Recently, members of the Chief’s Advisory Board were tasked with assisting both Chief Pickens and ASUPD command staff in identifying major problems that are currently plaguing the department. Having “the worker bees” compile a list of problems would, in theory, put command staff more in touch with what issues the line-level employee is currently experiencing (and also allows the upper-echelons of the department to appear they are “tackling issues” when, in reality, their role is strictly reactionary).
However, what Pickens’ did NOT anticipate was that the problems his employees identified would be of any true significance, and also how tired his employees were of having their problems rephrased in a “diplomatic way”. What was shocking about these revelations is how openly discussed they were in a generalized sense on the ground level, but how absent they seemed to be when pen came to paper on the third floor. Members of the advisory board even went one step further, by countering all the problems that were identified at ASUPD with possible short and long term solutions! (Please see here for the full document: Advisory Board Meeting_3rd_revision).
The reaction of Pickens was to categorically minimize the actual problems that were identified, and then very generally appear to work on a solution when the grumbles of dissatisfied employees reached a fever-pitch. In reality, all the solutions to the aforementioned problems were already neatly and smartly presented to the Chief in the form of a PowerPoint by his “bees”, all he had to do was evaluate and implement them.
Why the absolute disconnect between the proposal of solutions at the employee level and the implementation at the command level? Approximately three months have transpired since Pickens was presented with this document! While we don’t have the complete answer, we postulate that staffing has damaged the department beyond the point of ANY intervention, or that command staff is attempting to alter this plan and present it as their own. Chief: regardless of the reason, it is reckless and cowardly to stand around taking NO action while ASUPD continues to fall further down the rabbit hole. You elicited the feedback from your employees for a reason; listen to them!