TPD takes strategic steps to begin updates

Tulare Police Department begins taking steps to build a strategic plan to offer insight as to how the department can better themselves by seeking feedback from all areas of the city

TULARE –  With a lot of change happening in Tulare within the last year, the police department has decided to add themselves to the list by creating a strategic plan for their future, and taking steps toward accreditation. 

The Tulare Police Department decided to bring in criminal justice consultant Cristando House Inc, to analyze the department and create a strategic plan. The ultimate goal is to take feedback from the strategic plan and implement suggested changes so the department can better serve the community and be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

“I want to rebrand the public’s perception of us,” Tulare police chief Fred Ynclan said. “I want us to be more transparent.”

On Friday Aug. 19, the consulting group Cristando House is coming to begin an evaluation of the police department. The consultant will then put together a strategic plan for the department based on the information they have gathered throughout a four phased plan.

According to a proposal from Cristando House, phase one will be data collection, phase two is analysis and preliminary report preparation, phase three is strategic planning workshop facilitation and the fourth and final phase is the development of the strategic plan. 

Phase one, includes comprehensive data collection with internal and external stakeholders. This phase has many purposes including assessing the clarity of the department’s mission, vision and goals. It will also identify important objectives and performance measures as well as assess and prioritize technology, facilities and other capital needs. It will also determine the department’s capability to apply necessary data for value based evidence. 

The consultants will also evaluate input from sworn and civilian staff to reinforce their importance to the department. Lastly the evaluation will gather information from outsiders and representatives of the city of Tulare, which the department hopes will enhance partnerships and heighten transparency. 

Ynclan is hoping to receive feedback from the community from a survey that will be available to residents. With more responses, good, bad or indifferent, the department will be able to make the necessary changes to better provide for the community. A survey available to residents will be full of a broad spectrum of questions. 

Community members and external sources will be asked about their perception of community safety and  the police department itself. They will be asked about their satisfaction with the department and how the department should allocate their time and resources, in crime prevention versus. crime response. Additionally they will be asked about their awareness of various police department programs and to rank what they think the department’s priorities are. Also asked will be what the community thinks can be done to enhance partnerships and community trust. An assessment of the department’s response to violent versus property crimes and the ranking of crime and quality of life issues. The survey will also ask about personal contact with the police department as well.

Ynclan said he does not want to settle for mediocrity. He wants to give the department a necessary facelift to bring them to a higher standard. There are areas the chief said the department could work on, but is interested to see what the results of the consultants and community feedback will bring the community. 

“If [the outcome] does say we’re doing something wrong, we’re going to take action to fix it and we’re going to make sure it’s followed up on,” Ynclan said. “If we’re not doing it right, we need to know we aren’t doing it right, so we can fix it.”

Ynclan wants to be a department that officers seek out. Once the strategic plan has been given back to the department, it will take about a year to a year and a half to implement and buff out any changes that were suggested to be made from the consulting group. These changes could range in anything from number of staff, to behavioral issues, to issues with management, inventory issues or training issues. 

This type of evaluation has not been done in the 20 years that Ynclan has been with the department. The department has seen smaller evaluations, some internal only, and they have also participated in workshops, but nothing of this magnitude.

Ynclan has the drive to build and perhaps eventually grow the department. This is why Ynclan has been an advocate for the department to become accredited. The strategic plan is just a start in the process of receiving a CALEA accreditation. 

Being a CALEA accredited police department is an honor throughout the nation. CALEA is a credentialing authority that sets “the gold standard in public safety.” Public safety agencies who receive a special CALEA accreditation program seal, have demonstrated the standards set forth by the agency, according to their website. 

According to Tulare’s city manager Marc Mondell, the Tulare Police Department is taking the necessary steps to look into the vision and future for the department. They will do this by looking into crime statistics, employees, equipment, facilities and policies and programs. 

“[A CALEA accreditation] is something that most departments just strive for,” Mondell said. “But it has value I think because it brings credibility and prestige, you’re one among very few departments that have strived to be the best of the best and to be recognized as such and have those policies and procedures.”

Ynclan became chief of police in June 2022. The update to the police department is following suit with the city of Tulare’s strategic plan as well. Several city entities are receiving a facelift as they have all received new leadership within the last year. Mondell joined the city of Tulare in 2021 and the fire department also received a new fire chief, Michael Ott, in May 2022.

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