The intent of this research paper is to evaluate and assess the business model of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). The examination will generate several recommendations, which will ultimately determine the greatest value proposition for the agency. Utilizing the Canvas as a catalyst for the business model to identify the services CCSO provides the target market, as well as noting the anticipated expenditures and created revenue streams. This research has incorporated many different patterns, designs, frames, and metaphors throughout the evaluation to draw comparisons and effectively communicate the business model to the reader. Analyzing trends and having a breadth of understanding within the law enforcement industry will support many of the innovative recommendations necessary for strategic development.
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Many diverse behavioral trends characterize law enforcement organizations. A successful department will follow local and national tendencies deemed beneficial to remain in compliance with accreditation standards. Law enforcement departments are separated in tiers by size and the dynamics vary greatly based on the population, which usually differentiate their response to trends and theories. Larger law enforcement agencies normally set the standard for trends and become trendsetters within this niche market. The use of these inclinations tends to imply law enforcement in general is metaphorically a machine desiring a transition to a transformative organization. Several of the behavioral trends and theories analyzed in this research are currently observed within the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, while others will be used in final recommendations within the business model.
According to Arnette Heintze (2019), there are presently five important trends in law enforcement having a nationwide impact on the progression of policing evolution. He catalogs the trends as follows: Leadership having a proactive approach towards police reform. The second trend focused on community engagement being critical to effective strategies. Next tendency Heintze observed is the development of service modalities based on reliance of law enforcement for initial crisis intervention. Managing complex and community expectations are the fourth trend discussed. The final law enforcement movement occurring is the growth of external oversights (Heintze, 2019).
Respectively, each of the five trends Heintze advocated centered on the common attributes of customer service. Police reform is a term used to describe the machine culture of being aggressive to establishing deeper trust within the community through accountability and transparency. Though larger, urban agencies have had serious issues in the past with establishing quality customer relationships, every agency could theoretically continue developing and solidifying relationships with the community to eliminate the notion of the machine mentality. Developing change from the metaphorical political machine to transformative organizations is strictly reliant on the ability of leadership to reframe the department over a period of time rather than rapid changes, which might cause negative reactions (Reger, Gustafson, Demarie, & Mullane, 1994).
With community involvement understandingly being critical to local strategies, many agencies including CCSO have established a dedicated community-policing unit, which allows efficient communication with each of the stakeholders through a liaison with the community. The symbiotic relationship between law enforcement and the community is a relationship that needs to be nurtured and valued. Another community involvement trend monitored by CCSO involved the conception of School Resource Officers in every school. Prior to the Parkland Shooting in Florida CCSO recognized the need for SRO’s in every school before the innovative law took effect. The typical misconception is that the primary responsibility of a SRO is for armed fortification while in actuality the goal is a community based relationship approach (Zercoe, 2019). CCSO applied the metaphors of brain and transformative for description in taking the innovative approach to have officers in every school prior to the mandate.
The third trend discussed by Heintze dealt with law enforcement responses to initial crisis intervention. As addiction and mental illness expands within several segments of our population, modalities, which are necessary, require prompt reactions to individuals in crisis from law enforcement officers. The services police officers provide allows the organization to become an organism while the brain metaphor describes the external knowledge necessary to process the sensitive issues plaguing our communities. The continued reliance for law enforcement officers in these situations are a value based strictly on a human resource frame, as the frame focuses on addressing the needs of people. Though the human resource frame normally emphasizes the employees, the roles are reversed within the community since most police officers with integrity also have empathy.
Managing the complex expectations of the community will constantly create a challenge that unfortunately most large city agencies face on a consistent basis. Constant conflicts with the media generates distrust amongst police officers and the citizens. Rather than police officers metaphorically coined as warriors, police officers should endeavor to be guardians within their local community (Thibodeau, Crow, & Flusberg, 2017). Building cooperative relationships with mass market and social media allows information to be disseminated in an unbiased fashion rather than opposed agendas. The movement to have independent external investigations for law enforcement mirror the complex expectations of the community. Neighborhoods constantly pursue a greater opinion in how they are monitored as well as the assurance of fair and impartial investigations from law enforcement (Heintze, 2019). Suspicion and cynicism grow within communities when there is an absence of communication between law enforcement organizations and its citizens.
