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Designing a Law Enforcement Leadership Development Program

NCJ Number
THE POLICE CHIEF Volume: 75 Issue: 10 Dated: October 2008 Pages: 166,168,171
Deanna M. Putney; Cordelia L. Holmes
Date Published
October 2008
5 pages
This article describes the Leadership Development Program (LDP) of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP), in order to motivate other agencies to develop their own LPD in fostering a culture of employee development, professional growth, and leadership transfer.
One purpose of the NCSHP’s LDP is to build a bridge between succession planning and employee development through training and mentoring from the highest levels of decisionmaking. A second purpose is to invest in the professional growth and development of its most valuable resource from the top levels of leadership. A third purpose is the implementation of large organizational development initiatives and transitions by infusing organizational vision through one-on-one executive development. This article’s description of the LDP focuses on the integration of four elements in the program design: support from the Commander’s Office, standard operating procedures, partnerships, and executive coaching. Support from the Commander’s Office ensures the LDP receives the priority and resources it needs. The NCSHP Commander’s Office participates in the LDP by assigning LDP participants to the Commander’s Office for the first 2 weeks of the program, in order to observe the functioning of the agency from its highest levels of decisionmaking authority. The LDP has standard operating procedures that formalize the design, implementation, and evaluation of the program, while serving as material for publicizing the program within the organization. Internal and external partnerships provide the collaborative efforts required to ensure quality leadership training and command staff who serve as coaches and resources of knowledge for LDP participants. The LDP’s use of executive coaching involves one-on-one interactions with experienced executives. Coaching sessions conclude with the design of individual development plans that outline the operational and developmental areas of interest for each participant to explore during his/her tenure in the program. 1 figure and 2 tables