Leadership in Police Organizations: Q&A with Certified Master Instructor Dave Mather

Dave Mather, Ed.D. is the newest Master Instructor in the Leadership in Police Organizations (LPO). Over the past two years, Dave has had the opportunity to work with leaders all over North America sharing the LPO program in agencies ranging in size from 3 to 3,000. Prior to facilitating the LPO course, Dave was the Executive Director of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center, a grant-funded technology program funded by the Department of Justice. Dave began his law enforcement career in 1987 in Washington State working many assignments, including: dispatcher, officer, DARE officer, FTO, detective, sergeant, and leaving uniformed service as the Administrative Lieutenant. Dave attended the LPO course in Washington State and considers it the most personally transformational leadership course he ever took, telling participants he wished he had it much earlier in his career.

Why did you get involved in teaching this course?

When I first attended this course as a participant, it transformed the way I felt about my role as a leader. I had a pre-LPO and post-LPO leadership career, and most of my post-LPO career was spent trying to correct many of the mistakes I had made earlier in my career. This course transformed me – and I was excited about the possibility of sharing that opportunity with others in our profession so that they might avoid the same mistakes I had made. It’s an honor to be able to share this course with others.

Why do you feel that this course is important?Dave Mather Photo

Most of our leadership courses today are focused on management philosophies. This course is about leading people – building relationships, understanding what people value and why they respond the ways that they do. This information allows us to partner with the members of our organizations and encourage the full use of their talents to support organizational goals. We spend a great deal of time and money to hire the right people in our departments. It is a stressful career choice – but when you ask people in this profession, they tell you that what happens inside the organization is far more stressful than what happens on the street. This class gives both leader and follower the tools necessary to change that pattern.

As an instructor, what do you feel is the most valuable part of the course?

This course was the first course I attended that was filled with real, usable tools for leading others effectively. Many other courses are theoretical and the books ended up in my bookcase, the theories never put into practice. This course has a foundation in behavioral science and then it focuses on how to use the theories and strategies in real-world, day-to-day leadership situations. The applicability of what is taught to every day leadership behaviors is what makes this course different from other courses and what made it valuable to me.

What’s your favorite thing about instructing the course?

Sharing it with others. There’s something pretty incredible about getting to connect with the law enforcement professionals all over North America and sharing LPO. I stayed in close contact with the instructors who facilitated the course when I attended because their influence changed my career. Now as an instructor, I’ve also started many lifelong friendships with people in the classes who have been affected by this course and stay in contact with them.

What do you think is the most important thing for a participant to take away from the course?

The difference between having a leadership position and being an influential leader. Our organizations are filled with people who feel like their position makes them a leader. However, when we think about those leaders who have had the most positive influences in our lives, they build great relationships with the people they lead and encourage them to the greatest levels of productivity and accomplishment. This course is the foundation for being the kind of leader who makes a lifelong impact on those they lead.

What have you personally gained from instructing this course?

I’m blessed with one of the greatest jobs in law enforcement today. I continue to be a lifelong student of leadership. Traveling and teaching LPO provides me with an amazing insight into how incredible the law enforcement profession really is and the consistently high caliber of leaders at every level of those agencies we work with. Our profession is virtually the same all over North America; we struggle with many of the same issues, just to varying degrees. As an instructor, I’ve had the honor of meeting some of the greatest leaders in law enforcement all over the country and I continue to learn from them.

Do you feel that this course could extend beyond just the law enforcement career of the participant?

Absolutely! This course is based on influencing individuals by building quality relationships with others. This course would have applicability in any leadership position, and frankly has applicability wherever you have relationships. This course had an influence on my marriage and family, my relationships with friends and coworkers, and how I lived my life. It truly is a transformational course that is much bigger than just being a better leader, it’s about being a better person.

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Funding Opportunity to Implement Evidence-Based Pretrial Practices

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has recently announced they are seeking applications for the Smart Pretrial Demonstration Initiative (SPDI) grant. The SPDI grant program seeks to build upon analysis-driven, evidence-based pretrial justice by encouraging local and tribal jurisdictions to effectively implement risk assessment and appropriate supervision and/or diversion strategies targeting pretrial outcomes within their jurisdiction. The IACP supports law enforcement leaders engaging in this type of work through our Pretrial Justice Reform Initiative.

Under this solicitation, BJA will make up to three awards that cover both Phase 1 planning and Phase 2 implementation at up to $100,000 per year, for a total 2-year budget of $200,000. Sites need to include For Phase 3, BJA anticipates awarding a supplemental award for up to $100,000 based on successful site performance. BJA will invest significant resources in dedicated pretrial justice technical assistance, training, and research providers who will work directly with the three sites. Sites will not be required to fund these activities out of their local grant.

Because improvements to the pretrial system involve all local leaders, an important component of SPDI focuses on bringing together all key stakeholders, including Chief Judges, Chief Public Defenders and/or Leadership from the Private Defense Bar, Elected Prosecutors, Jail Administrators or County Sheriffs, City Police Chiefs or other lead Law Enforcement Entities, Directors of Pretrial Services, Community Corrections/Chief Probation Officers, and Elected County Officials or County Executives. The IACP encourages law enforcement leaders to consider working with their community partners to develop a proposal for this important initiative.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 27, 2014. An informational video related to the solicitation will be available April 22. BJA will also be hosting Q&A sessions April 29, 2-3 pm EDT and May 6, 2-3 pm EDT.

Please visit pretrial.org regularly or sign up to receive emails from PJI for more information about the informational video and Q&A sessions. Click here to view the entire solicitation. Contact IACP Program Manager Dianne Beer-Maxwell at maxwell@theiacp.org with questions about IACP’s Pretrial Justice Reform Initiative.

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National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence Chairman Jim Johnson Recognized by White House as a Champion of Change

The White House Champions of Change program features individuals doing extraordinary things to empower, inspire and support members of their communities. Last week, the White House honored nine extraordinary leaders who are making gun violence reduction a top priority. Among these Champions of Change was Chief James Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department (MD). A highly respected leader in his state and at the national level, Chief Johnson is an active voice for law enforcement on the policies and Champion of Change Panel Shotpractices that will help reduce gun violence.

Chief Johnson serves as Chair of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, an alliance of law enforcement leadership organizations working to tackle the alarming level of gun violence and its impact to society. The IACP was one of the founding organizations of the partnership and continues to be actively engaged in advocating for gun violence prevention through the partnership.

As Chair of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, Chief Johnson has been an effective advocate calling on the President and Congress to: require background checks for all firearm purchases; improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS); limit high-capacity ammunition magazines; oppose federal preemption of state laws governing the carry of concealed weapons; and strengthen penalties for straw purchasing.

In addition to his national advocacy, Chief Johnson works daily to reduce incidents of gun violence and make his community safer. He played an important role in changing Maryland’s law forbidding assault weapons and limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines. By testifying before the Unites States Congress in 2013, he showed support for the expansion of background checks to all purchasers. Through his relentless efforts, Chief Johnson has proven to be a worthy Champion of Change.

To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

For more information on the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, visit http://lepartnership.org. To access no cost IACP gun violence reduction initiative resources click here (http://www.theiacp.org/Gun-Violence-Reduction-Projects).

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IACP’s Ambush Project

In 2012, there were 6 law enforcement deaths due to ambushes. According to the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) data that same year felonious assaults accounted for over half of all law enforcement deaths. While the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has not yet released the data for 2013, we know that a number of officers that year were the victims of ambush attacks.

In response to a growing concern about police ambushes, as well as the lack of basic research in the field, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and CNA partnered on an important initiative to provide some insight into the nature and frequency of ambushes. The Ambush Fact Sheet provides a comprehensive look at the nature of ambush attacks perpetrated against law enforcement officers in the United States since 1990. It defines classifications of ambush attacks, incident trends, overviews of agency, victim, and perpetrator data, weapons used in ambushes, and survivability and clearance rates.

According to the report, an ambush is defined by four components: an element of surprise, concealment of the assailant, suddenness of the attack, and a lack of provocation; ambushes can be classified as either premeditated or spontaneous.
Some highlights from the document include:

  • Officers murdered in the line of duty are increasingly likely to have been ambushed.
  • Data from 1990-2012 revealed that 32% of ambushes were classified as entrapment, while 68% were considered spontaneous.
  • The average ambushed officer is a 38-year-old male with 11 years of service.
  • Of the officers involved in an ambush attack, those who were wearing body armor had a 53% survival rate, compared to a 30% survival rate for those who were not wearing body armor.
  • Approximately 1 in 4 assailants have had some sort of prior relationship with the officer in the incident, including personal interactions and previous arrests.
  • 82% of officers ambushed were alone at the time of the incident.
  • Since 1990, 36% of ambushes have involved a firearm, while 35% involved only the assailant’s hands as weapons.

These findings are the first step towards producing future policy guidelines and improved training for preventing ambush attacks against law enforcement officers. For more information on ambushes and to read the full fact sheet visit: http://www.iacp.org/Ambush-Project.

It is the IACP’s position that no injury to or death of a law enforcement professional is acceptable, and the IACP Center for Officer Safety and Wellness strives to improve awareness on all aspects of officer safety. To learn more and to share best practices pertaining to officer safety and wellness please visit http://www.iacp.org/CenterforOfficerSafetyandWellness or contact the Center staff at officersafety@theiacp.org.

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Top Five Lessons Learned from a Curfew Diversion Program

According to the St. Paul, Minnesota Police Department’s Police Chief, Thomas Smith, and John Choi of the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, successful juvenile curfew diversion programming requires partnerships, collaboration, and community support. In December 2011, the St. Paul Police Department started working with the IACP to develop a pilot curfew diversion program through IACP’s Intelligence-Led Community Policing, Community Prosecution, and Community Partnerships (IL3CP) Project. According to Chief Smith, the goals of their Curfew Diversion Program are “community engagement, problem solving, case administration, interagency partnerships, and reduced crime.” Based on results of an evaluation of the program, it is clear that the program met these goals; of the 159 referrals into the program, over 90% of the youth did not re-offend with a curfew offense. Chief Smith and Prosecutor Choi also cited other positive outcomes from the program, such as increased community support for the St. Paul Police Department, as well as strengthened partnerships between the community, the Police Department, and the County Attorney’s Office.

In a recent webinar hosted by IACP and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Chief Smith and Choi named five key lessons learned during the development, implementation, and evaluation of their Curfew Diversion Program:

  • Executives from all law enforcement and prosecution agencies must agree to participate in the project
  • Committed project teams should be established
  • Key program goals and objectives should be identified
  • An organized plan for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information is necessary
  • Community involvement is essential

Smith and Choi emphasized the importance of communication and partnerships to make all program components possible.

You can hear more about the St. Paul Police Department’s Curfew Diversion Program by viewing IACP’s archived webinar, “Effective Youth Diversion Strategies for Law Enforcement,” which also includes an overview of the Miami-Dade, Florida Juvenile Services Department’s Juvenile Civil Citation Program.

View the archived webinar and handouts here.

For more information, contact Sabrina Rhodes, Project Specialist, at iacpyouth@theiacp.org or at 703-836-6767, ext. 831 or visit http://www.iacpyouth.org.

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Leadership In Police Organizations: Certified Master Instructor Q and A with William Meeks

We asked Certified Master Instructor, William Meeks, to answer a few questions about his experience with the Leadership in Police Organizations program.

The 120 hour, three-week, Leadership In Police Organizations course is a focused on the systematic development of leaders at all levels of an organization – the concept of “every officer a leader.” The LPO course coaches people on how to lead individuals, groups, organizations, and efforts toward change. For any organization or enterprise, group dynamics can be the difference between success and failure. Students study these dynamics to become adept at making groups cohesive and better able to reach organizational goals.

Why did you get involved in teaching this course?Image
Very simply, this course changed my life – personally and professionally. To have the opportunity to have that effect on some other person was a high priority for me.

Why do you feel that this course is important?
This is the only course in Policing that makes as a claim, produces transformation. We then send these leaders back to their organizations to transform individuals, teams and the organization itself.

As an instructor, what do you feel is the most valuable part of the course?
Not only does the course deliver hundreds of leader strategies, but also produces individual transformation.

What’s your favorite thing about instructing the course?
Participation with class members is the most exciting aspect of the class dynamic.

What do you think is the most important thing for a participant to take away from the course?
Students look at people differently. They begin to view others as unique individuals with hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

What have you personally gained from instructing this course?
I have a pre-LPO career and a post-LPO career. This material and subsequent additional study has changed my personal life and my professional life.

Do you feel that this course could extend beyond just the law enforcement career of the participant?
This course applies to any situation where human interaction is present.

If you are interested in hosting or attending one of our Leadership In Police OrganizationsSM Programs, please contact us at training@theiacp.org.

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2014 Line-of-Duty Deaths: 1st Quarter Report

Within the first three months of 2014, there has been a total of 32 line-of-duty deaths among law enforcement officers in the United States. According to the Officer Down Memorial Fund and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund of … Continue reading

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Upcoming Violence Against Women Crimes Training in Kansas City

In August 2014, the IACP’s National Law Enforcement Leadership Initiative on Violence Against Women will be holding the 17th National Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women in Kansas City, Missouri. With support from the Department of Justice, Office … Continue reading

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The IACP Midsize Agencies Section members from Illinois held their annual Spring “working lunch” meeting at Illinois State Police Headquarters

The IACP Midsize Agencies Section members from Illinois held their annual Spring “working lunch” meeting on March 26th at Illinois State Police Headquarters in Springfield. Newly promoted Chief Kenny Winslow of the Springfield Police Department served as host for the … Continue reading

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The Importance of Physical Well-Being to Law Enforcement

Over the past month, we have been exploring the GALLUP/Healthways Well-Being 5 as they pertain to the law enforcement field. The fifth and final element examines the importance of physical well-being. This refers to having good overall health and a … Continue reading

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