Risk Management is an Integral Part of the Overall Management Process

Although the management process varies from organization to organization, including from Sheriff’s Office to Sheriff’s Office, there are common elements within the management process that are practiced throughout all organizations. We know these elements well as they are rather intuitive and instinctive, and whether in management or not, documented or not, or employed effectively or not, we apply these elements, or some aspect thereof, every day.

The common elements include:

  • objective setting
  • information gathering and gaining a “lay of the land”
  • analysis
  • assessment of alternative courses of action
  • development of a plan of action
  • execution
  • assessment of results and related factors
  • adjustments to the plan

Inherent throughout the management process is the underlying process of continuously identifying and assessing that which can go wrong (i.e. continuously identifying and assessing risk) and taking measures that otherwise mitigate or reduce the likelihood of the more significant matters that can go wrong. Again, whether in management or not, we all do this every day.

One can perhaps argue that the better we are at cost-effectively assessing, managing, mitigating and reducing the likelihood of those things that can go wrong, the greater are our chances of success.

This process and related elements are often gone through during the execution of a high-risk arrest warrant. The objective is set – enter the building and secure the subject of the warrant; information on how best to accomplish that objective is obtained and analyzed (inclusive or analyzing risks – i.e. that which can go wrong); a plan of action is developed to minimize the chance of the subject’s escape and decrease the likelihood of officer injury; and the plan is executed and adjusted as necessary after additional facts are determined and analyzed. Throughout this process, that which can go wrong is constantly identified, assessed and, if appropriate, action is adjusted.

“Risk Management,” within the context of insurance and related risk control and loss mitigation measures, is a specific but integral part of the overall management process. It seeks to identify things that can go wrong (risks) that may have a significant monetary impact, determines how much of the monetary exposure makes cost-effective sense to transfer to others through the payment of insurance premiums (or member contributions) and continuously seeks to cost-effectively limit or mitigate that which can go wrong.

In continuing to build and maintain your program of insurance, risk control and loss mitigation, the common elements of the management process should be effectively managed and implemented in a manner that continuously identifies and assesses that which can go wrong. Your risk management process should also assure that proper and cost-effective measures are in place, or otherwise undertaken, which mitigate or reduce the likelihood of the more frequent and/or significant matters that can go wrong.

An effectively managed program of risk management will not only likely improve your claim loss experience and better contain insurance cost, but more importantly, better position your office and operations in limiting fatalities, injuries and lawsuits.

The Fund is not here only to consult with you on your insurance needs, but to also consult with and assist you in enhancing your program of risk control and loss mitigation, inclusive of assisting you in identifying, addressing and managing risk. This is just one of the many benefits of being a member of the Fund. Please do not hesitate to contact Dan Condon, COO, (dan.condon@fsrmf.org; 850-320-6883) at the Fund to discuss and explore further ways to enhance your current program.

By Wayne MatthewsCPA, Chief Financial Officer