Blue Line

One Service, One Team, One Plan

March 11, 2016  By Maureen Musgrove

930 words – MR

One Service, One Team, One Plan

Winnipeg Police setting the level of engagement

by Maureen Musgrove

How do you build one document that speaks for an entire organization? The Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) began by listening.

The theme “Crime prevention through social development” has been central during his tenure, Chief Devon Clunis states in his message in the WPS 2016 Business Plan. Both a prospect and a purpose, the theme carries across the goals contained in the plan.

When the opportunity to develop the plan arose in 2015 in conjunction with the Winnipeg Police Board’s 2015-2019 strategic plan, Clunis began the rollout by introducing the concept to the senior officers group. He asked for substantial contribution at all ranks, sworn and civilian, encouraging involvement from diverse perspectives that would shape the document and better align the goals and objectives.

The reach for input then became a task for the deputy chiefs. Their interpretation set the level of engagement and tone for members in their chains of command. Commitment began at the executive level, with clear plans for each branch of the service to achieve its goals by translating the business plan into a plan of action.

D/Chief Art Stannard, who oversees support services, referred to the plan as a roadmap. “We can’t stand still as an organization,” he said. “Our growth must be aligned through strategic objectives and executed by actions that we develop together.”

Stannard identified the plan as an opportunity to change the way the WPS connects with the community. His outlook is a win-win.

“By making changes in how we serve the community, we will make improvements in not only our organization, but in the quality of life for all Winnipeggers.” He also pointed out that the document lends to further development of support services with themes of wellness, communication, innovation and the integration of people and technology.

As D/Chief of Operations, Dave Thorne is aware that the plan connects all members of the service and is relevant for the entire organization. Making a shared vision a shared reality requires ownership. Through his involvement with several collaborative partnerships between police and the community, he has observed the meaningfulness of engagement.

The commitment to community engagement as fundamental, said Thorne. “Only through genuine and meaningful engagement with communities are we able to listen to, understand and deal with their needs.”

As the operational divisions of the WPS perform the frontline work, the actions established in the plan encompass the themes of partnership, engagement and shared learnings, which apply to all members.

D/Chief Danny Smyth approaches the plan with a perspective from investigative services. By continuing to focus the energy and resources of the service, Smyth believes the objectives set out by the plan address multiple strategic goals and enhanced cooperation and coordination between units.

As the many parts of the plan develop, the over-arching goal of less crime and victimization remains important for Smyth. He notes that the shared ownership and awareness of the multiple strategic goals has become a catalyst, stating “the front-end work that supports crime investigations is an integral part of the solution that includes community engagement and crime prevention.”

During the business plan development, division commanders began to tap into the knowledge and ideas of those directly involved. Not only did this include WPS members, the content of the plan resulted from engagement with and participation from the public and community partners. These collective efforts contributed to the development of the goals and objectives found within the document.

Using the template of the four broad based goals in the WPS Strategic Plan, the business plan included the same goals: Less crime and victimization, engaged communities, effective and efficient service and healthy organization.

Inside the goals are 16 strategies that cross over multiple organizational areas of responsibility. Through executive guidance, the strategies became 20 meaningful objectives with associated actions. The plan details the resulting 52 actions, each supporting the strategies and all measureable.

The structure of the plan commits a superintendent as the owner of each objective, along with a division commander as the action lead. These actions are the framework of performance metrics and are the focus of ongoing reporting to the Executive Management Team (EMT) through monthly Strategic Tracking and Reporting (STAR).

It is through STAR that the business plan becomes a living document – and the executive continues to listen.

Through STAR, the plan’s sustainability is guaranteed. The action leads highlight activities and achievements from their assigned strategies and goals during the previous three months in their presentations to EMTs.

Through the continuous accountability process, the executive are informed of and discuss specifics of each action, including details of community impact, risks and barriers to progress, problem solving approaches and resource and financial requirements. Based on the outcomes of the STAR conversations, the service tracks progress and can tailor the approach for future achievement of targets.

The business plan will have impacts that are yet to be realized. Several key objectives include new and innovative opportunities supported across the service, including collective impact approach, pro-active policing efforts, wellness and professional development, information technology efforts and the principles of LEAN.

While the current business plan is intentionally designed to guide the service for this year, each version of the plan will increasingly play a significant part to help the organization achieve virtually all of the goals and strategies outlined in the five-year strategic plan.

The synergy from all divisions and members remains the cornerstone for success in this plan.

As Clunis stated, “One service, one team, one plan.”

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