Proper assessments of the business model starts with summarizing each of the nine facets of the business model canvas to determine the greatest value for our clientele. The customer segments served by Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office encompasses all businesses and everyone that lives, visits, or employed within the county. The agency Mission and Vision Statements clearly reflects the value provided to the community. “It is our vision that Charlotte County remain one of the safest and most enjoyable places to live and visit in the State of Florida and in the nation and for the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office to be a leader in public safety. We achieve this through innovation, technology, and community partnerships. We strive to integrate the concepts of community policing with our community and achieve our vision through collaborative problem solving” (Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, 2019).
Charlotte County’s consistently ranked as one of the safest places to live in Florida. According to Laura Allen (2016), based on the 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report, she listed Punta Gorda, our only incorporated city in Charlotte County, as the seventh safest city in Florida. Due to the professional collaboration with the Punta Gorda Police Department as well as an quality relationship with the local community, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office maintains the security expectations of the community.
Though many agencies are currently suffering a shortage of trained officers, CCSO provides a value of reliability by staffing a sufficient amount of deputies patrolling the neighborhoods to provide effective service throughout the community. According to Vidal and Mastrobuoni (2018), understanding patrol officers presence on crime deterrence is essential to a precise evaluation of whether the apportioned resource of officers is efficient. An appropriate amount of officers visually present in the area creates an additional value of safety within the community.
One of the many appreciated units within CCSO is the investigation division. Highly proficient detectives provide additional value through their success rate in solving crime. Investigations contributes to the community success through greater communications with victims of a crime. Detectives and other specialty elements focus directed patrols in high crime areas, reducing the opportunity for multiple victimizations. Favorable clearance rates are an indicator of agency effectiveness (Schultz, 2016).
Communication channels between the community and law enforcement continue through rapid evolution. Antiquated communication typically involved a phone call to a single dispatcher to dispatch a deputy to the scene. While phone service is still employed to establish contact, other forms of media are utilized to expedite the process. Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has a dedicated Public Information Officer to disseminate important information to residents and liaisons with the local media. The use of social media is a nationwide trend, which allows the organization to swiftly provide information via many varied applications to reach many segments of the county. The importance of the multiple channels of communication to the community is invaluable as knowledge is shared effectively between the agency and the public.
Customer relationships are an integral part of every law enforcement agency. Discussed earlier in behavioral trends, establishing customer relationships are the fundamental key to providing quality significance to the community. Open communication and transparency builds trust with each of our customer segments. Safety, security, and receiving accurate information are the primary expectations of the public. Trust building within the community is necessary to eliminate the machine symbolism and develop a humanistic, caring organization. The focus of customer service is fundamental to building trusting customer relationships in each customer segment.
There are many options available to create revenue streams for any organization. Some streams are obvious while others are strategically veiled. Recently, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office adopted a program called the Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion (APAD) program. The APAD program allows first-time offenders of minor, non-violent crimes diversion from a permanent police record through online education and community service. The offender has to want to cooperate with the program and assume all responsibility for the crime. The participant pays a $50 program fee, completes a mandatory, paid online class, and complete 24 hours of community service.
The public believes citations are a major revenue stream for every law enforcement agency but that notion is a complete fallacy. Local police departments are given less than one percent of the value of the citation. Monies from citations are placed in a general fund and is used towards building revenue within the city rather than strictly being used by police organizations. Law enforcement agencies do receive a portion of forfeitures captured during the commission of crimes such as vehicles and money located during drug trafficking apprehensions, which aid in future criminal seizures, and removing the source from the community.
Fees associated with incarcerations in jail are another small revenue stream. Costs charged to inmates during their stay are incurred through utilized resources such as commissary fees and legal paperwork. The largest expense inmates face during confinement is the admittance fee, as Charlotte County Jail charges each inmate $25. Another revenue stream generated in the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is from the payments for civil process serving. All of the civil paperwork for diverse domestic issues such as divorce and eviction are charged to the issuer and has a variety of costs associated with them.
