(2) Discussion Responses: Public Safety Organization Strategic Plan


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Each discussion must have a minimum word count of 300 words. Cite you sources

Discussion #1 (Lee Gibson)

Huntsville Police Department and the City of Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama sits at the north central tip of Alabama less than an hour from Tennessee in the last vestiges of the Smokey Mountains. The city, which was named the second-best place to live by US News and World Reports 2023-2024 rankings (Vollers, n.d.) has a metropolitan population of slightly under 500,000. The city is home to several federal government entities including a large Army installation, NASA center, FBI center, and local offices for every major defense contractor. In addition to the government sector, the Huntsville metro serves as a technology and manufacturing hub for Amazon, Facebook, Polaris, Toyota, Mazda, and Blue Origin to name a few. The Huntsville Police Department (HPD) employees approximately 500 sworn officers and 200 non-sworn personnel with an operating budget of roughly $57 million (HPD Annual Report, n.d.). HPD performs its mission from three geographically dispersed precincts which employee the full gamut of specialized units. In addition to the standard divisions and units, HPD has instituted a number of community outreach programs to include community resource officers, co-responders for mental health contacts, rangers, and citizen police academies.

Mission, Vision, and Values

HPD lists its mission, vision, and values as follows from the 2022 Annual Report:

Mission – The Huntsville Police Department serves our community by protecting life, liberty, and property. We defend the constitutional rights of all people with compassion, fairness, integrity, and professionalism.

Vision – The Huntsville Police Department provides the highest quality police services to our citizens, and partners with our community to identify and resolve problems. We will evaluate and improve our efforts to enhance public safety and improve the quality of life for all people in Huntsville. We fulfill this vision by being efficient and firm in our pursuit of justice, tempered with empathy, compassion, and a conscientious respect for the diverse community we serve. We execute our duties in an impartial, ethical, and professional manner. We never stray from our values.

Values – These core values serve as the foundation for the facets of the Huntsville Police Department: Professionalism, Integrity, Courage, Knowledge, Compassion, Accountability.

Challenges and Issues

The primary challenge the HPD currently has is the rapidly expanding footprint and population of both the city of Huntsville and the metro-area which provides an increasing number of commuters each day. HPD, like many other local police departments, has struggled to maintain its full strength and needs to increase further to keep up with the increasing population and subsequent increase in crime. The HPD Strategic Plan (n.d.) notes 66 vacant sworn positions and 71 vacant non-sworn positions as of its 2021 publishing. On the positive side, the plan notes an increase of 30 authorized positions by the city council; however, if the positions cannot be filled the authorization is only on paper. The increases will not only include personnel but also the equipment necessary for them to successfully accomplish the mission.

Another challenge involves the need to continue to engage with the community and build back the trust and respect of certain segments of the population. Huntsville has not been immune to the nationwide issues surrounding the public distrust and dislike of police, spurred on by interactions during mass demonstrations and a police shooting that resulted in the conviction of an officer on manslaughter charges.

HPD Strategic Plan

The HPD Strategic Plan details strategic goals which are broken down into four functional areas. With respect to the issues discussed above, numerous goals have been identified which will attempt to address or correct the challenges.


To address the issue of public trust and confidence, HPD has made it a goal to utilize the public information officer to provide timely and meaningful information to the public to increase transparency (another goal). This goal is directly in line with the stated values of integrity and accountability.


The recruitment challenge is addressed in goal 2.1 with an emphasis on utilizing best practices in filling the vacancies. What those best practices are is not explained but will hopefully include empirically tested strategies. Maintaining the proper level of personnel provides the means to accomplish the areas of the mission and vision statements concerning “serving the community” and providing “the highest quality police services” (HPD Annual Report, n.d., p. 8).

Biblical Worldview

Proverbs 11:14 states, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Organizations, and those who lead them, must work from a plan to know if they are successful. The creation and implementation of a plan requires an abundance of support and assistance from key players within the organization and sometimes from without.


English Standard Version Bible. (2010). Bible Gateway. https://biblegateway.com/

Huntsville Police Department. (n.d.). 2022 Annual Report. City of Huntsville, Alabama. https://www.huntsvilleal.gov/residents/public-safety/huntsville-police/police-operations/annual-reports

Huntsville Police Department. (n.d.). 2022-2024 Strategic Report. City of Huntsville, Alabama. https://www.huntsvilleal.gov/residents/public-safety/huntsville-police/police-operations/annual-report

Vollers, A.C. (n.d.). Huntsville, Alabama. US News. https://realestate.usnews.com/places/alabama/huntsville

Discussion #2 ( James Johnson)

This discussion is to identify the Alaska Department of Corrections Division of Pretrial, Probation & Parole as the criminal justice agency chosen for the public agency organization strategic plan assignment. The following paragraphs will present the mission, vision, and values of the division, including the mission and vision of the parent department overseeing the division. Challenges and other issues the organization faces will be examined. Two main goals from the strategic plan will be explored. Lastly, a Christian perspective will be presented.

