The Texas Police Chiefs Leadership Series recently was held by LEMIT in Lubbock. Among the participants were (l to r) Chief Brian Frieda of Muleshoe Police Department; Yvette Shorten, TPCLS Assistant Coordinator; Chief Jackie Skelton of LaGrange Police Department; Chief Rusty Moore of Crowell Police Department; Chief Steven Jones of Trinity Police Department; Mike Mirarchi, TPCLS Instructor; Chief Larry Payne of Dumas Independent School District Police Department; Donna Garcia, TPCLS Program Coordinator; James McLaughlin, Executive Director/Legal Counsel, Texas Police Chief Association and Dr. Steven Presley, Associate Professor/Research Coordinator, Zumwalt National Program
The training, which was held at the Overton Conference Center in Lubbock from Sept 13-17, is specifically designed to assist police administrators in developing their leadership skills and to help them recognize factors that impact the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies.
The five-day training focused on effective communications, employee relations, visioning, crisis services, legal updates, leadership skills, computer trends in crime and telephone exploitation.
Dr. George Franks, Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Stephen F. Austin State University, discussed the political aspects of the job, whether it is managing the internal organization or the external city council and society.
"At the root of political science is the effort to deliver justice," said Dr. Franks. "You don’t want to play politics, but you need to understand how to use it effectively. For many, the word politics has a negative context, but in reality, you have to be good at it to be effective."
LEMIT is part of the Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State University and is responsible for training about 1,000 police chiefs statewide every two years. The training is held three times a year at the LEMIT at Sam Houston State University as well as locations throughout the state.
"Texas is a definitely a leader in this area and other states recognize what we do," said Donna Garcia, program coordinator for chief programs at LEMIT.
The Texas Police Chiefs Leadership Program features experts throughout Texas and the United States. Among the speakers and their topics at the September training were:
- Franks on Political Survival
- Harker Heights Police Chief Michael R. Gentry and Carrollton Police Chief David N. James on the Practice of Servant-Leadership
- James McLaughlin, General Counsel/Executive Director of the Texas Police Chiefs Association, on legal issues
- Jeff Marshall of the Telecommunications Research Analysis Center at the Texas Department of Public Safety on telephone exploitation
- Lt. Richard Dickson, statewide supervisor for the Texas Department of Public Safety’s cyber crime and computer forensics program on computer trends in crime
- Ron Holifield, Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Government Resources, Inc, on strategic visioning
- Dr. Darlene Warrick McLaughlin, Assistant Professor at Texas A & M Department of Psychiatry. on the Crisis Service Redesign Initiative to address problems in the states mental health and substance abuse crisis services
- Michael Mirarchi of Management Law Consultants on the fundamentals of employee relations
LEMIT also offers training for new police chiefs as well as specialized training for chiefs and top administrators in the 30 largest police departments in the state.
The last training for existing chiefs in 2010 will be held in Nov. 8-12 in Huntsville.