“There is a lack of faith in Police leadership because rhetoric does not always align to action” reads the second to last sentence of the body of the latest report into the police’s change management programme following the Commission of Inquiry into police conduct.
Commissioner Broad in his blog commenting on the unfortunate negative focus of the report, records himself as satisfied as to progress on the culture issue. Police union boss Greg O’Connor says that this report will to more harm than good.
My latin scholar son Thomas would be proud of me: argumentum ad consequentiam meaning X is true/false because of how much I like/dislike its consequences.
So is the report wrong? A listing of things ticked off as Commissioner Broad has done on his blog and Greg O’Connors “telling bad news will only do harm!” is enough to convince me all is not right. Then there’s the report.
I’d like to see leadership from the police and its union that even occasionally acknowledged that they aren’t perfect. Then we’d know that there was a willingness for change. If every problem is minimised as a bad apple or “we’ve already got procedures in place to cover that” or “it was the fault of the other driver” then we can be sure that nothing is changing.
Because the first step in changing a culture or for that matter, a behaviour, is to want to. And that means accepting that what’s going on is wrong.
The police should reflect our tolerant, secular and largely peaceful population. Not the bullying and harassment that is obviously still happening inside the police – even if it’s only in small numbers it’s not good enough. If we can’t trust what they do with each other, how can we trust them to deal with us?
So, sorry sir, I’ll be issuing you an infringement notice – even one act of carelessness like this can cause a tragedy.