Monday, March 13, 2006

Code Words

The managing editor of the Texarkana Gazette complained last week that recommendations from a $59,000 consultant's study were veiled in "code words" hiding their real meaning behind law enforcement jargon. With apologies to Ambrose Bierce, I think I know how to decipher many of the comments that puzzled him. He writes:

According to the study, there is no consistency in the way policies are developed and implement[ed], internal affairs policy is outdated, some captain’s positions should be restructured or eliminated, the department operates with few performance targets or measures, and interactions between the chief and the command staff were limited to infrequent one-on-one meetings.

Huh?

Huh?

I see a lot of this kind of jargon, so allow me to interpret:

Jargon
: "There is no consistency in the way policies are developed and implemented"

Translation
: "We operate under a good ol' boy system around here so you better go along to get along, pardner."

Jargon
: "internal affairs policy is outdated"

Translation
: "No, I'm sorry, missy, there's no form to fill out. You can just tell me your complaint and I'll investigate it later when I have the time."

Jargon
: "some captain’s positions should be restructured or eliminated"

Translation
: "We've got a bunch of bureaucrats around here sitting on their asses not doing a damn thing.

Jargon: "the department operates with few performance targets or measures"

Translation
: "We don't know what we're doing or have any idea whether what we do is helping or not," and finally,

Jargon
: "interactions between the chief and the command staff were limited to infrequent one-on-one meetings"

Translation
: "Most of the top brass are barely on speaking terms and spend more time infighting than running the department."

I actually thought that section was pretty clear. ;-)

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

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SILLY MAN

Right Of Texas said...

Sounds like Charles Manson...

Watching Them, Watching Us said...

Jargon: "the department operates with few performance targets or measures"

Translation: "We don't know what we're doing or have any idea whether what we do is helping or not,"


Very true, however, in the UK the Central Government imposed "performannce targets" has lead to a massive increase in form filling and bureaucracy, which keeps our police officers off the streets, filling in forms and responding to emails. instead of preventing crimes.

See the The Policeman's Blog for details of how to increase your statistical "crime detection rate", from your desk, without actually solving a single crime. e.g. just by reporting a call about domestic violence, where the complainant then withdraws the complaint (very common), as a crime incident, then as an actioned crime report, a "detected" crime report, a racially categorised statistic, and a "solved" crime statistic, all of which feed into the departmental "performance targets".

MCF said...

That's some funny sh%t. Funny because it sounds true.

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