Mission and Vision Statements of Police Organizations
Nandkumar Saravade, IPS
Deputy Inspector General of Police
Central Bureau of Investigation
Thinking about an organization's mission (purpose of its existence) and vision, (the destination towards which the organisation has to move) has become fashionable in recent times. Before we discard it as another management fad, we need to have a good look at the concepts. A lucid discussion on the ideas can be found in the works of the popular author, Stephen Covey, especially in The 7 Habits of the Most Effective People and First Things First. Another important management thinker, Peter Senge has discussed the application of the concepts to organizations, in his article The Practice of Innovation, available at http://drucker.org/leaderbooks/L2L/summer98/senge.html. Reading the original article and browsing the entire site is highly recommended.
2. In order to know more about the ideas and the difference between the two concepts, following excerpts from Senge's article may be referenced.
     The first obstacle to understanding mission is a problem of language. Many leaders use mission and vision interchangeably, or think that the words -- and the differences between them -- matter little. But words do matter. Language is messy by nature, which is why we must be careful in how we use it. As leaders, after all, we have little else to work with. We typically don't use hammers and saws, heavy equipment, or even computers to do our real work. The essence of leadership -- what we do with 98 percent of our time -- is communication. To master any management practice, we must start by bringing discipline to the domain in which we spend most of our time, the domain of words.
The dictionary -- which, unlike the computer, is an essential leadership tool -- contains multiple definitions of the word mission; the most appropriate here is, purpose, reason for being. Vision, by contrast, is a picture or image of the future we seek to create, and values articulate how we intend to live as we pursue our mission. Paradoxically, if an organization's mission is truly motivating it is never really achieved. Mission provides an orientation, not a checklist of accomplishments. It defines a direction, not a destination. It tells the members of an organization why they are working together, how they intend to contribute to the world. Without a sense of mission, there is no foundation for establishing why some intended results are more important than others.
Define Vision
The second requirement for innovation -- define results -- is easier in some ways. Managers by nature are pragmatic; ultimately they are concerned about results and must concentrate on how, not just why. The danger is that short-term goals can obscure larger purposes. Here again, language matters. After all, vision -- an image of the future we seek to create -- is synonymous with intended results. As such, vision is a practical tool, not an abstract concept. Visions can be long term or intermediate term. Multiple visions can coexist, capturing complementary facets of what people seek to create and encompassing different time frames. Leaders who lack vision fail to define what they hope to accomplish in terms that can ultimately be assessed. While mission is foundational, it is also insufficient because, by its nature, it is extraordinarily difficult to assess how we are doing by looking only at the mission. For this we need to stick our necks out and articulate "an image of the future we seek to create."
Results-oriented leaders, therefore, must have both a mission and a vision. Results mean little without purpose, for a very practical and powerful reason: a mission instills both the passion and the patience for the long journey. While vision inspires passion, many failed ventures are characterized by passion without patience.
Passion comes from what you contribute rather than what you get. Clarity about mission and vision is both an operational and a spiritual necessity. Mission provides a guiding star, a long-term purpose that allows you to balance the inevitable pressures between the short term and the long term. Vision translates mission into truly meaningful intended results -- and guides the allocation of time, energy, and resources. In my experience, it is only through a compelling vision that a deep sense of purpose comes alive. People's passions flow naturally into creating something that truly excites them. Taken together, mission and vision fill a deep need: All human beings have a purpose, a reason for being. Most of us believe that there is something more important than what you can buy, acquire, or market. The passion at the heart of every great undertaking comes from the deep longing of human beings to make a difference, to have an impact. It comes from what you contribute rather than what you get.
Assess Results
The third dimension of innovation is assessment. We must continually gauge how we can best use our scarce resources. As managers we all know what assessing is about; it's one of the fundamental activities of all management.
Assessment has two components: measurement and interpretation. The problem is that the second and more difficult component of assessment -- interpretation -- requires understanding, participation, and physical presence. Statistical measures of an activity may be disappointing, but if you're actually involved, you may see that people are engaged and learning.
From Habit to Discipline
Taken together, mission, vision, and assessment create an ecology, a set of fundamental relationships forming the bedrock of real leadership. These tools allow people, regardless of job title, to help shape their future.  Drucker is exactly right that innovation is a discipline, a word having its root in the Latin disciplina, one of the oldest words for "to learn." Many have talent but real learning requires discipline, the process through which we draw out our potential through commitment, practice, passion, patience, and perseverance.
3. It would be interesting to have a look at some more mission statements and other inspirational concepts used by the various police organisations around the world. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the USA has evolved a list of Priorities, in addition to the mission statement, (both given below), probably as a response to the transformational events of September 2001.
