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.

Travis Kreun

Two of the most prevalent problems with leadership in Law Enforcement involve communication and trust. Decentralized command, allowing decisions to be made at the lowest possible level, allows for decision makers to be the closest to the problem and often most able to see a clear solution. It also gives a sense of purpose and power to those in the ranks, which also improves job satisfaction. The need for leaders, or managers I believe we are talking about, to be involved in the minutiae bogs everyone down and leads to a sense of distrust. In order for decentralized command to operate effectively, leadership must trust those they are allowing to make decisions.

Communication also tends to be an issue, both up the chain of command and down. Many times leaders will brush off concerns that other have because the leader does not see it as an issue. This stalls or kills the upward communication of issues that should be dealt with, issues that the line troops want or need resolved to do their jobs effectively. On the flip side, communication down from the top is often filtered through so many managers that the original intent of the message gets lost, and often ends up in the form of “do this because I said so.” While there is a place for this type of directive leadership, when improperly used it breeds distrust.