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A Note on the Growing Importance of Community on Policing

During the first phase of the Executive Session on Police Leadership (ESPL) several police leaders created detailed narratives of their careers from recruit to chief.1 Later in the project female chiefs shared on video their paths to leadership.2  These valuable contributions reveal what moves individuals to pursue a career path that takes them to the chief’s position. Now in our final phase, community has emerged as a driver of leadership development.

In our July 18-19 ESPL meeting the participating police leaders talked about the role of community in framing a vision for public safety and in the professional development of police leaders. Mayors and city executives are beginning to look for candidates who have shown their ability to engage with community members and have working relationships with their leaders.

There are no national standards or templates for developing law enforcement leaders.  But we do know that leaders with a broad vision of public safety must be mentored and created.

The ESPL participants identified a number of steps leaders can take to build opportunity and awareness into their departments. 

Contributors:  Shon Barnes, Margo Frasier, Tony Holloway, Phil Lyons, Michael Scott, Ellen Scrivner

1  www.bjaleader.org/LeaderFuture.html.  Leader of the Future, Police Leaders on Leadership

2 www.bjaleader.org/OrgFuture.html.  Organization of the Future, Diversity, Women In Police Leadership Tell Their Stories

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