Sure, you were oriented on your new tasks and roles as new police chief but are you ready to embark on this new challenge? How prepared are you to lead your police officers? How do you plan to establish a harmonious relationship with, and with the new community that you will belong to?
These may be some of the apprehensions that you have been feeling right now. Don’t worry. Here, we have gathered tips from seasoned police chiefs to help you hold policy but remain friendly to your officers as you transition to your new role.
Helpful Tips for New Chiefs of Police
Don’t hesitate to walk around and meet people.
Once you get settled in your new office, don’t hesitate to walk around and meet your police officers and staff. Allow them to get to know you and ask questions on how things go around. As much as possible, avoid taking how things used to work in your previous agency. Remember that you are starting a new journey with new individuals.
Police Chiefs highly recommend that New Chiefs must take time to assess the environment. Ask the people around of their duties, and try as much as possible to remember something about them – this will make them feel important and at ease with your around.
Don’t create immediate changes in the Police Department
One of the many things that you have to avoid, according to experienced Police Chiefs, is to avoid creating immediate changes in the department unless there is a serious reason to do so. Note that as you are adjusting to your new position, the police organization and the community is also trying to get comfortable with you too.
Reach out to your colleagues.
You may start reaching out to your colleagues by facilitating a meeting and giving your team the opportunity to express what they know about you, what they don’t know, and probably, what they want to know about their new police chief.
Once this has been established, then you can have the time to begin your set of expectations and standards for performance and behavior. Note that this is a very crucial part of the transition, therefore try your best to set the tone before sharing your expectation of how the organization can communicate and behave under your leadership.
Be aware of the ‘Counter Intelligence’
It is an undeniable fact that there is always a group of counter-intelligence in every police department. Be keen where your officers meet and what kind of information they share about – you. Keep in mind that sometimes, rumor can either make or break relationships. Therefore, address immediately those comments and rumors before they spark the department into fire.
Resistance is always the initial reaction among people when change comes. Allow your police officers and community members to provide feedback. To counter attack rumors, show integrity to your department by maximizing the use of technology for data gathering and feedbacking. Introduce software like Officer Survey to your department and show them how you can better listen to the community members’ comments and make decisions based on facts and not just assumptions.
As a new chief, it could be exhausting to adjust to a new role and environment. But this could also mean that you are placed in such a position because you are capable to handle it. Therefore, do not easily lose heart. Follow these tips and keep in mind that when you harness good relationships with people and you are true to your intentions, nothing could go wrong