Trust and Transparency in the Community

In today’s complex, violent world, gaining community trust is a significant challenge.  How do leaders gain the trust of the people they want to protect?  Establishing accountability for your actions, and the actions of your subordinates, is a crucial first step.  That is certainly easier to define than to describe, or try to implement, especially considering all the stressors that our leaders face on a continuing basis.

Community trust increases when the organization’s training is formalized and prioritized based on the greatest security concerns of the people.  Violent crime, including terrorism and active shooter/active assailant threats, are at the top of the list of community concerns.  But, leaders often overlook a critical part of the training plan:  incorporating the public.  Community trust is also gained through transparency.  There is nothing wrong with including civilians into key portions of a training plan, especially for situations that have a long-lasting impact on the community.  This is also important to remember where the number of responders needed to support an incident response can only be accomplished with the extensive use of volunteers from within the community!  Effectively communicating emergency action plans, an incident response plan, duties and responsibilities, risks, and challenges are all necessary to gaining understanding, support, and trust

Transparency comes through open, and honest, communication with every person that has a concern about safety and security within the community.  Leaders must uphold a professional standard of conduct.  Frequently, society associated accountability with civil rights violations, or illegal Use of Force cases.  However, accountability is also required of leaders in upholding training standards.  Professionalized responder organizations have used records for decades to ensure compliance with all mandated training, but how do we ensure the public is aware of those standards? 

One method to find the balance between internal training performance, professional standards of conduct, and disciplinary actions and increasing awareness and support is through combined training where everyone has a stake in increasing the security and safety of the community.  Tabletop exercises are an excellent way to educate your subordinates while also increasing transparency through engaging, thought-provoking, and much needed training on topics of major concern.  It is an outstanding method for encouraging dialogue, identifying issues that need correction, gaining support and … community trust.   

Crisis Response Leader Training’s simulation is designed to help any leader that is concerned about safety and security.  Our software solution, The Incident, modifies the traditional tabletop exercise to make it easier for nearly any organization to use.  The Incident is an engaging 3D solution that helps with learning management, emergency action plans, response training, and community outreach. 

By Tod Langley
Mar 21, 2022


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