Police Leadership

Welcome to the Police Leadership Blog. This new feature of JusticeAcademy.org is specifically designed to provide a forum where members of the profession can address the contemporary issues of the day. This blog is hosted by Chief Troy Abney. Troy’s professional experience includes over thirty years of service as the Assistant Chief with the California Highway Patrol, Director of Training for Oregon P.O.S.T., and Chief of the Nevada Highway Patrol. He currently serves as a consultant and is a member of the Board of Governors of JusticeAcademy.org. You can email him with your comments at Abney@justiceacademy.org.

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One thought on “Police Leadership”

  1. We have all known a person that is an inspirational leader although not filling a “formal” or sanctioned role within the organization. When it is mentioned that he or she would be a great sergeant, lieutenant, captain, etc., another will comment that our informal leader does not have the required education, training or cannot get through the promotional process. Are we overlooking a potential source of organizational stability, growth and loyalty?

    The term Battlefield Commission is usually utilized in regards to the military where a member is promoted to an advanced rank, usually commissioned, due to a need or high achievement. The process has been in place for more than 100 years and has shifted and changed with time. A common theme of most receiving this honor is that they have been experienced soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. Another term associated with elevating a member to a higher rank is “brevet” which equates to doing the job but not receiving the pay. This is in line with the practice of acting roles seen frequently throughout law enforcement. Although it should be noted that in some organizations and usually through the efforts of employee representation associations, those in acting positions will receive some sort of stipend while filling this role.

    Is there a place in law enforcement for a process to appoint those that have displayed extraordinary leadership qualities in concert with the ethical behavior, courage, principals and beliefs to formal leadership roles? Put the current Human Resources driven processes, policies and rules aside as you ponder this question. Also to the best of your abilities put aside personal biases and think about the future of the organization, the public it serves and most importantly the members that must accomplish this. Could this work and if so, how?

    Many, if not most, of the professionals currently serving in law enforcement leadership have earned their place through competitive processes. However there are those that are very good at taking tests, presenting themselves in a sterile environment only to fail when put into the real world. Would a discretionary direct appointment system make for better leaders, in particular at the most important level, that of the first line supervisor?

    It is consistently being said that Law Enforcement is waging a war on crime. From the troubling news that is daily we know that our brave men and women are out there engaging those that would do harm to others. Too frequently becoming casualties of these encounters or “battles”.

    Is it time for law enforcement to consider “Battlefield Commissions”?

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