Although many still try to deny it, police agencies are complex business enterprises that have benefitted—and will continue to benefit—greatly by the understanding and application of solid business practices. From its similar structure, creation, and accomplishment of strategic objectives, management of resources, development and delivery of core products and services, and commitment to continual improvement, the police enterprise system is responsible for providing it's public safety services effectively and efficiently—very similar to the responsibility of business enterprises.
Examples of successful domestic and international police organizations that have adopted business principles to enhance their performance related to providing public safety services and products include, but are not limited to:
- Phoenix Police Department, Phoenix, Arizona, United States
- Houston Police Department, Houston, Texas, United States
- Abu Dhabi Police GHQ, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Singapore Police Force, Singapore
- Clark County School District Police, Clark County, Nevada, United States
These agencies have not only focused their performance improvement efforts on core police processes, but their improvements are characterized by how their core police processes are interconnected to other units that comprise the police enterprise system.
In the coming months, I will describe the elements of a Police Enterprise System, their similarity to business, and how leveraging that similarity will enable police personnel to use business principles to enhance police services and performance at virtually all levels. Upcoming installments will include police enterprise structure, strategy management, resource management, product/service development, and improvement management.
Further Reading: BUSINESS PROCESS IMPROVEMENT