Talkin’ Shop

Interesting to see that the Chiefs are meeting in Calgary at their annual knees-up and bun toss hosted this year by Jack Beaton. Even more interesting is the CBC story headlined on Prime Time Crime saying a significant topic of discussion will be how to stay out of trouble. ( Police chiefs meet to talk controversy)
Considering the morass Calgary Chief Beaton has immersed himself in this last year or so, one hopes he attends all the seminars and pays special attention to the speakers. But, in the event he dosen’t, allow me to provide some free advice.
If a bunch of serving members file lawsuits against another, senior police officer alleging fraud and other criminal offences, take it seriously, investigate the matter thoroughly and in the interest of protecting the police department’s public image, place the officer under the cloud of suspicion on suspension until the matter has been dealt with and the officer has either cleared his or her name or the matter has been proven.
This simple piece of advice also extends to other allegations like racism practiced by senior officers to subordinate staff. Or, for example, if another senior officer points a gun at a subordinate officer, don’t try and sweep the incident under a rug.
I know this sounds basic, but Beaton’s history in the top chair seems to have missed some of these more rudimentary points.
Oh yeah, there’s another simple way of keeping out of harm’s way for a senior police manager – tell the truth. I know, I know, pretty simple stuff. But you’d be amazed how often this simple rule of thumb seems to be foreign to certain members of the police establishment attending this conference.
The media, in whatever form, is not to be feared any more than the truth itself. Every organization, regardless, has its problem child or children. The law of averages is what it is. When a bad apple is discovered in the barrel, acknowledge it. Deal with him or her fairly and appropriately and then tell the public what you have done. You’d be surprised how supportive the public would be if you treated them like intelligent people.
The police do not need spin doctors. Doing the job of protecting the public speaks for itself. Every police officer subjects his or her self to danger every shift and their actions don’t need to be spun. Equally, if a rogue officer screws up, explain the facts and show the public what you have done to rectify the situation, discipline the transgressor and take steps to ensure there is no repeat performance.
The cops at the sharp end of things need to be supported in any senior manager’s actions, discussions and decisions. Protecting the bad apples and supporting the carpet cops is not the way to earn the loyalty of the street cops who do the hard work day in and day out.
Being a leader in a police service is all about being everyone’s Chief, not feathering the nest of one’s cronies. It’s about being fair. It’s about working hard, day in and day out to make your city a better place and to support the cops who will walk into hell to make the city a safer place.
As with any high profile public position, the Chief will have supporters and detractors. But, the job is about rising above the fray and doing one’s best to fulfill the obligations to one’s oath of office.
Oddly enough, if, as a chief or other senior police manager, you follow these simple steps, you do not need to hold conferences to discuss ways to keep the mud off your shoes. You manage properly not to walk in it.
Leo Knight
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  1. Well said, Leo.

    I have to say that I feel wounded that we live in the society that we do. The arrogance displayed by the Chief and his executive in the approach taken in this whole mess, by the President of the CPA (AGAIN) at the cost of his members, by the Commission in encouraging and supporting this travesty, and city hall in looking the other way is disheartening.

    In my humble opinion it would take less time and a lot less money to just do the job you are responsible to with integrity and honesty the first time. Isn’t that the basis of the core values? If you publically hold yourself out as the keepers of the moral standard I believe you have an obligation to live that standard. You are right, a key indicator of a major problem is when you have to spin the story rather than just be plainly and simply honest with some degree of humbleness for having messed up. It seems simple to me that admitting the existence of the problem and then taking intelligent steps to clean up the problem with the best interest of the members, the organization and the public are the wisest steps to take. To deny the existence on any level or to any degree is to deny your own credibility.

    No one has, to my knowledge, disputed that outwardly Beaton did a decent job when it comes to big picture policing. That’s not where his failure lies, in my opinion, it lies in-house with the disparate treatment of his members. No matter how much spin is put out there and no matter how hard you try to silence the voices of the members or your critics it doesn’t change the fact that there is a perceived serious in-house problem.

    I see today that Beaton is signing his new contract just as I predicted. If I were him I would look at it as a new chance for a new day to rectify identified personnel problems and clean up his shop. That will go a long way to restoring, as he continually says, public confidence.

    We are living in a society where even the media have articulated concerns that if they really start peeling back the layers they will be frozen out of CPS and as a result will be incapable of doing their jobs. The cards are stacked in the favour of secrets and opaqueness when you have overt power to avoid real transparency.

    Perhaps the problem is systemic Canada-wide if Chief’s have to have a conference to strategize how to manage the outfall of their actions.

    I have always been pro-cop despite the media spin that I was systematically trying to dismantle CPS. I still believe that those on the streets doing their jobs are honourable and doing the best job they can, for the most part. It is overwhelmingly sad that these members who demonstrate so much strength in protecting our lives and property feel so disempowered to help themselves.

    What a world we live in. I, for one, no longer walk around with my rose coloured glasses on.

