Failure is easy to deal with; it is success that gives us the bigger problems. Let me clarify this statement. When things go wrong, we look to identify the problems and then develop the solutions for them. However, when things go right, we rarely look for improvements; instead, we often choose to congratulate ourselves or become enamored with our success. In other words, success breeds complacency. I discussed the complacent leadership environment and the negative effects it has on organizational change back in Chapter 9. Here I want to expand upon this idea. In the late 1990s, after a rather blemished response to a riot involving a sport-related celebration that got out of hand, my agency focused on making changes to our response protocols. In the next several years we standardized our force response structure, provided training to our officers, and have, in my opinion, become very adept at dealing with unruly crowds. The problem is that the response protocols have been so successful that we often find ourselves, because of the way we respond, being criticized for sending officers in riot gear to what the public perceives to be peaceful gatherings. On more than one occasion, the agency has provided an almost industry-standard response to questions regarding this type of officer deployment, which is that the officers were operating within departmental policy and procedures in order to enhance officer and public safety.
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