The Grand Junction Police Department's command staff presented its findings to city council members Monday night following a focus group study aimed to improve the department. Following the resistance of several organizational changes made in 2002 by Chief Greg Morrison this past summer selected department employees had their opportunity to make suggestions.
8 themes were brought up by the focus groups covering a variety of topics, including organizational trust, citizen complaints, community policing and officer safety and calls for service. Participants had the chance to voice their opinion without consequence and during the presentation every area of concern was broken down individually.
Out of all the important items touched upon during the presentation communication and employee appreciation were the primary focus. Chief Morrison remarked that resolving issues are his responsibility and is pleased that strides are being taken to make that happen.
According to the study, many of the participants feel the department's commanding officers do not have a strong connection with both officers and staff. From these findings the command staff recommends that Chief Morrison needs to provide effective communications training and all commanding officers need to have positive and open communications with all staff members.
Recruitment, retention and training were also an important focus. The command staff recommends that Chief Morrison be more involved in the hiring process, including making all final job offers. In regards to retention, employees felt that longevity needs to be recognized to improve training methods. A once a month training day will also be implemented.
Staffing was also a concern of the study. 35 employees and additional personnel are slated to join the department during the 2006–2007 fiscal year, however employees feel this is not enough.
Many of the small changes, which include staff meetings and training schedules, will be put into place over the next month.
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