The mission of the FBI is to uphold the law through the investigation of violations of federal criminal law; to protect the United States from foreign intelligence and terrorist activities; to provide leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local, and international agencies; and to perform these responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the public and is faithful to the Constitution of the United States.
FBI Priorities
1. Protect the United States from terrorist attack
2. Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage
3. Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes
4. Combat public corruption at all levels
5. Protect civil rights
6. Combat transnational and national criminal organizations and enterprises
7. Combat major white-collar crime
8. Combat significant violent crime
9. Support federal, state, local and international partners
10. Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI's mission
4. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on the other hand has expanded its mission statement into core belief and values, which are reproduced below.
CIA Vision, Mission, and Values
To be the keystone of a US Intelligence Community that is pre-eminent in the world, known for both the high quality of our work and the excellence of our people.
Our Mission
We support the President, the National Security Council, and all who make and execute US national security policy by:
Providing accurate, evidence-based, comprehensive, and timely foreign intelligence related to national security; and
Conducting counterintelligence activities, special activities, and other functions related to foreign intelligence and national security as directed by the President.
Our Core Beliefs and Values
What we stand for:
Intelligence that adds substantial value to the management of crises, the conduct of war, and the development of policy.
Objectivity in the substance of intelligence, a deep commitment to the customer in its form and timing.
How we do our work:
Personal and organizational integrity
Teamwork throughout the Agency and the Intelligence Community
Total participation of an excellent and diverse work force
Innovating and taking risks to get the job done
Adapting to both a changing world environment and evolving customer needs
Accepting accountability for our actions
Continuous improvement in all that we do
5. A similar approach is adopted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is Canada's national police service. Proud of our traditions and confident in meeting future challenges, we commit to preserve the peace, uphold the law and provide quality service in partnership with our communities.
We will:
Be a progressive, proactive and innovative organization.
Provide the highest quality service through dynamic leadership, education and technology in partnership with the diverse communities we serve.
Be accountable and efficient through shared decision-making.
Ensure a healthy work environment that encourages team-building, open communication and mutual respect.
Promote safe communities.
Demonstrate leadership in the pursuit of excellence.
Core Values
Recognizing the dedication of all employees, we will create and maintain an environment of individual safety, well-being and development. We are guided by:
Commitment To Our Communities
The employees of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are committed to our communities through:
Unbiased and respectful treatment of all people.
Mutual problem solving.
Cultural sensitivity.
Enhancement of public safety.
Partnerships and consultation.
Open and honest communication.
Effective and efficient use of resources.
Quality and timely service.
6. The Singapore Police organisation has gone even further and not only has adopted a succinct mission statement as well as an comprehensive vision statement, but also has defined the core values and, thereafter, set quantifiable targets for themselves. The targets flow from the identified values and have been cast in a statistical mould. For example, responsiveness to the calls for help from the members of the public has been crystallised into the target of responding to a telephone calls on the Control Room number, within 10 seconds i.e. three rings of the telephone. This standard is expected to be met at least 90% of the time. Similarly, standards have been set for reaching the place of occurrence, responding to the letters from the public, informing victims of crime about the status of the case and so on. The targets set and the results achieved are published annually. The details of these statements, as given on their website, are given as annexure to this document. Also included in the Annexure are mission statements of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the New Scotland Yard, also known as the London Metropolitan Police, as collected from the respective websites.
7. As theory of management has evolved over last several decades, the view of an organization as a static structure has given way to that of a dynamic machine and ultimately, an organic entity. Emphasis on static and mechanical aspect of functioning of the organization has shifted to motivating of the people holding various positions in the organization to enhance their performance. While not seeking to minimize importance of the structural aspect of the functioning of an organization, the focus has rightly been put on the human aspect.
8. It has long been recognized that even the best-structured organization, to succeed, needs to have committed and effective members performing at their optimum best. Human resources management has been recognized as the software for taking the organization to new heights. One would like to quote Stephen Covey, who says that each person has four over-riding concerns in life: to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy. If these basic human urges can be satisfied in a positive manner, each person will be to achieve astonishing results. Mission statements and vision statements provide the much-needed organizational compass to the members of the organization, which enables them to consult it in times of confusion and dilemma and chart their own personal goals in alignment with the organizational objectives. This synergy of purpose propels the organization forward at speeds, which otherwise can only be dreamed of. In today's shifting milieu, when old loyalties have broken down and old values are under threat, we need such techniques to tap the inherent creative energy of all our colleagues, senior and junior. Identifying the mission of the organization and evolving the vision statement of the organization, through participation of all employees, will provide the requisite tool for harnessing the full potential of the organization.
Singapore Police
The mission of the Singapore Police Force is to uphold the law, maintain order and keep the peace in the Republic of Singapore.
