Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 8 years ago

The recent crime spree in Manhattan Beach is terrifying residents. These incidents include homes ransacked, residents pistol-whipped, students robbed at gunpoint, and car thefts – leaving many in fear of their lives and under siege. The perception if not the reality of increased crime is raising questions on the viability of the Manhattan Beach Police Department, particularly its leadership. Unfortunately, the MBPD Strategic Plan does not provide adequate reassurance.

Although the MBPD Strategic Plan focuses on needed priorities to strengthen management of its human and financial resources (e.g. leadership development, operational effectiveness, inner-departmental communications, teamwork, and increased employee proficiency), it omits concrete goals and objectives aimed at MBPD’s ultimate mission – strengthening public safety.

To further confidence in the MBPD, its strategic plan should incorporate specific measurable results-oriented objectives aimed at reducing those crimes of key concern to the community, e.g. burglaries, armed robberies, violence, and threats to our youth. These measurable results would similarly serve to determine whether MBPD’s management priorities, as described above, correlate with achieving its bottom line mission “To protect life, liberty, and property.…”

Further, the MBPD strategic plan should replace generalized statements of intentions and activities with performance outcomes. Focusing on intentions and activities is akin to measuring the success of baseball players by their number of times at bat versus results measured by batting average, runs batted in, and home runs.

Outcome measures in public safety include crimes against persons and property per capita; percentage of crimes cleared; operating and maintenance expenditures per capita; and, resident ratings of safety in their neighborhoods.

These recommendations are commensurate in achieving performance accountability of police departments with those by the California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training, the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, and the United States Department of Justice.

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D.

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Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 8 years ago

Governance, as it relates to governing by the Manhattan Beach City Council (MBCC), seeks to bring stakeholders together to participate in the dialogue, decision-making, and implementation of solutions to common problems or goals. The word governance derives from a Greek verb “to steer.” Unfortunately, over the past decades the MBCC has lost control of its distinct role and abdicated the steering of public policymaking to a city manager and city staff.

Councilmember Tony D’Errico and Councilmember Mark Burton have courageously brought forth the challenge for the council to reverse course and reap the benefits of policy governance. These embrace centering the MBCC to provide visionary leadership and strategic concentration on the “what” and “why” of city operations; a focus on desired results and outcomes for the residents; and, a proactive, not reactive, forward-looking focus on the future of Manhattan Beach.

The achievement of these benefits requires full council support; strictly requiring the city manager to focus on his management responsibilities to implement council policies; monitoring his achievement of desired end-results; and, ensuring performance accountability by the city manager and staff in matching taxpayer dollars consumed to benefits gained.

We, the residents, as stakeholders, must support the efforts of those councilmembers willing to take the helm of policy governance including accepting the challenging responsibilities; demonstrating the required competencies; and, most importantly, having the will to steer the MBCC through unchartered waters towards a destination promoting the public interest and common good, not politics as usual.

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Get current on the posting of Council meeting minutes (and videos), stay current, and hold the City Manager fully accountable for never again allowing the unprecedented six month delinquency that recently existed (despite the hiring of an outside contractor to perform this routine duty of the City Clerk)!

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