By Alex Glinsky
As do other organizations, law enforcement groups require quality leadership and management to run at maximum potential. Though the operation of a law enforcement division presents many industry-specific requirements and obstacles, a number of its basic principles equate to similar ones in the business world. One fundamental aspect of law enforcement leadership is that of understanding and respecting the value of the human resources that comprise a police or investigative team.
These people put forth a tremendous amount of energy toward protecting the safety and security of the community, and the value of their efforts should not be underestimated. Part of a leader’s role in this respect is to formulate an appropriate chain of command that increases departmental effectiveness by utilizing the strengths of his or her subordinates.
Allowing tactical decisions to be made by team members often helps the department to work comfortably within an overall leadership strategy. An effective leader must be adaptable and have the awareness to anticipate the needs of the department and address them in a timely fashion. He or she must also be able to work alongside a team to achieve departmental goals and facilitate the work of officers and investigators.
A supervisory position in a police force requires a great deal of discipline and understanding, as well as the patience to apply sound thinking and strategy to a team of law enforcement professionals whose jobs, by their natures, often lead to unexpected and sometimes dangerous situations. By balancing personnel, budget constraints, resource distribution, and performance analysis, an effective law enforcement supervisor increases the chances of safety and success within his or her department.
Alex Glinsky retired in 2011 after serving for many years as a decorated Sergeant and Detective in the Township of Edison Police Department in New Jersey. He spent seven years at the department in supervisory roles.