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  • State of the Department (Jul 14, 2018)

Good evening officers,

You’ve likely noticed a lot of changes in the past couple weeks – we’re hoping changes for the better. As part of our commitment to promote professional, fun, realistic roleplay whenever possible we’re going to be instituting some more changes in the coming days. Unfortunately some of our choices and decisions haven’t always worked out. We accept responsibility for that and we want you to know we’re working to fix that — we also are extremely proud to have one of the highest clan retention rates in the APB community (you can see this for yourself just by a cursory look at some of the other clan rosters). We believe this is because you, our members and core to our organization, believe in what we’re doing and feel welcome here.

Because you’re so core to our organization we’re looking for more suggestion, more advice, and more input from you, as we roll out some more changes, both reactive and proactive in the coming days. That being said, we’re not ready for that yet institutionally. We could tell you to talk to your supervisor, but that only would work if your supervisor knows who to talk to and we have a process for tracking those suggestions. We’re working hard to get to that point and formalize a lot of the processes that a growing clan like ours needs. We ask you to bear with us for what we’re hoping is only a week or two before we’re ready to roll out a large addition of documentation, process, and new regulations/policies taking into account all of the suggestions we’ve managed to curate with our current process.

Let me give you a taste of some things that are going to be changing — not all of these are finalized and so I apologize in advance if something shifts, but I promise I’ll do my best to update you with those changes.

#1 – Communication: We’ve dropped the ball on this a lot. We could make a lot of excuses, a lot of them probably really good ones that actually make sense but in the end we needed to change how we’re communicating. Our problem is we have lots of members from different timezones and no one is really sure where information can be found. As of now we’re going to be communicating events/dates for meetings, training, special events..etc on the website https://sanparopolicedepartment.org/events

We’ll also be putting some division specific pages up on the site with some policies and procedures set by the individual division commanders in consultation with senior leadership. Specific department things but also general things such as:

  • Who do I talk to about uniforms?
  • What types of cars can I use?
  • Can I make my own uniform?
  • Where can I get that ballcap Tim wears?

#2 – Training: We’ve dropped the ball on this as well. Up until now we’ve had an organization chart with a bunch of dotted lines showing who reported to whom. We want to have clear and concise responsibility now. We’re formalizing our training and we’re trying to make it easier to get along with a lot more relevant content. Lots more to come on this in the coming days. Apologies for keeping it vague here as I don’t want to step on the toes of some of our members who are working hard to get that content written for us.

#3 – Respect: This is, unfortunately, a big one. We, the leadership, have dropped the ball on respecting you, our members, in a lot of areas. That ends today. I give you my word that I will personally ensure that we communicate expectations better than we have to this point and, more importantly, we foster a respectful community for you to play in. What that means is that once we’ve published the full code of conduct and given everyone time to read it we’ll begin enforcing a lot more strictly. We’re not trying to be dictators here but a lot of the incidents we’ve had in the past few weeks could have been resolved much sooner had we had proper enforcement of our minimal existing policies.

#4 – Immediate Moderation: Our current problem is we have an immediate need to start engendering respect amongst our members. We don’t have time to get all the policies written as we want to start setting that culture immediately, today. As such we ask your patience as we institute some new rules/guidelines intended to cultivate that culture of respect. Starting today we’re instructing our supervisors to take the following technique when dealing with ingame insubordination and disrespect.

  1. You’ll be informed in private message, in game, the following message: CPR: Please remember to respect your fellow members, and players.
    At this point stop whatever it is you’re doing and think about it. Is there something I’m doing that could be seen as disrespectful. Don’t go off on whoever just told you that or things are going to immediately escalate to #2. This is not a formal reprimand, it’s not going on your permanent record, it’s not even going to be brought up the chain. This is just a reminder that something you just did may have been mistakenly or intentionally disrespectful. It’s friendly, don’t escalate it.
  2. If you decide to continue doing what you’re doing, if you decide to go off on whoever just told you to stop. The supervisor will contact the senior officer who’s currently in channel (contact privately of course) and that senior officer (or them if they’re the senior officer) will review the complaint and should they warrant it valid they’ll come across voice chat to your unit number “666 10-7 return to station please).
  3. You are now off duty, do not continue what you’re doing, get out of your uniform – if you’re in a mission they may wait until you’re done the mission but if it’s serious enough it’s up to THEM to determine whether you’re 10-7 immediately or 10-7 after the mission. Either way go to social. They’ll be following up in discord shortly with you to tell you why they 10-7’d you and to remind you of the next steps (point 4).
  4. This is more serious – this will be noted in the supervisors discord channel as “Violation: M. Rodriguez – 10’7d for ” with as much detail as possible as this will be the violation record that will be used during discussion.
    Note: Going off on the person who just politely CPR’d you will likely get you a 24 hour suspension for a first offence. You’ll be server muted and will not be allowed in uniform in game — if you violate that it’s immediate formal hearing.. so don’t do that. Multiple offences you can expect a hearing with Admin.
  5. At this point you’ll have a discussion set up with the Chief of Administration or an internal affairs officer (it may not be the same night unfortunately depending on availability). You can come on APB but you are suspended pending hearing. This means take off your uniform, no driving your SPPD car..etc.
  6. This will happen quickly, I give you my word on that. We don’t want to keep you from playing while you await due process. You’ll discuss what happened with the IA/Admin Director and any consequences. We’ll take into account previous record and determine whether or not we felt the action was warranted. We’ll also decide whether or not to put a mark on your permanent record. For non-serious actions it would just show as a Disciplinary Record and won’t affect future promotions unless you have a history of them or serious ones.
  7. At this point you have two options. Option 1: You apologize and move on with your life and whatever consequence given to you. Option 2: You appeal either to the Admin Director, or if he made the decision, to Capt. Harper. Keep in mind a formal appeal hearing will have both the Director of Admin, any available supervisors and Capt. Harper in it and may bring in further evidence and records not in the original hearing. Appeals can go three ways: 1) Decision is overturned or 2) Decision stands or 3) Decision Stands but consequences are worse. — so keep that in mind before you appeal every decision.

