A Lack of Operational Planning

Through a woeful lack of planning the Mayor and the Chief of Police keep managing to create a sense of urgency on funding police initiatives. First they managed to create a near panic about helicopter funding. Then they attempted to do the same with cadet funding stopping just short of calling the Province deceitful.  I’m starting to get used to the two of them standing together speaking with once voice, joined at the lip so to speak berating the Province. 

It may be time for the province to advise the Mayor and the Chief of Police that a lack of planning on the part of the City and the Police Service does not automatically create an emergency for the province. 

Perhaps its time for the City and the Police Service to put the things they are actually planning to do in the Business Plan and the Captial Budget.  If they did, and  then shared the document with the Province everyone would have a heads up on whats coming.  This would be helpfull for the Province especially as it relates to programs the City wants them to fund. 

An examination of the City’s Departmental Business Plans best exemplifies the City’s  lack of planning.

In 2008 the Police Service created and published its 2008-2010 Business Plan.* That document outlines the goals for the police service for the three-year period, and lists the strategies it will be using to accomplish its goals.

One would think that somewhere in that document one would find a reference to the Closed Circuit Television Cameras the mayor had installed in the downtown area. Surely they could not be funded and installed unless it was a police priority and identified as such in the business plan. Well they were not part of the business plan yet they were purchased and installed. Look up sometime when you are downtown. You’ll see them and even if you don’t, they will “see” you. 

Okay, maybe that one slipped through but surely the helicopter was part of the long-term business plan, or if not part of the business plan then in the capital budget. Wrong! Have a look at the 2008 and 2009 capital budgets. The helicopter does not appear there either.

Surely the reintroduction of the cadet program was part of the business plan. Wrong again!

If none of these initiatives were identified as priorities by the Police Service through the business planning or capital budget process, how did they get on the action agenda? It begs the question: whose agenda is being implemented? Does the agenda reflect the operational needs of the Police Service or the political needs of the Mayor in an election year?

 Perhaps I wrongly concluded at the outset that there was a lack of planning at City Hall and the Public Safety Building. Perhaps there is planning taking place it’s just that it’s political not operational.

*   http://winnipeg.ca/cao/BusinessPlanbySvc.stm