I have been doing a lot of thinking about lessons learned and it has been harder than I thought because I had done my homework on the issues and/or problems. I gathered data and information for a couple of years and set a course of direction to move the agency forward.
Lessons learned – “means an event or events that were not anticipated or a plan that failed for some reason unknown and you learn the hard way.” (Mike Bonham’s personal definition)
I think that, personally, I have a lot of goals for this agency and it seems to be taking too long, but in reality we are on track. I believe that this is in part because I really want the citizens of the county to be proud of their Sheriff’s Office, but the focus should not be ME, it should be the OFFICE as a whole.
Lesson one – People try to make it about the Sheriff. And I get it; I’m looked at as the leader. (Still hard)
Lesson two—I push hard, the employees and myself to move to perfection and to hit the goals that have been established… (Slow down we will get there.)
Lesson Three—With so many projects and initiatives, some can get lost in the push. My hope in is having a handle on prioritizing:
- Health and Welfare of the employees
- Biggest impact on safety and security for the citizens of the county.
- Keep spending within Sheriff’s Office Budget
Like I said, this has been a lot tougher assignment than I thought it would be. Thanks for the challenge.
The following I released after a 60 day review: My hope is you can see the consistence and planning.
I took office in December, this week and we reviewed the first 60 days on the job.
We wanted a “no drama” transition from the leadership of Carl Fowler, who served as interim sheriff.
We Intensified communication — internally and externally — as we have marked the first 60 days.
We have used Facebook, and a soon an updated website, YouTube videos to push information. We credited the media blitz with leading to the arrest of a fugitives, as a direct results.
“We’re looking for ways to distribute information. It’s a work in progress.”
We have stepped up efforts to arrest dealers, save users who overdose and educate the community.
But, my office has yet to engage the medical community in an effort to reduce abuse of prescription narcotics.
What’s to come:
• Crisis Intervention Training: to prepare all deputies and staff with intervention methods for dealing with citizens suffering from mental illness crisis. Three staffers will complete the 40-hour training, scheduled in May.
• Increased community outreach with a town hall meeting in Linn and other events. The restructured Community Services Unit , the chaplain program, and the Jr. Deputy program.
• Restarting the “Reserve deputy” program, which allows retired law enforcement officers to volunteer. They must have the same training as full-time officers and can work in a range of activities.
“I’m just pleased to report that we’ve hit the marks on our first 60-day plan. “This is not to say we’re done.”
It is the staff that have been working quickly and professionally to meet my expectation. Turnover has remained low, with only minimum changes — retirements and resignations — since I took office.
“The deputies and men and women of the sheriff’s office have been working hard and I’m proud of these accomplishments. We will continue to work hard to produce a professional, competent and compassionate law enforcement agency the citizens of Osage County can be proud of.”
By: Sheriff Mike Bonham
Guest post for 2017 Lessons Learned in the Last Year Intentergy series.
Osage County Fair 2016
P.S. Last July my children met Sheriff Bonham at the county fair, when he was still running for office. After he shook my five year old’s hand, my son asked, “Why does he want to be the sheriff?” I told him, “Mr. Bonham wants to keep us safe.” My son’s reply, “Okay, I guess we can vote for him.” 🙂 Sheriff Bonham has worked hard to keep lines of communication open with people of our county and safety in the forefront of his tenure. Thank you, Sheriff Bonham, for your willingness to share your personal lessons learned this year. Best of luck to you as you continue to meet these goals and protect our community.