Ginnie Graham: Some tasks are worthy of a force
BY GINNIE GRAHAM World Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
1/16/13 at 3:41 AM
Tulsa's public safety intelligence working group got going Tuesday.
From the name, it's difficult to tell what exactly they are doing.
Any title with more than three words - and one of those containing four syllables - is destined to cause some head scratching.
Long gone are the days of committees created to produce a study on something important.
A committee is simple and to the point.
But they grew tired and old - used for planning a junior high prom, tossed aside for something flashier.
Then task forces came along - very Eliot Ness.
It has a "Star Wars"-like force to handle a task, which is much harder than a job.
People feel confident with a task force, whether it's charged with seeking a serial killer or increasing school test scores.
Last year, task forces examined foster care, tax credits, a federal water dispute, minority aging, drug use and addiction, energy, and the creation of something called the Oklahoma Innovation Index.
Two people in Ardmore started the Oklahoma Zombie Task Force, which does not get government support and may exist only online.
Those are in addition to multiagency task forces ranging from law enforcement to food safety.
A few years ago, "working group" became the popular term for reform.
It sounds very active and collaborative.
By any other name: Public institutions aren't the only ones jazzing up their names.
In education, schools are now academies and classes are programs.
Tutoring has become remediation, which is held in study centers or academic workshops.
Churches are now worship or praise centers.
Social workers don't work with the poor, opting for economically disadvantaged or underprivileged.
The use of this marketing technique is for specific reasons.
Most of the time it's to soften a difficult situation, avoid a stereotype or create a higher social status.
At a certain point, overuse waters down good intentions.
Serious goal: This is not a knock on the work of the public safety intelligence working group - just the name.
Its mission is to figure out how to get residents more connected to police for curbing crime.
These are volunteers of professionals and activists hashing through ideas to improve the use of the anonymous tip line.
That's a goal so important that it's worthy of a task force and a study.
Original Print Headline: Some tasks are worthy of a force