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Recognizing Potential Law Enforcement Executives: Part III in a Series on Leadership

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 59 Issue: 3 Dated: (June 1997) Pages: 106-108
Date Published
3 pages
An exploratory study formulated and tested a law enforcement executive management (LEEM) profile based on the personality characteristics, skills, knowledge, and abilities of demonstrably effective executives in police agencies; the profile provides a good starting point for considering career development issues in law enforcement.
Both research and field data indicate that effective executives learn to be effective through a maturation process in which skills, knowledge, and abilities are developed and enhanced. The current research was conducted under the Visiting Fellowship Program of the National Institute of Justice. The research formulated and tested the LEEM profile. It identified 20 variables of personality, cognition, and skills-based performance and used written tests to measure them. One hundred executives and 364 nonexecutives from 13 Federal, State, and local jurisdiction agencies throughout the country participated in the study voluntarily. Findings revealed three characteristics that significantly separated executives from nonexecutives: critical thinking ability, education, and career commitment. The 10 secondary characteristics that could be used to support the primary 3 included original thinking ability, competitive drive, speed and impatience, vigor, achievement drive, ascendancy, emotional stability, sociability, self-esteem, and personal relations. Findings indicated that both the enhancement of management skills and the development of future managers are possible. Profiles such as those developed by this study can facilitate a viable fast-track process for developing the most promising candidates for criminal justice leadership. Tables and 11 references

Date Published: January 1, 1997