Police Psychology into the 21st Century

By Martin I. Kurke; Ellen M. Scrivner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE
Strategic Planning

Eugene Schmuckler Georgia Public Safety Training Center, Forsyth, GA


NOTION OF STRATEGY

On a hot, lazy afternoon, a small boy sits barefoot under a shade tree, idly watching a small stream of water from a sprinkler trickle down the street toward him. As tiny rivulets inch their way along the asphalt gutter, they seem to pause at each pebble to build momentum and then push forward again.

Eagerly, the boy grabs handfuls of dirt and builds a small dike that momentarily halts the flow. However, the water slowly wells up in a puddle and edges its way around the barrier. The boy adds more dirt, vainly attempting to outflank and contain the water. As the battle progresses, it becomes apparent that despite the boy's best efforts, he will never prevail. There are larger forces of nature at work.

-- Garner ( 1993)

Larger forces are also being felt within the law enforcement field. Police agencies will find it impossible to remain stagnant and survive. Yet, uncontrolled or unplanned movement can be as counterproductive as stagnation. The police organization needs help in directing that movement ( Garner, 1993).

This is an area that can well be served by those engaged in the field of police psychology. As a result, traditional police psychology--which has in the main focused on clinical areas such as pre-employment and fitness for duty evaluations, counseling, and hostage negotiations--will need to redirect its efforts into areas such as organizational diagnosis and development issues ( Cummings, 1980; Levinson, 1972) and strategic planning. Recognition that

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