One of the most challenging tasks for a leader is to communicate effectively and evenly in a format that is heard and understood. As a police chief, you quickly learn communication is complicated, messy and yet important. Often the chief speaks to a multitude of people with competing interests and represents each of them equally. It’s easy for your message to get lost through personal inadequacy or societal complexity – yet you speak anyway. Speaking out is risky. That is why many leaders keep a low profile, afraid of criticism and personal risk.
Your voice rarely saturates the entire community, and if not careful your message is invisible, misunderstood or purposefully twisted. This blog is one effort to communicate more effectively and directly. I encourage you to listen, think, engage, and act to improve Santa Cruz and the profession of policing. We may not always see eye to eye, but when we find common ground and engage in respectful dialog, Santa Cruz benefits and policing is improved. As the old Hebrew saying goes, “Come, let us reason together.”