I've said many times that the best way to learn about and potentially influence local government is to volunteer. It's the first thing I tell people who have had a negative contact with the police department. Get involved, volunteer some time, see what's what and ask questions. It's potentially outlook changing and even life altering. Never let it be said I don't put my money where my mouth is.
I had a meeting with the local Police Chief today. It went very well. He's looking for places to more efficiently utilize their resources while providing an increasing level of customer service to the community. I possess skills relating to community involvement and crime prevention he believes they can use. I now have an application and background packet waiting to be filled out and turned in. From what he said I anticipate being ridden hard and put away wet and that's a very good thing. The skills and experience I have were all paid for by the taxpayers so it's only right that they get their full money's worth. If the local PD, and the city I live in, can use what I know then it's my clear duty to do what I can to help, especially in these times of increasing demand for services coupled with ever shrinking budgets.
Prior to this meeting I knew virtually nothing about the local PD beyond scuttlebutt. Shame on me. I'm going to rectify that. I came away from the meeting mightily impressed with both the Chief and his Administrative Sergeant. They were smart, knowledgeable and passionate about service to the community and crime prevention. I wish every citizen could have been in on that meeting and if I have anything to say about it they soon will. One of the things I'm going to find a way to institute is a Citizens Academy.
I have no idea right now how things are going to go but I have a very good feeling. The Chief strikes me as a guy who gives direction and then stands back and lets his people go to it. I like that in a Chief. Of course I do have a list of things I need to get accomplished around the ranch that's approximately 1.3 miles in length but I'm sure I can find the time to give back and help ensure the life and health of my new community.
I'm looking forward to it.