A total of 53 top administrators participated in the Texas Police Chief Leadership Series, a legislatively mandated 40-hour management course to assist in developing leadership skills and to improve the effectiveness of their departments. It is offered biennially to the police chiefs from municipalities as well as school and college campuses in Texas in Huntsville and in regional locations.
"I think ongoing training is very important," said Police Chief Eric Buske of Bryan. "It puts all the police chiefs on the same page."
The five-day training focused on effective communications, employee relations, visioning, crisis services, legal updates, leadership skills, computer trends in crime and telephone exploitation.
"These classes are very insightful," said Police Chief Jeff Capps of College Station. "Every time I come, I bring something back. As the chief, you are responsible for the whole department. The leadership segments are always interesting and they bring in good instructors. The legal updates are always important. They keep us up to date, so we can keep our staff up to date and abreast of any changes."
One topic of discussion was the development stages of an police organization, which hit home with Chief Buske. He has headed the department for 14 months and witnessed firsthand the progression of his department.
A similar training also is offered to the first line supervisor of each department, a service Capps said is extremely valuable to the organization.
"I always go back with a to-do list," Capps said.
While most of the training addresses the day-to-day issues that departments and their leaders face, several key topics are added each training cycle at the request of a police chiefs statewide. The two topics for the current cycle of training are computer trends in crime and telephone exploitation.
Police chiefs were provided a comprehensive overview of the legal aspects of seizing computer evidence as well as a broad list of resources of agencies and training centers that would assist them with identifying and retrieving that evidence and certifying their staff.
The chiefs also were provided with information on the latest technology used in cell phones and ways criminals are manipulating the systems. They also were given a far-reaching list of resources to get the information they need for training and to collect and analyze data.
LEMIT is the largest and one of the only statewide preparation program for police management in the United States. It is dedicated to developing the administrative, analytical and executive skills of current and future law enforcement officials. Public administration, management issues, the political, legal and social environments of policing and advanced technical issues are studied in detail. LEMIT also houses Incident Command Simulation Training, a state-of-the-art facility that offers specialized crisis management instruction to stakeholders from various administrative entities at tribal, local, state, and national levels.