Friday, February 19, 2016

Answering the Call with Blue Courage

This year, police chiefs from across Texas are countering negative publicity about law enforcement with a dose of Blue Courage.

As part of the Texas Police Chiefs Leadership Series (TPCLS), a biennial training for top leaders in local agencies, the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas introduced “Blue Courage,” a leadership development workshop to “touch hearts, awaken minds, and ignite spirits” in the profession. The program is designed to help motivate self-improvement, increase engagement, improve stress management, develop resilience, ignite cultural change, combat criticism and improve overall health and well-being among of all officers on the force.

“This has been one of the most meaningful topics I have taken in all of my continuing education,” said Chief James Martinez of the Port Lavaca Police Department. “It helps you to refocus.”

Martinez and Chief Oscar Garcia of the Brownsville Independent School District Police participated in a panel to come up with the current cycle of continuing education topic for Texas police chiefs. The group said something was needed to overcome poor morale brought on by coverage of police shootings in places like Ferguson. Blue Courage hit the mark. Martinez and Garcia got to experience the training alongside their colleagues during the TPCLS session.

“Where is the spark and why are people still interested in joining the profession?” Garcia asked. “What it is for me is that we are the last line of defense in a civilized society. We work with honor, integrity, and professionalism to serve the public.”

Garcia said the theme of Blue Courage should be the centerpiece of law enforcement over the next few years. Blue Courage is a transformational process that focuses on the human development of law enforcement professionals. Few professions are more physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding than law enforcement. Blue Courage addresses personal challenges many officers face, such as cynicism, identity, judgment, integrity, leadership, and stress management.

Blue Courage is a way of being, a philosophy that inspires one to embody the noblest of character and unquestioned devotion. It is to flourish in all aspects of life, to act with practical wisdom, to exude vitality, and to hearten human connections.

In addition to highlighting Blue Courage, this year’s TPCLS professional development program highlights key issues of importance to police chiefs in the state. Among these are:

  • Dealing with Difficult Employees
  • Officer Fitness and Trending Legal Issues
  • Updates on Legal Issues Affecting Law Enforcement
  • Updates on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
  • Emerging Technology and Body Worn Cameras
  • The Ferguson Case Study: Turning Point in Procedural Justice and Community Responsibility

The Texas Police Chief Leadership Series is held six times a year. The next sessions are scheduled for April 4-8 in Fort Worth, May 2-6 in Waco and September 12-16 in Lubbock.

For more information on the TPCLS, contact Donna Garcia at (936) 294-3852 or visit the Texas Police Chief Leadership Series.