The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office: An Organization in Transition

By Relihan, Susan J. | Corrections Today, April 2003 | Go to article overview

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office: An Organization in Transition


Relihan, Susan J., Corrections Today


The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office has always been recognized as an exceptional agency. Through the dedicated efforts of its staff, it earned the National Sheriffs' Association's Triple Crown recognition for its accreditation involvement and has been acknowledged by several organizations for its leadership in both law enforcement and corrections. In July 2002, Sheriff Patrick J. Sullivan Jr., NSA's 2001 Sheriff of the Year, retired and Undersheriff J. Grayson Robinson was appointed to the position. Robinson recognized that the agency was about to experience a transition and was determined to take advantage of the unique opportunity.

Not only did the agency have a new CEO, in June 2002, jail remodeling and the construction of two new jail pods were completed. In August, a new 119,000-square-foot headquarters building was dedicated and occupied. Transition was a high priority, yet it had to be done in an effective way that did not interfere with day-to-day operations. Robinson saw it as "an opportunity to always be better than we were yesterday." Change can be very frightening and one method to minimize that fear is to empower the people affected by the changes. The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office implemented a well-considered and deliberate transition plan designed to reflect on the past, evaluate the present and plan for the future.

Regarding transition, Robinson explains, "It has been a personal philosophy of mine, created from years of trial and error, that people need to be empowered." He went on to describe his philosophy: "The best way to empower is to create an environment where individuals think about their role in their organization, communicate their needs and are provided with an opportunity to grow. The growth opportunity needs to include a mind-set that it is OK to fail as long as the failure is turned into a lesson and is not repeated over and over."

Mandatory Reading

A mandatory reading list was established for all 109 first-line supervisors and above, including: The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics; the agency's mission statement and values; the agency organizational chart; a compact disc containing American Correctional Association, National Commission on Correctional Health Care and Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies accreditation standards, and a specific selection of policies and procedures; The Erickson Report (a review of the Columbine High School tragedy); a description of the Compstat process (a model for taking and analyzing information and developing action plans to address it, assigning resources, creating accountability and providing reward and consequence for the outcome); a description of the responsibilities of the office of sheriff; the documentation of the National Institute of Justice/Chicago Police Automated Mapping Project; agency budget reports and two books--Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell by Oren Harari and Good to Great by Jim Collins. These materials were assembled in individual packets and provided by the agency and were to be read in preparation for an agencywide "advance." This was a bold maneuver, quite different from the type of business that is all too typical in county government, in which issues are discussed and rediscussed many times before any actions are taken. According to Robinson, "Most agencies go into a retreat. I decided that we're not retreating, we're on the attack, so we advance."

One-on-One Interviews

Before the advance, Robinson made it a personal goal to meet one-on-one with all 109 supervisors. He created a survey/questionnaire to standardize the information obtained from each person. The one-on-one interviews were conducted, using the survey as a standard format. Each person was asked to complete the questionnaire, which included the following questions:

* How do you make a difference in your current assignment?

* List the sheriff's office assignment that you would prefer if you were not assigned to your current responsibility. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office: An Organization in Transition
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.