The three city police departments that will be discussed are the Phoenix police department, the San Francisco police department and the Nashville police department. All three of these police departments provide public safety for large cities. The mission statement for each of these departments has a common theme, public safety. The allocation of resources is also similar but different in their own respect.
The Phoenix police department’s mission statement is “To ensure the safety and security for each person in the community” (phoenix.gov). Though this is only a one line statement, they have also included a list of police department guiding values, city of Phoenix vision and values and policing plan issues. These lists state how they plan to accomplish the mission statement. The guiding values are protection and prevention, responsibility and respect, integrity and ideals, dedication to duty and employee excellence. The city of Phoenix vision and values are dedicated to serving their customers, work as a team, each person does all they can, learn, change and improve, focus on results, work with integrity and make Phoenix better. The policing plan is crime suppression, neighborhood safety, leadership and infrastructure. The police department’s guiding values and the city of Phoenix values are similar in the fact that they both value integrity and positive results to make the city a safer place to live and work.
The allocation of the resources for the Phoenix police department is widespread. This is actually an adequate allocation due to the city being so large and diverse. Each division head is an assistant police chief followed by a division commander, a lieutenant and down to the sergeants and patrol officers. There are nine divisions within the Phoenix police department, each one responsible for a specific area of the city or support services. This allocation provides the best possible coverage and leadership for the city of Phoenix.
The San Francisco police department’s mission statement is “We, the members of the San Francisco Police Department, are committed to excellence in law enforcement and are dedicated to the people, traditions and diversity of our City. In order to protect life and property, prevent crime and reduce the fear of crime, we will provide service with understanding, response with compassion, performance with integrity and law enforcement with vision.” (www.sfgov.org).
The organizational structure of the San Francisco police department consists of one chief of police and an assistant chief of police. This is followed by six deputy chiefs in charge of administration, field operations, investigations, MTA (public buses), airport and PUC. These are followed by a commander for each of the divisions and captains that are in charge of specific districts within the city. This allocation of resources is adequate due to fact that all areas in the city are covered by command staff and subordinate command staff for the officers to report to. Each district in the city is covered and gives the public a central location to report crimes or have questions answered depending on where they live or work. Their mission statement as compared with the city of Phoenix is seems to be thought out more and is definitely more specific as to what their goal of law enforcement is. In addition to their mission statement they also have a statement of values that specifically addresses how they plan to accomplish their mission statement.
The Nashville police department’s mission statement is “to provide community-based police products to the public so they can experience a safe and peaceful Nashville.” (www.police.nashville.org). Similar to Phoenix and unlike San Francisco, Nashville has chosen to use a one line mission statement to express how they plan to make Nashville safe and peaceful. They have also included a list of values as to how they plan on accomplishing their mission statement. The list of values are organizational excellence and professionalism, the impartial enforcement of the law, the people they serve and each other, problem solving partnerships, open communication and ethics and integrity. These are general terms to explain how the city of Nashville plans on accomplishing their mission statement. This mission statement and the list of values do not seem to be well thought out and very general in nature. Like Phoenix, it is a one line statement but unlike Phoenix they have not listed in their values specifics on how to accomplish this mission. No where do they state that their job in law enforcement is to protect life and property like the other two departments did.
The organizational structure of the Nashville police department includes the chief of police followed by a deputy chief of support operations and a deputy chief of field operations. Under support operations are three assistant chiefs in charge of administrative services bureau, investigative services bureau and specialized field services bureau. Under field operations are two assistant chiefs in charge of the east and west patrol bureaus. I think that this organizational structure is spread a little thin. They need to break down the field operations into possibly a third, central bureau that would allow the assistant chiefs to concentrate on more specifics of crime suppression in their respective areas.
By comparing and contrasting these three large city police departments’ mission statements, we can see how they are similar in wording but different in specifics on how they plan to accomplish this mission. You can also see through the mission statements what departments value their mission statements and which do it because they are required to have one. It seems to me that both Phoenix and San Francisco have put some thought into their statements and Nashville hasn’t. A mission statement is part of the planning and decision making process in a police department and therefore is an important guideline into how the department is run and where it will be going in the future. The organizational structure is also important in how that department handles law enforcement effectively in their city or county by having the appropriate resources available. These two items are integral in whether a department succeeds in its mission or falls short.
Phoenix Police Department http://phoenix.gov/POLICE/index.html Retrieved July 26, 2008.
San Francisco Police Department http://www.sfgov.org/site/police_index.asp Retrieved July 26, 2008.
Nashville Police Department http://www.police.nashville.org/ Retrieved July 26, 2008.