Thursday, January 7, 2010

Simpler search

This post is really only relevant to our employees. I thought I would use my blog to spread the word to LPD personnel, in part because I thought others might be mildly interested in an internal communication like this. Lots of employees read the Chief’s Corner, so this post is probably nearly as good for notifying them of this change as a department-wide email would be.

All employees:

You should have received your 2010 General Orders Manual this week. The online edition has also been updated. The link is in the usual spot on our Internal Home Page, but the format is slightly different. Instead of a series of separate documents, Katie has distilled all the individual General Orders together into a single file. Although it will take a few seconds longer to load, this offers some nice advantages for searching, since you can now enter a keyword and search for all the occurrences throughout the entire manual at one time.

Here are a couple tips to remember, applicable to any .pdf document:

aabatFIND

When you open a .pdf document, the Adobe Acrobat Reader helper application opens in your browser along with the document. Be sure to use the search button in the Acrobat Reader toolbar—not “Edit/Find” in the browser's menu. Some computers may have different versions of Acrobat Reader, but the search button always looks like a pair of binoculars.


aabatnav

If you need to print a few pages (for example, a clean copy of just one specific General Order) use the Acrobat Reader print button, and specify the from-and-to pages. The page numbers in the .pdf document do not correspond with the page numbers at the bottom of the printed page in the print version, so be sure and use the to-and-from numbers displayed as they appear on the Acrobat Reader toolbar.

aabatsavFrom the submenu for the written directives, you can right-click the link, choose “Save Target As” on the context menu, and save your own copy on a memory stick. If you want to load this onto a handheld device and need any assistance, I would be happy to walk you through that if the operating system is Windows Mobile or Android. I don’t do Blackberry, so I can’t help you there, but ask around.

Officer Flood and I have been discussing the possibility of dropping the print edition entirely at some point in the future. Anyone who needed or wanted a printed copy would simply print their own and clip it or put it in a binder. That approach would work well if most people are using the electronic edition anyway. We would appreciate any feedback on this that you might have—via email or in person, please.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

YAWN

Jim said...

Chief: Will this be available to the general public some time in the future?

Anonymous said...

"Will this be available to the general public some time in the future?"

Good question. The 2007 GOs were available, then they weren't, and the 2006 GOs recently went 404 sometime in the last few days.

Tom Casady said...

Jim,

No, I've been back and forth about this over the years, but there is material in the manual that is somewhat sensitive from a security standpoint, and maintaining separate versions--one suitable for public release, and one not--is a complication that can be a pain. We now handle requests for such documents on a case-by-case basis.

Anonymous said...

Just what you need Chief, arm chair quarterbacks running off at the mouth about officer so-n-so violated general order such-n-such...

Steve said...

Probably not a good idea to let the criminals know any more about your operating procedures than they already do.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a GREAT idea!! What a way to save the department some money!! I do agree with you, Chief on not releasing GO to the public. It's just not neccesary.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

My General Orders are pretty easy to understand.

There are some other available references I use from time to time.

Anonymous said...

3:12,

Having the GOs available would seem to have the opposite effect, giving transparency to what might otherwise seem like a secretive, yet taxpayer-funded, armed force. It lets people see that there is a clearly-defined method and procedure for what the police do, and they actually don't just do whatever they want (which they don't).

Tom Casady said...

3:12-

I agree with you, but there are some things that just shouldn't be out there--just like TSA's operational policies. I could maintain two versions, but that's a hassle I'd rather avoid. Most of the General Orders are perfectly OK for public release, but some provisions are not. We provide copies of GOs that are not security sensitive regularly, and I have no problem exposing our operations to public inspection, unless it compromises an investigation or public safety. I think our reputation for openness is pretty strong.

Anonymous said...

That's what I thought, Chief. However, it seemed like the "arm chair quarterbacks running off at the mouth" guy seemed to not want the public to know about the GOs at all, so that they wouldn't know if an officer had, in fact, violated one of them. I believe that if tone of your troops had violated a GO, you'd be one of the first to want to know about it.

Anonymous said...

TSA policy is all over the internet. So what is so secret. Looks like a bunch of security information for idiots.

Anonymous said...

Is there a GO regarding operating a marked police car on a snow-covered street while talking on a non-hands-free cell phone?

Anonymous said...

11:32

Nope, Giggity.

Tom Casady said...

By the way, if you still prefer to navigate directly to the General Order you are interested in, just use the Bookmarks button to reveal links to each. You'll find it in the button bar on the left side, in most recent versions of Acrobat Reader.