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  • We Need...

    Greetings to all!

    It's been a while since I've posted here, and it feels good to have such a diverse and respectful audience to turn to for advice.

    So, to give you a little background, I've been a explorer for about a year now in a small city in Washington State. For those who don't know, it gets very cold and rainy up here during the winter, and even into the spring and summer...

    So, during my time in the post, a few things have come to my attention:

    1. Our post is over-funded, but under-equipped. (I realize over-funded may be a bit of an oxymoron...) We have a ton of expendable income, but we still operate with equipment and uniforms puchased in the early 90's!

    2. Our command staff is mostly inneffective. I have petitioned to them for new uniforms, new equipment, and more relevant training. (CPR/First aid, Traffic control, collision investigation, defensive tactics, verbal judo, ect.) I am met with no changes, and we still train in SWAT tactics and Dynamic entry. This is all well and good, but when will I need to do that as an explorer? I want some fun stuff, but I also want practical training that I can take with me when I'm directing traffic or on a ride along.


    3. Our equipment is not suited for our environment. We work in feezing cold, rain, wind and sometimes snow. But we have no thick jackets, gloves or hats. We have thin polyester Class A shirts and a thin jacket, that doesn't repel rain, in fact in my experience, it seems to absorb it! It makes for a miserable day. We have the means, but no motivation! I don't want to spend another season freezing when I don't have to!

    Now, I love my post. We're one of the best in our area, but I think we need a kick in the pants as far as communication, organization and command structure.

    I feel that our post needs to be more open with each other. Information needs to be shared among the explorers in a more personal way. I'm suggesting perhaps bi-weeky, or monthly squad meetings. (My post works in squads. One sergeant in command of 3-5 explorers) This meeting would be in plainclothes, totally informal, but just giving the sergeant some feedback as to specific squad needs/wants, and any questions they may have. This information can then be compiled with other squads to give a true and accurate diagnostic of where the post is, and where everyone is within the post.

    Also, and please tell me if you think this is out of line, I think the explorers need to sit down and form a sort of budget comittee. It's easy to just spend money here and there, but it also helps if everyone in the family (I consider the post an extended family ) sees just how much everything costs. We can see what we can get away with spending wise, and how much we need to save for competitions/trips/other extras. I trust the command staff to an extent, but in any good buisness, people need to see where money is coming in and where it is coming out of.

    I guess what I'm asking is, how do you think I can implement these changes and find solutions to these problems?

    Going to the chain of command has yielded no results, and I'm leery of going to an advisor and talking to him about a problem that could easily be solved by the post.

    I take pride in our post. And it upsets me when I see my fellow Explorers huddled together under what little shelter we have, when we can easily be prepared and take care of our jobs effectively (And a lot more comfortably!)

    It pains me greatly to see some explorers well informed and aware, and others just sort of fumbling around in the dark. I know there are good ideas out there, but nobody takes the time to sit down and actually listen to them.

    *hops off soapbox*





    Thanks!

  • #2
    Who is in control of how you apply your funding?

    Comment


    • #3
      Well technically we all are, but it's really up to the command staff in the end. We can ask them all we want, but they're the ones who ultimately have the credit cards.

      Comment


      • #4
        When you refer to command staff, are you talking about officers? Or just ranked explorers? If you have a problem that is being pushed to the wayside by your command staff at a certain level, and if it may become a risk to your health or others, you may have to talk to someone higher in the department.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LPDXPLR View Post
          Greetings to all!

          It's been a while since I've posted here, and it feels good to have such a diverse and respectful audience to turn to for advice.

          So, to give you a little background, I've been a explorer for about a year now in a small city in Washington State. For those who don't know, it gets very cold and rainy up here during the winter, and even into the spring and summer...

          So, during my time in the post, a few things have come to my attention:

          1. Our post is over-funded, but under-equipped. (I realize over-funded may be a bit of an oxymoron...) We have a ton of expendable income, but we still operate with equipment and uniforms puchased in the early 90's!

          2. Our command staff is mostly inneffective. I have petitioned to them for new uniforms, new equipment, and more relevant training. (CPR/First aid, Traffic control, collision investigation, defensive tactics, verbal judo, ect.) I am met with no changes, and we still train in SWAT tactics and Dynamic entry. This is all well and good, but when will I need to do that as an explorer? I want some fun stuff, but I also want practical training that I can take with me when I'm directing traffic or on a ride along.


          3. Our equipment is not suited for our environment. We work in feezing cold, rain, wind and sometimes snow. But we have no thick jackets, gloves or hats. We have thin polyester Class A shirts and a thin jacket, that doesn't repel rain, in fact in my experience, it seems to absorb it! It makes for a miserable day. We have the means, but no motivation! I don't want to spend another season freezing when I don't have to!

          Now, I love my post. We're one of the best in our area, but I think we need a kick in the pants as far as communication, organization and command structure.