The Alaska Department of Corrections has an overarching mission and vision proudly posted on the top of its website. The mission and vision appear very broad due to the necessity to be reflected in the diversity displayed by the many components of the department.

“The Alaska Department of Corrections provides secure confinement, reformative programs, and a process of supervised community reintegration to enhance the safety of our communities. We are trained professionals committed to a safe, open and respectful organization. We are dedicated to public safety and will always respect the rights and dignity of victims of crime. Offenders in our charge will be treated in a safe and humane manner, and will be expected to enhance their ability to reform every day” (State of Alaska, 2023).

The Division of Pretrial, Probation & Parole is one of four divisions under the Alaska Department of Corrections. This division has its own set of mission, vision, and values beneath the umbrella of the department. They are found on the State of Alaska’s Pretrial, Probation & Parole (2023) website as follows:


The Alaska Department of Corrections, Division of Pretrial, Probation, and Parole, strives to help provide positive change in every town, village, and neighborhood in Alaska by enhancing public safety, assisting the court with the fair administration of justice for victims and defendants, and by providing quality supervision that holds defendants accountable, while connecting them to community partners and resources that can provide an individual the tools for long-term change and success. We utilize evidence-based and effective supervision to improve the successful community reintegration of pretrial defendants, probationers, and parolees.


We pledge to serve Alaska’s diverse population through objective, legal, and evidence-based community supervision, while respecting the rights of victims, defendants, probationers, and parolees. We are committed to promoting a healthier, stronger, safer Alaska.


ACCOUNTABILITY: Self and team accountability are an important part of our values Being accountable to our communities, victims and those under community supervision. We enhance public safety by upholding this value. Taking personal responsibility for clear communication, control of emotions and respect of others. We are safe to positively influence other team members to live up to our team values.

SUCCESS: Hold the highest standards of professionalism, skills and knowledge. We promote the success of those in our charge by connecting them to the resources necessary for positive behavioral change. Learn from our successes and our mistakes.

COMMITMENT: Dedication to the success of our team, to constant improvement, to professional growth, to inspire others, to collaboration, to responsibilities, to getting the job done.

EXPLORE/NURTURE: In our approach, in our interactions with each other, we foster clear and purposeful communication and treat everyone with dignity and respect. We are open to change and exploration of improvement in process and procedure and consistently look for improvement in the workplace.

DEPENDABLE: Reliable, trustworthy, work with integrity necessary for appropriate communication, to take responsibility, to seek resolve, to grow, to help the team thrive. You can rely on me to do my job with integrity and be steadfast in improving our workplace.

The Division of Pretrial, Probation & Parole is responsible for the entire state of Alaska, a vast geographical expanse encompassing seven unique Alaskan cultures within the indigenous population. This leaves the organization with very broadly stated goals, such as improving communities in Alaska. This goal is challenging to measure, if not impossible. Other goals, such as improving staff professionalism through training and education, are more amenable as they can be measured in multiple ways that can be compared side-by-side. Officer complaints by the public are measurable, as is the number of training hours or certifications achieved by employees.

When discussing accountability with the community, criminal justice agencies are visible for their misdeeds far more than their successes. The book of James has a passage that alludes to this. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (New International Version Bible, 1973/1992, James 2:10). The concept of public accountability is interesting when unpopular but necessary work is being done by public employees who are not elected officials. Leverage can come in the form of formal litigation, but outside of illegal acts by public actors, is not an effective method of change for the betterment of the community.

The preceding paragraphs presented the mission, vision, and values of the Division of Pretrial, Probation & Parole and the mission and vision of the parent department overseeing the division. Challenges and other issues the organization faces were examined. Two primary goals from the strategic plan were explored. Lastly, a Christian perspective was presented.


New International Version Bible. (1992). Zondervan. (Original work published 1973)

State of Alaska. (2023). Alaska Department of Corrections. https://doc.alaska.gov/Links to an external site.

State of Alaska. (2023). Alaska Department of Corrections: Pretrial, Probation & Parole. https://doc.alaska.gov/probation-paroleLinks to an external site.

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