Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Saying What You Mean

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office and the Bozeman Police Department have very similar jobs. The Sheriff has some extra tasks like coroner, search and rescue, and running the jail, but at base, both agencies are here to enforce the laws and keep us safe. So why are their mission statements so different?

Sheriff:
As proud members of this Office, we are dedicated to protect and serve Gallatin County.
Police:
The Bozeman Police Department, in partnership with the citizens of Bozeman, is committed to improving the quality of life by identifying and resolving public safety concerns.
The Sheriff's Office statement makes perfect sense to me; it sounds like what cops do for their community: protect it. Pride and dedication are good, too. But the Police statement sounds more like a sanitarian's office. It's nice and warm, with popular words like "committed" and "partnership" and "quality of life", but it  doesn't tell me anything specific about this department, anything that distinguishes it from the department of health or public services. It sounds like it was written by a committee.

Personally, I don't care if law enforcement officers identify and resolve. I want them to serve and protect.

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