          I feel that our post needs to be more open with each other. Information needs to be shared among the explorers in a more personal way. I'm suggesting perhaps bi-weeky, or monthly squad meetings. (My post works in squads. One sergeant in command of 3-5 explorers) This meeting would be in plainclothes, totally informal, but just giving the sergeant some feedback as to specific squad needs/wants, and any questions they may have. This information can then be compiled with other squads to give a true and accurate diagnostic of where the post is, and where everyone is within the post.

          Also, and please tell me if you think this is out of line, I think the explorers need to sit down and form a sort of budget comittee. It's easy to just spend money here and there, but it also helps if everyone in the family (I consider the post an extended family ) sees just how much everything costs. We can see what we can get away with spending wise, and how much we need to save for competitions/trips/other extras. I trust the command staff to an extent, but in any good buisness, people need to see where money is coming in and where it is coming out of.

          I guess what I'm asking is, how do you think I can implement these changes and find solutions to these problems?

          Going to the chain of command has yielded no results, and I'm leery of going to an advisor and talking to him about a problem that could easily be solved by the post.

          I take pride in our post. And it upsets me when I see my fellow Explorers huddled together under what little shelter we have, when we can easily be prepared and take care of our jobs effectively (And a lot more comfortably!)

          It pains me greatly to see some explorers well informed and aware, and others just sort of fumbling around in the dark. I know there are good ideas out there, but nobody takes the time to sit down and actually listen to them.

          *hops off soapbox*





          Thanks!

          First, your thread is very well written. Congrats for paying attention in school.

          You have visited your concerns on your Explorer leadership at the lowest level, now it is time to take your concerns to the advisors. That is the role of the advisors.

          Perhaps, if you have not already, stand up in a meeting and voice your concerns to the group as a whole. You could also find another, or several others who are thinking the same way that you are, and take them with you to the advisors if you have to go there.

          Comment


          • #6
            BTW, when you say over funded, how much are we talking for a group of what size? Also, where has this money come from? Your organization is responsible to be good stewards of your resources, but not at the detriment of the individual members.

            Comment


            • #7
              Have you considered obtaining your own funds? Such as running fundraisers or asking for sponsors?

              When I was in our Explorer post we offered to assist groups with doing things at events. We also ran fundraisers and other things to gather up fundage.

              At the events groups would donate money to our post for assisting them. We did a good job and a lot of people liked us, so word spread about us and we got more events to do and thus got more funds to use.

              Obtaining your own funds through the program can better help you with what you need in your post. We had an issue at the time as well getting what we needed. So, when we got our own funds we were finally able to equip ourselves with good equipment and afford better training aids.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MVD View Post
                Have you considered obtaining your own funds? Such as running fundraisers or asking for sponsors?

                When I was in our Explorer post we offered to assist groups with doing things at events. We also ran fundraisers and other things to gather up fundage.

                At the events groups would donate money to our post for assisting them. We did a good job and a lot of people liked us, so word spread about us and we got more events to do and thus got more funds to use.

                Obtaining your own funds through the program can better help you with what you need in your post. We had an issue at the time as well getting what we needed. So, when we got our own funds we were finally able to equip ourselves with good equipment and afford better training aids.


                Somebody doesn't have their listening ears on today.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Reading the post I'm under the impression that they are funded through their own department, not through their own funds.

                  Either that, or I'm wearing my brain fart hat that's keeping me from picking up something...

                  If I'm having something completely fly over my head, I apologize.

                  What I was aiming to say was for them to control their own funds, as a post, rather than the funds being handed to them by their department - which is kind of what I thought judging from his post.
                  Last edited by MVD; 10-07-2009, 02:34 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Double post
                    Last edited by MVD; 10-07-2009, 02:33 AM. Reason: Double posted.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      They have a lot of extra money but are not in control of it. They want new uniforms etc. so he is trying to figure out what would be the best approach to use the extra funds to get the new items.
                      sigpicMy statements do not represent my agency.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good old fashioned sabotage should do the trick. They can't expect you to wear a shirt that is torn to pieces!
                        Invisible Signature.......FAIL

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RDEP View Post
                          Good old fashioned sabotage should do the trick. They can't expect you to wear a shirt that is torn to pieces!
                          +1

                          I did that trick before to help us get rid of our god awful Class C polos we had from the 80's. That barbed wire fence caught all of us jumping over it somehow.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just for clarity, our post is entirely self sufficient. We work for the city chaperoning dances and things of that nature. Our money is our own to do as we wish.

                            By over-funded, I mean to say that our income/expenses ratio is about 3:1 meaning for every 100 dollars we spend, we make about 300. The post as it stands now is 7, but it may swell to as many as 15 in the near future.



                            Someting I just found out today, I'm eligible for promotion to Sgt. in a short time. Should I just wait until I have my stripes to try to implement change? Or should I try to do something now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would take the initiative now and at least make an attempt at getting your concerns answered. If nothing else, it will show that you are willing to step up and be responsible. Make a cost sheet of what you would like to purchase for your post and submit it to your advisors. That would help to justify your asking for fund usage

                              Comment

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