William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD
“We trained hard. However it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress whilst producing confusion, inefficiency and outright demoralization” Petronius Arbiter, 210 B.C.[•]
The above sounds like our Canadian Army Headquarters/NDHQ[•]/CFHQ[•] of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s when I was a young soldier.
I found this to be true at the Cop Shop where I was employed for 23 years (In cells and on the front desk) during the 80’s and 90’s. Every time we got a New Chief Constable the quiet reorganization of the office and the Central Saanich Police Department (which was changed to the Central Saanich Police Service) would take place, new paintings of ducks on the walls, lighter colours of paint on the cell walls, bigger desks, and softer chairs for the Chief and Deputy Chief, etc. All of our senior officers were from the RCMP[•] so we would incorporate their individual systems and although we always had CPIC[•] we changed to PIRS[•] locally, even though other Departments used other local police records systems. It was not a bad thing, these changes, and it kept everyone on their toes with the changing times and the pressures and complexities of the modern computer age!
As a last laugh, before I retired, in the Greater Victoria Area every one changed over to a new radio system called CREST[•] which was supposed to make communications in the new millennia a thing of clarity, a state of the art technological described at the time as magnificent and a thing of beauty to behold. I did voice my quiet opinion: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”! “Why spend taxpayers’ money on something we don’t need?” The hard sell salesmen at CREST were successful and they sold their list of bells and whistles to those who influence the police boards in the greater Victoria Area. They sold the inefficient system to those who control the purse strings. Their big thing was the patch system! I stated we already had the Motorola Patch System, which we seldom used, but could and would and did in emergency situations to all cars and departments etc. It should be noted that there have been several attempts to fix the faulty system in Victoria, but to date these costly efforts have been to no avail. Thanks God for cell phones!
Chief Constable Paul Battershill is taking positive action to have the system updated and repaired and he is seeking taxpayer satisfaction for the monies expended!
The old radio system worked fine (as does the new system in our area of Central Saanich, North Saanich, and Sidney). The new purchase of CREST proved that the urge for change is still with us as human beings and it’s alive and well in the greater Victoria Area where the multi-million dollar communications system is still causing officer safety concerns because it does not work in all areas at all times, especially in the big city areas where clear communications are needed the most– A multimillion dollar faux pas that is possibly, God forbid, a fatality waiting to happen? Petronius Arbiter was right again. It’s time for a change and hey, another reorganization and it’s just over the CREST
©Copyright July 16, 2007 by William H.A. Willbond, MSM, CD
C/M[•] (Retired) William Willbond, MSM, CD
Life Member Local XII, BC Federation of Peace Officers