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policing, innovation and change!

The policing profession is rich in tradition and historically unencumbered by progress or change. Often, change in policing is driven by external stakeholders, consent decrees, and civil suits. Commonly, the culture within law enforcement organizations is created by the quality or lack of supervision afforded. Good bosses make excellent behavior. Innovative Policing Solutions (IPS) is driving the change in law enforcement training to create environments, tools, and principles that promote ethical and practical policing.

For most police departments across the country, training for newly promoted frontline supervisors could be more impressive. Some agencies have reported that new supervisors will receive two training days and supplemental materials upon promotion. Others have cited that their new supervisors will attend training for four to five days and then be assigned to another supervisor for one week as a part of a mentoring program. Often there needs to be accountability to ensure the mentor is the best person for the task. Lastly, there are law enforcement agencies that have yet to formalize a program for their new supervisors, routinely explaining that a shortage of resources and personnel impacts their ability to do so.

Innovative Policing Solutions has created a training curriculum for sergeants, lieutenants, newly promoted sergeants and lieutenants, and officers considering taking on a supervisory role. Our frontline supervisor training is appropriate not only for traditional police agencies but correctional organizations and the law enforcement community overall.

IPS has incorporated several new and innovative ways to train police supervisors on leadership. Role-playing exercises are not new, but IPS has incorporated digital technology to measure and analyze the supervisory decision-making process. These exercises require supervisors to make quick decisions, think independently, and demonstrate leadership skills in real-time. IPS believes in peer-to-peer learning, all instructors are either active or prior members of law enforcement, and more than half currently work in academia. This approach is highly effective, utilizing experienced law enforcement supervisors to provide tools and strategies for seasoned and newer supervisors, creating a supportive learning environment where supervisors can share their experiences, challenges, and best practices.

IPS adopts a cross-functional training model. This approach involves training police supervisors in leadership skills relevant to other industries or professions—for example, offering blocks of instruction on project management, communication skills, or conflict resolution. Additionally, IPS training provides discussions and lecturers on leading with emotional intelligence, helping supervisors understand and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others in moments of crisis and trauma. This training can help supervisors build strong relationships with their team members and make more effective decisions.

Post training, IPS offers participating organizations professional development programs that include leadership training, amongst other fundamental principles to be used for the entire agency. These programs can be conducted in-house or in partnership with the communities they serve. IPS offers participating organizations access to Interactive online training modules as part of the continuing education process. Online modules can be an effective way to continue to foster skills and principles delivered during in-person training. These modules can be accessed at any time, from any location, and include videos, case studies, and interactive exercises.

By investing in leadership development, police departments can improve the effectiveness of their supervisors, increase job satisfaction, and ultimately enhance public safety.

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