Tuesday's Topics - Plan to Work with Sworn and Civilian Staff to Identify Areas for Improvement
Hello Laramie County and welcome to another addition of Tuesday’s Topics. This week I will outline my plans to work with sworn and civilian staff to identify areas for improvement throughout the agency. When I transferred back to the jail over three and half years ago, I met with all of the sworn and civilian staff to get their thoughts on how we could make the jail a better place to work and improve the overall efficiency of the facility. The feedback I received was very positive and just a bit overwhelming with the number of ideas they came up with. I found that in the past they had not been asked their opinion on anything. Changes were made in a wide variety of areas to include things as simple as placement of the emergency flashlights in the housing units, to inmate commissary procedures, streamlining the ever-present mountain of documentation forms and many more ideas from the staff that quickly became a reality.
The effect this had on the staff was a significant improvement in morale and a marked decrease in staff turnover. Although the advent of Covid and the continued pay disparity with surrounding agencies took a toll on staff morale and turnover over the past 18+ months the groundwork of an overall positive work environment is still in place.
Should I be successful and win the general election on November 8, as the Sheriff elect, I will be meeting with each and every staff member department wide as I did with the staff in the jail. One of my greatest strengths is my servant leadership beliefs and I will use this to create a positive work environment and improve morale agency wide. By listening to individual ideas and concerns all of the staff will have a voice in the direction of the agency. One of the benefits of being the only candidate currently working in law enforcement and specifically in the Sheriff's Office is that I will be able to implement ideas developed by the staff between November and January and hit the ground running on day one of my administration.
I will leave you with a post one of the jail deputies placed on my Facebook page in June that sums up her views on my leadership:
"A leader leads by example and is not afraid to get his hands dirty. Often, we think the chain of command is a pyramid that goes up. In reality, it is upside down. The leader is there for everyone. We have been short staffed and Don has helped be that missing piece when we need it the most to alleviate stress and the workload from deputies having to man two pods at a time. Thank you for always being there for us working the pyramid how it was designed too."
Until next time, stay safe and God bless.