Many law enforcement organizations have strategic plans, however, they appear to rarely be used as a true roadmap for the direction and destination of the agency. Rather; it seems like strategic plans are one of those things that you read or hear about that if you are a good manager or leader should have on the shelf someplace and the agency moves on. There are perspectives on both side as to the value of a long range plan for an organization.
In your opinion, how important is a strategic plan for your organization or group (sub-groups of an organization many times have independent strategic plans that are congruent with the overall plan of the organization)?
In my opinion a strategic plan ...view middle of the document...
Interestingly the strategic plan was developed through a business planning process referred to as a SWOT analysis (or SWOT Matrix). A SWOT is a structured planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. I found it interesting to think of a strategic plan as a “project” or “business venture,” but critically reflecting on the idea, it started to make since. As a patrol officer I never looked at a law enforcement organization in the terms of a “business.” As a patrol sergeant, it now seems very obvious. Many of my day to day responsibilities involve “running the business.” I think a true roadmap for any law enforcement organization needs to start with clear direction(s) for its employees and the citizens they serve. That said the 2012 St.Cloud Police Strategic Plan is more public than it has ever been. Over the course of the past year it has been posted on or near the wall(s) in most roll call rooms, physical copies can be found laying around, it’s posted on the intranet/internet, and now being referred to in performance evaluations. The problem is while it is now everywhere; it is perceived as this abstract “thing” that no one notices. In all honestly at first glance it is a bit overwhelming. It is comprised of a 12 page document highlighting 5 specific goals, 28 strategies, and 28 sub goals (outcomes).
I feel the intent of the plan is kind of lost due to its size and do not think most people take it seriously. As a new supervisor, I find the strategic plan useful and important, but still struggle with how to promote/sell it to my officers.