Happy 2019! Cross Island Consulting and Training Services welcomes you to its website and its first blog. My name is Bill Overby and am a person who has dedicated fifty years of my life toward public service through public safety. Now that I’ve retired—at least twice—I find I simply can’t get the service ethic out of my system…so, I’ve started this company. Here is why:
My career began in the mid-1960s and consisted of much hands-on training in the areas of maintenance and customer relations. Knowing fairly early on that I wanted a career in the out-of-doors, I sought out every magazine, periodical, and sage advisor that I could find, and coupled that with every experience—volunteer or paid—that I could get that might contribute in some way toward my career “bag of tricks”.
This approach changed, however, when I received my first full-time position as a law enforcement-commissioned park ranger with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. Since 1921, State Park Rangers (via the State Legislature through the Commission) were tasked with the authority to enforce “…the laws of the state.” Uniformed, badged, campaign hats, the works—but little to no training, because, as a limited authority jurisdiction, State Park Rangers were not able to attend the state criminal justice training academy which, by law, only served general authority agencies. Several of us sought training on our own—through the generosity of inclusion by some of our local police and sheriff’s departments, members of the Washington State Patrol who resided or worked near parks, and fish and wildlife agents, to name a few. At best in those early years, the training was haphazard, inconsistent, and in some cases, not well documented. This situation gradually improved over the years, but I never forgot the feeling of being under-trained, and in some cases, less than encouraged, to perform enforcement duties expected of my position. I made a promise to myself that, if I ever became a trainer, I would do my best to ensure those trainees the best quality instruction I could provide. As many of my readers know, after a 32-year career with Washington State Parks, I served another 18 years as the academy Commander for the Skagit Valley College Parks Law Enforcement Academy (a federally-accredited 720-hour program) and for the college’s Basic Law Enforcement Reserve Officer Academy (a 320-hour academy offered and supported by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission).
Then came retirement, or as I like to call it, the “intermission before Act 3”. It seemed to me that there are ample training and education resources out “there” for general authority (fully sworn) police agencies, and for the general fire service, but little opportunity or guidelines for those agencies or businesses who have employees that are tasked with rule (code or ordinance) enforcement, security services (both armed and unarmed), and who are constantly facing issues or responding to incidents related to front-line public contact. Employees of many agencies have a hunger for training—initial, ongoing, in-service, or even incidental opportunities through seminars, podcasts, online or hybrid courses, etc. Their supervisors are often supportive of this need, but then must find someone willing and able to commit to the work that it takes to provide these services.
No one likes to feel under-trained, incapable, unaware, or any other descriptor here, when confronted with complaints, or even simple questions about a rule, law or whether they may or may not do something. No supervisor enjoys the backlash that comes from a client who has been treated poorly by an employee, or who simply couldn’t obtain the information they needed in a direct, friendly way. Finally, there are laws that govern how we as humans operate and conduct ourselves in our workplaces, and judgment can come swiftly and at a high price for transgressions which should have been known and avoided. Arising from these observations came Cross Island Consulting and Training Services, LLC.
In the future I look forward to providing individuals and agencies with the best possible professional consultation and training services that arise from five decades of acquired knowledge, learned skills, experience and personal training. If you look at the various tabs on this website, you will quickly see that the services I offer are diverse. I am very interested in helping you help yourself, through industrystandard training that is common to public safety and service, or through a more customized approach to meet your specific needs. Delivery methods will be tailored to your needs as well, as each individual learns differently.
In closing this first blog, let me offer you the following: tell me what you want, need, or would like in any facet of consultation, training, delivery modality, or access. You may do this most effectively through my company’s email address. If you would prefer to talk with me in person or by phone, simply send me your contact information at the same email address and I will promptly be in touch. My pledge to you is this: If for some reason I am unable to perform the job you need done, I will tell you so up front, and do my very best to recommend someone who can meet your needs. We have satisfied customers across various spectrums of public service and public safety, and I am confident that we can be your “go-to” consultant and trainer in 2019 and beyond.
Thank you for reading. On with the adventure…we wish you all the best in health, happiness, safety and success in the New Year!