A Force for the Nation
We are a force for the nation, ensuring the security, survival and success of Singapore, and helping to build it into our best home. We are a police force that inspires the world.
We are united with the community. We care for and serve the community that we work in and with.
We are feared by those inclined to crime and disorder. We are always ready to deal with any threats to the safety and security of Singapore.
We are a harmonious family. Each of us serves and leads, contributing to the objectives of the team we are part of. Our workplace is enjoyable to be in. Our people are our most valued assets.
Notes :
Para. 1 - We want to be an organisation that sustains the life of our nation - to be a force for the nation. Our convictions are directed towards the goal of ensuring the security, survival and success of our nation. We are a police force of excellence that inspires the world, embracing continuous learning and innovation as our way of life.
Para. 2 - We want to be united with the community to assure the highest level of safety and security for our best home. We want our work with and in the community to be filled with care. We will be guardians, friends and protectors of the community, serving them with the best of our ability and to the highest of our standards.
Para. 3 - We want those inclined to crime and disorder to fear us, as much as the public trusts us. By being always ready to deal with any threats to the safety and security of Singapore, we reassure and instil in our community a continued sense of confidence and faith in Singapore. In times of crisis, the people of Singapore will look to us for reassurance and leadership.
Para. 4 - We are a harmonious family. Our relationship is built on sincerity, openness, mutual respect and trust. We feel a strong sense of belonging to the SPF family. We believe in working through teams of highly motivated individuals, all of whom have the capacity to lead and serve. We value and respect our people as individuals. We want to be an organisation where our people are developed to their fullest potential and where the best ideas come from all levels of the organisation.
Courage We are willing to risk our lives, if necessary, in order to safeguard   our society. We also have the moral courage to speak the truth, and to set   wrongs right.
Loyalty We are loyal to the nation, to the Singapore community, to the SPF community, and to our own   beliefs and ideals.
Integrity We never forsake our ethics in order to attain our objectives. Our   actions are guided by our principle, not expediency.
Fairness We are fair in our dealings with people, irrespective of their race,   religion, gender, age, standing in life and irrespective of whether they are   victims, suspects or convicts. We also apply the same standard to the members   of the SPF.
Our targets
In pursuance of our mission, we aim to achieve public satisfaction with the services we provide. Our service targets are:
To answer '999' calls within 10 seconds
For every minute of the day and every day of the year, police officers are on duty to deal with emergencies. Our aim is to answer your '999' call within 10 seconds, which is about 3 rings of the telephone. We expect to meet that standard at least 90% of the time.
To arrive at urgent incidents within 15 minutes and non-urgent incidents within 30 minutes

Based on the information you give us, we decide whether to send a police officer urgently to your assistance. Our aim is to have a police officer with you within 15 minutes for urgent incidents and within 30 minutes for non-urgent incidents. We expect to meet that standard at least 85% of the time. In deciding what is urgent, we listen carefully to what you tell us. We always send a police officer immediately, when:
Someone has been seriously injured or is in danger
There is a serious risk to property
A crime is in progress
Someone suspected of committing a crime is close by, or you know where the person is, and there is an immediate opportunity to arrest the suspect
A further crime might be committed
To respond to letters from the public within 5 working days
Our aim is to reply to your correspondence, including letters, facsimiles and emails, within 5 working days upon receipt of the correspondence. We expect to meet that standard 90% of the time. At the very least we will let you know if we need more time to give you a full reply. You will always be given the name and telephone number of an officer to contact, if you need to.
To update victims of crime on the preliminary status of cases within 7 working days
If you happen to be a victim of crime, our aim is to update you on the preliminary status of your case within 7 working days of your initial police report. We expect to meet that standard 90% of the time. If we are unable to provide a conclusive update on the status of your case by then, our reply to you, at the very least, will include the name and contact number of your investigator and the classification of your case. This is because the case is still undergoing investigation and we need more time to give you a proper reply. We will provide further updates when there is further development.
To attend to customers at police service counters within 15 minutes
Our aim is to attend to all customers at police service counters within 15 minutes. We expect to meet that standard 75% of the time. If our officer is already dealing with another person, please be patient, but if you think your need is urgent then tell the officer when you first arrive.
Monitoring of standards
These service standards will be audited by the Service Development and Inspectorate Department of the Singapore Police Force. The Commissioner of Police will publish the results of our ability to achieve these targets annually.
