Aug 7, 2017

Deescalation training, retention issues, accountability, and a possible appointment of temporary acting Lt. or Captain are just some of the changes you will see under EPD Chief Watson

After a two week leadership institute, EPD Chief Steve Watson is back in Eureka with a busy week ahead.

While he will be sharing more of what he plans to do as Interim Police Chief later, he did respond to the following questions:

1. After the two week leadership institute, is there anything you will do differently?

2. Will you be appointing a Captain to take over your former duties? Temporary or Permanent?

3. What are some of the immediate changes we can see from you (different or additional) than former Chief Andy Mills?

Chief Watson's response:

I do not intend to take the easy road and just "coast" until a permanent chief is selected, but rather to power forward purposefully while seeing to the health and wellbeing of the department while also continuing to build upon the public trust and positive relationships and partnerships we've established over the past 3 1/2 years.  

Deescalation training for our officers will also move forward within the next 1-2 months; we have recruiting and retention issues that need to proactively addressed; and I'm committed to doing what I can to improve our internal work environment and communication from the ground level up. 

I also want to develop our leaders, present and future.  To that end, I'm an looking into bringing a dynamic one day leadership development seminar to Eureka this fall taught by one of the lecturers who instructed at the Executive Leadership Institute I just attended.  He teaches leaders, among other areas, how to create a culture of change and accountability in an organization.  
I firmly believe the public trust is won and safeguarded through the quality of the daily interactions we have with citizens at every level of our department--one contact at a time, every time at the ground level.  While we are human and imperfect, this is the goal we must strive for purposefully and consistently as public servants.  Approximately 75-80% of our sworn officers now have less than 5 years on. Our challenge is to create an authentic culture of excellence through accountability, commitment, and a true community service-oriented mindset. We are not fully there yet but EPD is filled with dedicated, caring and passionate people who can help make it happen. 

I will be evaluating needs this week and will
make a decision soon whether or not to appoint a temporary acting lieutenant or captain to assist me until a permanent chief is selected.  

And of course, our primary mission is crime fighting and EPD will be doing a lot of that. 

I also understand the importance of recognizing EPD is part of a larger effort--Team Eureka (including our citizens, stakeholders, and other City departments) and we need each other to enhance and safeguard a better future for Eureka. We're all in this together. 

1 comment:

  1. More power to him. Courses like he mentions in addition to the stated goals will have the effect of seeing who is really committed to their job and who thinks they don't need things like that...