Amidst all the controversies and public scrutiny, a job in the law enforcement profession isn’t as appealing as it used to be. But there still are a handful of noble souls who chose this field held by a belief and sense of purpose who brave all the challenges and questions that come with the job – all in the name of public safety and helping others. What are the things they must pay attention to to ensure a fulfilling career trajectory? Dennis Raynor unpacks the career survival components to set law enforcement professionals, particularly leaders, up for success.
Dennis has over 25 years of experience in policing and recently retired as a Chief of Police. He is currently a faculty member for the Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership Master’s program at the University of San Diego and is the host of the podcast Blue Leadership.
Specifics of this discussion include:
- The goals and components of promoting career survival.
- Guidelines under risk management and liability control that emphasizes…
- The importance of establishing workforce quality right at the very beginning and throughout the phases of a law enforcement career through retention and promotion standards.
- A cohesive and consistent internal affairs and discipline system that serves as a warning mechanism, applies to everyone, and manages potential risk and liability.
- Training that creates quality, is offered to everyone within the organization, and addresses deficits within the agency and high-liability areas as use of force and race-related discrimination.
- Mechanisms in place to safeguard against harassment, hostility, and discrimination.
- Compliance to regular accreditation and policy review as well as consultations with stakeholders.
- Accurate asset management and record keeping where everything and everyone is accounted for.
- Tips to developing and fostering a positive agency image through…
- Approachable, honest, and transparent communication and relationships with the media and having leaders leverage different channels to promote agency image and connect with people.
- Community engagement as an ongoing philosophy that fosters communication and understanding between the public and the agency through liaisons and community activities.
- Proactively looking out for incidents and mistakes that happen to other agencies to facilitate preparation should it happen to your community.
- Utilizing the agency website, social media, and year-end reports to communicate important information and showcase achievements and the agency’s work to the public.
- Familiarizing with and embodying the agency’s mission statement in all facets of the job.
- Things to look out for and utilize to promote public safety.
- Leveraging crime stats for trends, hotspots, and patterns to provide action items to resolve issues and rally the community to support efforts against crime.
- Maximizing technology or re-allocating manpower to accomplish more with less or the same.
- Effectively providing chief messages to appease the community after tragedies or highlight agency accomplishments.
- Promulgating the Peelian Principle and tapping anonymous tip lines, crime dashboards, neighborhood watch, and community meetings to engage the citizens to support and appreciate the work being done by the agency.
- Creating a victim-centered approach, particularly for vulnerable sectors.
- Ensuring that the trifecta towards success is fulfilled – correct staffing, support and resources.
- A rundown of principles to observe to navigate politics and competing interests.
- Working on a reputation that places high regard for public safety and not personal interests, remaining fair, impartial, and consistent and not allowing quid pro quo and favors tarnish these.
- Aligning with ethically minded community stakeholders, fostering trust and transparency with the community, and choosing the right people to hire and promote within the agency.
- Utilizing data and facts to choose the most logical options and counter competing interests.
- Always remembering your why and abiding by the organizational mission and your oath to establish the line-in-the-sand and navigate political pressure.
- Elements of goal setting and planning to take into account.
- Establishing goals and plan to put the odds in your favor, define where you’ve been and the path you’re headed, and secure needed resources to make things happen.
- The value of redundancy for making operation seamless and the leaders’ wellness.
- Allowing the accomplishment of the goals and plan be the legacy leaders leave.
- A rundown of the vital knowledge that leaders must possess in terms of high liability areas, the pillars of 21st century policing, familiarity with the people you’re directing and their roles in the agency, and leadership components and topics to focus on.
Questions from the webinar participants are about:
- Acronyms used in the discussion.
- Coming up with the six key areas in career survival.
- The value of having a dedicated communications person in a law enforcement agency.
- How line-level officers can best raise issues to the top leaders.
Other Webinars in this Series
- Aug 9: Career Survival within the Administrative Ranks of Policing (Part 1) this webinar
- Aug 18: Career Survival within the Administrative Ranks of Policing (Part 2)
- “Overall, very helpful. Nice to see it from your perspective. Valid points on several items and highlighted areas that I and the organization need to do better on.” — Heather
- “Bottom line up front; the entire presentation was outstanding!” — Scott
- “Great ideas to think more about and incorporate into what we are already doing. Thank you!” — Sasha
- “I felt that this webinar was very well done. It flowed well, and for the first segment of a series, the information was right at the appropriate level. I am excited for the second segment.” — Russell
- “It is great to hear information directly from individuals in leadership roles in the criminal justice system. Please continue to do this.” — Sara
- “Good presentation. I took away some pieces we could do things better but also confirmed we are moving in the right direction based on the material presented today. Very much appreciate the presentation.” — Gina
- “Dennis’ obvious expertise and combination of principles, training, and experience. Presentations that are all concept based or all experience-based don’t resonate as much. Dennis mixed the two in an engaging and useful way.” — Erik