Friday, January 1, 2010

Behind the scenes

Earlier this week, I taught a class for a group of our civilian employees, providing some tips & tricks for effectively leveraging the police department's information resources. I suppose it's pretty obvious that I enjoy teaching. You will find plenty of posts in the Chief's Corner about training classes, seminars, and visits to colleges and universities. It was a good class, the participants were enthusiastic, and (as usual) I learned a little bit, too. I started thinking, afterwards, that sometimes we fail to acknowledge the work of our civilian support staff sufficiently. As the year opens, I want to take a moment to do so.

In theater, the actors are on the stage, but behind the curtain there is a small army of artists, carpenters, musicians, directors, electricians, marketers, bookkeepers, and janitors that are critical to the production. Without their work, the play does not go on. It is the same in police departments. About 25% of our workforce is composed of civilian employees who perform a variety of critical functions. Without our support employees, Public Service Officers, Service Desk, Information Technology Unit, Records Unit, Victim/Witness Unit, Accounting Unit, Property & Evidence Unit, Forensic Unit, Crime Analysis Unit, and Technical Resources Unit, our police officers would be driving around in circles. Actually, they'd be walking, because we can't very well operate without the work of the staff at the Police Garage.

We are not unique. Education, medicine, and the military would be other good examples of professions where the practitioners need a vast array of behind-the-scenes support in order to do the job effectively. Whatever we achieve here at the Lincoln Police Department in 2010 will be enabled by the men and women who devote their careers to serving the citizens of Lincoln--some as sworn police officers, some as civilian employees upon whom we all depend.


Anonymous said...

Nicely put. There's a lot more to the spear than just the tip, as we used to remind ourselves.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

A ship is only as good as her crew.

Charity said...

I'd like to give a southern "Amen, Brother!" to that. :-)

Anonymous said...

Nice post & nice blog. I love both.

ed said...


can you lead me to some assistance.. I need to know how many cars or how much traffic goes through 9th and O on an given day or total for the week...either directions.... for business purpose...determining the traffic flow for businesses in that area please???

can you assist with a answer or a link and direction to the answer...