New CAO proposes plan
SUMMERSIDE – The city’s new chief administrative officer is looking to draft a strategy to deal with issues within the city’s police department.
Bob Ashley said the initiative takes a twofold approach. The first is to get a handle on the challenges of the police force and the second is to develop strategic priorities both internal and external for the department.
This would equip the chair of the police services committee with priority measurements and reporting on strategic initiatives throughout the year, he said.
Ashley said his approach will be a simple one.
“We don’t need any consultants to do that,” he said. “If we approach this in a way where we identify several issues and prioritize one, two, or three of them at most, we can try to diagnose those issues and come up with an approach to address and develop a set of coherent actions which would seek to carry out that strategy.”
Ashley said a review would be conducted at the end of the year to see how the strategy worked.
“For example, it may come out that disability is a particular problem in a certain area,” he said. “How do we approach that? The chief will have some ideas on how they may want to approach that. Then we would be tasked with what kind of things can actually be done? What kind of actions can be taken? Is that a strategic priority yet? We don’t know so we have a discussion.”
Ashley said it doesn’t have to be an overblown document. He said it could be a simple one-page strategy.
“It would give council an idea of the kind of direction that we’re attempting to head,” he said. “We know that there are some serious internal issues. That could be the focus.”
He said council may want to deal with this aspect in committee of the whole (closed session).
“We are going to start off with a discussion to see if we can identify some issues and prioritize them,” Ashley said.
Members of the city police services committee will be taking part in identifying and prioritizing the issues.
Ashley said he hopes to conduct similar initiatives with all municipal departments.