The Future of LPO Hits Closer to Home

Why do you feel that the Leadership in Police OrganizationsSM course is important?

I used to have a three page answer to this question, but they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. That picture is of the 45 graduates of The Arizona Law Enforcement Academy, Class #470.

Graduates of the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy, Class #470

What makes this picture special to me is that one of the young officers in this class is my daughter. They had just completed a grueling seven-mile run up South Mountain in Phoenix. After I stopped admiring the beautiful smile on my daughter’s face, I noticed that every one of these new officers also had a huge smile on their face in spite of the arduous effort that they had to put forth to complete this extremely challenging task. And that is when my answer to this question was found in a picture.

Look at their smiles as they make their entrance into the policing profession. Remember when that was us? When those were our smiles? Most every police officer graduating from their own academy after enthusiastically undertaking the rigorous training needed to succeed in this profession, smiles out at their friends and family as they are awarded their badge on that final day. Where to those smiles go?

There are a number of reasons for the diminished smiles; to include the tragic things these officers go on to experience on an all too frequent basis, the lack of support they feel from some of the people that they would risk their lives to protect, and the stress that police work puts on them and their families.

However, I personally believe that many of these smiles will disappear because of poor leadership. Many of these new officers will go on to work for leaders that lack competency or character. Sometimes these leaders will lack both. And it is not that their leaders intend to do a poor job. But they don’t know how to do their job because their boss never taught them how to do their job. Poor leadership has been handed down through generations of well-intended men and women who never received any formal training on how to be an effective leader. Leadership in Police OrganizationsSM is important because the challenges facing today’s law enforcement leaders require a new generation of highly-educated and well-trained men and women. Leadership in Police OrganizationsSM is a critical piece to building the leadership competency of tomorrow’s leaders.


About the Author

Deputy Chief Rod Covey
Port of Seattle Police Department

Rod is a Deputy Chief for the Port of Seattle Police Department, having assumed that position in April 2009 after serving 32 years with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). Almost all of his time there was spent in leadership positions including assignments as the Commander of the Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy, the Chief of Staff for the Director of Public Safety, the Chief of the Highway Patrol, the Chief of Operations, and the Assistant Director overseeing the Agency Support Division. He has served as the Executive Director of the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) and he finished his time in Arizona as Director of the Center for Leadership Excellence at AZ POST.

The author and his daughter at her graduation from the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy.

The author and his daughter at her graduation from the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy.

Rod brings his extensive experience and expertise in leadership and organizational development to classrooms and organizations nationwide having trained and coached thousands of new and experienced leaders. He has worked with hundreds of federal, state, county, and city agencies to include the Washington State Patrol, the United States Capitol Police, and US Customs and Border Protection. Among the many courses he has developed and taught for 30 years are lessons on performance management, leading change, coaching and mentoring, followership, transformational leadership, and the leader’s role in creating and maintaining an ethical culture.

He is certified by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as an instructor/facilitator and faculty developer for the Leadership in Police Organization (LPO) Program. He is also a certified facilitator for FranklinCovey© with regard to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People© and 7 Habits for Law Enforcement© .

Rod has an AA Degree in Criminal Justice from Central Arizona College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of Phoenix, and a Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Educational Leadership. As a result of his work for NAU, he received membership into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. He is a graduate of the 157th Session of the FBI National Academy and Arizona State University’s Institute for Public Executives. In July 2012, he attended the 52nd Session of the Senior Management Institute for Policing (SMIP) at Boston University.

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