Thursday, October 12, 2017

Police Chiefs Tackle Resiliency in Leadership Series


Police Chiefs

The new cycle of the Texas Police Chief Leadership Series examines ways to build resiliency in your agency.

Police Chiefs from across Texas began the new two-year cycle of training, which includes sessions on recruiting and marketing, community policing, leadership skills, financial planning, and agency resiliency.

The theme for the biennial Texas Police Chiefs Leadership Series is “Building the Resiliency Advantage: The Capacity to Prepare, Adapt and Recover in 21st Century Policing.” The topics were developed by a focus group representing chiefs from small and large agencies across the state, including municipal, campus and school district police. “Resiliency addresses what we need to do when faced with life’s inevitable difficulties,” says Donna Garcia, Director of Executive Development. “How to bounce back as the leader of a police agency as well as helping those you care about bounce back will help the entire agency become stronger, smarter and with more self-esteem.”

At the inaugural presentation, Marcel Brunel investigated leadership through the lens of the Lumina Spark assessment, a self-awareness tool that helps identify and improve communication at home, on the job, and during times of stress. The assessment explored the chief’s natural persona, his or her everyday persona on the job, and his or her overextended persona and helped to predict behaviors during times of stress. These skills help raise awareness around the bright spots and blind spots of an individual’s personality and how to flex correctly during times of crisis. These same assessment and skills can be implemented with officers.

Lt. Melvin Allick and Lacy Wolf from the Texas Department of Public Safety Fitness and Wellness Unit introduced chiefs to Strength and Honor in Everyday Lawful Decisions (SHIELD), a model to help build resiliency among officers involved in critical incidents as well as every day stressors. Developed by the military, the program discussed critical incidents and issues that face officers on and off the job and ways to build a foundation to help them bounce back with strategies for the improvement of physical and mental performance.

GM Cox, retired Murphy Police Chief and Assistant Professor at Tarleton State University, discussed the need to develop a marketing and branding campaign for police departments as a way to build a relationship with the community and to attract new recruits to the department, particularly those from minority communities and Generations X, Y and Millennials. Law enforcement agencies need to focus on the positive aspects of what they do, emphasize a culture of service, and attract recruits by stressing their ability to make a different in lives of the public.

Police Chief Anthony Williams of Cedar Valley College and Police Chaplain Dr. Edward Smith examined the evolution of community policing in the wake of issues that have caused tension between police-public relationships throughout the country. Departments should revisit their programs to determine their effectiveness in the community by identifying police and community behaviors and situations that lead to mistrust and developing strategies to rebuild the bridges and communication between police and communities.

Retired Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd discussed the importance of organizational culture, which is the collection of values, beliefs and norms of an entity, and how a leader can help influence group or individual behavior in the organization. To help retain good officers, law enforcement agencies should develop cultures of engagement with a deeply-rooted sense of commitment, pride and loyalty. This can be accomplished in a model that is built on respect, empowerment, supportive feedback, partnerships, expectation, consideration, and trust.

Officer Nick Daugherty of the Grand Prairie Police Department provided an overview of financial planning to help law enforcement employees and their families with basic financial tools for budgeting, handling debt, planning estates and building college savings or retirement accounts. The presentation was based on Dave Ramsey 7 Total Money Makeover. In addition to these sessions, chiefs were provided legislative updates on new laws that may affect their departments and as well as new policies and recommendation from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

LEMIT provides professional development for new and existing chiefs and their top commanders statewide, as well as the Texas Major Cities Police Chief Leadership series for special issues affecting major cities. An inaugural program appropriately named Lone Star Leadership, is the same topics of instruction addressed above for law enforcement executive outside the State of Texas. For more information on LEMIT offerings, visit