Arnaudville Police Department
The Chief's Blog
The Chief's Blog
The Tide Will Turn
The Tide Will Turn
November 17, 2021
As we enter the holiday season – the season of “giving”, I reflect on the last year as your Chief. It has been a challenging year, both professionally and personally, but because I am a man of faith, I have to believe that my Maker is ultimately in control.
As a Police Chief managing a small rural department, my biggest challenge has been recruiting and retaining quality personnel. Arnaudville suffers the same fate and the same struggles as almost every other law enforcement agency in the country. We must recognize those elements that are impacting our efforts, and fight against some of the negative attitudes and perceptions we get from some of our citizens, from municipal officials, and from within our own ranks. We must acknowledge that there exists leadership that does not have the best interest of our citizens in mind; leadership that often turns its back on the brave and committed men and women who carry the badge and wear the uniform. There are invisible forces behind the scenes who would change the fundamental direction and values we have fought for for generations.
My over two decades serving in law enforcement has obviously been met with moments of challenge – Hurricane Katrina, big city crime, facing the tragedy and sorrow of fallen officers, meeting families of victims, and more – all to be anticipated as a police officer. What I never anticipated was a national movement that vilifies, disregards, dismisses and destroys the lives and livelihoods of decent, honest and hard-working law enforcement officers. A top-to-bottom movement that ultimately results in more crime, more disorder, and more chaos in communities and trauma to innocent citizens. As in every such movement, we always see a course correction, and I am optimistic that we will see the tide turn.
As I reflect on a personal level, I count the many family and friends who have been touched by a global pandemic that left us nowhere to hide and no immunity from devastating loss. My own brother succumbed to Covid-19, as did many of his fellow nursing home residents. Otherwise healthy family members, young and old did not escape the clutches of Covid. Attempting to understand the rationale for restrictions, mandates, and closures left more confusion, division and distrust. Covid took lives, but also took much more from us – our compassion, tolerance, empathy and trust. We are left as cynical, suspicious and mistrustful citizens choosing sides, and isolating and ostracizing those who dare to contradict or question.
But, as we move through all of this, we are left with our faith. Faith that tells us that while we are all on borrowed time, the best is still ahead of us. Life is constantly renewing, evolving and transforming into something better. We only need to wait, because the course will be corrected. The pendulum will swing the other way.
For those who can never see beyond their own selfishness or greed, or who fail to believe life is about giving and not taking, I have pity for them. The misery and hurt they inflict on others will come back to rest on their own souls. For the majority of us, the holiday season - the season of “giving” is but a time when our challenges, our pain and our struggles are overshadowed by the good we can do for others.
Happy Holidays, Arnaudville!
|Posted on April 21, 2014 at 10:36 AM|
Some of the following information was taken from an article authored by Marty Katz, a retired sergeant with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Marty is owner and chief instructor of Crimewave Solutions, a training company for officer survival and common sense self defense.
I will be evaluating the APD with regards to training, and it is critical that part of the training is ethics training because trust among those we serve and protect can be established if our officers and civilian personnel are meeting the highest ethical standards.
Ethical behavior is the foundation of any professional organization and as such, should be a recurring theme in every training program.
Ethics is the common thread that can be found at the beginning of — and typically, throughout — almost every instance of police officer misbehavior. When officers lower our image in the eyes of those we protect and serve, they forget that at one time they raised their right hand and took a solemn oath to uphold a certain set of ethics.
The problem can run from the highest command level, the Chief, to the civilians at the front desk. Each of these levels has a different responsibility, but ethics are everyone’s concerns. When one of our own violates their oath, everyone in this department and even in the profession suffers. It is time to regain that which we lost.
I will take the time to reinforce what we were all taught in the academy by making ethics a top priority. While the APD has experienced scandals, officer firings, a high officer turnover, and a negative image, I am confident that as we go forward, these will be only memories, and no longer reality. I am challenged to create an environment that allows good ethics to grow, and good officers to want to work here. Once you have a positive reality, the positive perception is not far behind.
I am creating an atmosphere of zero tolerance to ethical misbehavior as well as individual ownership for one’s actions. If I succeed, many of the problems clinging to us, as a department, should vanish. By holding everyone to a higher ethical standard, we can reestablish trust where it has been damaged, and reinforce trust where already we’ve proven ourselves worthy. I am convinced that with a focus on ethics and the proper training, the community and the police themselves will see positive change between the command and rank and file, between officer and officer, and between officer and citizen.
Mart Katz writes: “Remember this: Right is right, even if no one else does it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone else does it.”
Categories: The Working Chief