To those that took the time to read A City At War With Itself... , I thank you.
It is my understanding it has gone viral, with feedback that people have received it all over the United States and overseas. There was also a thread at the Second City Cop blog in response to my writing, with a number of positive and supportive comments posted.
For those unaware, SCC is the "unofficial and very irreverant blog" of the Chicago Police Department. It is "the" source that everyone at CPD goes to get the skinny on what is going on inside and outside the department. Mainstream media outlets in Chicago continually cite SCC in various news reporting, giving it increased legitimacy, much to the disgust of CPD top brass (although they go and read it too).
I hope my writing inspires thought and even debate that develops into reasonable, realistic and positive actions within individual circles of influence. Positive change that can be created by ANY of us will benefit ALL of us.
Even the "Haters" Agree
While even the "haters" that posted comments at the SCC blog concur with the content of my writing, it was unfortunate they expressed little thought in the message but instead focused their energies at "stoning" the messenger. I am not naive - bashing is a norm we at CPD have come to expect on the SCC blog, which adds to its unique flavor and value. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect their right to express it (although anonymously).. good, bad or otherwise.
Stay Focused on the Message
Just remember, John Andrews is not the message here. The deterioration of Chicago and its police department is the message. As we go forward, I hope we can focus on the message, as that is where our collective energies and actions need to be placed.
Does He Have a Personal Agenda?
In publishing my writing, I did not have any hidden or personal agendas as some have speculated. What you see is what you get. I have served on the Chicago Police Department for over 25 years. I am certainly not bucking for a promotion to become financially devalued from my current level, nor do I need to be "noticed." While I understand and accept that everyone can't be a "chief" (we have too many "chiefs" already), I do believe we can all develop ourselves to become very strong "indians."
Many in the "high command" at CPD know me, as we have worked together or known each other at various assignments throughout our careers. In fact, I am sure that many of them who read my writing were shaking their heads, yet grinning and saying to themselves, "There he goes again...He is so un-PC..." You can bet there were probably a few other "gold stars" that were shocked, as they should be.
I just said publicly what needed to be said - what everyone at CPD was already saying privately amongst themselves. It was time to call bullshit, even though consequences may result.
Dysfunction: Organizational Values Not Aligned With Organizational Actions
What needs to be "noticed" and "looked hard at" is the direction we are headed as a department. It seems that in many ways we are self-destructing. Very simply put, our organizational values are not in alignment with our organizational actions. It is an unrealistic expectation that members will believe in the mission, let alone perform successfully, with such dysfunction. This cannot continue. We must change.
The True Agents of Change
We have some really bright and dedicated people on this police department - many of them unrecognized. I am sure many of you have some great ideas on how to turnaround our demoralized department. Every voice counts and every voice should be heard. Now is the time for YOU to step up.
Don't sit back and think you can't make a difference - because you can. Do what you can, where you can, when you can. Just do it right. It all counts. Whether a formal leader or an informal leader, every officer is a leader. Believe it!
Some Guiding References
If you are interested, there are two really good books out there that I would encourage you to look at:
Character and Cops: Ethics in Policing
by Edwin J. Delattre
Every Officer is a Leader: Transforming Leadership in Police, Justice and Public Safety
by Terry D. Anderson
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the SCC blog poster that provided Theodore Roosevelt's The Man in the Arena. That was a timely inspiration for all of us. Thank you.
Some people MAKE things happen, some WATCH things happen, while others WONDER what has happened. Which will YOU be?