Lieutenant Colonel Brenda L. Leffler has twenty years of law enforcement experience with the Colorado Department of Public Safety. She is currently the commander of Region II for the Colorado State Patrol, which is comprised of the Criminal Investigations Branch, the Training Services Branch, two field Districts and the Staff Services Branch. Beginning her career with the Colorado State Patrol in 1993, Lieutenant Colonel Leffler was first assigned as a field trooper in Jefferson County. She has served as a road trooper in Teller County, a technician at the CSP Training Academy and a sergeant in Gilpin County. Lieutenant Colonel Leffler also serves on several boards and committees, to include the Colorado Homeland Security Advisory Committee, the Joint Terrorism Task Force Executive Committee and the Colorado Special Olympics Executive Board. Lieutenant Colonel Leffler is a founding member of the Colorado State Patrol’s Women’s Resource Network (WRN) and is a member of the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE). Lieutenant Colonel Leffler has an additional ten years of law enforcement experience from her service in the United States military. Lieutenant Colonel Leffler has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the 241st Session of the FBI National Academy.
Lieutenant Colonel Leffler is currently an instructor for the IACP’s Women’s Leadership Institute. We have asked her to answer a few questions about her experience.
Why did you get involved in teaching this course?
I was honored to be selected as an instructor for the WLI, as the curriculum has been developed with the goal of blending the art and science of leadership into a practical, inspirational and female-specific course. The course brings law enforcement officers together from across the world in a setting that allows for discussion, networking and learning in a relaxed and fun environment. I have had the benefit of positive mentors throughout my law enforcement career and wanted to share my experiences with other women.
Why do you feel that this course is important?
The course is based on the IACP Leadership in Police Organizations (LPO) and allows for a high level of interaction between participants and instructors. The women who attend the course are often the only female on their shift or in their department. The class allows students to learn in a trusted environment and benefit from the shared experiences of other officers or civilian staff.
As an instructor, what do you feel is the most valuable part of the course?
I enjoy the experience of watching some students enter the class as unmotivated officers and complete the course with a motivated and energized mindset. One of the most valuable classes teaches students how to be not only good leaders, but the criticality of serving the departments and communities as good followers. In the Followership class, we often see the gap between employees and employers close, as students realize the value of contributing to the overall organization and not just their own goals and objectives.
What’s your favorite thing about instructing the course?
I absolutely love meeting and learning from the other instructors and students. I have been in law enforcement for over 20 years and I still have valuable and actionable take-aways from each WLI course.
What do you think is the most important thing for a participant to take away from the course?
I want students to leave the course knowing and always remembering that they are a valuable segment of society and a valued member of their departments, regardless of their rank or position in the agency. Leadership is needed at all levels of our organizations and women contribute significantly in keeping our communities safe and secure. In the “Getting to the Corner Office” class, we teach students that being successful as a female in law enforcement is not defined solely by achieving rank and that women must be empowered and accept the challenges of defining and achieving their own personal “corner office.”
What have you personally gained from instructing this course?
Personal and professional development, networking and friendship.
Do you feel that this course could extend beyond just the law enforcement career of the participant?
Absolutely. The course is a cornerstone of personal and professional development for officers and we have seen students recommit themselves to leading a more dedicated, positive and focused life as a result of the WLI curriculum and the partnerships.
If you are interested in learning more about the Women’s Leadership Institute program, please visit our website: http://www.theiacp.org/-WOMENS-LEADERSHIP-INSTITUTE-WLI- or feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.