Every Officer is a Leader: The Benefits of Bottom-Up Leadership Development




Boshears, Gary A.

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Every officer in a law enforcement agency is a leader. Leadership development for every officer in a law enforcement agency is as important as developing any other law-enforcement related skill or knowledge if not more important. Leadership development provides officers with necessary skills allowing them to carry out their duties more effectively, solve complex problems, and make good decisions in critical situations. Developing officers as leaders and empowering those officers in a shared model of leadership has the effect of improving organizational efficiency, increasing employee engagement, and decreasing the turnover rate in organizations. Developing and empowering officers as leaders is critical to the success of proactive policing initiatives such as community-oriented policing. Leadership development for every officer in the organization also allows agencies to plan for the succession of supervisors as they leave those roles and decreases the urgency of filling vacant supervisory positions. There is no one-size fits all approach to developing and empowering every officer in a law enforcement agency as a leader. The agency must determine what leadership traits they want to develop and what model of shared leadership is the best fit for their agency and takes steps to implement these programs. Agencies that move forward with this plan will realize many benefits.


Leadership, Personel Management