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For a comprehensive assessment on the business model of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, key resources employed by this agency are going to be developed in thorough detail. The main resource in every business or organization are the employees. The all-inclusive training, which every officer completes, provides a value to the community through knowledge and empathy. The structured development program ensures expectations desired by the community can be met with positive results. Though many customer segments believe officers are robotic and machines because they react to their training, the opposite occurs as transformative, brain, and organismic metaphors are necessary for application because training creates informed deputies willing to help.
Properly maintained equipment and technology are other key resources every department anticipates to serve the community properly. Vehicles and firearms are expected to function correctly and need to be routinely maintained. Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office uses state-of-the-art technology to combat crime within the neighborhoods. Procuring updated technology allows CCSO to pass the savings onto the taxpayers by reducing crime rates.
Deputies have many daily responsibilities requiring large portions of time. One of the primary duties of a deputy is to patrol their assigned neighborhoods to deter crime. During the patrols, citizens could approach deputies and help by provided actionable intelligence. Routine or emergency calls for service also require an extended amount of time during their shift. During the service calls, deputies are obligated to treat individuals fairly to maintain positive relationships. Participating in charitable organizations is highly recommended throughout the organization to develop a greater sense of community ownership.
Key partnerships are an area, which needs greater expansion and discussion, since the inception of the business model canvas for CCSO neglected many logical facets. Partnerships are necessary for leveraging all available resources and negating the perception of instruments of domination. Partnerships start within the department by building solidarity and teamwork amongst officers while constructing trusting relationships with civic leaders and business owners (International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2014). Law enforcement agencies rely heavily on their affiliations within the community to create effective strategies against crime. The Sheriff builds relationships and partnerships with the county commissioners and other elected officials to equip the deputies properly allowing them to provide adequate security within the county.
Cooperation with other similar governmental entities generate opportunities to share ideas and resources. During natural disasters, CCSO collaborates with FEMA and other government agencies to create a value by assisting with evacuations, supplies, and shelter for our community. The partnership with each agency is apparent inside the Emergency Operations Center during hurricanes, as each agency provides ideas and information sharing that exemplifies the brain metaphor.
CCSO has a wonderful relationship with the Punta Gorda Police Department as the only other law enforcement agency inside of the county borders. Exchanging information and providing use of training facilities are examples of a transformative alliance between both departments. Punta Gorda Police Department is a smaller entity and currently utilizes CCSO’s extensive forensics laboratory and crime scene processors to assist with any larger crimes.
Many other businesses in the community are documented key partnerships with Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. Local car dealerships collaborate with the organization to service and maintain each vehicle owned by the agency. Healthcare and mental health facilities constantly network with CCSO to provide training for deputies and arranges for resources during crisis intervention situations. As explained earlier in the research, officers are expected to have swift responses to those in crisis. Treatment modalities for substance abuse and mental health issues play a vital role in the community. Discussed during revenue streams, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office partners with various non-profit organizations within the county to provide community service hours for non-violent offenders.
Budgeting within each division comprises of salaries, which are the largest expense within the yearly budget, equipment, training, and other costs associated with the business. Every year, county commissioners are presented with a final budget proposition from the Sheriff. The commissioners thoroughly argue and debate the budget to determine the appropriate needs for the community. The funds from the county are then distributed to each of the three main divisions within the Sheriff’s Office: Law enforcement, Corrections, and Courts. Equipment and maintenance are typically large costs within every department, as newer equipment is needed as old, obsolete equipment is phased out. The training budget is extensive since law enforcement agencies are mandated by law to receive massive amounts of training in high liability areas. Training well-educated employees reimburses the community through achieved expectations and met goals.
Operation of Business Model
Many people within the community do not perceive law enforcement from a business standpoint. Per David Lyons (2014), policing is a professionally provided service, which qualifies it as an actual business. Since agencies require a large operating budget, human resource demands, equipment inventories and customer relationships. Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office continues to operate the agency in accordance with accreditation standards. Focusing on core values to achieve the mission and vision statement demonstrates the success of the current business model. However, the dynamics of the agency are always fluid, opportunities for improvement exist.
