Motivation and Meaning for Law Enforcement Personnel

Motivation and Meaning for Law Enforcement Personnel
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-06-17
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Motivation and Meaning for Law Enforcement Personnel
Unit 2 Transcript: Motivation and Meaning for Law Enforcement Personnel
Unit 3 Workbook: Motivation and Meaning for Law Enforcement Personnel
Unit 4 Recording: Motivation and Meaning for Law Enforcement Personnel

It takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch, one bad incident to forget all the good that’s been done. Outlier events are putting the whole law enforcement arena under public scrutiny. And this is taking a toll on the rest of the officers who are just doing their job – feeling bad that they’re being generalized based on the actions of just a few or questioning the field they chose to be in and the meaning of the work that they do.

This session’s instructor is Al Cobos. Al has more than 3 decades of experience in law enforcement with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) where he is currently serving as a Sergeant at the LASD Training Bureau’s Education-Based Discipline/Leadership Unit in charge of organizational development and training personnel who have been disciplined.

Points he tackled on this course are:

  • Motivation and meaning in the law enforcement field.
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and unpacking each of the hierarchy levels as it applies to law enforcement where people’s needs must be met.
    • Providing basic needs.
    • Assurance of paid employment and fairness, and providing policies, training, and equipment to keep them safe.
    • A sense of belongingness and interrelatedness through a shared mission.
    • Ensuring esteem through reverence and recognition.
    • Motivating them into self-actualization where they are at their best and are self-directing.
  • The critical step of onboarding to get new hires to understand the agency’s mission, their role in it, and the guidance and opportunities available to upskill and help the agency realize the mission.
  • Being wary of the potential of burnout in top performers and supporting them so they thrive and find meaning in their jobs.
  • Getting the team to move towards the right direction by:
    • Identifying a mission that highlights purpose and meaning.
    • Reinforcing the organization’s mission through dialog.
    • Inspiring the team to keep them motivated and driven with purpose.
    • Encouraging and practicing authenticity and accountability to promote credibility.
    • Fostering curiosity and life-long learning to upskill and broaden perspective.
    • Nurturing an environment that supports critical thinking, analysis, and aims to improve the status quo.
  • Using purposeful questions to…
    • Influence others to develop meaning and motivation and move people towards self-actualization.
    • Build rapport and develop relationships with others.
    • Incite dialog and encourage the process of transition to improve the team as well as the individual.
  • The importance of working within our purview to influence others to be motivated and realize their meaning.

Topics raised during the Q&A were about:

  • Effective ways to ask questions up to the chain of command.
  • The link of safety to fear and how fear impacts our response.
  • Finding meaning and motivation amidst all the changes happening right now.


Other Webinars in this Series:


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “This webinar was refreshing and reinforced the way that things should be but not as they are. I am a firm believer in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and use that in supervision and presentence report writing as well as with my staff. My superiors do not necessarily know this or care-but this reinforced why and how I support my staff and community. As someone on the brink of burnout after being the senior-most manager, this helped with an attitude adjustment. The presenter was amazing.” — Cris
  • “Great real-world examples with the understanding of the why it is important.” — Dalia
  • “It was good that someone acknowledged the generational shift as well as burnout amongst the different generations coming up. Our importance should be acknowledged because we also have a lot to offer but ALSO a lot to learn. Wonderful topic and was good to hear from his perspective.” — Gilbert
  • “I liked how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs were incorporated into the subject – Motivation and Meaning. Speaking on each need level, it made me truly analyze how policies, discipline, etc. have an effect on people. It makes me more cognizant of my behavior as it relates to others as well as my agency. I like the shared tactics on how to frame questions constructively when dealing with employees and the agency leaders. GREAT CLASS!” — James
  • “The instructor made it simple and easy to understand.” — James
  • “Great webinar one of my favorites.” — Karen
  • “The overall webinar was valuable, the presenter presented a lot of questions and ideas that can be asked when trying to motivate personnel and team members.” — Karla
  • “I thought the question and answer session was good because the instructor incorporated what he just taught into each of the answers. The instructor did a great job of incorporating examples into the presentation. Also enjoyed having a handout to work with.” — Robert
  • “I enjoyed the speaker today, all information was informative and I would be interested in hearing additional training from him.” — STEPHANIE


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