A Y2K-responsible police department

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(Note: Besides being an excellent discreet message for the local area in question, this is being included here because, while I can't speak for everyone who's been concerned about the year 2000 message reaching/not reaching the general public for an incredibly long time, I think it's safe to say the following is a prime example of what a lot of those people feel that message should contain and be like... Bill)

Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999
From: Tom Atlee cii@igc.apc.org
Subject: A Y2K-responsible police department

Thanks to Larry Shook for sharing this reference to a truly Y2K-reponsible police department. -- Tom

This excellent site is the Hudson Ohio Police Department Y2K page.


An excerpt:


There are those people who contend that the Y2K issue is all hype, is well on its way to being adequately addressed, and is nothing whatsoever to be concerned with. Perhaps, and I hope they're correct! Based on six months of exhaustive research written by various industry professionals, I have failed to find one authored piece suggesting that absolutely nothing will happen. Virtually everyone predicts some level of service disruption but downplays the significance of its effects by using verbiage such as "minimal impact" and "sporadic disruption" or language to that effect.

As a responsible police administrator, I have absolutely no choice other than to plan for the worst-case scenario and hope, as you, for something significantly less. It would be unacceptable and irresponsible for me to do anything less. If anything, I'm attempting to dispel the Armageddon/survivalist mentality that will continue to grow disproportionately due to a lack of information from responsible and well-respected sources. We have before us an opportunity and a challenge to transform fear and concern into a creative and effective action plan that will pay significant dividends to our community whether Y2K-related problems come to pass or not.


Note also the following:


------------------------------------------------------------------------ Jim Brown, Chief of Police
Hudson Police Department
Phone: (330) 342-1800
Fax: (330) 342-1821

I have spent considerable time and energy attempting to convince the media that the Y2K issue, reported appropriately, can be of tremendous benefit to the community. Although the pace of reporting is beginning to pick up, there is considerable work to do and the reporting is far from extensive.

The Law Enforcement Profession is regularly challenged by various societal problems, natural disasters, and man-made calamities. We have confronted these typically unexpected and unannounced situations head on and have succeeded at saving lives and quickly restoring needed services in the community when these things occur. Organizational and community preparedness are key ingredients to successful outcomes of which the various media are an integral aspect.

There is an impending man-made crisis that poses a potentially significant risk to our communities that I believe is deserving of considerable media attention. Furthermore, there is a tremendous opportunity to promote a sense of community through preparedness planning and the appropriate response to crises through education.

The Y2K (Year 2000) "Millennium Bug" issue is deceivingly complex, grossly misunderstood and a seriously underestimated opponent that may adversely affect critical components of the infrastructures upon which we highly depend (electricity, natural gas, water distribution, waste water treatment, and telecommunications, for example). Our world is heavily dependent upon computerization and microchip technology that we have, mistakenly, taken for granted. The effective production and delivery of these basic utility services alone is an unbelievably complex and highly interwoven system of interconnectivity that most people can't even perceive let alone comprehend and understand. It could be a technological nightmare that has broad implications for law enforcement.

I would encourage your organization to assume a leadership role in the communications industry to review the information that I've provide you, research it further still, and create a series of informative presentations for your viewers, listeners, and readers. It is absolutely critical that the media assume a level of responsibility for educating the public in this matter of importance, and to date it has not happened! It's my understanding that there is a significant level of concern that this issue may induce fear and cause people to panic. Nothing could be further from the truth. Quite frankly, we can most assuredly anticipate fear, panic, and a chaotic response from the public if we fail to educate our communities and dispel the Armageddon/survivalist mentality, the prevalence of which will continue to grow disproportionately due to a lack of information from well-respected sources. The challenge lies in the ability of the reporter to transform fear and concern into a creative and effective action plan through informative reporting and a suggestive course of action which would be of benefit in any crisis scenario. The creative magic of communication carried out in a positive, informative, and well-intentioned forthright manner will prove beneficial to the comm unity if even the worst-case scenario would come to pass.

This is a truly tremendous opportunity to be of service to the community. It will, admittedly, require vision, courage, leadership, and a certain level of determination to share this Y2K message with the community. I hope your organization accepts the challenge and reflects on this as a responsibility, an obligation, and the true "human interest" story that it's likely to be.

Tom Atlee * The Co-Intelligence Institute * Oakland, CA
http://www.co-intelligence.org | http://www.co-intelligence.org/Y2K.html | http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_Index.html

-- Bill (billdale@lakesnet.net), June 12, 1999

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