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Posted on: June 9, 2021

Behind the Badge

Police Cruiser

Council Bluffs Police Department Values
Written By Chief Carmody

Wow, what an incredible adventure!  Over the last 38 years of my career, I've been blessed to work for four different law enforcement agencies in four different communities.  Each agency was unique in the services provided. But, the strongest driving force in all of the departments, or any successful department, was the personnel.  A department’s success hinges on selecting, hiring, and promoting members who possess the values and characteristics of a servant leader. 

For the Council Bluffs Police Department, those values are captured in our City of Council Bluffs Mission, Vision, and Values. Our mission statement calls us to "continuously improve the quality of life and attractiveness of the City of Council Bluffs." Our values include a servant-oriented mindset, accountability, a strong work ethic, innovative problem-solving skills, integrity, fiscal responsibility, collaboration, leadership, and positive attitudes. This column will discuss what those values mean to our officers and civilians at the Council Bluffs Police Department.

Service-Oriented Mindset. Although not in a specific order, we’ll start with the service-oriented mindset. A career in law enforcement is about placing others before yourself. Within the Department, we regularly talk about understanding the expectations and needs of our citizens to ensure that we know our role. We also want the citizens to truly understand the type and quality of services the Council Bluffs Police Department can provide. A service-oriented mindset means our goal is to serve. 

Accountability. At the Council Bluffs Police Department, we strive to be accountable to ourselves and our Department, but most importantly to our citizens. We set clear expectations for our team members to ensure they know how to respond in a given situation. We rely on policy and procedural guidance, our intense training program, and solid supervision. The result of valuing accountability is a team of dedicated and steadfast officers and civilians. 

A Strong Work Ethic. A great officer or civilian must possess and value a strong work ethic.  Without it, they will not deliver in the dynamic and demanding situations a career in law enforcement entails.

Innovative Problem-Solving Skills.  Our officers and civilians are involved in complex community, social, and legal investigations during each shift. Creative problem-solving skills enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Council Bluffs Police Department. 

Integrity. I believe this value speaks for itself. Each of our officers and civilians strives to do the right thing in everything they do.  We look for integrity in personal and professional history, as well as in tasks completed as members of our Department.  

Fiscal Responsibility. We work for the residents of Council Bluffs. In varying ways, every officer and civilian is called to be fiscally responsible with the resources our citizens have entrusted us. We value fiscal responsibility via our overall budget and by taking care of issued equipment, the cruisers, and other tools they use to prevent crime and conduct investigations.

Collaboration. Officers and civilians must collaborate with citizens, colleagues, other law enforcement agencies, non-profit groups, and public and private partners. When it comes to collaboration, we utilize available partnerships to define the best possible path to resolving a wide variety of situations. 

Leadership. Like the other values listed, leadership is woven into everything that makes a well-rounded officer or civilian. Author and world-renowned leadership trainer, John Maxwell, defines leadership as "influence, nothing more, nothing less." Our incredible officers and civilians work to meet each person encountered throughout their shift, define the situation they face, and determine the best possible and most permanent resolution for all involved.

Positive Attitude. Finally, each Council Bluffs Police Department member must demonstrate a positive attitude every day! People call 9-1-1 because they have absolutely no one else to call – no one. That means that our staff gets pulled into extremely difficult situations, frequently the darkest moments in a citizen's life.  Our officers and civilians also experience highs, lows, personal challenges, and their own dark moments. But, even on their bad days, they step up to serve the citizens with a positive attitude. 

Our people are our most valuable resource.  When we interview new candidates for specific roles within the Police Department, we seek individuals who demonstrate our values.  We conduct in-depth, extensive background investigations in search of these characteristics.  We build testing processes to confirm these values are interlaced among our staff. Most importantly, we seek people with these traits to ensure our officers and civilians provide the best possible service to our community. When we uphold our values, we carry out our duties and pursue our calling.

In upcoming articles, we'll share more about the Council Bluffs Police Department, our structure, as well as the "why" and "how" of the investment we make in partnership with our community.  If you would like to learn more, I'd encourage you to find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Until the next time…

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