The CopDoc Podcast: Aiming for Excellence in Leadership

The CopDoc Podcast - A Conversation with Chief Jay Sartell - Ep 003

January 11, 2021 thecopdoc Season 1 Episode 3
The CopDoc Podcast: Aiming for Excellence in Leadership
The CopDoc Podcast - A Conversation with Chief Jay Sartell - Ep 003
The CopDoc Podcast: Aiming for Excellence in Leadership
The CopDoc Podcast - A Conversation with Chief Jay Sartell - Ep 003
Jan 11, 2021 Season 1 Episode 3

Police Chief Jay Sartell, Townsend, MA Police Department,  discusses the state of policing today with Steve Morreale on The CopDoc Podcast.

Show Notes Transcript

Police Chief Jay Sartell, Townsend, MA Police Department,  discusses the state of policing today with Steve Morreale on The CopDoc Podcast.

[00:00:02.670] - Introduction

Welcome to The CopDoc Podcast. This podcast explores police leadership issues and innovative ideas. The CopDoc shares thoughts and ideas as he talks with leaders in policing, communities, academia and other government agencies. And now, please join Dr. Steve Morreale and Industry thought leaders as they share their insights and experience on The CopDoc Podcast.


[00:00:32.760] - Steve Morreale

Hello, everybody. This is Steve Morreale and this is the podcast. I have the pleasure of interviewing James Sartell, Jay Sartell, now the chief in Townsend in Massachusetts, previously the chief of police in Hollis, New Hampshire is here. Welcome Jay. 


[00:00:46.200] - Steve Morreale

Good morning, Jay, how are you doing?  Thanks for joining The CopDoc podcast. I want to start talking about how you got drawn into policing.


[00:00:57.870] - Jay Sartell

Sure. Well, first of all, I was very thank you very much for having me on. I really do appreciate it. We've known each other for quite some time. And it's funny, we've talked for years about taking down some of and recording some of our conversations because we do cover some ground depending on the contemporary issues of the day.  Again, I am the chief of police in towns in Massachusetts. I've been here for about three years.


[00:01:17.760] - Jay Sartell

I "retired" from New Hampshire back in twenty seventeen from Hollis, New Hampshire, a small department of less than 20 people on the Massachusetts border after doing about 20 years there. Prior to that, I worked at the New Hampshire Department of Corrections, where I got my start in policing in general, got my college degrees on the job, as we've talked about a lot over the years, Steve. I got them when I was at the Department of Corrections and throughout my policing career, I finally graduated with my master's from Boston University in 2010.


[00:01:51.990] - Jay Sartell

Since then, I've done some academic work. I work for a bunch of different colleges and I do some training, in-service training for internal investigations and things of that nature just to kind of keep fresh rebuilding a department here in Townsend, which is a much different situation than what I had in New Hampshire, has really caused me to see things differently, quite frankly, has helped me a lot professionally understand the problems facing our profession and the problems facing the citizenry in general with a department that isn't functioning as the citizens need.


[00:02:22.560] - Jay Sartell

So it's been an interesting ride, as discussed in many of your classes over the years as well. It's varied. It takes forms and a lot of different ways as far as improving a police department. But it really does start with community and end really with community policing. I am on the Community Policing Committee at IACP and I've been there since about 2016. I'm in my second term now. I've really learned a lot about delivering police services in a manner that's consistent with the values of your town and that really at the end of the day is what we need both at the local and federal level.


[00:02:54.030] - Jay Sartell

Really, we need to deliver government services that way. And it's really a refreshing what's old is new and what's new is broken almost if you think of it that way. But I've really gotten a lot out of that. And a return to those principles is something that I see across the industry taking hold and really gaining some steam.


[00:03:13.380] - Steve Morreale

So what you just said caught my attention because Earl Sweeney many, many years ago, who used to be the director of the National Police Standards and Training, which would actually wrote an article that was it was called Old Wine in a New Border Community Policing, which was interesting. But let me let me ask you this. You've been a leader for how long?


[00:03:36.090] - Jay Sartell

Well, you know, I think it isn't isn't really leadership a job entry requirement in law enforcement. I mean, for all in all in all seriousness, I really do believe that. So at some level, I think when you step up and you decide you're going to be in this line of work, whether it's in corrections or in policing, I think you make a step forward as a leader right then and there. As far as leading other Type A personalities in a law enforcement setting, I think probably since I was a sergeant, which would be back in the early 20's, I think is when I got my first promotion.


