“Accountability” is defined in Merriam-Webster dictionary as, “The quality or state of being accountable; especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” Accountability is a high priority in my personal life and my professional life. When I first started at the Wausau Police Department, then Deputy Chief Hilts said to me as he handed me my badge in Interview Room 1, “This badge represent the whole police department. You are representing this whole department. You will make mistakes, we understand that.
We can overcome just about any mistake you will make here as long as you can admit the mistake. You may get punished or disciplined, but you will continue your career. The one mistake we cannot overcome is lying. Lying will get you fired.
” I remember that moment in my career like it was yesterday.I learned that day, truth and accountability are two of the most important qualities at the Wausau Police Department. Even more so, I would say truth is encompassed by accountability. Accountability in policing the community is imperative.
The community gives police officers great authority and with that authority they community is owed accountability.