Hard To Say Goodbye

Chief Doreen Olko:

I couldn’t agree more…..Karrie helped the whole organization and did it with a smile and a helpful attitude. We will miss her too.
Good luck in all your future endeavors, Karrie!

Originally posted on Developing Thoughts:

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Today is Karrie Marsh’s last day.  It’s hard to say goodbye to this wonderful person.

Karrie Marsh Karrie Marsh

For those who don’t know, Karrie Marsh is the Executive Assistant for the City Manager.  She is leaving us for a great opportunity at a local school.  We wish her much success in her new position.

Karrie didn’t just assist the City Manager, she helped everyone in the organization.  Simply, she made the City of Auburn Hills better during her time with us.  Karrie was the person, often behind the scenes, that helped keep things running and made others look good.  A natural-born servant leader.

Karrie, thank you for your dedication to the community and service to your co-workers.

You will be missed.

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I Am A Girl Scout

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My Girl Scout pin

Sometimes I get asked how I became a police chief.  My usual answer is that I studied criminal justice in college and I wanted a job where I could be active and be part of making the world a better place –same answer lots of police officers give.  I know that part of the reason I am asked the question is because I am a woman and some people are mystified by how I could lead an organization like this.  Being a police chief is an active and engaging profession that requires leadership skills to a high degree.  A major factor in developing the determination and the confidence to become a leader was as a result of the opportunities I had as a Girl Scout.  I spent years as a Girl Scout, as a Brownie through senior level.  My mother was a troop leader and believed in the mission of Girl Scouts.  Ask around, many women who are leaders in their professions were also Girl Scouts.

Tonight after work, I’m attending the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan Cookie Gala at DTE Headquarters in downtown Detroit.  I am a board member for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan and it is my honor to give something back to an organization that gave so much to me.

The Cookie Gala is an event that raises funds for Girl Scouts in this area.  This event also honors “One Tough Cookie”- 16 women whose contributions to the community inspire us all.   Plus local chefs show off what all can be made using Girl Scout Cookies–delicious!

I still remember the Girl Scout Promise and live by the Girl Scout Law:

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Who could argue with that?

Funding for police training in jeopardy in Michigan

If you are a follower of this blog, you know that I wear another hat besides police chief–I represent the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police as an Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards commissioner, appointed by Governors Granholm and then Snyder.  3DSeal_4C_B_156305_7

MCOLES is a standards setting, regulatory agency like 49 other states have.  It sets the standards for training of the police officer who arrives at your door when you need help.  I find it distressing that just at a time when we need it the most, our training has been defunded by the Legislature.  Communities count us to get it right and we count on funding from the state to help us achieve proper training all across the state.  Sadly, for the first time ever, there will be no grants to train police, prosecutors and even the defense attorneys who are appointed to represent criminal defendants, an important aspect of our system.

Here is a Detroit News story from today on the topic.

Funding for police training in jeopardy in Michigan.

Spread the Word – We will NEVER ask you to buy a Green Dot Card, EVER

This scam just keeps happening and today Officer Brianscam-alert-630x472 Miller came upon a new twist.  He sent me this message:

Just took a report from a resident who was called by a random 800 number.  Caller claimed to be from the IRS and advised the subject he owed tax money.  Caller told victim to buy a Green Dot card and pay – victim almost believed the caller because about 30 minutes later he received a call from OUR phone number 248-370-9444, again demanding the money and threatening with arrest.  Obviously the number was “ghosted” to appear as if it was us that called, but since I’m seeing this type of phone number disguising more frequently… Simple remedy – citizens should find the actual phone number independently and call it back…

More on Texting to 911

Local 911 center coordinators meet together every 3 months in 911-text-if-you-cant-callOakland County.  We share information, policies and other items of mutual interest.  We have LOTS of items of mutual interest since we are all on one radio system and we share a computer aided dispatch software system and police records system.  These systems are subdivided by community but ultimately one big system.  One of the largest of its kind in the country.

One important item of interest is how the texting to 911 is going with the Sheriff’s Office since it began in January 2015. Today their dispatch center director, Mel Maier, reported on how it has been going.  He said that in the 1st 30 days they had 57 texts and of those 36 were determined to be non emergency or accidental.  Of the “actual” emergencies 3 cases stood out.  One was a deaf boy who was seeking help for his mother after a car crash and the others were situations where  the person would have been in danger had they called so they texted.

You might recall that the Sheriff’s Office is taking all of the texts for all of Oakland County right now because there are problems in determining location of the emergency given the technology we have. It is better right now if one center handles it all and they can work directly with the 4 main cellular carriers.  The OCSO calls our center if the text is determined to be in our community for us to respond.  In the first 30 days there was 1 call for Auburn Hills. Right now they cannot forward it to our center–they must call us by phone.