*NOTE: This ‘process’ is going to stay in place for now until we finish our formalized one. At that point we’ll likely take parts of this, assuming it works, and move along. The “Discord” process is very similar, except you’ll be told to 10-7 and then immediately channel muted.

#5 – Equal Opportunity Consequences: One of the most frustrating parts of being in a clan is when you see the senior staff getting away with stuff and the junior staff are ripped apart for breaking policy. That’s going to end today. Senior officers will be performing the same immediate moderation process on other senior officers, and we’ll be holding ourselves to a HIGHER standard than we hold you to. So if we get to formal disciplinary hearings you can expect our consequences will be more severe as we hold more responsibility. If you’re on and see the senior officer on-duty breaking CPR, please direct message myself or Capt. Harper with the details. We’ll be sure to take care of it the next opportunity. Senior Watch Officers – One of the drawbacks of being the senior officer on watch is that you will not get the warnings junior staff do. If a complaint’s made against you it will go immediately to an IA/Admin Director hearing. With great privilege comes great responsibility.

#6 – Formal Discipline & Appeals process: With any new enforcement action process there will be mistakes made. It’s unfortunate but it’s bound to happen — we don’t want you to feel like you have no recourse for something unjust. We’re going to be rolling out a new formal discipline policy along with a formal appeals process. You’ll be able to read what is expected of membership, what the consequences of actions are, and also how to take something up the chain should you disagree with the first line moderation/supervisor decision.

#7 – Full Retraining: This is probably the biggest one in the list. Once our new code of conduct, discipline, appeals, and training policies are all completed in the next two weeks we’ll be scheduling a mass retraining event. Everyone in the clan, including myself and the rest of the senior staff are going to be made Cadet rank again. This is to foster a proper class structure. Upon completion of the training course we’ll personally be discussing where you want to go, what you want to do, and you’ll be restored to rank, and possibly promoted as well as we’ll be looking for a lot of new leadership positions in our growing clan. Once announced if you haven’t given.a leave of absence you’ll have a period of time (we’ve mentioned 2-3 weeks depending how much material we have to go through) to complete the training. If you don’t we’re not going to kick you out of the clan, but you’ll no longer have the opportunity to complete it and restore to previous rank, you’ll have to work your way up from Officer 1st Grade again.

#8 – No more return Sergeants: As part of our full retraining and removal of rank we’re going to be officially ending the policy of any officer absent without leave for extended period of time will automatically be removed of rank and set as a Cadet. We’ll likely remove individuals who haven’t signed up for the website accounts after a while since that’s a good indicator they’re not coming back. If they do at a later time they’re more than welcome to reapply and work their way back up. We felt this was disrespectful to you, our membership, and the hard work you put in. It gave indications of favortism which was not the intent, and also made it questionable when someone hadn’t been trained in 2 years how they would know what to tell subordinates. It also didn’t set a good example for everyone OI/OII and our cadets that we only want people in higher positions if they’re willing to put in the effort to help the rest of the group out. Your rank is not an indication of your skill at pursuits, it’s an indication of your commitment to the group, part of which is participating with the group.

#9 – More Stuff: We encourage you to get on almost every night — we’ll have people on most nights, and we encourage you to get on, find a group (PLEASE ask in clan chat to join into one). We may not do what you want to every night, but it’s likely you’re not doing what every individual wants to either, so it’s give and take. Either way, give us suggestions for stuff to do. Try to keep it related to what we’re doing and remember that the best suggestions are ones that benefit the entire group rather than just one person.

Our apologies for the massive novel — we’re good at that in Administration. Hopefully this gives you a clearer indication of where we’re hoping to get to in the coming couple weeks and gives you a bit more confidence that we’re hoping to engender a better atmosphere with you all. Please, let us know if you have any questions, concerns, complaints, suggestions, random cash contributions to the clan website supporting fund 😉 — Thanks again everyone.

Good luck on the streets Officers,
Lt. T. McLeod
Director of Administration

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