NTOA Forums Tactical Leadership General Leadership Discuss the Most Common leadership Problems in Law Enforcement. Reply To: Discuss the Most Common leadership Problems in Law Enforcement.

Shawn Combs

One of the most common leadership problems I see in law enforcement are individuals more worried about themselves than those they are entrusted to lead. Time and time again I see people with the position of a leader making decisions based on what is best for them personally, rather than what is best for the organization or the officers/ deputies. I have seen this in abuse of casual leave, policies that are cherry picked for enforcement, and discipline being issued out. Unfortunately, I have seen more supervisors and administrators motivated by this than true leaders who are motivated for the cause and the people they serve both in the community and their agency. They are the type that are always looking for that next stepping stone to their betterment in the form of a promotion or praise rather than what the right thing to do is.
Another common leadership problem I see is the lack of trust in the people they are leading. More often than not, this comes from an administrator rather than a first or mid line supervisor. Administrators are typically far removed from the day to day operations; and yet, sometimes still dictate to their supervisors what they believe to be right. In most cases, the supervisor is more in tune to the current industry standards, crime trends, and capabilities of the officers/ deputies, but because the administrator does not fully trust their input, dictates their own solution- right or wrong. I have said for some time, if law enforcement were a business, most would be out of business. This is a big reason why.