Scottsdale Public Safety

Kiem Ho, Class 26
Director of Business Development & Innovation, Laundry Care, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc.

The Class 26 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s core program. The program informs, inspires and empowers leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of the community.

There is no one marketing tactic that delivers 100% loyalty! In my 15 years of Brand Marketing, I’ve come to understand that no matter how good or even perfect my product may be, there will always be those that don’t care, that don’t like it or even hate it.  100% loyalty may be impossible but what is ultimately important is whether those that care for your brand outweigh those that detract.

During Public Safety Day, I could not help but take away the need for increased Public Safety brand loyalty.  Elements of this need can be found in the language of the day’s objectives:

  • Identify the major divisions of public safety in Scottsdale
  • Identify three critical issues (public needs and resources) facing each major division
  • Participate in training exercises to build empathy for public safety providers
  • Identify personal role in, and make personal commitment to, develop safe communities
  • Engage in an effective conversation regarding implications of the public safety trends for leadership in Scottsdale

Chief of Police Alan Rodbell, Class 19 and Fire Chief Garret Olson shared how both of their departments have been able to maintain and even increase the quality of their services in spite of the declining economy and consequent budgets cuts.  Specifically, technology and award winning strategic planning has enabled the police department to efficiently allocate officers to calls.

Similarly, the fire department has been able to increase staffing and add more stations over the past 3 years resulting in an overall response time of 4min 17s while at the same time reducing costs by 16.9%.   These figures are astounding when one considers that the fire department is the 1st respondent for all out of hospital paramedic care.

In addition to awareness, we had a small taste of the dangers our men and women in uniform potentially face every day when we participated in the Firearms Training Simulator where split decisions determine life or death.  We also practiced fire extinguishing and search and rescue, decked out in full gear including heavy oxygen tanks.  Given the adrenaline induced trembling that several of us experienced, it is safe to say that we all gained a deeper appreciation for those that work so hard to protect us.

Despite the increased understanding we took away from Public Safety day, I realized that the majority of the work that our Public Safety departments accomplish goes and even is meant to go unnoticed.  It is in the quietness of anonymity that the men and women of the Scottsdale Police and Fire Department toil on our behalf.   American Jewish Author Cynthia Ozick penned, “When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren’t grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”

As a community, we enjoy a very high level of care from our Police and Fire Departments.  Despite this high level of quality service, there will always be those that nay say and complain oftentimes without all the facts.  Nevertheless, brand loyalty is ultimately determined about caring.  Chief Garret Olson put it best stating the mission of the Fire Department, “We Care For You”.

Do we as informed community leaders also have an obligation to return that “Care” for those that serve us so well? If we fail to demonstrate and even advocate loyalty for the care that we receive, will we risk  eventually losing the care we take for granted?

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Filed under Class, Community, Leadership

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