As police department chief in one of the largest cities in the U.S, Johnny Jennings talks about how he’s leading the new narrative in policing.
To be the Chick-fil-A of police departments – delivering world-class hospitality, earning a genuine thank you, and leaving a positive impression even when they have to enforce the law.
What a Day In The Life of a Police Officer Looks Like
A day in the life of a police officer is all over the map because you may go a whole week without anything – and then all of a sudden you’re involved in life or death situations.
There’s a lot of paperwork involved as well as sitting around involved in patrolling and riding around to be in the eyes of the community. Then things could go 100 miles an hour.
You can have half a shift where you don’t get a call for service. You might stop a few cars or get out and talk to a few people – then all of a sudden, you’re fighting the guy with a gun.
That’s why it’s important for officers to be mentally prepared for that because you’re going from zero to 100, and back to zero, and then you go home.
Supporting Black Lives Matter While Still Respecting Police Officers
There doesn’t have to be an “us versus them.”
As a whole, we need to be able to combine the efforts of the community and the police. The citizens give the police the authority and the power to police. So the police should get input from the community on how they want to be policed within the laws and the Constitution.
On the other hand, the police have to provide better customer service through an out-of-the-box approach that is tangible so people can see and understand the efforts.
Ultimately, both sides need to listen and be able to come to the table, otherwise, we’re still going to be in the same situation down the road.
Dealing with Empathy Fatigue
Empathy fatigue happens when you’re constantly dealing with a high percentage of customers at their worst state.
This is common in the fields of oncology, behavioral therapy, the funeral industry, police, etc.
When you’re dealing with it day in and day out or your most recent interaction pales in comparison to your previous ones, you may have the tendency to become numb. And it can be difficult to have empathy for those people you’re dealing with most of the time.
But look at Disney.
Hundreds of thousands of people go there and every greeting they have with customers is like it’s their first one.
The same thing with Ritz-Carlton.
So it’s not an excuse to have empathy fatigue.
The key is to treat somebody with fairness and respect and that’s the expectation they’re going to have the next time they have an encounter. If you treat someone poorly, then it’s only feeding the stereotype that the police are out to get you.
The experience of, for instance, getting a ticket, doesn’t have to be positive – but the interaction can be positive.
For more information and resources on delivering world-class service no matter which industry you’re in, check out The Customer Service Revolution podcast. If you’d like to listen, head over to Episode 038: The Chick-fil-A of Police Departments.