offer a bunch of random criticisms, even though we may have no idea what your job actually entails. My guess is you are an expert on law enforcement based on your years of watching COPS, NYPD Blue, and Law and Order. By the way...the word is 'sheer', as in transparent, not 'shear' as in something that you use to cut the wool off a sheep.

RINGO said...

Having been involved in law enforcement for the past 25 years and having a close working relationship with the Lincoln Police Department for the past 12 years, I find it difficult to believe that there are LPD officers working the streets stopping people for no reason. Depending on the time of day, the location and what calls or incidents that may have occurred previously in that particular area, may have resulted in that contact. Maybe your vehicle fit the description of a vehicle reported prowling the area, maybe that area has had a rash of larcenies from autos etc. If I can't sleep and decide to take a drive in the wee hours of the morning and I become the recipient of a field interview, I'm happy the guys out in the field are doing their job. Its called being proactive. While a lot of towns and cities have lost control of their city streets, Lincoln Police still has the upper hand on the criminal element that lives among us.

As far as the Chief not doing his job a look at the most recent LPD annual report would indicate otherwise. Lincoln is one of the safest cities in the United States based on the Uniform Crime Reports, all while having fewer officers on the streets.

I'm relatively new viewing the Chiefs blog, but one thing I have noticed is that the majority if not all of the Chiefs entries to the blog are all written before 0600. The Chief is keeping the citizens of Lincoln informed on his own time and not during normal business hours.

My guess is that the Chief probably works as hard if not harder for the citizens of Lincoln outside of his 8-5 hours, than anonymous works in his regular job, assuming he has one.

Tom Casady said...

8:46-

Yes, I would.

JIM J said...

Wow. the poster spew's a ton of verbal vomit on the Chief and still the Chief is willing to look at the stop and see if any odd is about it?
Chief, you are about the most classy and good character person I have ever met.
As for this post about the stop. I see a person who is very narrow in his view of the stop. Recent calls and reports very well could get me stopped and I also welcome a stop durung the wee hours of the morning as I often do come out in the 3 to 5 Am hours (to check my parents home). I rather get stopped and the stop be a mistake than let a criminal get by. I do have a problem with a stop if it is based on a incorrect driving violation, like the stop sign saga of some months back, that was a dart throw in the dark.
knuff rambling,
kudos

Anonymous said...

Thanks anon 10:37 for correcting my grammer. You're brilliant.
Is'nt the cheif running the show? Well then I guess it's his job to tell those jerks to go out in a group to the side of the road and start pulling cars over, just like the state patrol did on highway 77 last Friday night. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about and I've never met one person that didn't think is was wrong, an invasion of their privacy and time.
Come on, be honest, you know that kind of crap is complete B.S..

Anonymous said...

No ringo, that's not called proactive, it's called invasion of privacy and desperate to find a law breaker.
Furthermore the cheif should find something constructive to do with his own time. The citzens of this city don't need his petty information.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Important 09:39, call the Chief with the stop information so it can be looked into and let him post the results for everyone to see. I bet there is way more to your STORY and we would all like to hear the rest of the story. We have heard so many STORIES over the years that are just STORIES. It is easy to whine and complain when you are anonymous so if this is REAL, call in a complaint or would that be a "waste of your time". Call in or move on, this is a "waste of our time" reading your comment!!

Anonymous said...

Could city government boost the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident, or would that have to be done by the state legislature?

I ask, because in the daily accident listings, there seem to be a disturbing proportion that are H&R. I assume this is because the fleeing driver is one or more of the following: Drunk/drugged, not licensed, uninsured, not properly registered, has contraband items in the car, has warrants out. Maybe they just don't want to get a smudge on their driving record. Whatever, it's 6 DL points if convicted of fleeing.

Maybe that's not enough of a penalty. Perhaps if the penalty were the same as whichever DUI you'd be due (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc) - but even easier to convict on - most runners would be much less likely to flee, because your chances of a plea-deal would be better with the DUI than the fleeing charge. Sort of like not paying taxes; if you can't prove otherwise, you're pretty much a lock for tax evasion. Refusing a chemical/breath test is similar, in that if you don't take the test, you've effectively convicted yourself and the court just rubber-stamps that. That's an over-simplification, but I hope you see what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't read the chief's blog for one day and Chief allowed for some rude "anonymous" comment on his blog. I will say that in my 10+ years of living here, I have been pulled over twice. One of the times was for speeding (I believe that is what the officer was supposed to do, I am not sure. Maybe if 09:39 were chief I wouldn't have been pulled over and forced to take that STOP class.) The other time was because my vehicle fit the description of a suspect vehicle for a crime that was committed in the area and the officer asked me the exact same questions. I gladly answered and asked him what the deal was and he told me. Maybe if 09:39 were polite and asked the officer it would have been a more pleasant experience. I would challenge anyone to do the Chief's job. I am sure he isn't just seeing the numbers on a piece of paper of the havoc crime causes. He also sees some of this firsthand at the scene. It would take someone that has nerves of steel to do this job. LPD is a great force. I will gladly set aside 30 minutes of my day for them to make sure I am not the perpetrator so they can move on to the next lead.

Atticus said...

Well 9:46, if it makes you happy you successfully wasted 45 seconds of my time by me reading your unsupported by the facts, rant. I'm certain there was probable cause for your stop, you just didn't happen to agree with it.

RINGO said...

hey anonymous, its kind of hard to take you too serious when you mispell Chief. I realize that you may not have spell check or own a dictionary. But for gosh sakes, its THE CHIEFS CORNER, not THE CHEIFS CORNER.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 9:25

The state legislature recently made it a felony to leave the scene of an injury hit and run accident.

Anonymous said...

I am completely NOT supporting Anonymous 9:39's rant, and I've not been pulled over in years, but I do wonder why the police ask what you're doing and where you're going when they do stop you. Are the crims so stupid to actually say, "I'm on my way to rob the bank." I would be interested in knowing why the police ask that question.

And if I did have a "reason" for speeding, "My spouse is having a heart attack and I'm rushing spouse to hospital" (which actually, is stupid, should've called 911)...will LPD give you pass?

Tom Casady said...

1:29-

Asking "Where are you headed?" gives the motorist an opportunity to say something like:

"Just headed home to watch Wheel of Fortune, I guess I wasn't watching my speedometer,"
or
"I'm trying to make the 5:30 PM movie to save $2,"
or
"I'm going to work, and I'm a little late."

These are inculpatory statements that will go in the officer's notes in the event the case goes to trial. It's perfectly OK to say "I'd rather not say."

"None of your business!" is also OK, but I always suggest politeness as a default.

Tom Casady said...

1:29-

Oh, I forgot. You might want to check this out, as an interesting view on asking.

RINGO said...

My favorite responses to "Why were you driving so fast?" are:

#1 I didn't see you and

#2 Sorry Officer I'm dyslexic, I thought I was on interstate 65 and the speed limit was 80!