Spitballing is a term for throwing out ideas for consideration at a business meeting in advance of detailed development.

I invite you to check out the spitballing menu on this page and respond when something strikes you as provocative or something you agree or disagreee with.

Robert F. Lunney

Policing: Craft or Science? Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Umpteen years ago, when I was a boy police chief, I was invited to join a panel at my second CACP (Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police) conference, held at Montreal.  My partners were criminologists from local universities.  In those days, practitioners and academics were poles apart in their outlook on contending with the challenge of crime and disorder.  At that time there was little capacity for applied analytics aside from the highest reaches of public administration.  The academic community Read more [...]

Your Personal Mission Statement

Dedicated to all rising leaders in the field of policing and security There is a startling commonality found in the personal stories of many successful people. They begin by describing the early stages of their working life, then strike to the heart of their experience saying, “And then I got serious.” What follows proves to be the turning point of their career. Getting serious often coincides with other life changing influences – marriage, parenthood or an unexpected career opportunity Read more [...]

Tales from the Beat

Ask any police officer about strange or funny incidents that happened while walking a beat or responding to calls and you are in for some entertaining stories.  The best tales often come with a lesson learned.  I related this story in my memoir Parting Shots.  This incident happened in the fifties when I was serving at RCMP Whitehorse Detachment in the Yukon Territory, a hard drinking northern town with a rich mix of local characters. One evening, I answered a telephone call from the Star Cafe, Read more [...]

How We Remember

In Tuesday I was in Ottawa on business. When the meeting ended I walked to Parliament Hill to the memorial for Canadian police and peace officers killed in the line of duty. It was late afternoon in bright sunshine. Few people were in the area. The names of the fallen are etched in glass panels against a fence adjacent to the Memorial Pavilion.  Running my eye down each panel I searched out the names of officers who lost their lives during my experience, either from personal knowledge or attendance Read more [...]

Collaboration and Risk with Multi-Disciplinary Core Groups

Police participation in multi-disciplinary core projects is catching on across Canada with encouraging results for crime prevention and community wellness. Great idea, but the style of leadership differs when police are collaborating with agencies outside the realm of law enforcement.  This point is made by John Vanek in his article in PoliceOne.com News, May 7, 2014.  The author illustrates why police must adapt to the differing cultures of agencies representing social services, mental health Read more [...]

The Case for Direct Entry

The principles and organizational traditions of the United Kingdom form the symbolic cradle of democratic policing. That cradle is rocking. Acting on long festering dissatisfaction with police performance the current U.K. government embarked on a massive process of reform. Based on recommendations of an independent review known as the Winsor Report after Chairman Tom Winsor, the government is intent on imposing a lengthy list of recommendations relating to working conditions, fitness, training, remuneration Read more [...]

Somebodies and Nobodies

A friend and colleague retired as Chief of Police in a mid-West U.S. city.  He became a police consultant and travelled often.  One night he returned from a trip and took a seat in the shuttle bus to the airport parking lot.  One other man joined him and after a searching look, said, “Didn’t you used to be somebody?”  My friend replied, “Yes, and someday I hope to be somebody again.”  Interesting question: If you are not a somebody, does this make you a nobody?  And who gets Read more [...]