California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 24

“What started as an invitation to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony soon developed into a community outreach program focused on our community’s middle schools.” busy, and shook my hand. Following this event, my executive team and I decided to select young James to be our first Chief for the Day. On June 19, 2013, James spent his thirteenth birthday serving as Indio’s Chief for the Day. Chief James began his day by preparing for the evening’s city council meeting by assisting me in preparing my speaking points for the police department’s agenda items. He then walked the station with me, coffee mug full of water in hand, greeting staff. Following his tour, Chief James spent time with each Division Commander. In the communications center, he announced that the dispatchers all deserved a raise and promised to bring the matter to my attention. Next, Chief James checked the status of our Special Enforcement Team (SET), which failed to respond to his radio inquiry of their location! Despite the lack of radio response, Chief James then rode along with our SET, which treated him to his birthday lunch. I was later told that Chief James was able to use the mobile data computer during a traffic stop. The day’s events culminated at the city council meeting where both Mayor Elaine Homes and myself recognized Chief James and presented him with a Chief’s award for his service to the community. Following the day’s events, the Indio Weekly wrote a community article about Chief James’ day. What started as an invitation to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony soon developed into a community outreach program focused on our community’s middle schools. Moving forward, our department’s School Resource Officers, in partnership with middle school officials, will select a quarterly Chief for the Day. The city of Indio is home to twenty-two schools and services a study body population of 15,942. We recognize this population as a pipeline of potential future public safety professionals. This new community-focused policing program is in accord with Sir Robert Peel’s Seventh Principle of Policing, “Police at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.” As a Rotarian the prospect of exposing young community members to a career in public safety through job shadowing solidifies our motto “Service Above Self” and intertwines the Indio Police Department’s motto, “Our community…Our commitment”. For mottos and mission statements are of little value unless they are modeled and acted upon! ? 24 California Police Chief | www.californiapolicechiefs.org