[00:04:06.900] - Jay Sartell

But I think it largely depends on your police department. I think rank is not the biggest indicator of leadership, in my humble opinion. I think if you go to a police department as a consultant or if you're working with the police department, you'll find out real quick who the actual "leader" is of that department, who the movers and shakers are sometimes is not consistent with their rank. And I always kind of did have the opportunity. Thank God for Chief Dick Darling was the man that hired me, always gave me the opportunity to kind of operate it, kind of a tick above my rank, if you will.


[00:04:38.580] - Jay Sartell

So I think probably about 2000. I really started to get my act together and really start to lead to the department in the direction of,  you know, of a department that I thought was what which should be had to give police services in those times.


[00:04:54.990] - Steve Morreale

So. If you go back to 2000, as you stop being responsible for yourself and responsible for moving or moving the organization forward, helping other people see their roles in a different perspective, can you tell us about a time where you'd made a mistake in attempting to lead and what you learned from that?


[00:05:23.400] - Jay Sartell

Oh, yeah. Oh, Steve, I'll tell you, it's one of the biggest things or biggest considerations I make now relative to promotion is I think I was making decisions and had decisions pushed toward me that were inconsistent with my experience level and my skills were OK, meaning my instincts and my moral compass. And those things I think helped get me through those times. But there is no substitute for experience. There just isn't. And I think when you're making those decisions early on without the benefit of experience, they may work theoretically.


[00:05:58.140] - Jay Sartell

You may have read them. You may have talked in examples and seen them work in other places. But the dynamics of these types of decisions we make on a daily basis sometimes don't apply to the department you're at or to the division you're in. So, yeah, many, many, I would think my biggest ones, though, where I've learned the most. And isn't that an interesting thing? You know, you learn the most from mistakes, not from victories, I think anyways, where on the hiring front, you know, cutting kids slack in background, looking at things that of that nature, are not transferring old behavior to new behavior, not understanding the benefit of testing and assessment in looking at that from an objective standpoint.


[00:06:41.070] - Jay Sartell

And over the years, it's really caused me to expand the amount of people that are in our hiring process from stem to stern, because I like as many eyes on that process as possible internally. And I think that was where I really made the mistakes. Luckily, and it really is luck. They never really bit the time that I worked in all the towns I've worked in relative to a negligent hiring, anything goofy like that. But I can look back and I can actually see and make those connections now where, you know, I always say, you know.


[00:07:11.100] - Jay Sartell

My 45-year old is much different person then 25-year old. And I think as much as he wanted to do what was right, he did not have the benefit of experience. And I think that that's a big part of it. And I used to pooh-pooh it, to be very honest. I had a couple of guys that were already retired on duty above me in that department and get out of my way. If you lead, follow or get out of the way was always my mentality.


[00:07:32.820] - Jay Sartell

And I did not, I don't think value as much as I do now. What experience does now? You can have experience and it can actually work against you because a fish doesn't know it's wet. You don't know you're in a department that doesn't follow best practices. You don't know that it's not OK to do the things and kind of further the processes that are in place. So it can be a double-edged sword. And when we say experience, we mean experience in a good way.


[00:07:58.530] - Jay Sartell

It's hard to take the helm of a department in a new rank with a new set of duties, with a new set of skills that are necessary to carry out those duties if there are not already processes in place. I look at career development kind of in a way that a sergeant gets on and he begins to do his job. And what he does is he inherits some processes, whether or not they're quality control processes with his department, with his officers, you know, reviewing their work product, doing monthly reviews, doing cleaning reports, doing case management.


[00:08:28.860] - Jay Sartell

And as he gets better or she gets better at their job, they then start to make recommendations to improve those processes. That's career development, step one. Then as they go down the road, then they say, wait a second, this has to be redesigned from the beginning and you start to see it emerge over-time where they begin process management. And the girl or guy that's ready to be LT has now transitioned to a place where they can build process from the ground up.


