Submitted by Bob Wotherspoon

Sergeant Victoria Police Veteran.

20th April 2019


With Team sport, Large Companies or a Police Force, measurements are

present and drive strategies to improve.


In a football team, the measurements of success are on the scoreboard.

The strategies are on the field, introduce new players to the playing group working with senior players to gain experience and improve the game.  If they are coached well, then they are on the road to success,

but they must work together.  The Administration of the team are arm’s length from the field and take care of running the club.  They support the team by providing medical, mental and physical support.

Is there a correlation between Team sport, Business and the Police Force? – absolutely.

In today’s modern Business they use “IFOT” measures (In Full On Time supply), this a service measure which determines the success of deliveries to the customer.  The higher the measure, the greater the income.  Strategies – work in teams in the workplace which are individually measured.  The teams are lead by Team Leaders who have access to coaches and trainers (middle managers).  Middle and Senior Managers are not usually needed to be involved in the day to day running of the business but are important for them to develop direction, marketing and ensure Corporate Governance is maintained to the highest level.

So how does this relate to the Police Force?

The measurement of the Police Force is Community statistics – Victims of Crime, Road Toll, Community behaviours.  There are many statistics provided that don’t need detailing here.  What we do know is that VicPol has failed the Victorian Community by not addressing the issues that create the results.

How can VicPol respond to the Community effectively?


When new Members are appointed, they are entering a system not just Academy training.  At the Academy, they learn the law.  What is important is the next phase once leaving the Academy.  All graduating Members should be transferred to a 24-hour station to begin the practical introduction on the Div Van.  However, a station structure is required.

New Members are working with selected Constables and Senior Constables to learn the culture of good Policing … With this, their personalities will evolve into the Police person they will become… we are not the same person from civvy street… what we see and do changes that – some it hardens, others succumb to pressure and can suffer long term with PTSD… we are all different, and no-one should be pigeonholed.  What we need to do is identify the effect on Members.  Moreover, there is only one way to do that – Sergeants and Senior Sergeants.

The role of Sergeant/Sen. Sgt’s needs reviewing.  Not only are their mentors but they need responsibility within the Sub-District.  In charge of station Training, Special Duties, Welfare, Roster other designated tasks which affect the Sub-District.  The Senior Sergeant needs detailed knowledge of his Sub-District so he can detail to his Sergeants areas of concern – Street gangs forming, petty crime,

families with a history of domestic violence.  Target areas for car crews to be aware of.

The Sub-District Leaders should meet once per month with the Divisional Inspector for a round table open discussion on progress in the Sub-/District.  The Inspector can furnish the monthly reports on the Department’s measurements, so all are aware of the success of the strategies.  Sergeants should be open about all personnel in the station, identify the jewels coming through the system along with those that need closer training.

From these meetings, Members would be identified from their personalities and ear-marked for tasks like

Special Duties (more hardened) who may be tasked for street gangs etc.

The Inspector should be trained in the understanding of Leadership programs and any other training models available to all Members to enhance their capabilities to be more effective, be very close to HR Resources.  No-one should be promoted to Sergeant or Senior Sergeant without the completion of a Leadership course which should be part of the Sub-Officers course.

I believe this framework to assist at the coal face will provide an opportunity for Members to develop their careers that suit their ‘Police” personality … they can then develop a career path suitable to them and with the internal support I am not going into detail here, but this raises the question of transfers and promotions based on seniority… this needs reviewing.

I am not offering thoughts on the commissioned rank above Inspector as the impact on the Community starts at Station level. If a culture change is focussed on the first two years of a Members entry into the Police Force and the suggested strategies are deployed then we will see a reduction in the statistics as more focus is localised before it gets out of hand as it is today.