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APD SOP Addresses Diversity, Image

The first thirteen pages of the fifty-one-page document acquaint the reader with the document. It is there one learns the primary themes of the plan. They are separated into the categories “Operations,” with subcategories “Recruitment & Retention,” “Leadership,” “Organizational Structure,” and “Equipment & Technology;” and “Community,” with subcategories “Agency Outreach & Communication” and “Community Quality of Life.” That alone should help those of us who have experienced three break-ins, two burglaries, and one stalker in the past year rest a little easier. If not, you can rest assured strategy champions will be frequently reviewing and updating the document.

For those not hip with the latest terminology, a strategy champion is a poor fool who, through either excessive talent in the field or extraordinary skills of kissing up was able to get a picture of their face fat-stretched to fit the picture slots on the document. It might just be an attempt to keep criminals off-guard in thinking the force’s finest are so full of donuts they couldn’t run if they had to. In fact, the whole purpose of the dorky plan is probably to convince people dumb enough to commit crimes that officers are going to be too concerned with massaging organizational charts and counting colors (racial) to care who or what is being harmed in the community.

Captain Wade Wood got stuck strategy-championing “Recruitment & Retention.” It will be his job to come up with a recruitment plan, which will involve taking lots of folks off other details for multiple stages of review. On the pragmatic side, learning what forms and levels of compensation will encourage officers to stay with the Asheville Police Department will save the department the hassle of constantly training, acculturating, and testing the trustworthiness of waves of new recruits. On the downside, the department appears intent on judging men more on the color of their skin than on the content of their characters – to the point of insinuating it will be able to hire a more diverse workforce by lowering the educational standards for recruits.

Captain Stony Gonce was charged with “Leadership.” He not only has to strategically develop a system with trophies and promotions to award excellence, he also has to oversee how officers will be disciplined. To govern promotions, Gonce will oversee the establishment of a committee that will set up a program to be administered by an APD Leadership Institute. Captain Tim Splain, as the “Organizational Structure” strategy champion, is tasked with continually redrawing district and beat lines to even out the department’s workload. He will not only have to fill out an organizational chart, he will have to procure software for the task, but only after a careful and official study of options.

Splain will also oversee a Community Policing initiative that is not described in the document other than with bureaucratic specifications as a vehicle for “responding to community needs and quality of life concerns.” This, and the “Equipment & Technology” mission of Lieutenant Gary Gudac, may prove two parts of the program directed somewhat toward traditional views of police forces, as that with which criminals must deal for messing with other people and their stuff. Gudac – and a committee – will play gatekeeper to decide what wizmo-gizmos the department needs and when. Gudac will also oversee assigning vehicles, with consideration of police officers’ raison d’etre, the take-home car.

Left holding the biggest crock is Lieutenant Janice Hawkins. Assigned areas traditionally associated with women’s work, the “Community Quality of LIfe” champion must oversee diversity within the department by collaborating with specified community groups to “research and conduct an internal assessment of APD relative to diversity and inclusion,” “create a multi-year diversity plan,” and “identify and assess current diversity issues.” She is also charged with targeting outreach to minority communities. Implicit in these exercises is racism, the thought that people of certain skin colors or genders cannot and will not tolerate people who are different, and that it is the role of the APD to reinforce rumors that white males are untrustworthy Gestapo thugs.

Among Hawkins’ other responsibilities is oversight of a heightened Community Watch program. She will get to draw lines around neighborhoods and encourage them to set up Community Watches. One of the benefits will be that Community Watch leaders will get to go to an annual retreat where they can make their own plans. The program also entails scary-sounding things like the “Next Door App” and the “’SafeCam’ city initiative program.” This might be uncomfortably intrusive, but it could also be the retaliative tool of which your manipulative ex’s dreams are made. Among Hawkins’ sundry other duties are organizing victim services, department volunteers, and programs like Explorer Scouts; and helping make crime mapping technologies more accessible for officers and members of the public.

Lastly, Captain Chris Reece-Young is in charge of “Agency Outreach & Communication,” which sounds like public affairs. Among other things, he will try to increase the department’s presence on Facebook and Twitter, upping its friends and likes. This is not in the hopes that an officer fooling around with his Smart Phone might accidentally notice that two guys in Kenilworth have been tweeting “Where’s the police?” for an hour. It is intended to “disseminate timely and accurate information to the community.” Reece-Young will also be exploring a plan to set up an APD Public Information Office.

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