Without looking them up, or asking anyone else, write down the Core Values of your agency or organization.
Now go to the website and look them up to see if you got them all. If you cannot find the Core Values on your agency website then keep searching until you can find them. For some agencies they are part of Policy.
Now that you know what the Core Values are, reflect on the following questions:
- How you would explain each of the Core Values to a new recruit on day one of the academy?
- How you explain each of the Core Values to a group of veteran officers at an inservice?
- How would you explain each of the Core Values to a group of newly promoted supervisors?
- How would you explain each of the Core Values to a member of your community at a Town Hall meeting?
By explain I do not mean reciting verbatim the definition (if there is one) from the department website. I mean taking the Core Values, putting them into your own words and explaining them in a way that would make sense to the person you are talking to. Your explanation may vary depending on the audience and include examples of how the Core Values are applied in relation to them.
Are you talking about the Core Values with your recruits at the start of the Academy and reinforcing them constantly throughout the Academy?
Are your FTOs or PTOs intimately familiar with the Core Values and are they continually talking about them with the recruits they train?
Are you reinforcing the Core Values at every in-service training session regardless of the topic?
Are your frontline supervisors intimately familiar with the Core Values and do they continually reinforce them at shift briefing, debriefings and discussions with their personnel?
Are the senior leadership of your organization intimately familiar with the Core Values? Do they use them to guide decisions they make? Do they continually refer back to the core values when communicating both internally and externally?
If Values are the principles or standards of behaviour for your agency, and if they are truly at the core (the heart) of your organization, why do you not spend more time talking about what they are, what they mean and how to apply them on a daily basis?
What action can you take, starting today, to make sure that the core values are part of the language, the decision making framework and culture of your agency?
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