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Garbage in, garbage out

What you do every day for your community is important; how you classify information and report your activities is also important

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Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for Public Safety.

Today’s Tip is about collecting and reporting accurate information. Now I’m sure you are saying, “Hey Gordon, why in the world should I care about this stuff?” Data affects things well beyond what you might know. You are in the field doing your job. The data that you and your coworkers collect gets combined together.

Think about the calls you have handled. Each call is a story waiting to be told. When certain incidents occur, or when we do certain things, data is generated. Consider that everyone in your agency, everyone in your state, and everyone across the country is collecting data too. We have a lot of stories to tell!

Accurate data collection and reporting bridges the gap between rumor and fact. This contributes to the transparency of your organization. It allows you to provide accurate and concise information to the public. Guess what? If you don’t provide the information, the public will find it somewhere else. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the evening news. You get the point. You can offer a truthful narrative with accurate facts, grounded in data.

What you do every day for your community is important. How you classify information and report your activities is also important. Resist the urge to rush through critical reporting elements. It can be easy to overlook these details when gearing up for your next assignment.

Whether you are filling out reports, collecting information, or entering data into the system, please take the time to get it right. Errors in collecting and entering information results in inaccurate data. And inaccurate data results in flawed conclusions.

Remember. Garbage in. Garbage out. Please don’t create garbage.

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

Gordon Graham has been actively involved in law enforcement since 1973. He spent nearly 10 years as a very active motorcycle officer while also attending Cal State Long Beach to achieve his teaching credential, USC to do his graduate work in Safety and Systems Management with an emphasis on Risk Management, and Western State University to obtain his law degree. In 1982 he was promoted to sergeant and also admitted to the California State Bar and immediately opened his law offices in Los Angeles.