About the Course
The Wisconsin Department of Justice, in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, is offering Leadership in Police Organizations (LPO) training at several Wisconsin locations. LPO is our most requested career development course; participants have called the program career-changing. LPO uses a behavioral science approach to leading people, groups and organizations. The course is based on material developed for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Focused on cultivating leaders at all levels of the organization, LPO training is highly interactive. Small group case studies, videos and class exercises are used to reinforce learning. The three-week course is generally taught one week a month over three months. To facilitate networking and group participation, lunch is provided on-site.
I will start back in 2013 and my journey through LPO. I went to LPO as an alienated follower and quickly realized I needed to change, not my department. I believe that there is a large misconception by many people who take this class now that the world around them is wrong and they were sent to LPO to fix it. The reality is much different. LPO is so much more of an introspective experience. The people in the state now taking this class are of two categories: they have a long history of being an administrator and they are now just getting around to coming to class because of feedback they have heard from staff they have sent but they haven’t gone themselves, they are fresh faces to “leadership” in their departments and LPO is part of their building block. I often say in class that the administrators that want to take LPO have taken it. We are now at administrators that are hearing the buzz or complaints and want to know what all the fuss is about. I also say in class that you get out of the class what you put into it. But, now, I truly believe that you will get out of the class what you are willing to sacrifice. Are you willing to put your positional authority aside? Are you willing to begin seeing people working “for” you as people worthy of working “with” you? If you are none of those things at the start of the class, you need to be by the end of the class in order to make the most of the experience.
All members of the instructor cadre have unique views of the class and its role in shaping leadership in policing in Wisconsin. If for no other reason, people should take this class to learn that individuals today that are prospective employees, current employees and past employees have very similar needs from their leader. It is to be respected and treated as a person, not as a commodity. I remind myself of this each day and I probably struggle with this more than most would believe. But, I have the courage to look in the mirror and see the work that needs to be done, starting with me.
Chief of Police
Prairie du Chien Police Department
I took LPO back in 2017. This was the first leadership training that I had attended. I had taken a supervisory course a few years prior but nothing that focused on leadership development. The LPO course was exactly what I needed at the time. I had been with my agency for 13 years and I was ready to take the next step in my career. The insight and knowledge I gained while attending LPO course helped to confirm what I was already believing that I was ready to take the next step in my career. I completed LPO and was confident in my skills and shortly after graduating I was promoted to Deputy Chief of Police. The skills and concepts I learned has helped me immensely in my current role. It has also helped me to realize that I need to continue to grow as a leader. I am currently attending Command College and I would not have even given it a second thought, if not for what I learned during my time at LPO.
Deputy Chief of Police
Brodhead Police Department.
I have attended many leadership courses and honestly, it seems that many repeat the same information in a different format or using different terminology. Regarding the LPO course I think the key thing that I learned and that has not truly been covered or discussed in other leadership classes is learning to look at a problem and identifying the root cause of the problem. We can use different leadership styles based on the type of person we are dealing with, but none of that matters or has an impact if we don't take the time to identify and address the root cause of the issue. We all have busy lives and we all have a plethora of things coming at us from all directions in both our personal lives and our professional lives. Oftentimes, issues that we deal with regarding employees have nothing to do with the job, but rather stem from other outside influences. I have found that being able to identify those outside influences and addressing them with the employee can have a significant impact on the employee's job performance, the employee's ability to follow, and my ability to lead effectively
Deputy Chief of Police
Town of Beloit
I attended the Leadership in Police Organization course. It was very insightful and showed me a better way to communicate with my coworkers. Not being in promoted leadership role, the class helped me to better understand how I an be supportive on an everyday basis and made me reflect on my own behaviors in the department. The class was a good blend of lecture, team teaching, group exercises, and feedback.
Deputy Erin Meier
Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office- Jail Division.