FBINAA Sept/Oct Magazine.2018

Public trust of law enforcement re- quires effective credible leadership from police executives. Police execu- tives are tasked with protecting that trust. This article provides coura- geous suggestions of how to impact an organization that develops that trust through effective leadership of police personnel. Purpose: Law enforcement lead- ers should be purpose driven to im- prove their leadership skills. In a worldwide society of anti-police, law enforcement is prone to lose site of internal development of personnel. This article encourages law enforce- ment executives to remember why they are leaders. CREDIBLE LEADERSHIP L aw enforcement officers carry a large burden of public trust. Law Enforcement leaders are tasked with protecting that pub- lic trust through effective leadership. A crucial component of effec- tive leadership is the ability of the leader to influence, motivate, and gain compliance from those they lead. Effective leaders learn to use priming and influence to meet needed objectives. “Priming people to agree or disagree with a leader’s statement can be a pow- erful tool when used appropriately” (FBINA Lecture, 2016). One of the best known American writers is President Abra- ham Lincoln . Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. Lin- coln is known as an eloquent writer who was able to influence public opinion. “Lincoln perfected his ability to persuade and influence people” (Phillips, p146), which is exactly what a law enforcement officer does. Law enforcement leaders must per- suade people to cooperate as a means to de-escalate situations DAVID HESS

and influence them to make the correct decision instead of de- cisions evoked by emotion. Priming another’s thoughts requires strategic use of language so that the response is predictable to meet the needs of the goal. By influencing others to believe the ideas discussed were theirs, the leader has effectively motivated employees to be creative and take ownership in the product to achieve the highest result. For priming to be effective the leader must have some degree of credibility. Credibility, in most cases, is the determining factor that will cause officers to act on a direc- tive without delay and detailed explanation. The credible leader is one who can implement a directive and that directive will be carried out with little delay or question. If asked, most officers will reply that the determining factor in a supervisor’s credibility is trust. The above qualities all go into building that trust. “First, cops tend not to trust a leader’s motives or strategies to affect the culture positively. They will likely assume an agenda, or ulterior motive, when you attempt to implement strategies” (Enter, 2006). Police executives who desire ethical leadership must embrace the knowledge that subordinates rarely see ethical leadership, but once demonstrated they will exemplify the organizational cul- ture. A critical paradigm shift must occur to change the culture of an organization. Effective leadership begins that paradigm shift. PROVEN LEADERSHIP When I accepted my first appointment to Chief of Police I was excited. On the first day I got a severe dose of reality. Unbe- knownst to me, the agency was on the verge of being investigated by state officials, had lost judicial credibility and the public did not trust the agency. As I started to review more than 190 police reports, I noticed a common theme. Failure to articulate circum- stances that reasonably justified actions or establish probable cause. Of the 190 reports I reviewed, approximately 140 literally said, “On the above date at the above time I responded to the above incident. No further.” In some of those cases I found ar- rest documents, citations and evidence. The reports did not have supplements, there were no case files, and nearly all the reporting officers were either no longer employed with the agency or could not be located. Sadly, some of the reports written in that format were written and or approved by the former Chief of Police for the agency. As a result, there is no wonder the agency had lost judicial credibility and public trust; the agency failed to conduct basic law enforcement services, at least in writing. Immediate correc- tive action was taken to include reviewing statute of limitations in cases, contacting victims, properly investigating and docu- menting cases, conducting an evidence audit, meeting with the District Attorney and hiring competent and qualified professional law enforcement officers. Within six months, judicial integrity was restored, community policing restored pubic trust, and the moral fabric of the organization was restored. Effective leadership em- braced professional guidance, mentors, best practices, and recog- nition that leadership training such as the FBI National Academy were paramount. IRON SHARPENING IRON LEADERSHIP The leadership training at the FBI National Academy impact- ed both my professional and personal life. Since graduating from Session 264, leadership has taken on a new meaning. Developing personnel, influencing others to achieve success and sharing the education and experience from the National Academy has impact- ed the organization where I work. The goal of effective leadership is to encourage others to be better than they think they are. As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. A blacksmith takes a molten iron rod and begins to bang on it to create a master continued on page 22

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