Apathy is a systemic disease for any organization; from law enforcement to private enterprise. It starts small, making almost imperceptible in-roads that may go undetected for years. It quietly spreads throughout your building eating away at productivity, morale, ethics, effectiveness and every other aspect of your agency’s existence.
Predictably, the end result is the death of your department. Not in the traditional sense of an end to your existence, but in the sense that your people are no longer able or willing to uphold the duties entrusted to them when they took the oath.
Just like diseases of the body, apathy is not always an unexpected or uninvited killer. We bring it upon ourselves. Like a three pack-a-day smoker, your agency could be gleefully barreling toward its own demise, aware of the consequences and simply unwilling to change current practices to save its own skin. It might not even be the result of something you are doing, but the result of many things you are failing to do.
A person who fails to exercise and who fails to feed the machine a balanced diet suffers the consequences of obesity, heart disease, etc. An agency that fails to take steps to quell or prevent apathy suffers the lingering illnesses associated with a general feeling of, “I don’t care.”