I am going to reveal more about me, my beliefs and my vision for Rapid City. I will do this in two consecutive blog posts: One about what I’ve accomplished in my past career, to give you a glimpse into how I think and how I work. The second one will be about where I am focusing my attention as a mayoral candidate and the top priorities, as I see them. Let’s get started:
This is a partial list of the things I accomplished as Chief of Police in Rapid City between 2007 and 2014:
- Implemented Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) in cooperation with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office for RCPD Patrol Officers, Pennington County Deputies and other area law enforcement officers. This prepares officers for effective communication and de-escalation techniques when dealing with mentally ill or emotionally disturbed people.
- Led the effort to rewrite the agency ethics and core value statements. These are the department’s guiding principles for providing service to the community.
- Initiated daily media briefings. This streamlined the process for passing daily updates to local media agencies.
- Implemented the TIP411 system, allowing citizens to send anonymous crime tips to police
- Initiated the pedestrian safety program, including enhanced enforcement and a professional public awareness marketing campaign.
- Initiated the Oglala Sioux Tribe police exchange program. Nearly 100 RCPD officers traveled to Pine Ridge to ride with tribal officers, to learn about the reservation, tribal law enforcement and to build relationships with tribal police.
- Negotiated a security partnership with Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI) basketball tournament organizers that partnered tribal police officers working together with RCPD officers, at a significant cost savings to the tournament.
- Led the department senior staff in forming a new department mission statement.
- Led an effort to increase the success rate of released prison inmates returning to the community.
- Implemented an early warning database system to identify police employees who may be showing signs of personal or professional distress. Indicators such as poor performance, or high-risk behaviors help identify employees in need of early intervention.
- Implemented the Street Crimes Unit to address crimes affecting the central area of town including parks and bike paths.
- Original member of the Black Hills Mental Health Substance Abuse Systems Change Collaborative. This group devised and implemented the Crisis Care Center in Rapid City, to assist people having personal crisis, mental health episodes and a range of other emotional crises.
- Implemented the Police Department’s (and the City of Rapid City’s first) full time community relations specialist. A position dedicated to facilitating communication between a city government agency and the people it serves. This position accomplished an organized communication interface through several forms of media such as news releases, news conferences, email, annual reporting, and a robust social media platform.
- Facilitated a partnership with Neighbor Works Dakota Home Resources to revitalize Lemmon Street in Rapid City with a community garden, park space and renewed neighborhood relationships.
- Outsourced the Police Department’s crime analysis function to Bair Analytics a professional crime analysis firm. This was done to ensure state of the art technology and crime analysis resources were being used to help bring Rapid City crime under control.
- Established the Community Resource Officer position. These employees perform tasks police officers are usually called to do, but are not needed to do. Taking reports, retrieving found property, clearing traffic obstructions and other non-hazardous functions. This creates more time for police officers to tend to law enforcement and public safety issues.
- Implemented a new records management system, switching from a Michigan company to a South Dakota company, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Controlled spending, saving millions in budgeted funds between 2007 and 2014.
I want to draw attention to two major points:
- The items on this list are examples of how I actively pursued methods to take care of the workforce, communicate with constituents and worked to provide value to taxpayers.
- None of the items on this list were mandated by law, policy or a higher authority. All were measures I either personally initiated or authorized others to pursue as part of a proactive management plan. All of the items on this list were accomplished in cooperation with, and to the benefit of other city employees, managers and the citizens we serve.
As Mayor of Rapid City, I will bring a proactive leadership style to City Hall. Proactive leadership – not micromanagement.
The next post will be about my vision for Rapid City. Stay tuned!