Opinion

COLUMN: Have your say in the future of Delta Police

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There is an old saying that I use often; “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

At the Delta Police Department, we plan extensively for everything we do, from investigating a major crime to holding a charity fundraiser.

Delta Police has seen many successes over the years, and I believe strategic planning is a major factor in our accomplishments. Every police officer, civilian and volunteer, in some way, contributes to the development and implementation of our high level, strategic plan.

In past years we have invited a cross-section of the community to our planning sessions as well, to ensure that we are in-tune with what the public wants and needs from their police service. The resulting strategic plans are the foundation of community-based policing in Delta.

Our grass-roots approach to planning is tangible; the North Delta Public Safety Building, the Emergency Command Vehicle, and our Community Police Stations are a result of our planning process.

Over the years we have focused efforts on having the safest roads in British Columbia, on making Delta a drug-free community, and we have developed strategic goals around leadership, technology, and specialized services, to name a few.

More recently, we have invested in specialty sections that focus on areas such as mental health, youth crime and domestic violence in response to crime trends, social indicators and public expectation. As an organization we state our goals and we work every day to achieve them.

Effective planning takes a great deal of time and effort. A meaningful plan needs to be visionary, yet something that people can relate to. It needs to be bold, but pragmatic. It needs to motivate, inspire and at times, be intimidating. Above all else, it needs to have a positive impact on public safety and the quality of life in Delta.

I am proud of the results of our planning process and over the next few months, Delta Police will be developing a new plan for 2014 onwards.

As a result of the police and public working together, the process will be transparent and the plan will be inclusive. We will review all feedback from both our internal and external stakeholders to identify common themes and trends, in order to stay focused for the coming years.

If you have any thoughts, whether critical or complimentary, please let us know.

We have set up an email address that you can send us your comments: stratplan@deltapolice.ca and we will post our final plan at deltapolice.ca.

If you would like to participate in person, and require more information please email us.

Quality policing cannot exist without a trusting and respectful partnership with the communities we serve. Thank you for working with us to make Delta a safe community.

Jim Cessford is the chief of the Delta Police Department and has spent more than 40 years in law enforcement.

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