One of the biggest areas of what I do and feel passionate about is the idea that the ICAC detectives are incredibly special to the world, and they have a special calling when working in this field. Since SHIFT, I made it a habit to ensure that the investigators come to work because “they want to” they enjoy it, and know that they have the best support system behind them when anything stresses them out while at work or at home. They also know because of the open door policy that we have from the Colonel down that the investigators they never have to be concerned if they chose to change fields and would be assisted in moving on. With the SHIFT ideas, we sat down as a group and were able to write standard operating procedures for the ICAC staff that have been implemented. We as a group were able to meet with command and educate them on what these investigations are about, and the consequences of not taking care of the staff in the long term to include home life. The Command from top to bottom, have been ensuring that we are always taken care of as they realized that they too feared looking at images, and approved the SHIFT training directly for our South Florida ICAC. Since 2007, we have had over 9 ICAC Commanders, and every single one still believes today that it is the best unit to be part of and have also taken our model policies out to patrol deputies in the field. We were able to implement fitness plans to be taken 2-3 times week, open door policy with annual leave and time off, and encouraged detectives to train others who have now become Fox Valley trainers so that they could find other areas within ICAC to help in and not just investigate cases. I also have encouraged outside of the job hobbies, which many do with animal rescue, dive teams, and of course myself with amateur-pro athletic training with goalkeepers.
All of this took many years to accomplish, and I had to learn how to speak with the bosses to have them envision what it would be like for them to work these kinds of investigations if they were a detective in the unit. I also had them show up at many search warrants and interact with the detectives and forensics personnel which really help sculpt the future. I found out that they were really fond of speaking directly with them because it brought them into the education of how the ICAC investigations were handled. Once they understood the process, it became easier to move forward with projects, funding, or investigations as they still today like to hear of our investigations. Just last year, due to funding, no one at BSO was allowed to transfer anywhere and if someone retired from a unit they would not be replaced, except for the ICAC. We had one of our detectives retire and we got a replacement immediately.
All the above is a work in progress even today, and no day goes by that I don’t think about these ICAC staff members. I try to make sure that every day they know that I can help them at or work or outside of the job. Have a great weekend wherever you may be, and stay safe.