Public Safety Testimonials
We’re proud of what public safety officials say about us and our work with them!
Plymouth Public Safety Department
December 16, 2020
Dear Amber and Cathy:
On behalf of the City of Plymouth, Minnesota, and the Plymouth Public Safety Department, I want to take this opportunity to offer my sincere thanks for the stellar work you completed on our organization’s Culture Project, for both Police and Fire.
The Culture Project was of the utmost importance to help establish a current baseline and a desired direction forward for the new administration upon my impending retirement. This work challenged our personnel to take an honest inventory of our environment, provided an opportunity to help craft a new beginning, and gave an important voice to those who have been unheard. I firmly believe that we have achieved our initial goals, and now it is up to the membership to delve into the defined objectives and to make progress towards its desired future.
I am extremely impressed by the initial outcomes and am grateful for your thoughtful efforts and consultation throughout the entire project. Your collective and superior organizational, observational and facilitation skills were instrumental in this project’s success.
Michael S. Goldstein
Retired Public Safety Director/Police Chief
City of Plymouth, MN
Duluth Police Department
The Duluth Police Department has had the good fortune of working with Cathy Perme as a consultant during our strategic planning process and also having Amber Peterson serve as a police officer for the City of Duluth for 8 years. While interim police Chief, I wanted to create a roadmap for the next Chief. I tasked Amber with conducting a department-wide assessment of our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). She did that by interviewing every employee in the department, analyzing the results, and presenting that to the Command Staff.
After being confirmed as the new Chief of Police, I then hired Cathy Perme to help us create a strategic plan for the Department. The magic of their partnership began when Cathy used Amber’s comprehensive SWOT analysis as a platform to help launch into strategic planning. Cathy then led us in a community input process that included a comprehensive citizen survey and dozens of focus groups, and developed a diverse planning team including community members. To build ownership in the planning effort, Cathy facilitated highly-energetic input sessions with staff to gather input and feedback.
As a result, we created a new mission, values, and goals and developed an action plan with timelines to follow. This charted our path forward to better serve our community and department.
Clients of Cathy and Amber will find that their diverse experiences and intuition will help streamline the effort of identifying areas that are preventing an organization from realizing its full potential. They will help you build a plan to guide your department on where you want and need to be!
Chief of Police
City of Duluth, MN
Albert Lea Police Department
Prior to 2006, officers at ALPD could best be described as “independent contractors” – their work was based on their interests without identified strategy behind it. Citizens could often identify which lieutenant was on duty by focus of patrol efforts. That began to change in 2006 when we met a team of experts who helped us move our department in a more functional direction. Cathy Perme was a primary on that team.
Today, ALPD is a unified team of focused professionals who know what is expected of them based on common goals, citizen input, and performance standards. The current performance management system ensures that every person in the department receives performance expectations and evaluations along with feedback and coaching to help them to work to the best of their ability. The Leadership Team now develops goals and strategies and is responsible for overall policy and decision-making with input from the department. Lieutenants lead projects across the department and work with Sergeants to ensure consistency of supervision. Officers work together with improved data to identify common problems throughout the city and resolve them as a team. The result is more accountability, ownership and partnerships with the community.
In 2013, I collaborated as Project Manager with Cathy Perme (Project Mentor) specifically to develop and mold a community policing vision that fits our department and expands our efforts to a higher level. Our objectives were to:
- Identify our strengths and weaknesses during the past few years of implementation
- Review and evaluate our current methods
- Identify areas for improvement
- Learn from others that have gone before us
- Develop a new vision for the future
- Redefine the policing model for ALPD based on the vision, themes, and input received
- Develop a plan to implement it
Cathy’s model for cultural change fostered my professional growth and helped to develop and recognize the skills needed to advance our plans for the department. The mentorship Cathy provided built trust and confidence in my responsibility for overall leadership of this effort, communicating about progress, and delivering a product on time and within budget.
Cathy’s model for cultural change and her partnership with us allowed for an effective and efficient accomplishment of mission. Our Mission, Vision, and Values are the bedrock of the ALPD.
Director of Public Safety
City of Albert Lea, MN
MN Private Detective & Protective Agenda Services Board (PD/PA Board)
The MN Private Detective & Protective Agenda Services Board (PD/PA Board) decided that it wanted to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and speed of its administrative processes for issuing and re-issuing licenses for private detectives and security firms in MN. There was a frustration on the part of applicants and board members alike with the length of time it took to get a license issued or reissued – often more than 4-6 months! As part of the process improvement effort, the Board also wanted to identify areas for potential changes in statute and administrative rules that have outlived their usefulness, since neither had been changed for more than twenty years.
The PD/PA Board redesigned its core processes in less than 10 weeks, with the help of a 10-person design team composed of industry representatives, current and past board members, internal staff, and a rep from a similar type of board. The design team met for a total of 2 ½ days over that time frame, with meetings solely focused on decision-making since all the data gathering was facilitated by two highly experienced process consultants – Cathy Perme and her associate.
The results? The newly designed processes strengthened public safety and license holder accountability, while eliminating burdensome regulations and outdated requirements. The new processes empowered staff to approve routine license renewals, and focused the board on exercising its judgment on new applications and stickier situations. Today, renewals take less than two weeks to approve and new applications less than two months. In addition, the Board has improved public safety by rooting out unethical practitioners.
It has been a pleasure being part of the Design Team and actually being able to make positive changes for our industry. The results have been impressive — a drastic reduction in efforts by both staff as well as license holders, a reduction in costs, and less frustration for all involved. This process is an example of a template that should be used to improve efficiency in many other aspects of government.
Gregory J. Cook, CFE, CPP
Northern Integrity Investigations, LLC
Now Executive Director of the PD/PA Board
Many in the private sector view bureaucracies like the State of Minnesota PD/PA Board as rigid and unchanging, obstacles to improvement, unwilling to consider doing things smarter or more effectively. After having the opportunity to participate in this effort I’m pleased to see this is not always the case. I’m certain all license holders in the State will benefit from this improved process and in the end the Private Investigator and Protective Agent communities will benefit greatly by this cooperation between Board, Staff and License Holders.
Don Patrick Dunn, President/CEO
The R & D Agency, Inc.
Minnesota’s tax payers and our license holders should be very satisfied with what we accomplished
Retired Attorney & Former District Court Judge
PD/PA Board Member for nearly 20 years