Succession Planning for Small to Medium Sized Law Enforcement Agencies




McManus Jr, Daniel

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


For many small and medium size law enforcement agencies, having an ongoing strategic succession planning can be difficult to accomplish. These agencies may struggle with the process because of a lack of money, time, and resources in staff to not only plan out the process, but to carry out an ongoing career development schedule. Since small and medium size agencies create over 86% of the overall local and state law enforcement agencies (Reaves, 2011), it is important for the nutrition of the profession to strengthen career development and leadership transition. Succession plans are not a new concept. This paper will address concerns from obstacles that might prevent the planning process. One of the solutions is to look to other departments that have developed their own systems. Starting the succession planning process is a matter of setting out measurable goals to accomplish career development that provides for leadership needs for the future. Creating a succession plan is a great investment for a small and medium size law enforcement agency. This process can allow potential leaders to develop their skills and confidence, which can greatly affect not only the efficiency of the department but the morale as well. Leaders in law enforcement can cause a department to grow and prosper even after they leave. Failure to do so, however, can cause a void of knowledge and effective leadership that can set their department back, thus causing conflict within from personnel and possibly causing the public to lose their confidence in the department. Ultimately, small to medium sized law enforcement agencies should develop and implement a succession plan



Police -- selection and appointment, Executive sucession