Law Enforcement Leadership Center
The center develops and improves skills for Law Enforcement Managers and Supervisors, in such skill areas as conceptual, administrative, technical, and most particularly, interpersonal. Its programs seek to not only develop managers and supervisors but professionally competent and ethical leaders, as well. Training methodology includes lecture, facilitated discussion, student assignments and projects, computer assisted learning, skills practice, individual and group oriented practical exercises, and other experiential training activities. The course content and activities also develop an appreciation for how critical education, training, and lifelong learning are to one’s personal and professional development, and to the future of law enforcement.
Needs of the Clients
Law Enforcement Managers and Supervisors face more problems, challenges, and phenomena today than ever before. Examples include (but are certainly not limited to) liability, employee misconduct, cynicism in the ranks, increased media scrutiny, hiring and retention difficulties, erosion of the “public trust,” increased responsibility and accountability, along with competition for resources and funding. In addition, crime (as the enemy) is constantly changing along with the “rules of engagement.” Crime is no longer something to be fought or dealt with at the local level but has become “transnational” and knows no borders. Demographics also change and the citizenry to be protected has become much more diverse. Technology is a two-edged sword, in that it can help crime fighting efforts but can also be used by criminals in the commission of crime or it can be itself the object of a crime. In essence, Law Enforcement as a profession does not exist in a linear, static, or predictable environment but must always be viewed in the political context subject to societal and economic circumstances, and changes.
Thus, Law Enforcement Managers, Supervisors, and Leaders must be pro-active, visionary, adaptive, collaborative, creative, and global critical thinkers with the ability to synthesize information quickly. They must create an organizational culture that is open-minded, honest and one that supports employee involvement and initiative, as the loss of motivation and cynicism is costly and even deadly. They must also view their organization as a “learning organization” that seeks to improve its service mission incrementally if not dramatically. The Manager or Supervisor of today must be concerned about the cost effectiveness of the service and be able to demonstrate a favorable “return on investment” or ROI. Not only is there the obligation to handle public financial resources efficiently, there is increasing competition for funding sources and a distinct movement toward the privatization of traditional public sector organizations.
As stated in the overview, the Center’s programs and courses of study seek to develop the skills to meet these needs, as well as an appreciation for education and training - both individually and organizationally. Also, Technology is presented as a “force multiplier” and the students are made aware of its importance, in training and on the job. Students acquire technical skills in computer software, administrative skills (employment law, performance appraisal, and budgeting), conceptual skills (collaborative decision making and problem solving), and interpersonal skills through such activities as behavior modeling, skill practice, and group challenges. The courses of study are rigorous and challenging, and increase the participants’ confidence as well as competence. Training is provided at three levels - Field Training Officer, First Line Supervisor/Leadership Development, and the Management Development Program for mid to executive level managers.
The ability to anticipate and adapt to the future will serve our graduates well. Law Enforcement will continue to be plagued with the challenges mentioned previously. The “transnational nature” of crime will intensify with the continued evolvement of international crime organizations that value such principles as “division of labor,” synergy, and collaboration. This will lead to more partnerships and international crime syndicates with increased specialization and cooperation. Calls for privatization will increase and technology will only become more complex. The inability to hire and retain law enforcement personnel may cause a devaluation or relaxation of standards, leading to more personnel problems and liability. Information and data management will become even more critical, and the role and mission of Law Enforcement will forever change and evolve. For these reasons, the center must be visionary, adaptive, pro-active, anticipatory, and flexible in meeting future needs.