[00:08:55.500] - Jay Sartell

So now they're not just capable of kind of retooling and make it more efficient, but they're actually better at adept at creating it from scratch. We have this that needs to get done. Walk me through that and Fredrick Taylor type fashion with a conveyor belt. It goes. Here it goes. There it goes here. And again, I didn't value that and see that as much as I do now because we didn't have that type of a focus in our career development program or process at the department I've worked in.


[00:09:26.550] - Steve Morreale

So. You said R.O.D, retired on duty. Is it ever possible to salvage those people with the right mindset and the mentality? Have you found approaching people who have. Been burned out, have turned off that there is still the possibility, or at least it's a good attempt to try to win them back and make them more productive.


[00:09:55.850] - Jay Sartell

I do, and I think a lot of our energy, Steve, needs to be in that area, our best tool that we have at our disposal for staffing is retention, because if we think we can keep up with the rate of attrition, which I don't, I submit to you the academy and I'm talking with them on a daily basis, practically people in that realm, it's hard enough to keep up with attrition before the pandemic and before criminal justice reform.


[00:10:20.630] - Jay Sartell

So if we're going to keep those numbers where they need to be to deliver good police services, we really do have to focus on the staff that is currently at our departments. There's no question about that. You cannot talk about recruitment without talking about retention as part of the strategy. I just don't think it's it's wise to do that. It's fiscally imprudent as well. But absolutely I do. I have run into that quite a bit. And one of the one of my best friends, Russell Hox the retired chief, and he was the one before me, was completely and absolutely.


[00:10:47.270] - Jay Sartell

And I'd say if he was in the room, retired on duty when I got promoted the first time and got moved into detectives, he was absolutely done, just checked out. He had been looked over for promotion a number of times, was worn out, had was already passed, eclipsed that 20-year mark and was just waiting for AIDS or something at that time. And he was just completely around. And he and I were friendly because he had done my background and he knew a lot about me.


[00:11:13.670] - Jay Sartell

We were friendly outside of the job and we had a couple really deep talks. And I think what happened with him as it was getting them back to the why and why do you do this? Why are you wasting your skill? Why do you let these other things kind of way you down? And I was very, very eager. And Steve, you know, my personality and I don't sit long. I really, really dove in with both feet into that detective's job there and went to Hudson, a neighboring town, really looked at the way they conducted investigations.


[00:11:42.680] - Jay Sartell

And I'll never forget, we were the chief would come in and get a status report and he would come in. Where you at with these cases and where you at with your cases? And he left one day and I said, Russell, that's B.S. and I'm not doing that anymore. You're full of crap. You didn't you haven't called that dude back. You haven't done this. This is wrong. You didn't even meet with those people.


[00:12:01.580] - Jay Sartell

That thing's been sitting there for the last three weeks before you and I actually brought in a case management program built from an access database or something simple. And I said, we don't want to be there. We don't want to be in a situation where you've told the chief you're doing things and they're not being done. And one of these things blows up. It's crap. Yeah, I know it. You know it. But what he'll tell you and he is he said as much at my retirement party, believe it or not.


[00:12:27.710] - Jay Sartell

It is like it just it really infused him with a level of energy one to know that he was doing a very important job poorly, frankly, and then two, that he wanted to do the job the right way. He was very good at it. I mean, you know him, Steve. He's a phenomenal police officer, great leader, fantastic chief. It really got him back to the why and he really pulled him out from that if the job became fun again.



And we all know what I mean. Those of us that have worked the road and worked in detectives and worked in investigations know what it's like to have fun on the job. It's not to make light of the things we're dealing with, but it can be a fun job because you do get a lot of fulfillment from helping victims from holding people accountable for their actions. So absolutely, Steven. And I think that in any department, as a part of your recruitment and retention strategy, you should have one of your first-line supervisors running point on that very issue, deciding who needs of who needs a little spruce, where he needs to go to a class that he really likes and gets him back into his now to remember that he likes this job.


[00:13:32.640] - Jay Sartell

You know, you don't like all of it. None of us do. But he came for a certain reason and none of us came in this job to get rich. And I do think that that's a very important component to recruitment and retention in twenty, twenty-one, certainly. Well, that's helpful. I think what's raised in my mind as you're talking is perhaps either your acceptance or disdain for status quo. How do you challenge the status quo?


