When organizing the Remote Site Surveillance meeting held last year, in August of 2008, one of the things I hoped to do was spark discussion about the administrative sustainability of surveillance/monitoring programs.  During the planning months I spent many afternoons on the phone with law enforcement officers who were complaining that they’d spent the better part of a decade fruitlessly trying to get attention for a remote surveillance program, which they felt was stymied by people in the “adminisphere” who were out of touch with field personnel’s needs.  By the same token, I spent many mornings speaking with those at the other end of the chain, who complained that the field personnel had no comprehension of agency budgeting, position classification processes, and other organizational concerns that constrain the administrators.  One of the accomplishments of the meeting was simply having people from different levels within the same agency, as well as between agencies, attend, precisely so they can communicate about larger policy issues.  We had ample nitty-gritty technical elements, but it was as much or more about field:policy relationships as it was about pushing buttons on gear.  Now if we can just expand that philosophy outside our meeting room…

—David W. Morgan (NCPTT, A&C, blog 5)

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