Leadership: Standardized Training for First-Time Supervisors in Law Enforcement
The law enforcement profession is being scrutinized more than ever. Officers’ mistakes and actions are exposed almost immediately through news outlets and via social media. Texas legislators and law enforcement executives must be proactive in their approach of training all new law enforcement supervisors. Texas has a variety of different agencies that vary in size and type of levels of law enforcement duties. This should not inhibit agencies from having a standard approach on educating and equipping new supervisors. It is time the state of Texas made it mandatory for all new supervisors in law enforcement to go through a standardized formal training that will give them the tools and education needed to survive within their communities. Though TCOLE has in place different levels of proficiency training, most are optional. A standardized and mandatory approach would place all new supervisors on a level playing field regardless of the department’s size. Law enforcement leadership faces more problems, challenges, and spectacles today than ever before. Leadership training programs, such as the FBI National Academy and the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT), are excellent sources but only accept supervisors who have tenure and rank. Oftentimes, new leaders are overwhelmed with little guidance and support from upper management. Legislation could be enacted to increase the amount collected on citations for these types of programs. Departments and employees could share the cost to help pay for the education and training. New supervisors need to be given the proper education and training to succeed in this profession. Law enforcement leaders in Texas cannot take a reactive approach to this issue.