[00:13:58.430] - Jay Sartell

Because so many times you'll walk into an agency and you'll try to change something and many people around you will say, what's wrong with what we're doing now? How do you challenge that? How do you broach that? How do you bring that up? How do you put in the minds of command staff and people who work for you that there might be a better way to do things?


[00:14:21.470] - Jay Sartell

Yeah, that's a that's that's the that's it. Right. I mean, that's what every head coach in America is asking themselves today after all those college football games Saturday and all those NFL games Sunday. Right. I mean, that's really what you need to do is motivate people to do their jobs. One of the things I find in the Commonwealth, more so than I found in New Hampshire is a lack of confidence in the institutions that exist, especially in 2020 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where you have some district attorneys that do not see things the same way as their colleagues in the executive branch of government.


[00:14:57.160] - Jay Sartell

And that has really created a lot of conflict. And maybe DCF, the Department of Children and Families, doesn't do things that you think they should have followed up in the last 12 cases you forwarded there. And same with DMV. It's a monstrosity. They've they failed to tell New Hampshire about. A gentleman loses his license, five people get killed, DCF not missing children. I mean, all these crazy stories we've heard over the years, you look at the Annie Duke MKC watching stuff on Netflix about Boston PD.


[00:15:25.150] - Jay Sartell

That one's crazy watching the one before that about the state lab. And it chips away at our confidence in institutions. And you have to forgive my language. But I tell guys, hey, just because everybody else sucks doesn't mean we have to suck. And if you think of it that way, so you're going to be bad at your job because you think everybody else is bad at their job, would you tell your son that? Would you tell your daughter that?


[00:15:47.110] - Jay Sartell

Is that a way? Is that those lessons that we would like to pass on to future generations? And I'll tell you, Stephen, when you challenged men and women at that level, you need to be good at your job. What is your job? You take it to the water's edge. That's what your job is. And when I gave it to that institution, whether or not it be the division of children or elder services or the court system or whatever, you need to have thick skin and you do your job and your spot on the conveyor belt, make it as easy as you can for the next guy or girl to further it down as we go down the road of justice.


[00:16:19.810] - Jay Sartell

But that really does help. And I look at it that interjecting a little competition and interjecting a little pride in what you do and you're going to walk it. That's the other thing. You have to walk. You have to be down there throwing elbows while you're trying to get resources for your men and women to do their job and show that you're willing to get get in the trenches as well. And I don't mean in wrestling with drunks at two o'clock in the morning necessarily.


[00:16:43.810] - Jay Sartell

I mean, you are investing yourself in this and you do have you are conducting yourself in the manner in which are demanding that they do. So I do think it's an incredibly important thing, but you need to challenge your people and again, forgive the language. But just because everybody else sucks doesn't mean you have to. If that's as nasty as you need to get to explain it. But I have that conversation frequently, particularly about prosecuting or not prosecuting cases, whether or not the DA's office or the particular assistant that you're dealing with now wants to or is willing to move that down the field for you.


[00:17:18.850] - Jay Sartell

It doesn't matter to me. I do my job to the way that we think needs to be done. And in keeping with the value system of the town of Townsend. And if the district attorney wants to do something different, that's their prerogative. And I think you can apply that in the different facets of our job. And I think you do a decent job doing a challenge. It's that's why athletes make good police officers sometimes because they understand that challenge.


[00:17:40.450] - Jay Sartell

Sometimes the refs aren't with you. Sometimes you're on the visiting turf. Sometimes the crowd's not with you. That doesn't mean you stop doing your job to the best of your ability. You owe it to yourself, your to your family, and you took an oath and you can't forget that.


[00:17:56.470] - Steve Morreale

There's so much criticism about police today. Some of it is earned and some of it is Inherited almost through generalization, that cop-out there in Minneapolis, that cop in Charleston, that cop in Boston, that cop in Seattle, and then it gets drawn into your badge and your patch and your agency. How do you fight that back, given that policing is the 24/7  social outlet for so many problems, while everybody else who should be a 24/7 service organization is off on the weekends?


[00:18:36.190] - Steve Morreale

So to talk about that and talk about how you work with your people to remind them of what their job is, that service, the customer service operation that you run?