A couple of things have been learned and I wanted to pass those along to you, the users:

1.  If you are near a county border it is very possible your text won’t be routed to Oakland County, particularly if you are moving from one county into the next as in a car on I-75.  You would have to reboot your phone so that your text would be re routed.  Cumbersome, I know.

2.  You must check the privacy settings on your phone if you want to text to us.  Quite a few of the texts directed them to a Verizon store in Southfield because that is where the phones were activated. When the owners changed the privacy settings that was the last place the phone was seen to be active.

3. If you have a wi-fi extender in your house or your phone’s texting capability switches to your wi-fi from the cellular carrier we may have trouble finding you.  We’ve had some come to us from out of state.

4. They can only accept SMS messages.  Not multi media including photos or video that is all the networks can support at this time. If you have a photo or video you want to share you will have to call your local PD who may be able to rig up a way for you to transmit your item to them.  (That is what we do).

I know it isn’t a perfect system.  We don’t have all of the same capabilities as Google –we are government and are dollars are a bit more limited.   So call us when you need us and text us only when you have no other alternative.

Hiring A Limo for Prom?

Many young couples who are attending their proms are considering hiring limousines thinking it will provide them a safe and fun way to get to and from prom.  There are some things to consider however and the Michigan Department of Transportation published some tips to make sure that the experience is safe. prom

Hiring a Limo, A checklist for consumers

And don’t forget to stay in touch with your teen during the evening with text messages to let them know you are thinking about them.  A text from you can help them make decisions in their own best interests and not to succumb to the influence of others.

We Are Just a Phone Call Away

Chief Doreen Olko:

Just this past weekend we assisted Troy Police in an investigation in the case of the Auburn Hills woman who was killed by her domestic partner. We see this all too frequently.
Help is available.

Originally posted on HAVEN Give Hope A Voice:

ID-100247357 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Guest post by: Jocelyn Clarke, Crisis Line Supervisor and Counselor, HAVEN 

We always tell new staff and volunteers who are training to answer our 24-hour Crisis and Support Line (CSL) is that you never know what scenario you will encounter when you answer the phone. Working on the CSL can be frustrating, scary, and rewarding all at once. Our calls are as different as the individual people who call—survivors of intimate partner violence, mothers, best friends, dads, social workers, therapists, nurses, and more—all in one day!

The majority of calls we take are focused on domestic violence. We talk with women who are in relationships with an abusive partner and help them understand that what they are dealing with is not normal and that they are not doing anything to cause his behavior. We talk with survivors who want counseling or an advocate to…

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Inspiration

I draw inspiration from other police leaders.  I look for leaders I think are progressive and ethical.  Recently, I found a blog from one of my policing heroes that talks about another!  William Bratton, NYPD Commissioner (formerly of LAPD, Boston PD, NY Transit) wrote about Sir Robert Peel in April 2014.  Before Peel, policing had an ugly history.  Eventually US policing modeled itself after the Metropolitan Police and we adopted and incorporated Peel’s Principles. I’ve copied it here for you:

In my long police career I have often drawn inspiration from a great hero of mine, Sir Robert Peel.  Peel founded the London Metropolitan Police in 1829.  He went on to serve as British Prime Minister for two separate terms and earned a reputation as a powerful and effective reformer.

In addition to establishing London’s first modern, disciplined police force, Peel articulated “nine principles of policing which remain as relevant and meaningful today as they were in the 1830s.   The man had an innate grasp of the challenges police officers face and of the complex interplay between the police and the public that is at the very heart of policing in a free society.  Defining the basic mission of police as prevention, recognizing that police must win public approval, favoring persuasion and warning over force, and defining success as the absence of crime and disorder rather than in terms of police action — these were all cutting edge ideas in the 1980s let alone the 1830s.

Peel’s nine principles inform the vision of collaborative policing that I believe is essential to healing the divisions that exist between the police and the communities we serve.  They will guide us in our efforts to foster shared responsibility for public safety as we move forward:

Principle 1 – “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.”

Principle 2 – “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”

Principle 3 – “Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.”

Principle 4 – “The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”

Principle 5 – “Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.”

Principle 6 – “Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.”

Principle 7 – “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public  who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

Principle 8 – “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.”

Principle 9 – “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.”

Guided by such values and with the help of all New Yorkers and the best efforts of the men and women of the New York City Police Department, I am confident of our success.

We are also guided by these values and ask for the help of all residents of Auburn Hills and the best efforts of the men and women of the AHPD, I am also confident of our success.

Interesting trivia:  British Police are called “Bobbies” as a nod to ROBERT Peel.