Public feedback
There will be occasions when, despite our best efforts, we are unable to deal with your case within the stipulated time frame. If you wish to furnish your feedback on how we can improve our services, you may contact the Quality Service Manager, Singapore Police Force at Tel:1800-2534434 or Service Improvement Unit (SIU) at Tel:1800-2535525 or Email: [email protected]
Alternatively, you may also write to:
The Quality Service Manager
Singapore Police Force
Police Headquarters
New Phoenix Park
28 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore 329560
New York Police Department
About NYPD
The Mission of the New York City Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in our City by working in partnership with the community and in accordance with constitutional rights to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment.
In partnership with the community, we pledge to:
Protect the lives and property of our fellow citizens and impartially enforce the law.
Fight crime both by preventing it and by aggressively pursuing violators of the law.
Maintain a higher standard of integrity than is generally expected of others because so much is expected of us.
Value human life, respect the dignity of each individual and render our services with courtesy and civility.
London Metropolitan Police
Mission, Values, Vision
Making London safe for all the people we serve.
make places safer
cut crime and the fear of crime
uphold the law
treat everyone fairly
be open and honest
work in partnership
change to improve
To make London the safest major city in the world
Our mission is to make London safer for all the people we serve. Our success will be decided not by bland statistics, but when everyone walking our streets believes it to be so. It is the need of every citizen we must target.
Every crime is major to its victim. We will remember that. When those victims of crime ? and, indeed, witnesses to crime ? see it that way we will have won their confidence. Our reward will be their support for the work we do. With that support, criminals ? whether the mugger, the terrorist, the burglar, the rapist, the racist thug, the robber, the fraudster ? will find it more difficult to live off the law abiding majority.
By combining this confidence and support with our determination to forge genuine and successful community partnerships, our task will be accomplished more easily and with greater effect.
Today's London is a 24-hour city demanding 21st Century policing, the kind of law and order that can and will respond instantly to constantly changing needs. Our response has to be right first time, every time, while anticipating the needs of the future and never losing sight of our central priority of keeping the city and its people safe.
If we are to police London properly we must listen to Londoners and deal with their concerns through our evolving crime and disorder partnerships. These will ensure that everyone is treated according to their needs with dignity and courtesy, regardless of age, race, gender or sexuality.
Talking to people, listening to what they say and taking positive action to address their problems. These are the simple steps that will bring us success. This approach to policing will demand far greater accountability ? and therefore much more autonomy ? at the borough level of policing.
Challenging and cutting bureaucracy will empower local policing partnerships, allowing officers on the ground to make local decisions which meet local needs so helping us to win consent and, in turn, lead to growing local confidence.
At all levels we will provide clear, direction, strong leadership and unstinting support to make it happen.
Scotland Yard and The Met are bywords both nationally and worldwide for policing and detecting excellence. They have to be. There is no police task in the country or across the globe that is comparable.
There are few other places where London's astonishing blend of population, cultural mix, national government, world commerce, tourism, tradition and crime all come together. To police that we have to be the best.
The men and women of this police service uniform or not, civil staff or specialist are just that, the best in the world. It is not something we say lightly. It is something we say proudly. But we cannot and will not stand still.
We will compete for the best then cherish and improve the skills our people learn in a lifetime of policing. We will recognise these skills, nurture them, and make sure best use is made of them throughout their career.
This will make the Met an organisation which people really want to work for, where they feel able to perform to the best of their abilities, where they know we will strive at all times to help them become the very best they can be.
We will be pro-active too setting challenging crime reduction targets and achieving them will build confidence, increase motivation and raise morale. Doing so with integrity is vitally important so we will be rigorous in ensuring the integrity of our actions.
Our finest resource is people, but technology and money and how we use them are vital too. Ours is a difficult and dangerous job ? we must go properly equipped to carry it out.
Combining our own professionalism with the very latest developments in new technologies will keep us constantly ahead of the criminal. We will be able to map and anticipate crime patterns. Our problem-solving approach will give us the edge in making our homes, streets, and businesses safer places.
We will use all of our resources wisely and seek to get best value from all we do.
Accountability is vital to today's Met, so we welcome the planned new Mayor of London, Greater London Authority and Metropolitan Police Authority. These new bodies will give us a new and much-needed level of accountability. We will rightly need to become ever more open and transparent in all that we do.
It is an opportunity we will embrace. Anything that brings us closer to our community and able to respond properly to its needs and wishes can only be good.
We will never rest in our determination to defeat crime, drive out the criminals and succeed in our pledge to make London the safest major city in the world.
The Agenda for Action
In policing London we intend to :
cut crime and the fear of crime
concentrate on policing at a local level
gain the confidence of all sections of the community
by listening, understanding and meeting their needs
work with all our partners to meet those needs
lead and support our professional staff to deliver
a truly professional service
be performance led
operate to clear standards and achieve best value
from our resources
be open, honest and transparent
make the best use of technology
recognise the need to embrace change to improve
our performance