Each week, we're asking each of the Pinellas County Sheriff candidates a question that's important to you, the voter, so you can be informed come ballot time.
This week, we asked:
How do you see technology playing a role in day-to-day operations and the longterm success of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office?
Greg Pound answers:
"Technology cannot reduce crime or relieve fear. Law enforcement officers must do that. They cannot achieve these goals when entombed in their cruisers with their computers. They remain strangers to the general public and are often perceived as "occupational troops."
Incident driven traditional service delivery has offered, at best, inconsistent random results. C.B.P. "Community Based Policing has emerged from an evolution of police thought. It is the result of police leadership's challenging the assumptions they held for decades" (Brown, 1989, p.2). C.B.P. seeks a new higher commitment from the police and citizens of each community to reduce fear and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.
"Co-active" relationships with the public, e.g., problem identification, establishing goals, defining strategies, and solving problems, are the fundamental elements of C.B.P. Empowering properly trained staff at the line level is essential. They must have the authority and flexibility to perform. Creativity is enhanced. Officers must have the ability to utilize external resources without unnecessary bureaucratic barriers.
"Solving problems, neighborhood by neighborhood, will be the future standard of excellence not technology. Decentralized, personalized law enforcement utilizing grassroots creativity and support will build the future.
"Law enforcement officers often enjoy a greater sense of job satisfaction when serving as Community Officers. (Green, 1989). A problem identified, approach developed, and goals achieved co-actively with the public is gratifying to a dedicated officer. Public perception of the police usually improves after the introduction of C.B.P. as it did in Reno, Nevada. (Peak, 1992). Clearly, the C.B.P. philosophy enhances the safety and quality of life for everyone who lives and works in a community. The public must have positive attitudes toward the police if domestic order is to be maintained.
"The C.B.P. philosophy is not without critics who raise legitimate questions. Reichers and Roberg (1990) recommended departments explore some underlying assumptions prior to implementation efforts. These assumptions effectively summarize the concerns of others, some of which need to be discussed in more detail.
"The dominant concern is possible misconduct by newly empowered and somewhat autonomous front-line personnel. However, C.B.P. opponents underestimate the power of the press and the public's social activism in the 1990s. Citizens serve in the partnership as an excellent "internal" agent of accountability. Reporting, training, and auditing systems can be developed to increase accountability. Many sources also believe the merits of "command and control" as an effective management approach was more illusion than substance. Kelling, Wasserman, and Williams (1988) expound on leadership through values, accountability to the public, and administrative mechanisms of control as the approach to a successful C.B.P. management culture. Auditing, rewards, and peer control offer significant opportunities for officer accountability.
Let get the lying criminals out of office and change the County for the good. God bless America."
Read more responses from Pound: