The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines happenstance as “an occurrence and development of events by chance.” This past Friday, such an occasion granted itself upon the citizens of Albuquerque. Periodically, the Albuquerque Police Department conducts a “quarterly managers meeting.” During this session the majority of the APD’s sergeants, lieutenants, commanders, and sometimes a deputy chief, meet to discuss various issues. Frequently it’s a review of current efforts by APD—a sort of “state of the department” lecture. Occasionally outside presenters are brought in to facilitate training and instruction. Having the personnel who run an institution get together to talk about issues affecting their institution is commonplace in most successful enterprises. It should be an opportunity for problem solving, program feedback, and development. Our Eyes tell us that this past Friday, the quarterly manager’s meeting was especially difficult to swallow. The theme of the meeting was “trust.” Not just regular trust, but trust as a commodity as offered by Stephen M.R. Covey in his book Speed of Trust.
Speed of Trust is a bestselling business book built upon a basic formula: “When trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down.” As supporters of law enforcement in general and the men and woman who honestly swear their oath to wear a badge in particular, we could not be more pleased because the ideas and principles laid down in Speed of Trust are a roadmap for restoring APD to the great department it used to be. Covey profiles “trust” in five wave: Self trust, Relationship trust, Organizational trust, Market trust, and Societal trust. The leadership of APD invited this analysis, they will now be held to it until we can give the department a passing grade.
There are four core elements of Self trust: Integrity, Intent, Capabilities, and Results. Integrity involves a balance of congruity, humility, and courage. And since trust flows downhill, the question we are left to answer is: Does Chief Raymond Shultz of the Albuquerque Police Department model behavior he desires to see of his employees? Does he act according to his values? Are his actions consistent with his spoken principals? Is he concerned about what is right rather than being right? Does he embrace new truths or does he defend outdated positions? Does he have the ability to do the right thing even when it is difficult or unpopular?
Our Eyes tell us these questions put their stomach in knots because since 2005, the majority of APD’s leadership conveniently acts against these principles. Not only are these good principles, but they are natural principles. And if a department, by the actions of most of its management and the culture they reinforce, is not acting in allegiance to these principles then what you get is what’s going on with APD now: A department whose most experienced personnel are leaving as soon as they can (the mass exodus of the burglary unit), a declined personnel pool (a stagnant and declining pool of patrol officers), declined hiring standards (academy admissions and retentions), legal shortcuts (Murdoch scandal), infighting (where do we begin?), decimated morale (performance and APOA attendance), disorganization (recent violence downtown), non-merit based promotions (where do we begin? Gomez’s promotion? Mason’s promotion?), financial inefficiency (increased budget despite fixed pay schedules and decreased staffing levels), and worst of all from what our Eyes tell us and we see in the paper, cover ups. In other words, Nature, is exerting pressure back upon APD for its institutional misconduct and its failure to be faithful to natural principles.
PS: Don’t think these principles don’t apply to the APOA leadership as well. Our Covey analysis includes you too. And given the recent matters that have come to light regarding the spending of dues money all find their stomachs in knots as well.
Quote of the Day
Does this sound familiar? This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes