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January 16, 2024 53 mins

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Season 5 - Episode 120
Ever wondered how the seemingly stern face of law enforcement could be humanized? We've got Chris Hsiung, the undersheriff of San Mateo County, sharing his own experiences and insights on this matter. A veteran with 28 years at the Mountain View Police Department, Hsiung believes in the power of social media to break down barriers and build stronger community relations. He walks through his journey and how he's used modern tools of communication to reshape public perception of law enforcement.

Chris is co-founder of The Curve, to dive headfirst into the topic of police culture reform. This includes Simon Sinek and other forward-thinking police executives.  With a unique perspective on the importance of human skills and the power of difficult conversations, Hsiung is candid in discussing the need for a safe, positive work environment. He brings to the table his insights on leadership development and the unexpected value of book clubs in fostering camaraderie and changing police culture for the better. 

In our chat with Chris, he talks about leadership and decision-making in organizations. Sheriff Hsiung emphasizes the importance of intentional and inclusive decision-making, continuous innovation, and the crucial role of placing the right people in the right positions.

Please listen for an enlightening conversation that offers a multifaceted look at law enforcement, leadership, and the road to a better future for law enforcement. 

#chrishsiung #SanMateoSheriff #MountqainViewPolice #TheCurve
#SteveMorreale #TheCopDocPodcast #WorcesterStateUniversity

Contact us: copdoc.podcast@gmail.com

Website: www.copdocpodcast.com

If you'd like to arrange for facilitated training, or consulting, or talk about steps you might take to improve your leadership and help in your quest for promotion, contact Steve at stephen.morreale@gmail.com

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Intro-Outro (00:02):
Welcome to The Cop Doc Podcast.
This podcast explores policeleadership issues and innovative
ideas.
The CopD oc shares thoughts andideas as he talks with leaders
in policing communities,academia and other government
agencies.
And now please join Dr.

(00:22):
Steve Morreale and industrythought leaders as they share
their insights and experience onThe Cop Doc Podcast.

Steve Morreale (00:33):
Back again, everybody.
Steve Morreale hello, I'mcoming to you from Boston and
today we are on a bicoastal call.
We're talking to Chris Chungand he is the the undersheriff
at San Mateo County.
So I want to say hello to you.

Chris Hsiung (00:46):
Chris, good morning from the West Coast.

Steve Morreale (00:48):
Yes, Thank you.
Thank you and sorry, we had abit of technical difficulty.
Sometimes I am challenged bythese changes and when I start
talking to people in Australia,oh, do I screw that up because
of the time differences?
But anyway, we got you in here,so thank you.
I'd like very much to talkabout you and about how you
ended up where you are and yourtrajectory through policing and,

(01:10):
most importantly, what the hellis an under sheriff?
I mean, most people know, butthat's a title that not
everybody knows.
So tell us about yourself,chris.

Chris Hsiung (01:17):
Sure, Well thanks.
I spent 28 years at theMountain View Police Department
and Mountain View is located inthe heart of Silicon Valley
moved around through the ranks,all different assignments, spent
most of my time either indetectives and then the back
half and leadership positions,the last two years there as the
police chief.
It's just a tremendousopportunity.
I'm kind of a techie personmyself, so being in that role in

(01:39):
that city, surrounded bycompanies like Google, LinkedIn,
Intuit, Symantec, I mean it wasjust kind of the best of both
worlds for me.
Last year I was approached bySheriff Christina Corpus from
the San Mateo County Sheriff'soffice.
She had just won her electionand was going to become the new
sheriff as of January of 2023.
And she basically made an offerand said I'd love for you to

(02:00):
become my under sheriff.
And, to your point, the firstthought in my head was what's an
under sheriff?
So even you question that Iwasn't sure myself.
I spent my whole career on thepolice side of things and I mean
I knew plenty of sheriffcolleagues and stuff, but it's
basically the number two.
You know, maybe in policeparlance you would know it as an
assistant chief or a deputychief, but my responsibility is

(02:23):
at the sheriff's office, is tojust really support her vision,
which really the more we talk,the more we figured out that
we're both trying to accomplishthe same thing.
You know, really make apositive change in modernizing
policing.
And for me I get to run theoperations and just I actually
live in the county, so to me Iget to come home in a sense and

(02:44):
serve the community that I grewup and still live in.

Steve Morreale (02:47):
So let's talk about it for the listeners to
understand.
Compare a bit the size of thepolice department you came from
in Mountain View to where you'reat now.
Size, geography, those kinds ofthings.

Chris Hsiung (03:00):
So Mountain View had about 96 sworn officers with
the professional staff, about40 folks, and so, by comparison,
samtou County Sheriff's Officeis almost like six times larger,
or budgeted for 450 deputiesand with a huge professional
staff and, as you can imagine, acounty obviously is going to be
geographically much larger.
For your listeners, if you'renot familiar with our county,

(03:22):
where it's at, so everyoneprobably knows where San
Francisco is.
We are the county that bordersSan Francisco to the south and
then we'll go all the way downto Santa Clara County, which is
about where Mountain View, paloAlto, is.

Steve Morreale (03:33):
Did you tell me that SFO was actually in your
county?
It is Okay, I think that wouldplace it very easily for people.

Chris Hsiung (03:40):
Yeah, so if you fly to San Francisco and you
landed at San FranciscoInternational Airport, you are
actually landing in San MateoCounty.

Steve Morreale (03:46):
I'll bet that rankles you a little bit.
You know why?
Isn't it the San Mateo Airport?
But anyway, so that's great.
So here you are, you areleading a police department.
I know that in many ways, thatyou were very big in social
media and understanding thevalue of social media.
And let's just go back a littlebit in time about and you were

(04:07):
a PIO, as I was, and so how didyou evolve to say we need to use
this to communicate?

Chris Hsiung (04:14):
So I believe it was 2013.
And you have to remember wayback then.
I believe Mountain View PDmight have been one of the first
agencies to get on Twitter but,like many agencies that started
to get active on social, wewere using it as a one way push
of information.
So you know how government iswe push out our information and
anyone comments.
Well, we didn't know aboutcomments back then, right?

(04:35):
So we were being surrounded bya community that was very tech
savvy.
Social media companies werepopping up at the time.
I was very fortunate I was alieutenant at the time and I was
fortunate to have a captain anda chief who were very
supportive in taking chances,taking responsible risk, taking
right, and I said, hey, I reallywant to try something new on
the social media thing, andthat's using it differently,

(04:55):
using it more conversationally,professional use of humor,
really humanizing the voice andtone, and that really wasn't
very common back then.
When we tried it, the communityloved it.
The time I had a neighboringagency, palo Alto Police
Department, a good friend ofmine who is now a captain there,
zac Perone.
He was also a lieutenant at thetime and we began to just try

(05:16):
things him on his accounts forPalo Alto PD myself on mine and
Mountain View PD and we reallyknew we were onto something
because the community loved it.
We actually changed theinformation flow process in the
Bay Area with the media where atthe time, the media call us or
email us for updates.
We started to train them thatif you wanted to know anything
happening, you'll get everythingyou want and more.
We would post photos, we wouldpost breaking information.

(05:39):
The media loved it because itsaved them from having to chase
us down right and so,anecdotally, we saw calls into
dispatch drop because we couldreally manage the incident
management of it.
And then Zac and I went on theroad show and started teaching
for ISCP and conferences allacross the country.
And I'm not here to say that weinvented anything.
I think what we found was wefound fellow innovators and

(06:01):
early adopters.
We had other PIOs from acrossthe country through the ISCP
network and we all startedtalking and just started
understanding that we aredefinitely onto something.
And then you fast forward 10years from now.
It's just incredible where theindustry has gone.
I know you interviewed KatieNelson.
She was the second PIO that Ibrought on doing great things
and so the field is alwayspushing itself.

Steve Morreale (06:22):
There continue to be some incredible
communicators all across thecountry doing great work that
they often don't get recognizedfor we're talking to Chris Chung
and he is the under sheriff inSan Mateo County and we're
talking a little bit aboutsocial media.
We're going to be talking aboutculture pretty soon and the
impact of everything that'sgoing on in the world related to
policing.
But I'm quite curious and tohear from your perspective this

(06:43):
idea of using social media inessence and what I see a lot of
a lot happening.
Chris and you talked abouthumanizing policing.
There are so many good thingsthat police do, but storytelling
is a really important thing.
But I also would suggest to youthat so many who might be
listening, even though theywould be very late adopters if
they started to become too waywith it, I think they have to

(07:06):
recognize that so many youngpeople today, this is their only
way of getting, so do we haveto capitalize on that?
Talk about that and talk aboutas we fast forward.
Talk about what you're doing,where you are now, and whether
that represents a change in theway you're communicating from
San Mateo to the people who youserve.

Chris Hsiung (07:25):
So here's the interesting thing we're actually
at a crossroads again.
As you know, social platformscontinue to evolve and one of
the best ones was Twitter foragencies and for breaking news
and stuff like that, and nowthat's becoming kind of a
dumpster fire, and I juststarted an article this morning
that we don't even know if it'sgoing to exist in the near
future the new.
X, the new X.
I look at the chatter from mycolleagues, tio colleagues, from

(07:48):
across the country.
Many of them are not gettingthe engagement that they used to
on X, and so they've backedaway and we're looking at other
options.
Facebook is not ideal for that.
Instagram is not a newsplatform and so and here's the
thing is is not everyone's onsocial.
A lot of people are just tiredof it, right.

Steve Morreale (08:05):
And so it's over with some information overload.

Chris Hsiung (08:07):
Yeah, I was asked the other day.
You know well what's next.
I don't know.
I don't know that it existsright now to really inform
people.
I'm sure someone's going tofill that void, but it's just
going to take some time.

Steve Morreale (08:17):
Katie mentioned something that was sort of
unusual.
It was that they were usingneighborhood and that's an
interesting perspective, butunfortunately that that can be
almost geospatial.
You know, you've got this part,this part, this way, so you
would have I don't know how youwould broadcast to all of those.
But again bringing it back toSan Mateo, are you engaging in

(08:39):
utilizing social media more thanyou were before, more than they
were before?

Chris Hsiung (08:43):
Yes, Actually, I forgot to mention next door.
I really really like next door.

Steve Morreale (08:48):
I said neighborhood, I'm sorry, next
door.
Thank, you.

Chris Hsiung (08:51):
I think that's a hyper local aspect of it and
that everyone is opted in tothat platform when they're in
that neighborhood.
So at San Mateo County, whatwe've done is, because we have
three contract cities, that eachof the bureau captains in
charge of those contract citiesactually has a presence on next
door.
So if you're a resident inthose cities, you're being
messaged by your bureau chief,right, and it allows us, since
we have such a large footprint,to message either as

(09:13):
headquarters or messagespecifically.
So there is some promise there.
But again, you know, even nextdoor, a lot of people shy away
from it because it tends to be alittle unwieldy at times.

Steve Morreale (09:22):
But yeah, so let's talk about your drill as
under sheriff in San Mateo.
We had the opportunity to speakfor a little bit before we came
in contact for this podcast.
Then you were talking aboutworking on trying to change
culture, and so talk about that.
What was the point of viewwhere somebody said the sheriff

(09:42):
said we need to change culture?
That's a big, big job.

Chris Hsiung (09:46):
Yes, and the corpus ran on that platform of a
sheriff's office that, thoughit was filled with incredibly
dedicated men and women, theculture in the office at the
time was due for a change.
It needed some modernizing, andthat's the platform she ran on
and that was kind of the hook toconvince me as well to come

(10:08):
over, because I had been doing alot of that work in Mountain
View and my I guess myassociation is with the
California Chiefs of PoliceAssociation as well as IACP, and
so you know, culture change isdifficult in any organizational
setting and when you are doingsomething new and you're at the

(10:28):
front of something, it's alsocan be terrifying, right,
Because you may not have thatmany places to compare yourself
to.
Fortunately I think youreferenced it in the beginning
and we can definitely divedeeper into it is the curve, a
non-profit that myself and a fewother Chiefs from across the
country founded with Simon Sinek, and our purpose there is to

(10:52):
really equip policing leaderswith the tools necessary to make
positive, modern culture changefrom the top down, from the
inside out, because we'verealized that all these attempts
to legislate reform don'treally work, right.
I mean sometimes, yes, but theproblem that most people have is

(11:12):
they look at policing as amonolith.
They think that you know, ofthe 18,000 policing agencies
across the country, we're allthe same.
That doesn't apply to us.
It applies to agencies maybe inother countries where they have
a national police force, but wedon't have that.
We have a dynamic here whereevery law enforcement agency in
the country is a reflection ofthe community they serve.

(11:35):
It might be metropolitan, itmight be suburban, and so it's
all very unique and each ofthose has different cultures in
and of itself.
And then you know, all I haveto say is you know, look at the
cities across the country, we'reall.
They're all different, right?
So, dialing it back to culturechange, we understood that to
modernize police culture waskind of the path to do that.

(11:56):
And then we give an example ofthat.
One of the core tenants of thecurve is the statement that the
police, the purpose of police,is to protect the vulnerable
from harm.
Right, and so when you look atit that way, when you look at
who's vulnerable, well, youmight be in a knockdown, drag
out fight with someone a suspect, a felon even but the second

(12:17):
you put handcuffs on that person.
You know, the training tells usthe fight's over.
Now you need to kind of be aprofessional right and that
person is very vulnerable.
They're in handcuffs.
It's our duty to care for thatperson and get them into custody
and that's it.
And if you look around acrossthe country where there have
been those scandals or theunlawful uses of force, that's

(12:40):
the intersection of that personwas not cared for right After
the handcuffs were put on.
So you know it's something new,it's exciting because it's
gaining traction.
We're seeing a lot of interestfrom across the country because
a lot of leaders see that needfor something to change.

Steve Morreale (13:01):
It's a big step and I'm glad that you're taking
it on and I've been watchingwhat you've been doing with the
curve and I want you to explainthat a little bit.
That I it strikes me that youknow when somebody has to make
an arrest and certainly you'vemade your share and I've made my
share it's never.
It never looks good especiallywhen somebody resists.

(13:23):
It just doesn't and videos out.
There are an awful lot and theexperience very often is we get
emotional.
Somebody tries to bite us orkick us and we get emotional and
part of it is, you know, havingthe discussion with officers to
say when that happens, ifanother officer comes in,
basically if they tap you, letthem take it over because they
don't have that emotion Right.

(13:44):
And then, once you settlesomebody down and I understand
exactly what you're what you'resaying, very often what I'd say
is listen, if you treat me withrespect, I'll treat you with
respect.
I'm not here to hurt you.
I had to do my job.
Now let's get you through thesystem right, that kind of stuff
, and and so it's thoseconversations, it's.
It also strikes me, chris, thatI presume that your sheriff and

(14:05):
you and the expectations thatyou might have of your
commanders and your captains isto become more conversant and
listen more and open thatconversation and ask questions
and engage people.
So, because it's their agency,I'm seeing you shake your head.
Tell me how you react to that.

Chris Hsiung (14:26):
Absolutely so.
Another one of the core tenantsof the curve is teaching people
and teaching leaders humanskills.
Now, we might some might saythat that's called soft skills,
right, but think about theevolution of any officer or
deputy as they rise through theranks.
Every time they get promoted,they might get sent to a

(14:47):
mandated school, supervisoryschool, whatever.
But how often do we teach themhow to have difficult
conversations, how to caredeeply about the people they
lead and do this in a way that,if they had to give them
critical feedback, that it'sdone, knowing that ultimately
it's for the betterment of theircareer, for their person, and

(15:09):
not to tear them down?
For some reason, in our cultureand the broader policing culture
, it tends to be verydisparaging, right?
You kind of just grind peopledown in the ground or make fun
of people because you're new.
That type of culture does notpromote great innovation or
thinking or a safe place, right?
So it's just important, I thinkand you see it from a different

(15:32):
direction where wellness is ahuge topic nowadays, right, and
so even that intersects andoverlaps with this, because if
we want to create a culture andan organization where people are
passionate about coming to work, they also need to know that
they have the safety net Ifthings are not okay with them,

(15:53):
if things are not okay at home,that they can raise their hand
and say it without being madefun of.
In fact, our vision would bethat someone raises their hand
and not only is that personsupported, they're given all the
resources they need, because weknow in the end they get better
, they come back, they're abetter employee if they're
supported in that way.
Right?

(16:13):
A common saying that we had inMountain View was just assume
that everyone we interact with,whether it's your co-workers or
anyone out on the street, thateveryone's dealing with
something.
Yeah, they're having a bad dayright, yeah, whether it's family
, whether it's kids, whatever itis, but we're just all really
good at hiding it, right?
And if you have that as amindset, then just give people

(16:34):
some grace, right, and clearly.
I know there's situations outon the street where you don't
have that benefit at the time.
I'm not talking about that, I'mtalking about the other 90,
whatever percent.
When you interact with people,just know that it might just not
be a great day for them, right?
So the big takeaway there isdoes your listeners have

(16:55):
organizations where, if that'shappening, that it's safe enough
that they can raise their handand ask for help?
And if not, then it's up to theleaders to change that.

Steve Morreale (17:04):
You know, one of the things and in my own
experience, and when I do anawful lot of training myself,
I'm always saying and it was myown experience as a leader
myself is you've got to givepeople hope.
You can chew their ass out, butwhat does that do?
Right?
If we're supposed to bementoring our people?
Again, the question of whetherit's a hard or head mistake that

(17:28):
we're supposed to be mentoringpeople, and even I say this to
professors why are you here?
You're here to teach, yes, butthat person plagiarized.
Well, wait a minute, did theyknow?
Can you salvage this?
Can you use this as a teachablemoment?
Can you give them hope and notderive them and make them feel
like shit?
Right, and it would be the samething with calling people into

(17:51):
the office.
You have to have difficultconversations and I'll say this,
chris, and I'd love to get yourreaction.
My practice has been and Isuggest this to many, many
leaders who I come in contactwith is if you have to have that
conversation, don't have thatconversation when you're angry,
right Pissed off at what you'veheard.

(18:12):
Take the time to collect theinformation, let them know
you're going to talk to them,let them simmer for a little bit
because you need to simmer andyou're going to have a better
conversation.
What's your take on that?

Chris Hsiung (18:25):
Yeah, absolutely.
Communication is different foreverybody.
Right, everyone has differentstyles.
But what do we do in ourculture traditionally is you
just assume that there's onecookie cutter?
I always like to look at ourhiring practice.
Right, when we hire newofficers and new deputies, we
hire them for their diversity ofthought and experience.

(18:45):
And then what do we do?
We put them in a police academyand we pound individuality out
of them and we punish them forspeaking out.
And then FTO programs arelargely kind of similar like hey
, rookie, you're seeing and notheard, keep your mouth shut.
Well, it starts there and thatjust creates the wrong road.

(19:08):
And I think maybe there's somelisteners out there who are like
, okay, well, now you just wantto go soft?
Well, no, I don't think so, andI'll tell you why.
We often consider ourselves aparamilitary culture, and Simon
talks about this all the time.
He goes a lot of time that hespends with the military.

(19:30):
They're completely vulnerable.
There are tears shed, it's asafe place to just hold hands
and hug and cry together.
But for whatever reason, wehave kind of a hybrid version of
that where we take kind of thewho raw cool part about boot
camp, we pound people down andwe don't build them up Right.
And what do we?

Steve Morreale (19:52):
do Well.
So let me speak to that, becauseI was in the military myself
and one of the things in myexperience has been first of all
, I don't think we do a greatjob of preparing people to be
leaders, right.
Right, you know what happens andyou've had this experience over
and over again Someone doesn'ttell you they're going to retire
, and they drop it on you, andnow you have a vacancy, and now
you've got to wait three months,six months to advertise and and

(20:15):
and put somebody in there, andthe person who had institutional
knowledge is gone and and thenew person is basically thrown
there to say good luck, right?
No, so we don't prepare leadersvery well, but I do think that
we have held ourselves up in theimage of the military but
haven't recognized that themilitary has changed exactly

(20:37):
what you're saying.
We're still operating in the40s and 50s and 60s, and I think
in a lot of ways and we couldlearn an awful lot.
And then the other thing yousaid, chris, was we hire the
best and then we tell them toshut up, mind your business
instead of using theirintellectual capacity to help
the organization grow.
How are you driving thatthrough?

Chris Hsiung (20:55):
It's really kind of encouraging people to learn
in Places outside of policingtoo, right, there's no shortage
of police type classes that wesend our folks to, and I'm not
at all saying that we shouldstop that.
I'm saying, in addition to that, we really should be sending
our folks to just learn from theprivate sector, learn from
other things, help them read,help them Listen to podcast or
Ted talks.
You're gonna have morediversity of thought and that

(21:18):
can only help any sort ofdecision-making.
That has to happen.
You know you're probablysmiling when I say it's like how
many of our policing agenciesyou take someone who makes the
most arrests, so naturally wethink they're gonna make the
best sergeant.
They become a sergeant, theycontinue to make more arrests
and everyone on their team.
Now I ask you, are they thebest leader?
Nope, they're just a reallygood, they're a great officer.
So we kind of have to resetwhat we look for as a leader.

(21:41):
A leader should make everyonearound them better, right?
Not carbon copies and cookingcutters of themselves.
That leader should have theSophistication to know that
they're gonna create theenvironment on that team to make
everyone better in their ownway, right?
So that means I'm single wayright, if I'm a great dope cop
and I'm a sergeant, I'm nottrying to create a team full of
dope cops.
I'm trying to create a teamthat you know.

(22:03):
Hey, you want to do traffic,I'll do everything I can to
support you in that and I'llhelp you, teach you, get to the
resources so you can be the besttraffic officer.
If you want to be a schoolresource officer, I'll do the
same, right.
That's what I mean by reallyexpanding and making our
profession richer and deeper interms of leadership development
so we're talking to Chris Chung.

Steve Morreale (22:20):
He is the under sheriff in San Mateo County
today, and we're talking aboutculture and we're talking about
humanizing the police department, in my estimation too, do you
think that we need?
Or in the past, you look atother people.
We don't set expectations asoften as maybe we should right.
A new person comes in You'renew, but you've got experience

(22:41):
and they're looking to you andmaybe you've just promoted them
and you're having conversation.
What are the things you talkabout to get them ready to screw
their head on straight?
So this is the next positionYou're no longer a sergeant,
you're no longer a lieutenant,you're no longer an officer,
whatever that is.
These are the expectations wehave from you.
And then, how can I help?

Chris Hsiung (23:00):
I tell people that I'm not really a big into stats
.
In some sense I could care lessabout statistics.
I want to see how you make adifference.
One thing I did in MountainView was, you know, when we talk
about performance evaluations,I told our staff ago I really am
not interested in seeing howmany arrests so-and-so made or
how many team I mean they haveto.
That's part of their job.

(23:20):
But what the narrative portionof an evaluation?
I want to hear how you made adifference, like how did you
make a difference among yourteam members?
How did you make a difference apositive one in your community,
in your sphere, wherever youare assigned?
My hope is that you made adifference.
So tell me about that, becausewhat I know is that Everyone is
an influencer one way or theother.
They will either drag theirteam down, they will lift them

(23:42):
up, or they might be in themiddle and they kind of swayed
back and forth.
Right, you're gonna be in oneof those three Categories.
So those are the expectationswhere I set down for people,
because I acknowledge thateveryone's gonna be different.
Whatever my strength andweaknesses are, I can best serve
the people I work with byknowing what my strengths and
weaknesses are and thenIdentifying what theirs are and
really highlighting theirstrengths and then coming up

(24:03):
alongside them and supportingthem for their weaknesses.

Steve Morreale (24:07):
Another thing that people talk about is that
we are great at problem-solving.
I think, with the Sarah modelthat we've had trained and
inculcated in us, we're good attrying to solve problems, but
we're not always good atidentifying problems, and it
seems to me that you, as aleader, have to be Receptive, to
set the table, to say bring theproblems forward to me, don't
blindside me.
If you see something out therethat needs help, bring it in,

(24:29):
let's talk about it, let's lookat some solutions.
So how important is that?

Chris Hsiung (24:33):
It's incredibly important and for your listeners
out there who might be eitherin the management or executive
management ranks, something Ilike to do when I teach to those
audiences is really talk aboutgoing out to the line level,
doing ride-alongs Something thesheriff and I did.
You know you take your rank off, we go in and work the jails or
you go on ride-alongs.
It serves a lot of purposes forme coming over the sheriff's

(24:53):
office.
So much more I need to learnabout in the jail system, right.
And so I went in there and Itold the guys is today, I know
how to toss a car.
I really don't know how to tossa cell, so teach me like I
wasn't there as the undersheriff to be to have everyone
kiss the ring.
I was there as Chris and Iwanted to learn how they did
their jobs.
Now, why do I do that?
Because if I need to makedecisions about equipment for

(25:14):
them or things that they need, Iwould rather have first-hand
experience.
Right, and I.
That's why I like to attendtraining, go to ranged training
to see how, what the tactics are, be proficient, even rolling
around the ground and defensivetactics.
Yeah, I'm getting a littleolder, but and I can't tell you
what it does for morale to for aleader to drop their rank and
just learn Alongside people.

(25:34):
It's a different dynamic and Iwould say there's really no
downside to it.

Steve Morreale (25:38):
There's a book out there that was written by
the F4 FBI agent on leadership.
There's a whole bunch of themout there, but it was leaders,
pick up your brass.
And I think it's that youunderstand what I'm saying, that
you're not such a big shot thatwhen you Shoot it's like let
the little peons pick up mybrass, I'll do it too, right,
and so you're in essence, sinceit's the old modeling, the way
yeah, right, yeah, 100%, reallyimportant.

Chris Hsiung (25:57):
So please let's go back and revisit the curve and
how that came to pass so thiswould be post George Floyd, the
summer of George Floyd, and Ithink we all remember that time
in policing where, no matterwhere we looked, we're just
being attacked and, as policeleaders, not only were we trying
to support our officers andkeep morale up, but the voices

(26:18):
we heard from the community.
Everyone just assumed and thiswas going back to what I told
you earlier about the policewe're doing this and that and
that everyone was bad right.
So I was fortunate enough to beconnected through the ICP
network to a couple differentforward-thinking chiefs, one of
them being Jack Colley fromCastle Rock, colorado.
Jack, if you've read SimonSinek's third book, infinite
game, I think Jack back is thechief in the agency profiled in

(26:41):
chapter 7, yes, where you'retalking about one by one
policing.
And so Jack calls me up out ofthe blue and says hey, I don't
know if you've heard of this guynamed Simon Sinek.
And I'm kind of doing backflipsat that point because, of
course, I've heard of him.
But but hey, Simon, does thisquarterly zoom call with a
couple chiefs for trying tofigure this out.
Are you interested?

Steve Morreale (26:59):
and to give you a little backstory, were you
ready to say no, I don't haveany time for this.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Chris Hsiung (27:06):
No, no, that's good, but I want to say it was
like 15, 20 years ago.
A chief that I worked for,scott Vermeer, had brought Simon
Sinek's book into our readinglist for Sargent.
So as I grew up as a SargentLieutenant in Mountain View PD,
I was reading and alreadyfamiliar.
So to have this opportunity wasincredible.
So we get in the room and westart talking.
What we find out is that acrossthe country we're all feeling

(27:27):
the same thing, but we're askingwhat next?
What can we do?
The media was just lambasting us.
Social media was just a toxicecho.
Chamber Legislation was comingdown the road.
Everyone was getting hit indifferent ways and that's where
the culture piece came in thatevolved into having some
retreats, that evolved intoforming the nonprofit called the
Curve and that evolved intocreating the website thecurveorg

(27:49):
.
And culture became tounderstand that.
You know, if we find the rightleaders who understand this need
to modernize police and cultureand create organizations where
teach the human skills, whereit's safe to make a mistake,
it's safe to say that things arenot OK, it can be incredible.
And we started identifying someof these agencies from across
the country that were doing thatand shared as proof of concept

(28:11):
that ideas like having a bookclub and learning together,
incredible.
And another thing that we diddown the road, myself and Jack,
was we did an officer exchangeprogram.
We sent an officer fromMountain View to Castle Rock and
vice versa.
Yeah, and what's interesting iswhen you take that it's two
curve agencies, two agenciesthat ascribe by the same
cultural values, and it's justneat to kind of compare notes

(28:33):
how similar it is and that youhave a positive work environment
and that people care deeply foreach other and in turn they
care for the community as well.

Steve Morreale (28:41):
So let me let me talk about that.
There's two things that youjust said that I want to kind of
explore and dig into.
Number one, the book club.
You've done that.
Tell me how that goes.
I've used articles.
You find something out ofpolice chief.
Not everybody looks at policechief magazine.
You and I do.
We've done it for a long time.
Now you've got Sheriff Magazine.
That's another one completelyfor you right, but just you
saying, hey, I want you to readthis and we'll talk about it in

(29:03):
a meeting or we'll talk thatkind of stuff.
What's the value?
What's the change that happens,I'm sure, when you first throw
it at people, when you first didlike what the hell I got to
read a book for this guy.
Right.
First of all, I was terrified,right, why?

Chris Hsiung (29:16):
So let me set the stage here.
I am a new police chief yeah,probably about a year on in the
seat and I've always had thesewild ideas, right, and I figured
out over time that when you trysomething new, it is terrifying
and the little voice in yourhead of doubt.
And that was certainly present.

Steve Morreale (29:30):
You're going to get pushed back.
They're going to think I'mbeing tried right and I like a
big head.

Chris Hsiung (29:35):
Right, but by then Jack Collie had done it, and
then another good friend of mine, chief Doug Shoemaker at the
time, who was with GrandJunction.

Steve Morreale (29:41):
Now he's out there in.

Chris Hsiung (29:42):
Denton.
Now he's in Denton.
Yes, he had done the book cluband they both had done infinite
games, so that's why I did I go.
You know, those guys sharedtheir chapter questions with me.
When I put the memo up atMountain View PD, I thought no
one's going to sign up, right.
That was the voice of doubt.
I think we had over 40 peopleexpress interest.
I had to break it up into twogroups because it was too big.
Yeah, here's the key, though, ifany of your listeners are

(30:05):
thinking about doing this, ifyou're the leader putting this
together, especially if you arehigher up in rank, you cannot
have any rank in the room.
We had ground rules.
I went in and I said OK,everyone has to call me by my
first name.
There's no rank in the room.
There is no sworn orprofessional staff.
Everyone was invited.
We're all equals here.
If you say my rank, if you saychief, then you have to put a
dollar in the tip jar or in theswear jar, and it was awkward

(30:27):
for them for the first few times.
We would meet once every threeweeks, go over a chapter, but I
use those opportunities.
You know, if a book brought upsomething about a different type
of failure of leadership orsomething, I use that
opportunity to share how Ifailed in that manner.
You might know that as likevulnerable leadership.

Steve Morreale (30:42):
It's just going to say vulnerability, yes.

Chris Hsiung (30:45):
It was magical because we went on a journey to
learn together as an agency andeven after the book club
concluded crossing paths withpeople in the hallway or working
with them side by side andother efforts it's just deeper
and richer.
I can't explain it other thanthat.

Steve Morreale (30:59):
That you break down barriers, chris.
Yeah, I mean, you're puttingpeople on equal footing, but I
think what you're also doing, inmy estimation, is you're saying
your ideas matter Exactly.

Chris Hsiung (31:09):
And it's counter to the traditional culture that
we're raised in.
Of course, from day one, it'sabout seniority.
From day one, it's about rank.
You're either sworn or you'renot.
If we can break all thosethings down and just see each
other as humans, magic happens.
There's a place in time forrank, of course.

Steve Morreale (31:25):
Yeah Well, tactical situations, absolutely
I understand.

Chris Hsiung (31:27):
Yeah, and nothing that I've said today any of your
listeners should interpret aseither going soft, we still
catch bad guys, we still fightcrime.
I'm just saying this is a hugepart of our industry we need to
pay attention to because itworks.

Steve Morreale (31:40):
I'm going to be a wise guy.
We're talking to the soft undersheriff in San Francisco?
No, we're not.
I think it is amazing to beable to chat with you about this
, because it says that there'spromise.
We don't have to be stagnant,we don't have to be status quo.
We are in a culture and asociety that is ever changing

(32:02):
and we're supposed to be seen asprofessional.
What troubles me about chiefsthat I run into?
When I run into an awful lot ofthem, some of them are small
town chiefs they seem afraid tospeak out.
I think they're afraid to becanceled, to use that term.
Even with George Floyd, therewere very few people who said
hey, I don't know what you knowabout our police department, but
that's not what we do, andwe're talking about it right now

(32:25):
and we don't agree with whathappened and we're training to
make sure our training has saidit won't happen and I can't
promise you what won't happen.
But this is what we're doing.
This is what we're about.
It seemed like so many wereafraid to say that we're afraid
to speak out, we're afraid tostand up to say we're not all
like that, right.

Chris Hsiung (32:43):
Yeah, and it's true.
And if you look at the averageshelf life of a chief, it used
to be about five years and maybemore.
Now it's like two to three.
And it's because you sit inthat chair and you just get
hammered from all sides and itdoes take courage and it is
terrifying, I am telling you,when you're an at-will employee
and you have activist voicesthat either are on your council

(33:03):
or influence your council, I'mnot surprised and I totally
understand why some chiefs justdon't feel like they can even
say anything.
And that's the whole purpose ofthe curve is to create that
network of chiefs and sheriffswho you're not alone.
You're not alone.
And that's incredibly powerful.
And this is, I think, simon'sinclusion and participation
lends an extra degree ofvalidity, not just because of
who he is, but because he bringsin the private sector voice,

(33:27):
and these are industry leaders.
They're even paying attentionand going yeah, they're on to
something Right.
So it's not just this flash inthe pan, this is something
that's meaningful and it's apath forward.

Steve Morreale (33:36):
Many years ago I don't know how long you've been
in policing IACP took advantageof the bootstrap program and
that bootstrap program wouldallow basically private sector
would say, send us a couple ofpolice officers into our
supervisor or leadershiptraining and such.
And it was very weird becausesometimes I was the only person
that had a badge in that room.
So that you had to understand toadapt.
But I think and certainly as aprofessor, one of the things

(33:59):
that I think now and I have sometime to think is that there's
so many ideas out there thatwere generated from business.
Policing is a business, butit's important for leaders to
take those ideas and adapt Right, see how we can apply them to
what we do, and I'm sure that'ssomething that you do on a
regular basis.

Chris Hsiung (34:16):
Yeah, one of the best programs I ever attended
best trainings was actually outin your neck of the woods.
I was fortunate enough toattend the Harvard Kennedy exec
program, right and cohort of 60people.
Maybe 10 of them were frompolicing, the rest were state,
local elected officials, citymanagers, librarians.
But in that setting you startto understand that we all deal

(34:37):
with similar issues right, wedeal with people.

Steve Morreale (34:39):
We deal with people, we deal with people.

Chris Hsiung (34:41):
And it really opens up your mind to you know,
a lot of the answers to theproblems we have in policing can
be found in places outside ofour walls, right, and that's why
I really encourage any of yourlisteners to learn outside of
policing, right, Take that timethat you're commuting, listen to
podcasts or read a book that'snot written by a cop.

(35:01):
Not asking you to go on somespiritual journey, I'm just
saying expand the way you think.
But because guess what, thepeople you serve out in the
community, they think that way.
So maybe you know it's going toonly benefit your profession
where you want to go.

Steve Morreale (35:12):
Yeah, that's interesting.
I mean, I was an electedofficial for a very short period
of time and before that,appointed official on the
personnel board, and I was theonly person who got paid by
public sector.
And but I learned.
But I also know even the peoplewho are who you responsible for
right, your county commission,or certainly your city council.
They come from the privatesector and they're applying the

(35:33):
private sector mindset to yourjob and you can fight all you
want, saying well, it's just notthe way it is.
But the reality is show me thedata, show me the evidence you
know, justify why you're doingthat.
You're shaking your head.
Go ahead, speak to that.

Chris Hsiung (35:45):
What first came to mind is as a I think as a
sergeant, as a lieutenant.
We were right next to StanfordUniversity and Stanford would do
these night classes open to thewhole public, so I would take
them right.
And I remember taking a historyof homicide class taught by two
professors who had never beenpart of the criminal justice
system, attended by a room fullof people who had never touched
criminal justice system, and atthe time I always did detective

(36:06):
sergeant for person crimes andof course some of the stuff they
were saying is just wild right.
But what it taught me and Ithink this is a key to my
success to date is it's almostlike if you can learn how the
public thinks and talks, youlearn a new dialect.
And when you're in those publicmeetings if you're in a council
meeting like I do this all thetime I speak in a way that I
want my audience to hear me andsomething I always say is it's

(36:29):
not what you say, it's whatpeople hear.
So if I go into that meetingand I speak like a cop, they
might be digesting about 20%.
But if I draw on my experiencetaking night classes or whatever
book I read and I can tweak itjust a little bit.
I'm using English, but I'm alsosaying it in the voice and tone
in a way that they digest 100%of it.
Well, guess who wins?
Right, you get your pointacross, you get true.

(36:49):
Communication takes place.
I'm also intently listening.
There is nothing more powerfulthan knowing that you're heard
right.
So, whoever you're dealing with, if you're dealing with a
coworker, if you're dealing withthe employee, a subordinate,
I'm a big believer in listeningintently, because that generally
gets you to where you need togo.
Whatever the situation is right, and that's includes the public
as well right, there's noquestion about that and it's

(37:10):
interesting.

Steve Morreale (37:10):
And so you, as a detective, actually, I'll say
this and I remember when I was adetective in the police
department, but then with DEA,and I remember being a cop,
being a patrol guy.
I'm not listening, I'm here forthe call.
Right, I'm here for the call.
This is why you call me.
Don't bring me into any otherproblem that you have.
Because, right, because thecard says it was a domestic or
it's a civil disagreement withboundary or something like that.

(37:32):
But as soon as you get intodetectives, what do you learn to
do?
You ask a question and shut upand let them talk even if
they're lying to you, right?

Chris Hsiung (37:39):
Yeah yeah, the hardest thing to learn in
interview interrogation schoolis to shut up.
That's it.
Ask the question and shut yourmouth.
And I see it with newdetectives all the time.
They ask the question.
They don't like the silence, sothey feel it, and I'm like the
guy was about to confess, rightright, right, or he was going to
lie and you've got.

Steve Morreale (37:56):
You've got incontrovertible evidence
against that that I can talkabout.
Well, I'm sorry, you know whatthis is.
A cop talking to a cop.
You know what I'm saying?
That's great, that's great.
So there's a couple of things,and you talked about something a
few minutes ago and it wasabout mentoring, or paying
attention to other people andbringing them along.
I believe in the adage thatit's all on you, but it's not

(38:17):
about you when you become aleader, because it's really
about everybody else.
You've already achieved and ifyou have to learn, go find a
mentor and find a mentor outside, but lead the people who are
entrusted to you but, mostimportantly, develop other
leaders.
Tell me how important that isto be able to drive Drew to new
leaders.

Chris Hsiung (38:34):
That is so important and it's so needed in
our industry, because what'sprevalent is the opposite of
that it's.
I just got promoted, kissed thering respect the stripes
Exactly the bars right.
I can't stand that.
I remember when I would dopromotional processes I would
tell people there's one thing Ican't stand is arrogance, and
the higher up you go and rank,the more I expect you to serve

(38:56):
those under you.
But what is our culture?
Our culture is like I'm surewe've all worked for that
sergeant and that lieutenant whowas perfect, never made a
mistake, never admitted to it.
But what's the first thingeveryone says when they walk out
of the room?
Oh, that guy's full of it, hehas no clue.
So we have to model that the newleaders and we're at a point in
our profession.
There's going to be a newgeneration of leaders that has
to take over right, and for allthe doom and gloom that I've

(39:18):
painted, I actually shouldclarify that I actually see it
opposite.
It's an opportunity.
Society gut punched us all thereform stuff, covid was another
gut punch, and now we findourselves with the workforce.
That's changed.
That's different, but withthese types of instances in
history, these are opportunities, right.
So what we need are all of yourlisteners to figure out where

(39:39):
they can plant their flag andtheir stake in their agencies
and if they're looking aroundgoing.
Well, my chief or my sheriffdoesn't ascribe to this or my
sergeant doesn't.
Well, fine, be the leader.
You wish you had right and findone or two other people on your
teams or in your work groupsthat feel the same way, have the
same value system, and guesswhat?
Then make that so contagiousand infectious that that spreads

(40:00):
on your team, and guess what?

Steve Morreale (40:01):
It leaks, you're going to be noticed.
It leaks, you're going to benoticed.
Yeah.

Chris Hsiung (40:04):
It's contagious.
You're probably gettingpromoted at that point too,
because admin's going torecognize that you're onto
something.
And now your span of influencejust grew and repeat all over
again.
Now empower those under you todo the same thing, and you make
space for them so that they canbe the best that they can.
It's a simple formula, but forwhatever reason, the default
cannot be I'm going to come towork, I'm going to go to my

(40:24):
calls, I'm going to go home,because we have to take
advantage of this moment in time.
If not, someone else is goingto write that for us, and we
already know how bad that getswhen legislators even
well-meaning ones, come in andtry to tell us how to do our job
when they don't understand.

Steve Morreale (40:38):
Well, a few days ago I spoke to Larry Sherman
and an episode is coming forthand one of the things he said
that really caught my attentionand I see myself I don't know at
all, I'm still learning.
I'm learning from you.
I think that's the attitude youhave to have, it's to know it
all.
Let's get you in trouble.
It's that curiosity that I wantto get better and I want to
help other people get better.
But he was saying that so manypoliticians weigh in on policing

(41:00):
and they make opinion-baseddecisions, not evidence-based
decisions.
And I know you're familiar withthe evidence-based movement out
there.
How is that creeping into yourwork that we're looking to see
what evidence says this works orit doesn't?

Chris Hsiung (41:16):
It's hard.
I remember sitting through IACPsession that Simon actually did
a fireside chat and thatvariation of that question was
asked.
You know, do you have metricson how this works or not?
And if I recall, the answer wasit's kind of anecdotal, but
it's also you have to look at,like, for example, workers comp
claims.
If you're doing it right, ifyou are creating a positive
culture, you should see thosenumbers go down.

(41:38):
If you could data mineinsurance claims and the number
of employees going for cardiacor diabetes type of illnesses,
that is a measurement.
Now, obviously it gets hardbecause of HIPAA, but that's why
I say it's not easy.
Anecdotally, I can tell youthat and I know this because I
experienced this in MountainView.
We weren't perfect by any means, but it was a safe place.
On my very first day as a chief, I sat the staff around and I

(42:01):
said look, we're going to makemistakes, I'm going to make
mistakes and we will fall downtogether and we will get up
together and we will continue tolearn on this journey, and we
really cared about each other.
We still do, I mean.
I always look bondly back onthat, and so I know it can be
done.

Steve Morreale (42:16):
I would say this , and you've experienced that
one person can make a difference, and then the question would be
is it going to be you?
I'm talking to people who wereout there who want to be a
sergeant or a new lieutenant.
I think that's important.
We're talking to Chris Schungand he is the under sheriff in
San Mateo County, and there's acouple of things that I want to
just leave with havingconversations with people who
come into this job for the rightreasons and have a sense of

(42:38):
humanity, it seems to me that tounderstand the people that we
serve, we have to understandthey lived experience and we
have to kind of take down thatshroud that we put around us
because I'm the cop and you'rethe citizen, and get to know how
are you, where you're from, anddifferent cultures that are out
there, different segments ofsociety, from the homeless to a

(42:58):
new immigrant that comes to thecountry.
How do you drive that with thepeople who work?

Chris Hsiung (43:03):
for you.
That's where I don't know if Icame across that article we
authored for the police chiefmagazine on culture.

Steve Morreale (43:07):
I just started Just recently.
I did.
I did Nice job by the way,thank you.

Chris Hsiung (43:11):
That reminds me of the paragraph where we start
talking about culture by designversus culture by default.
A culture by default.
I laugh because I often, when Italk about this topic at
conferences, I'll ask the crowdhow many of you got into this
line of work because of a policeshow that you saw.
For me it was chips.
The vast majority of the roomwill raise their hands.
If you're old, it's Dragonet,if you're young, it's live.

Steve Morreale (43:32):
I had a swell of it I know, I know, but that's
the thing.

Chris Hsiung (43:35):
That is a culture by default.
We let Hollywood largely definehow we think we should act in
our day to day.
I don't know what the stat is,but how many of our new coppers
out there behave because of whatthey see on live, pd, good, bad
and whatever.
There's some great stuff,there's some scary stuff.
Opposite of that is culture bydesign, where leaders throughout

(43:56):
the organization intently havethat discussion when do we come
from, where are we now and wheredo we want to go, and how do we
influence that?
How do we change that?
It goes beyond just whateverthat mission statement is on the
wall.
It's got to be a statement thatpeople really live and breathe
and understand.
And so that's the challengebefore us, because if you're not
talking about culture andyou're not intently trying to

(44:17):
push it forward, then itdefaults into that right Culture
by default.
And I hate to say it, but Ithink there's a majority of our
agencies that are like that andI get it.
There's just we're just hit byso many things, it's so many
directions, but we are at apoint in history where it has to
become a priority.

Steve Morreale (44:32):
So we continue our conversation as we wind down
with Chris Chung.
He is the under sheriff fromSan Mateo County, former
Mountain View police chief and amember of an organization
called the Curved.
It's curveorg.
Is that right, Chris?

Chris Hsiung (44:47):
That's correct.

Steve Morreale (44:48):
Yeah, okay, so let's talk about something that
I espouse and that is very often.
A leader will ask questions,will create a conversation
around the table by askingquestions and looking for
feedback and opening theconversation and sometimes
bringing somebody's mindset to acompletely different place what
about this and what about that,and how do we do this and why

(45:08):
do we do that?
It's the who, what, where, when.
Why do you do that routinely?

Chris Hsiung (45:12):
Absolutely.
That's 100% my style.
Up until you laid it out thatway, I thought I was more like a
unicorn, because I am very softspoken.
I don't often speak up inmeetings, I'm listening.
I learned that as a lieutenant,again referencing a former
chief of mine, chief ScottVermeer, as a young command
staff member, he would do thiswhere he would go around the
room, whatever we're trying todecide, and if he knew that

(45:34):
Lieutenant Smith, let's say, wasfor a certain position, he
would actually look at thatlieutenant and go give me the
counter argument to that.

Steve Morreale (45:42):
Play devil's advocate for us.

Chris Hsiung (45:43):
Yeah, Totally yeah .
And we had a guy in the roomwho was always the devil's
advocate guy and what thattaught me was I didn't know at
the time was to prevent againstgroup think, right, but also a
leader's job.
If you're filling the wholemeeting time with you and your
voice and your thoughts, wellthen why did you call the
meeting?
Because the purpose of thatmeeting is really to listen and
get counter points or justperspectives that you might not

(46:04):
have thought of.
A sign of a really great leaderright is to fill that room with
different voices and then tojust kind of massage whatever
issue you're trying to decideand of course, at the end of the
day you have to make thatdecision.
It may go with or forward, butthat's beside the point.
So I do that is my style ofjust asking questions around the
room, listening.
I would much rather someonecome to a conclusion that I hope

(46:25):
they would get to just on theirown, as opposed to me telling
them this is how we're going togo.
It's happened quite a few timeswhere just through the if you
ask the right questions, you canelicit points of view and
perspectives that people didn'thave going in.
One thing I do, especially ifwe're going to make like
promotions, is I print out thisthing on.
You do a Google search ondifferent types of bias and
you'll see this image of like 50types of different bias and

(46:48):
I'll tell everybody look, we'reabout to discuss who we want to
promote.
But if you've worked with thisperson or maybe they're a
traffic cop, you were a trafficcop, you have a bias.
So the best way to preventagainst that is to call it out
before you.
So we do a little exerciseslike that as well.
But I think it's just a deeperform of leadership, decision
making, of communication.

Steve Morreale (47:07):
Let's continue, because this is so fascinating
for me.
I think of it as and I'm sureyou've had this experience where
you come in with an idea andyou're going to try to advance
that idea and you're hoping thatpeople will buy into that idea
and you raise it, and sometimesyou're planting a seed and then
other ideas come at you and thatoriginal idea becomes
completely different.
You have to let it go becauseit actually becomes stronger

(47:28):
from other perspectives.
So talk about that.

Chris Hsiung (47:30):
Yeah, it's funny because what first came to mind
is something that Simon uses asan example.
He goes you look at companieslike Netflix, amazon.
When they started, amazonstarted to be a bookstore.
Netflix wanted to just rentDVDs.
But as they went down the roadand innovated and kind of
massage their business plan,they overshot their wildest
expectations because the culturein decision making was to just

(47:52):
continually iterate and innovateas you go.
So if you take that concept andyou take it back into your
police department and thedecisions that you make, of
course not everything is goingto be one of these Amazon
decisions, but the mostdangerous thing we can do in our
profession is group think andjust surround yourself with
people that think like you.
Yeah, I guess man.
Yeah, I will tell you it's a loteasier to be a leader that way,

(48:13):
but you're going to pay for itin the end.
You want that environment wherein Mountain View, we see this
phrase putting people on the busright, yeah, that's a call,
that's a Jim Collins thing,that's right, that was on the
promotional list.
I should know that.
But not only putting the rightpeople on the bus, but putting
them in the right seats.
And then a practice we would doalso, and I hated it when it
happened to me but was you getforced out of the position that

(48:34):
you really love Like for me, itwas investigations and you get
sent to.
You're the new admin lieutenantwho gets to deal with false
alarms and feral cats and allthese other things, but it
teaches you so much more.
And now when you expect thedanger, if you don't do that, is
you start to promote peoplewho've only worked in one
segment.
Now they go to the nextpromotion and they're making
blind decisions.

Steve Morreale (48:55):
Yeah, I like that.
One of the things that came tomind and we're sharing each
other, you're triggeringsomething on my mind is there's
a microbird or a book greatleaders don't take yes for an
answer.
Building consensus throughconflict, In other words,
creating that.
Give me the negative side.
What are we missing here?
That kind of stuff.
So, all right, we're going towind down.
This has gone on crazy and Iabsolutely love the opportunity
to talk to you.
One of the things I'm doing is,with some other people, is

(49:16):
doing some work onsocio-political risk.
So you understand, as a policechief and certainly now as an
undershare, that you've gotsocial influence and you've got
political influence and you'vegot advocates and such.
When you started, when youwalked into that job as a police
chief for Mountain View, wereyou ready for that?
Were you ready for the variousthings that were going to come

(49:37):
your way and that you had todeal?

Chris Hsiung (49:38):
with no, and I'm chuckling because I was the
number two in Mountain View forabout five years.
I worked under Chief Max Bozell.
He was a genius.
I thought I've had a front rowseat.
I got this.
I know exactly how it's goingto go.
As Max left, he just left mewith some sage words of wisdom.
He goes Chris, it's a very hotseat, it's a very bright seat

(49:59):
and you're not going to knowthat until you sit in it.
I had been an acting chief manytimes when he wanted a vacation
, but, oh man, he could not havebeen more correct.
Because he leaves, I sit inthat seat and the buck stopped
right there.
I could handle the technicalaspects of the job, no problem.
The decisions that had to bemade for staffing, whatever,
that's easy.
Hard part is knowing thenuances of, let's say, how do

(50:19):
the seven council members feelabout certain issues and do I
proactively communicate that tomy city manager?
Do I have a good, open line ofcommunication with my city
manager?
Can I forecast what might becoming on the road?
My early bumps in the road werethe lack of those things.
I knew I was okay, but I wasn'tthinking like my city manager
would be thinking and I lovedworking for her and I blindsided

(50:40):
her a few times because Iwasn't thinking broader.
I think the takeaway for yourlistener is no matter what rank
you go to, you will be largelysuccessful if you can mentally
take yourself one rank abovewhen you're making those
decisions.
I do a lot of help coachingpeople for promotional exams and
I always tell them if you'retesting for sergeant, what
you're aiming for is when, atthe end of the day, when they

(51:01):
debrief your chief about howeveryone did you want them to
say that guy is nails or thatgal is nails, and not only that,
she's your next lieutenant.

Steve Morreale (51:09):
Yeah, she's thinking about it, thinking
outside, not just being insularin her or her thinking.
I got you, that's great, allright, so let me wind.
Let me have a final question atyou.
If you had a chance to talk toanybody who has passed that has
influenced you or that you haverespected, who would you want to
sit down and what would youwant to ask them?

Chris Hsiung (51:27):
Wow, that's a tough one.
I'm looking at all the people.
I guess I'm in this lesssituation where I'm surrounded
by those people and they'restill around.
Guys like Simon Sinek, whoopened up my eyes on leadership,
organizational leadership, whatit means.
I think of people like retiredsergeant of mine, mike Alexander
, who was a detective sergeant.

(51:48):
I was a brand new detectivecoming in.
He had never been a detective,he was a traffic guy his whole
life and he sits me down andgoes kid, I might not know what
I'm doing, but you know whatwe'll learn together.
I can remember that to this daybecause that's humility that
set me forward on this path of.
That's how I'm going to leadtoo.
I phrase it as people like thatbecome your leadership compass
and they show you what truenorth is.

(52:09):
When the career is throwing allthese big decisions in front of
you.
You call on those types ofpeople and you look at your
compass and you go.
You know I don't know what theright answer is, but I'm pretty
sure it's pointing in thatdirection and that will guide
you.
I didn't really answer yourquestion.

Steve Morreale (52:25):
No, no, no, that's okay, that's okay.
I really very much welcome yourtime and your point of view and
your knowledge.
I think, without question, oneof the things I tried to do is
to reach out to people, ourinnovators and who are trying
new things out, and I think thatChris Chung is one of those
people.
On the West Coast.
Then you've got such influencebeyond because of the curve and

(52:46):
because of your work with IACP.
So I thank you and I wish youthe best of luck.

Chris Hsiung (52:50):
Absolutely.
Thank you so much for thisopportunity.
Open invitation for any of yourlisteners.
If you want to connect with me,linkedin best place to do it
and happy to chat more Perfect.

Steve Morreale (52:57):
Thank you.
Thanks very for listening toThe CopD oc Podcast and I've
been talking to Chris Hsiung theundersheriff in San Mateo.
Thanks very much.
Keep listening and reach out.
If you have an idea, if youknow of someone who's out there,
who's an academic, who is apractitioner, who is someone who
is doing good things, pass iton and we'll try to reach out
and bring them to you.

Intro-Outro (53:18):
Thanks, very much Thanks for listening to The CopD
oc podcast with Dr SteveMorreale.
Steve is a retired lawenforcement practitioner and
manager, turned academic andscholar from Worcester State
University.
Please tune into The CopD ocPodcast for regular episodes of
interviews with thought leadersin policing.
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