A few weeks ago a police chief went ballistic online (it's now viral) and in a moment of anger told some harsh truths.
It has been a gruelling few months for public safety. From controversial police shootings, protests, and riots to the bombastic vitriol of talking heads on mainstream media, saturated in opinion, starved in knowledge, devoid of balance.
Then I received news of struggles by some SafeGrowth practitioners under attack from bureaucrats and politicians in a few different cities.
For some of them political currents wane and crime slips from the Mayor's agenda. For others austerity budgeting undermines SafeGrowth as finances are redirected, typically to programs less effective and evidence-barren.
STAYING ON MESSAGE
Truth is when leaders lose focus it is easier for them to revive comforting myths from yesteryear - more cops, more technology, more CCTV, more generic social programs...whatever! These are myths with which they easily identify, myths their populations want to believe.
Anyway back to the chief, his moment and a video gone viral!
Disclaimer: I know and respect this Police Chief. Ed Flynn is Chief in Milwaukee, a police agency that supports SafeGrowth and, thanks to some help with our friends at LISC and some great beat cops, it's a city where SafeGrowth has been successfully applied to tackle neighborhood crime.
Sometimes it takes leadership gumption and foresight to stick with what works, even if it's unpopular and doesn't grab quick headlines. Where are the leaders with that gumption, that foresight?
When this video appeared I had my answer.
In my view Chief Flynn speaks for everyone committed to, and working in, public safety everywhere. Note to self - So this is what passionate leadership looks like!
SafeGrowth® is a philosophy and theory of neighborhood safety planning for 21st Century.