For Donna Garcia, her career has always been about providing education, training, and professional development programs to help bring out the best in people.
“I love working with these amazing people,” Donna Garcia said about Texas Police Chiefs. “The executives in Texas law enforcement today are highly professional, well trained, and caring individuals. While I provide support to them through executive leadership development, I receive so much more in return. They inspire me with their heroism and selflessness in a tough career. I consider being a good listener a very important part of my job. My job is not to tell police chiefs what they need, but rather listen as they share their issues and concerns and then help meet those needs through our programs.
Garcia has been working with Texas Police Chief programs for eight years and was recently promoted to Director of Executive Development at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT). She hopes to expand professional development opportunities for top law enforcement executives in Texas.
Garcia has worked in adult education and training throughout her career. Before joining LEMIT, she coordinated adult education programs at Coastal Bend College, which serve Atascosa, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kleberg, Live Oak, and McMullen counties. She also served as a Continuing Education Supervisor as well as in Human Resources for the Windham School District, which provides educational programs for offenders in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Before moving back to Huntsville in 2008, she served as Human Resources Manager for Management and Training Corporation in Henderson, Texas.
“It’s always been about providing adults the opportunity to post-secondary education or employees to excel through professional development,” Garcia said.
At LEMIT, Garcia manages three programs for Texas Police Chiefs, including the New Chief Development Program, the Texas Police Chief Leadership Series and the Texas Major Cities Police Chief Leadership Series. She also oversees the Command Staff Leadership Series. Since 1997, LEMIT has provided the state-mandate professional development programs for top law enforcement executives in the state.
The New Chief program addresses professional development and job-related skills necessary to perform successfully in the police chief role. This year’s programs include critical race-related issues affecting contemporary law enforcement, property and evidence room management, employee relations, political survival, media relations, effective policies and procedures, budget development and management, and the role and rules of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
The Texas Police Chief Leadership Series focuses on new trends and issues facing law enforcement in the state. This year’s program includes employee relations, officer fitness, legal updates, emerging technology such as body-worn cameras, a Ferguson case study, and Blue Courage: The Heart and Mind of the Guardian.
The Texas Major Cities series is designed for chiefs of agencies in urban centers with populations of over 100,000. The primary purpose of this series is to focus on issues and strategies in the urban environment, particularly policy, and program development. The sessions feature national and international experts in the field and emphasize interchanges among the participants.
The Command Staff Leadership Series is designed to allow the second-in-command at law enforcement agencies to undergo the same training as the chiefs so they can be up-to-date on the key topics happening in the profession. To learn more about programs in executive development, visit the Texas Police Chief’s page http://www.lemitonline.org/programs/tpc/ or the Command Leadership page http://www.lemitonline.org/programs/csls/ or call Donna Garcia at (936) 294-3852 or at Donna.Garcia@shsu.edu.