[00:18:51.760] - Jay Sartell

Sure. I think the first part of it really dovetails well with the conversation we just had. Right. About doing your job, in spite of the challenges, the fact that an officer doing or not doing his job in Minnesota or Wisconsin or North Dakota impacts me here in Massachusetts is something that you can take to your people, because what they do also impacts people the other way. So if out there right now there's a state representative and she or he has a bloc of people together and they're looking to fix some of the stuff that you're raging against, and you're so upset about the way that they handle drunk driving or drug arrests or misplaced children or domestic violence, you pick the issue and all they need is to illustrate that the men and women out there in the trenches are bringing the cases forward, that doing good work.


[00:19:39.910] - Jay Sartell

But where here is the point of failure, how are they to identify the port of failure? If you've you've kind of almost expanded the point of failure to be at the police department. So you can almost use that as ammunition for you do your job well. And if we all do our jobs well, the weakest link becomes strong. And then we were able to pull these things out of the ditch. And that's a huge thing. I think, Stephen, the broader discussion about legitimacy is where we're at in this this discussion and what you would just ask that that strikes at the legitimacy of our institutions.


[00:20:13.300] - Jay Sartell

And I think Chief Brown had said after the Dallas incident of five officers being shot about us asking and demanding police to do too many things, that strikes at our legitimacy because we've expanded our basic scope. Remember, in principle, our basic mission is to prevent crime and disorder. When we move off of that basic mission into other areas and we either fail or can't get the job done or what have you. It strikes away at our legitimacy. And then, therefore, what do we have these people doing?


[00:20:43.510] - Jay Sartell

What is their job? I don't think the average person in the United States thinks anymore that the basic mission of the police is those two things it's expanded to after school care in some communities. Right. And in parts of the world, it's the delivery of birth control and things that we wouldn't even understand. But we are on that path to expanding the mandate of police. And if you think about it, we strike. We strike at their legitimacy constantly.


[00:21:09.490] - Jay Sartell

Look at immigration law, for instance. Do we adhere to the laws that are on the books relative to immigration? The answer is no. Moved out at the firearms. And well, first, why do we not? Because they're wieldy. Because they don't make sense in 2021. Because  our leaders can't get together and puts other stuff together. There's a variety of reasons. Firearms, same thing. We don't adhere to the laws.


[00:21:31.450] - Jay Sartell

We don't enforce them as written. We don't agree what they should be, but we also don't agree on how to change them. And you take that and you think about that. So what does that mean? What does the law and order, what does law and order rather mean to somebody who knows that they either are breaking the law or that their neighbor is and is not being held accountable either way? What does that do to that legitimacy in the eyes of those people?


[00:21:53.230] - Jay Sartell

And then now expand that to the covid-19 pandemic on Halloween, for instance, you know that the town cancels trick or treating. OK, so who's enforcing this mask mandate and who's enforcing bands of marauding children moving from house to house on a cul de sac? You left me with two very, very difficult choices. One, I have that contact with the little band of tricks my men do. And women do have contact with them in that little boy or a little girl who might be six or seven years old, thinks one of two things.


[00:22:26.200] - Jay Sartell

One, either, wow, this is the silliest, stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life. It doesn't make any sense. I'm on my cul de sac. I ride the school bus every day. This is my pod, if you will, with these people or you make the choice of fellas, don't make any contact at all. Or if you do, just don't say anything about the no masking. You shouldn't be trick or treating. So then instead of thinking this here's this man enforcing a stupid law, the same child is then posed with this.


[00:22:53.890] - Jay Sartell

Here's a man who should be enforcing a law but isn't. So either way, you're damned if you do as a police officer could not get out of that without a strike for his. Legitimacy other than to do what most agencies did, which is fine because there's no contact there, that's going to be good for society and certainly good for legitimacy. So that's a goofy example. But if you expand that and talk about our legitimacy as an institution, you can see we're striking away at it.


[00:23:22.010] - Jay Sartell

And again, that's a Peelian principle, is it not? You're supposed to adhere to the law. The judges do the judging. The enforcement is the enforcement, and it's appealing in principle. And we've strayed from that in immigration. Now we have sanctuary cities and you have the firearms people saying, why can't we have sanctuary cities from firearms laws? I mean, this is a this is the Mad Hatter would be happy to be president in a time when we just don't like the law so we don't enforce it.