Recommendations for Improvement
Throughout this business model, many potential areas for improvement were observed. CCSO and law enforcement agencies in general need to focus their improvements primarily on enhanced relationships within the community they have sworn to protect. Thibodeau and Flusberg (2017) tested their metaphorical theory by using the metaphors guardian and warrior to describe the current state of law enforcement to elicit a reaction from their focus group. They determined that describing police officers as guardians would bring to a more confident view of law enforcement compared to a “neutral control” situation, and describing police officers as warriors would provoke a more negative view of policing (Thibodeau & Flusberg, 2017). By over delivering on community expectations, the guardian connotation could again be the norm when describing police officers rather than an instrument of destruction.
With the national economy on the rise, many other careers offer better pay than a starting police officer does. Young adults currently can make more money and be safer in other endeavors. Focusing on building trust within the community allows everyone to feel safe. Safer working environments can assist with recruitment for the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. Fostering a partnership with our local college could combat the negativity about becoming a police officer while providing a quality education.
Changing the focus of law enforcement to a business based on customer service would provide greater accountability and responsibility to the community. Travis Yates (2019) discusses the conundrum facing communities with rude police officers. He concludes that a monopolistic business, such as law enforcement, need for constant improvement with customer service practices for their customer base to treat them with respect and dignity. Officers need to understand that every customer interaction is an opportunity to gather legitimate intelligence.
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office business model clearly displays an open design because of the benefits that external controls provide. However, even with the existence of use of peripheral knowledge and resources, the agency could adjust further. The business model and the recommendations for improvement all focused on establishing more community relationships and customer service approaches for Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. The agency has had proactive responses for change through adaptation, yet many recommendations exist for stronger connections with individuals and businesses throughout the county.
- Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. (2019). Mission and Vision Statement. Retrieved from Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office: https://www.ccso.org/AboutUs/missionstatement.cfm
- Heintze, A. F. (2019, January 18). Five Major Law Enforcement Trends That Will Shape 2019 . Retrieved from Hillard Heintze: https://www.hillardheintze.com/law-enforcement-consulting/5-top-law-enforcement-trends-that-will-shape-2019/
- International Association of Chiefs of Police. 2014. Midsize Police Agencies: Surviving, Thriving, and Forging a New Business Model for Law Enforcement in a Post-Recession Economy. Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
- Lyons, D. (2014, July 6). What Makes a Police Agency a Business. Retrieved from Police Business Advisor: http://policebusinessadvisor.com/2014/07/06/what-makes-a-police-agency-a-business/
- Reger, R. K., Gustafson, L. T., Demarie, S. M., & Mullane, J. V. (1994). Reframing the organization: Why implementing total quality is easier said than done. Academy of Management. The Academy of Management Review, 19(3), 565.
- Schultz, P. (2016, October). How to Assess and Improve Operations of Small Law Enforcement Agencies. Retrieved from Justice Technology Information Center: https://www.justnet.org/pdf/How-to-Assess-and-Improve-Operations-of-Small-Law-Enforcement-Agencies.pdf
- Thibodeau, P. H., Crow, L., & Flusberg, S. J. (2017). The metaphor police: A case study of the role of metaphor in explanation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24(5), 1375-1386.
- Thibodeau, Paul H., & Flusberg, Stephen J. (2017). Metaphors, Roles, and Controls in Framing Studies. In CogSci. 3326-3331.
- Vidal, J. B., & Mastrobuoni, G. (2018, May 9). Police Patrols and Crime. Retrieved from Cato Institute: https://www.cato.org/publications/research-briefs-economic-policy/police-patrols-crime
- Yates, T. (2019, February 1). Does Law Enforcment Have a Customer Service Problem. Retrieved from Law Officer: https://lawofficer.com/exclusive/does-law-enforcement-have-a-customer-service-problem/
- Zercoe, C. (2019, February 13). Our first line of defense: Training and recruiting school resource officers. Retrieved from PoliceOne: https://www.policeone.com/school-safety/articles/our-first-line-of-defense-training-and-recruiting-school-resource-officers-kcz2Pgbjrvppd4a3/
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