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4 Crippling Leadership Mistakes

Dr. Richard Weinblatt

Oftentimes what is more irritating and stressful to law enforcers than criminals is dealing with the brass and internal agency politics. Thought of as losing touch with the streets and “forgetting where they come from,” the corner office inhabitants of the upper echelons of the law enforcement agency can seem remote and uncaring.

This article is designed to point out, or in some cases simply remind, the bigwig and aspiring corner office-holder alike of common leadership errors that we all can identify within the police department or sheriff’s office. But make no mistake, this is material that can apply to all because everyone is a leader within his or her agency regardless of whether or not fancy gold rank insignia is affixed to the collar or shoulder epaulet. Going even further, these concepts could apply to non-law enforcement organizations as well.

Next Page: Leadership by Non-Example >>>


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    rypete

    about 4 years ago

    606 Comments

    Two of the four apply to my chief. I'll be printing this out and leaving this on his desk.

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    stevemaynard

    about 4 years ago

    164 Comments

    Outstanding article! It is always good to be reminded of the keys to good leadership. Thank you for this.

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    jcotton

    about 4 years ago

    38 Comments

    I agree completly. I have risen in the ranks over the past 14 years. There is nothing I would ask th eline Officers to do that I wouldn't do. But, I ask that they remember that I can't be at work 24/7 to be available to everyone. I allow my Shift Supervisors to take full rein of their team members. I hate micromanagement.

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    SHARRI8

    about 4 years ago

    106 Comments

    I AGREE WITH THE ARTICLE ......DONT FORGET WHERE YOU COME FROM......BUT I THINK FIRST OF ALL WHEN SOMEONE CALLS FOR HELP....LISTEN.....NOT SO MUCH WITH YOUR HEAD BUT WITH YOUR HEART...AFTER ALL REMEMBER YOUR A POLICE OFFICER NOT A JUDGE....ALWAYS INVESTAGATE.....OTHERWISE HOW WILL YOU EVER KNOW THE TRUTH. MANY CRIMES GO ON TODAY BECAUSE NO ONE LISTENED WHILE SOMEONE WAS CALLING FOR HELP........

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    varadarcop

    about 4 years ago

    566 Comments

    My chief wears a full uniform and duty belt, and I like that. Most departments that have had "suit and tie" chiefs are often very UNpopular, as they are seen as bureaucrats and politicians rather than cops who lead an agency. A chief is always in the public eye, and should wear a uniform.

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    Anonymous

    about 4 years ago

    One of the most annoying things I see from the brass is what I like to call "Orders via Email". We get an email from the brass saying..."from this day forward we shall do this". I am in a small department, 46 guys/gals. It doesn't take much to walk to 200 feet from the front offices to the roll call room and tell us face to face. That would go a LONG way with the troops.

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    Anonymous

    about 4 years ago

    I worked for a Captain that came in on Christmas night and actually worked a shift and was doing t-stops, jamming people, and got into a foot pursuit. Just so another officer could be at home with his family. He is the best Captain Ive ever worked for.

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    Anonymous

    about 4 years ago

    Bump to all. I'll agree with Mtarte on the uniform thing, though. The Chief and the other execs are expected to be able to interact with the community, and look like executives, not necessarily like the guys working patrol, the Sergeants, or even the Lt's and Captains. A suit, or shirt and tie, shield clipped to the belt and a paddle holster work fine.

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    kbabcock

    about 4 years ago

    258 Comments

    My department as has a "working" Chief. I am the Sgt which for our PD is 2nd in command. My main focus is Criminal Investiogations but he and I still answer calls for service as from time to time, we are the only ones here if patrol is busy at the jail or on another call. We get out, shag calls, reports, stop cars, write tickets and put people in jail just like our guys do evereyday. I have gotten into pursuits with my Chief. We are a PD of 11 sworn and dont have the luxury of being full-time office dwellers, we still get out in the mix on a regular basis. I have even managed to get complained on myself a time or two so when it comes to dealing with officers, they know they are getting a fair shake since we have been there ourselves, recently.

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    Mtarte

    about 4 years ago

    112 Comments

    Interesting article, but the first one about the command staff always having their gear on and equating it to the general in a battle is lame. Teddy Roosevelt Jr., made the Normandy landings on Utah Beach with a cane and no other weapon however, Patton led the 3rd Army dressed like a field marshal from the Napoleanic wars. I never wanted the command staff to be dressed like my patrol officers. Rather, I wanted them to get in the dirt now and again. In other words, come to work in a suit and tie, but go with the narcs on a raid or ride a shift as a patrol officer and stop by court to see what it is the DAs and defense attorneys are asking their officers these days. Being dressed for the line doesn't mean you're doing the job, it just means you look the part.

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    Oncethere2506

    about 4 years ago

    274 Comments

    The majority of police chiefs today are not leaders. They simply manage people and often not very well. Most of them never did much in their careers other then prepare for promotional exams. In my 20 years on the job I went through 4 chiefs and the last one never made an arrest in his entire career!

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    Anonymous

    about 4 years ago

    Great article....good LE leaders are a rare thing. When I see them, I am sure to let them know I appreciate their leadership.
    "Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way"

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