[00:23:51.530] - Jay Sartell

And that's not good for legitimacy. And we're not having that discussion for because of the politics of it and because of the us versus them and the team colors that we wear. But I do think that that has a very caustic effect on our legitimacy and therefore on our ability to procure resources for our people. So as you drive the vision, here you are at a police department a few miles away from the border of New Hampshire, and you walk in and you're this guy from New Hampshire and now you're in charge.


[00:24:22.860] - Steve Morreale

How do you drive the vision of customer-centricity, of being customer service oriented, about an agency trying to understand its people, police its people, with a community policing mindset and helping people, those that we can? How do you drive that discussion? That conversation?


[00:24:47.520] - Jay Sartell

Yeah, it's funny. I thought you were going to move on to something different and actually scratched on my notepad here, customer service, because I do think that that's a humongous part of the job is understanding that piece of it. But, you know, I think you walk it, Stephen, you out you you have to walk it. So it depends on where the officer is. To be honest, I don't think it's a one size fits all about how to push this vision on anybody.


[00:25:10.140] - Jay Sartell

It's a group of people. And they come at this issue from all kinds of different angles. They've been trained all different types of ways by all different types of mentors. So it depends for the person or for the officer that does the job for the right reasons, Stephen. And you can start to see that in their work. You can continue to play that up. You can continue to point to the righteousness of our job. The reason we do it, the why it's important for society.


[00:25:37.140] - Jay Sartell

It's important that we send our kids to safe schools and they play in safe neighborhoods and that the elderly folks are not exploited. And, you know, you tap into the humanity of why we do this job. That's a humongous piece of it. And I think that that's a driving and motivating factor. They talk about stress and stress inoculation, but also in relieving stress. And one of the ways you relieve stress is by performing service. It makes you feel better.


[00:26:02.550] - Jay Sartell

You see the results of your hard work and that has a fulfillment in it. And it kind of closes the circle if you have someone that's not there, Stephen. And that got in the job for different reasons. And there's a lot you know, there are a lot of people out there like that. There's no question you can start to discuss it in terms of you're always negotiating your next contract. And in order to get resources from the people, your customers, the people and the citizens of town, you need to provide a service and then you need to prove that you're providing the service.


[00:26:31.230] - Jay Sartell

And you can really make a more pragmatic argument about customer service because you're pleasing the customer so that they then in turn would give you resources to help you do your job. And it's a constant process of education to teach citizenry what we need to do our jobs. But it's also in the same vein is you're deriving what your need to do the job from them because they tell you what to do. And I think once you come to terms with that piece of it and you learn from people in the neighborhood what is happening in the neighborhood, you can take that and broaden it a little bit for people.


[00:27:07.110] - Jay Sartell

So I think making the sale, if you will, depends on the officer involved. But as an institution, you start from why we got into this the first in the first place, what our basic missions are. And then how do we fulfill that basic mission? How do you know how a customer likes his or her hamburger? If you don't ask them, it doesn't make any sense. So I think when you look at it that way and I also point out when that happens, even when people don't realize it, when an officer does something and I can point something out of this particular case that he or she worked where I can see that community policing.


[00:27:41.580] - Jay Sartell

No, wait a second. That's not I work a special unit in town or I'm shaking hands. No, no. Community policing is you go out with a neighborhood thing. You did a knock and talk and you found out three houses down that little Jimmy drives the red car. And that is a break in the case that makes this go one way. That's community policing, that's informing the neighborhood about what's going on and asking them about the quality of life issues that will eventually lead to crime.


[00:28:06.870] - Jay Sartell

One of the things I'm learning as we roll down the road, Stephen, is that community policing is also all the programs that we elicit in that we know that we study and then we put into practice. They do not work everywhere. Broken Windows theory is a great theory. It works in a lot of instances. But you can look at the homeless situation in L.A. a few years back where they tried a broken Windows theory to approach that. And I really would like to hear more from the sheriff's department because I think they were involved in addition to LAPD with that where they really did.


[00:28:39.420] - Jay Sartell

They turned up the enforcement pieces of that homeless initiative and it resulted in a cascading set of problems. Then people were on default warrants because they were caught trespassing or vagrancy or whatever the heck the law may be, and it compounded the issue rather than solved the issue. So when broken Windows theory may be exactly the medicine you need in a community with a high foreclosure rate where there's abandoned houses, it may not work on Skid Row. So I do think you need to be kind of flexible in it, but I think illustrates the larger point of it really is customer-driven.


