Facilitator skills training for group problem solving & project planning.
This program is a necessity for officers of all ranks and members of the community who are planning or engaged in community and problem-oriented policing efforts. It is designed for department members of all ranks who are meeting with community groups in an attempt to facilitate creative solutions to their particular needs. It presents an opportunity to do something together about police/community relations and relationships neighborhood by neighborhood rather than just talk or march about it.
Departments and community policing officers are being asked to assist with solving problems like; “the cops don’t care”, "the kids hanging out", "the druggies", "the muggings", “the arsons”, etc., etc., all issues that are conducive to producing creative, long term solutions with community involvement. Many efforts start enthusiastically only to fail because the same issues are discussed over and over by the same individuals and nothing actually gets produced or solved.
Not just a C.O.P. theory lecture, it's a hands-on, skills building workshop.
PROBLEM SOLVING ISSUES
Officers and community advocates are being asked to meet with extremely diverse community, business, church and political groups and create action plans to reduce crime and the fear of crime.
Our officers have typically not been trained in either the facilitator or process skills necessary to produce a result. To the contrary, we have actually trained them at great length to take fast, independent action and resolve problems without seeking input from others. "Handle it and get back in service" is the typical mental set.
Many efforts at community-oriented policing are failing because groups and their leaders do not have the skills necessary to bring about creative solutions and agreement on a course of action. Often individuals feel bored, ignored or that they are rubber stamping the foregone conclusions of others rather than participating in an effective process. The seven-step method taught in this course is easy to use, fast-paced and extremely productive.
PROJECT PLANNING ISSUES
Many group and departmental projects extend beyond the scope of the problem solving process. Numerous and complex tasks must be prioritized, assigned, categorized, and tracked.
Individuals will procrastinate on tasks that are too lengthy and or complex resulting in frustration for all involved. Lacking a method of tracking and prioritizing tasks, projects often take on a life of their own and stray from the original goal.
Again, the skills and habits that make a good street officer run counter to this team approach. When we examine the extensive training afforded most officers we just have not prepared them for this critical task, yet we send them out to represent us. Training and working with a community representative adds credibility to the process.
These sessions provides the facilitator or team leader with the tools and experience to run effective group meetings. Each participant will conduct a community meeting, and learn in a hands-on atmosphere with instructor guidance and direction. The hands-on nature of the training allows the participant to practice each new skill prior to conducting an entire workshop with their peers and community members. Once produced, actual community based issues are presented to command officers by the small groups on the last day of class.
Utilize a specific problem-solving process
Properly prepare meeting participants
Maintain meeting direction with clear objectives
Use agreement techniques
Utilize brainstorming, polling & Pareto techniques
Use appropriate presentation skills
Manage differences of opinion & bring about group consensus
Prepare action plans
Summarize meeting activity & results
Develop agreed upon standards of success for each goal
Develop a resource analysis for each project & goal
Develop & prioritize the main task branches of a project
List or tree out the sub tasks in doable chunks
Assign timelines & responsibilities for each task
Keep team active & on track
Assist team in preparing presentations at key points of the process
A minimum of 50% of class time is hands-on experience. Class size is limited to 30 due to hands-on activities. Class will frequently be broken into small groups for practical exercises: two large classrooms with plain walls (for hanging flip charts) and flexible seating will be required.