  2. Dear Jann,

    Do not be disillusioned by the actions of Silly Hall and the CPC.They must sign Jack’s contract for several reasons.

    1.It shows that they support the scandals and police inpropriety since Jack has been in office.

    2.This,further,minimizes the actions and voices of all the Police Officers who have come forward to shed light on the corruption at CPS,therefore,the amount of lawsuits against CPS will continue to rise.

    3.Finally,this allows the TYRANTS,in office, to continue to inflict senseless harm and destruction on innocent lives of both the public and Officers of Calgary that they have already targetted.

    I’m glad to see the truth in the old cliche that “blood is thicker than water” play out in Jack’s life.It answers my question “how does his family feel about his mindless,tyrannical witchhunt and all the scandals that he’s tried so desperately to cover up?I read that they have not asked him to retire yet telling me that they either support his mindless misconduct or that they’re too afraid of him to tell him the truth.Personally,my wife and children would never forgive me if I destroyed even half of the lives you and your cronies have.

    Jack getting his contract extended only means that the scandals will continue.

    We must not forget that with Jack back in power “mud is also thicker than water”therefore,the public will never see transparency in the CPS or the CPC!

    Rest at ease Jann.Society is not as corrupt as it’s leaders!

  3. Amen to that Leo,

    It doesn’t surprise me that Calgary signed Jack to a new contract. Nor does it surprise me that he is getting pats on the back for “a job well done” by aldermen and commission members alike. Craig Burrows and his collegues from council just accepted a free trip to Newfoundland to eat lobster and have a vacation. All on the taxpayer’s tab! It doesn’t surprise me at all that the political crowd would resign Jack to a 3 year deal with lots of perks and no true mandate. After all, why hire an honest Chief from outside ‘la familia?’

    A Chief who followed the core values would NOT be threatening women and children for speaking out to defend their wounded dad. A chief who has core values would not have tried to protect a staff sergeant who defrauded his peers out of millions of dollars. A chief who has core values and promotes their concepts within the organization DOES NOT send surveillance teams to spy on his supposed enemies in the service or make certain investigations “disappear” for political expediency. Nor does a chief who truly believes in core values, lie to his own people and the public by saying ‘there are no quotas’ for traffic tickets, when he instructs his managers to crack the whip on officers who don’t make their ’20’.

    I think that the City of Calgary made a big mistake by giving Beaton a new contract. It is only a matter of time before some new scandal rears its ugly melon and throws the city for a loop. I hope they realize their error before the ink is dry. If not, don’t say we didn’t tell you so…..

  4. So what was Jack the head speaker at this event on topics like:

    How to run your agency into the ground by the effective use of moral breaking techniques.

    How to lead like a third world despot.

    Why the Charter does not apply to serving police officers and how to use the police act against them.

    How to use your own in house Psych. services department to attack the members who,you have by your own actions so stressed and or driven to the edge to really go after thier jobs.

    Part 1
    How to get the President of your local Police Association to stop paying for lawyers so that the members of your service you “target” have to pay thier own legal expenses.

    Part 2
    How to legally harass your “target” with city paid for lawyers to the point that they can no longer fund a legal defence and as a result they lose thier homes and vehicles.

    How to have the personality of a fish and become Chief of Police in a major city.

    How to use your henchman and human resources personal to “blacklist” your “target” with other police services as potential employers there by ensuring that they will not have adequate finances to fight you.

    Class 101
    How to bully, intimidate and harass the legal way. (Also known as Street Supervisor Stalking 101).

    Class 102
    How to feather your nest at the expense of your own members so that you have a shot at being the first Provincial Police Chief (if your Province goes that way).

    Class 103
    Living with yourself as a result of the ethically/morally questionaable things you’ve done.

    Clas 104
    How to make sure that your City Council joins you in the witchhunt/ attempts to root out those you have identified as needing to go.

    Class 105
    Getting yours and how to make sure that happens.

    Class 106
    Using your former partners and thier P.I. businessess as a tool to stalk,harass and spread fear among your own ranks.

    Class 107
    How to use “all” the assets under your control to stamp out all voices of your opponents. aka leading the Joe Stalin way.

    Class 108 Pt1
    How to use the local media to label anyone who speaks out against you as a “disgruntled former employee”

    Class 109 Pt 2
    Protecting your own “Dirty Thirty”.

    How to take your standard “A” personality type and twist them so they will feed on thier own for promotion.

    Core Values? a set of rules for everyone below the rank of Sgt., otherwise they are more of a rough guideline.

    Admit nothing, deny everything make counter accusations.

    How to use your family in the media as a tool to justify keeping your job.

    How to identify personal with potential leadership abilities and a personal code of ethics and make sure they never rise beyond a certain rank. formerly known as Promoting Sheep 102.

    Leadership 103
    I’m a hammer, your a nail.

    Well I could go on and on but why?

    Look at Jack dodge the flak…….

    while he puts another victim on the rack……

    tosses another career on the stack…

    he leaves em, like they been hit by a mack…….

    Bad Jack, no Scobby snack.


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