NTOA Forums Operational Leadership General Leadership Discussions What Leadership Challenges Agencies Face These Days?

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    • #4483
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #5309
      mmJon Brambila
      Participant

      I really see a couple different ways to look at the leadership challenges that face agencies today, you can look at day to day operations as well as the issues we have in developing good leaders. Many agencies are faced with the same challenges of recruiting, retention, manpower shortage and budget issues. Those are challenging issues for anyone in law enforcement leadership and can become more so without the support of upper management. As leaders we must find new ways of recruiting the best possible candidates to be police officers and future leaders of our Departments. The days of sitting back and letting everyone come to us seem to be fading away quickly. We need to focus on the wants and needs of the newer generations and tailor our recruiting approach to attract them to our profession. In my agency we very rarely saw people come and go but in the last few years we have seen more officers leave for other agencies than I have ever seen in my career. There again needs to be a shift in the way we look at things and figure out what motivates good people to stay with our agencies and then apply what we learn to keep them. Manpower issues can take a big toll on morale and the productivity of any agency which leads to burn out and a loss of purpose. Finding creative ways to meet our staffing needs is a key to making sure that we are not burning out our employees because do more with less will ultimately lead to more mistakes and less productivity in our people. Budget issues can sometimes be addressed by leaders in an organization in some ways but when you are dealing with a fixed budget you have to become creative with funding. Looking at grants and other alternative sources of funding takes patience and determination because there is a competition to get funding.

      Other leadership challenges that I see for agencies is being able to develop leaders within our own agencies for the future. With the above mentioned issues you can ultimately see that this can have a negative impact on developing leaders in our organizations. When budget are facing cuts one of the first places they look is training, a lack of training funds takes away opportunities to send leaders to leadership training. Education and training are crucial to leadership, not everyone has the natural ability to lead so it has to be developed. Manpower issues and retention are also going to impact opportunities for leaders to gain leadership positions within the Department. You don’t need a title to be a leader but you do have to consider the rewards to leadership by obtaining a promotion.

      Moving forward into the future there are many things that we as leaders will need to focus on and that will challenge our leadership abilities.

    • #6352
      mmWayne Griffin
      Participant

      One of the leadership challenges that agencies face these days are leaders that fail to continue to educate themselves, because “they know it all”. This is the worst thing that can happen. The individuals that are in charge need to continue to educate themselves because the law enforcement world is ever changing.

      Another leadership challenge that agencies face is retention of good police officers. Everyone has to deal with budget and budget cuts. It is getting more and more difficult for departments to keep well trained veteran officers. They are either leaving to go other places for better pay and benefits, or just leaving the entire profession all together because the pay and benefits aren’t enough for the things today’s police officer has to deal with.

    • #6473
      mmDrew Leblanc
      Participant

      One of the biggest challenges within SWAT leadership commands these days are putting the right people in the right position based upon skill, decision making, and credibility. I believe that if you are the man for the job then you should have that job within SWAT. SWAT is not a competition for leadership and if it is you will miss something along the way. SWAT leadership should come as a surprise when you get it because you have done all the back end work to be successful and make those around you successful.

    • #6660
      Jeffrey Brown
      Participant

      I believe one of the biggest leadership challenges today is navigating the negative spin put on nearly every aspect of our performance by the news media and the fallout that follows. You are always one incident away from having a an uninformed talking head questioning our actions. Every decision we make as leaders is going to be scrutinized. Why did we apply the level of force? Why don’t we have more SWAT officers of this demographic? Why aren’t there more or any females on the department or team? Why do we need armor? Why do you need a SWAT team? Why is training so expensive? Just being scrutinized is very difficult, but we as leaders need to be able to step up to the challenge and make decisions we know are going to have us under the spotlight in the center of the three ring circus.

    • #7680
      mmJacob Taylor
      Participant

      I don’t think this a new problem, but appeasement seems to be a major issue these days. As policing seems to be more political in nature, appeasement of bosses, media and the public is getting in the way of our mission and actually causes more problems than it solves.

    • #7710
      mmChris Eklund
      Participant

      If agencies promote leadership positions they must have an expectation they chose the right person for the right reasons. Often times some promoted into leadership positions feel they deserve the respect of their subordinates rather than earn it. True respect is respect of the man/woman and not the expected respect of the rank. Leaders must continue to improve upon their knowledge and skills and not feel with promotion comes a greater intelligence. Often times leaders believe they should be followed just to be followed rather than lead by example.

    • #7764
      Anthony Kies
      Participant

      We are still in the mindset of supervision. Our agency along with others still have the old school mentality of seniority is the best practice for promotions. While we all know this isn’t true this still tends to happen. I believe that when you couple that with millennial’s who aren’t afraid to speak up and challenge the decisions or action of their supervisor then you start to see the kick back and resistance from patrol. I strongly believe that we must continue to educate our supervisors (who should be leaders), and help them become great leaders.

    • #7807
      Max Yakovlev
      Participant

      With officers, sergeant and command staff retiring, I believe that one of the problems will be experience; or lack of experience. With that said thou, I think ego is the issue. Some people in the current position fail to see the need to train others below them. They think that by doing so, “new people” will take their jobs. At some point it will be the case, but i would rather train them first and step out of the way.

    • #8050
      Adam Bradford
      Participant

      Agencies face numerous problems. One of the most common for leaders is the ability to retain Officers. In today’s society, it is difficult to continue in our profession. Many Officers are wore out early in their careers or find a better paying job. Another important aspect to consider is training. As leaders it is imperative we ensure our subordinates get the absolute best training they can. The problem numerous agencies face is a lack of funds. As leaders, we have to find creative ways to train and educate our Officers. Constantly come up with ways to challenge them. Another issue, Officers become complacent and comfortable with their everyday routine. This can all be trained out of our Officers if we as leaders put in the effort.

    • #8315
      Jon Thompson
      Participant

      Even before the current political climate of 2020, I think one of the biggest challenges in LE leadership has been having fortitude to say “no” in the correct situations. We as LE leaders have over-promised what our officers can do but they are simply being over-tasked. Two examples are the issues with both mental health and the homeless. These contacts, at least in my jurisdiction, more often than not do not involve a violation of law but the public expects the police to solve the issue overnight. While there are tie-in’s to these issues and crime overall (fir instance, more homeless in this area leads to an increase in property crime), upper leadership needs to educate the political leadership as to when a police response is not the right answer.

    • #8333
      Jesse Laintz
      Participant

      What Leadership Challenges Agencies Face These Days?

      There are a lot of topics to talk about here, so I am going to go a little different here with change. Tactical teams and law enforcement agencies work in a constantly changing environment. New laws are created every year. New case law is released on almost a daily basis. Evolving trends in crime and the way they are committed, especially as technology expands and develops require new strategies to combat against them. The public’s perception of crime is heavily influenced by the media and is ever changing. Not to mention the financial and political issues that affect agencies and can only be considered stable at best, for very brief periods of time. These changes affect the law enforcement agency, its personnel, the community and the government. Because of these constant inconsistencies law enforcement agencies must begin to think, act and learn strategically. They must utilize this insight and develop effective strategies to adjust to the changing environment. Agencies must create a process for implementation and adaptation of these strategies. To accomplish this, coalitions within the system should be established that are structured enough to adopt these strategies and ensure their implementation, which will ultimately create public value.

    • #8508
      Thomas Carroll
      Participant

      In the era of social media and the call for more transparency we are starting to see the repercussions of politically based promotions. One of the recurring themes in this course is the frustration with politics and the good ole boy systems of promotion. Agencies need competent, knowledgeable leadership especially during this time of adversity. As we have learned in 2020 all agencies can be impacted by another agency’s incident. With luck an emphasis will be placed on standardized training and mentorships to develop future leaders. Leadership selected through merit based promotions that gain the trust and confidence of its membership and its citizens.

    • #8553
      mmShawn Wilson
      Participant

      Having read the posts from other participants I would agree that EGO is a major leadership challenge facing agencies these days. EGO does not allow for adaptability and the agency will become stagnant. Future leaders will not be trained, old outdated tactics will continue to be utilized. It is incumbent on new leaders to be humble, undertand thier faults and strengths while continually striving to make the organization better. Always place your people’s needs before your own.

    • #8642
      Lance Bolinger
      Participant

      I think one of the largest challenges leaders face in law enforcement today is doing the right thing. Most law enforcement officers who have been around for a while know in their minds what the right course of action is when faced with a challenge. However, there are a lot of competing outside factors that come into play and into the decision making process. For instance, on an armed and barricaded subject the right call may be to deploy chemical munitions into the residence. However, the optics of the use of force, the cost of the house if damaged, and the cost of using chemical munitions all start to creep into the decision making process. A strong leader must know when to tune out the auditory noise, and do what they believe to be right.

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