[00:29:16.360] - Jay Sartell

And the customer in that instance is the homeless people versus the customer in the other instances, which might be the banks in the other neighbors in that community. So you do have to have all the stakeholders in the room. So we're winding down and this has gone very, very quickly and I appreciate your time and energy, but a question I would have is, do you work to mentor other upcoming leaders in how to run meetings, how to communicate better, how to make decisions and how to deal with other people?


[00:29:55.440] - Jay Sartell

I think it's the blind spot in leadership development, frankly. We talk a lot and it's like anything when you develop a curriculum at the police academy, you have a pie and you can only slice out things so many times if you're going to you want to include information about how to deal with autistic children. That's a slice of the pie. The next thing is how to communicate with diverse populations. Another slice of the pie and you get to a point where that's you just you don't have enough time.


[00:30:20.520] - Jay Sartell

And I think we've done that with, you know, with certainly with leadership and career development. And I think you're touching on a major blind spot, I think goes back to the earlier discussion we were having about how our processes. Right. The department needs to have a process in place for that leader to inherit and then for them to make their own. So you almost have to promulgate that, Stephen, in your policies and procedures within the agency set in motion a mechanism from which they can communicate to their people into the large organization in general.


[00:30:53.190] - Jay Sartell

But on the micro-level. Yeah, absolutely. And it starts small. I think your sergeant should be having monthly meetings with their squad. We have a monthly review process in Hollis. I'm really trying to adopt that here where you meet with your four or five guys every month. You look at their activity, look at any notable things that had happened in the patrol division, ask them if they've had any problems with people or equipment and you learn through that.


[00:31:15.240] - Jay Sartell

And then when you're ready to ascend to the next level, you can build on those micro communications into a more of a macro communication. You know, I do think it's very, very important. And I think oftentimes we assess skills that are not necessarily the ones that are going to drive success at the next level, but drove success at the current level. And that is a big mistake. The Peter principle or what different whatever phraseology you want to use.


[00:31:40.080] - Jay Sartell

But, you know, oftentimes you can be the greatest Petroleos in the world. To be the greatest salesman in the world doesn't mean you going to be the great general manager. It just a completely different set of skill sets. And I do think communication is critical in any juncture. But when you leave being a sergeant, you become a lieutenant. Everything that comes out of your mouth is official. On behalf of the department you speaking for, there are no more off-the-record discussions.


[00:32:01.980] - Jay Sartell

There's no discussions at the gas pump about the chief's being a jerk or this is stupid or that's dumb with this dispatcher. It is horrible. You can't have those off the record discussions and that's a learning curve and a half for people. And hopefully they learn by listening to the lieutenants that are there then to know that those days are over rather than the first big mistake they get when they held on to some information they were obligated to share. So, yeah, I do think that and I but I think it needs to be handled in a little bit more formal way.


[00:32:29.310] - Jay Sartell

Stephen, it's one of the issues I think we're having with this. The delivery of content now and training is how do you get that piece of it through? I know Roger Williams does a good job of kind of making guys get out of their shells a little bit at their command training and put on presentations and those things. And I know that there are evaluations, probably take a knock doing that because you're pulling guys out of their comfort zone.


[00:32:49.680] - Jay Sartell

But you know something? I got to tell you, as the chief of police here, I hope you do it to my people when I send them there, whether or not they like it because it's baptism by fire when it comes to communication, because you can be thrust into a situation where you're dealing with a really unruly crowd, with a news camera, with a press pool now with a grieving mom or dad. I mean, you really do need to have to be quick on your feet and know what to say, but also what not to say.


[00:33:15.090] - Steve Morreale

So, we've run out of time. But I have to say that this has been fascinating, that you may not see yourself as a thought-leader, but in my mind, that's exactly what you are. And I appreciate the time and energy you've given. We will be back to talk about some other things. And but I want to thank Chief Jay Sartell, the chief of the Townsend, Mass Police Department for joining me. I'm Steve Morrreale and you've been listening to the podcast.


[00:33:41.070] - Steve Morreale

Please tune in for other episodes in the near future. Thanks. Thank you, Jim.


[00:33:47.220] - Jay Sartell

You're very welcome.