Five participants in the new chiefs training are graduates of the Leadership Command College."
Five graduates of the Leadership Command College, the premiere executive development program for Texas law enforcement, recently returned to the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) as new police chiefs.
“LEMIT appreciates the diligence one commits to being a successful Chief of Police,” said Dr. Rita Watkins, Executive Director of LEMIT. “It is exciting to see these five police chiefs apply the knowledge and relate what they learned in LCC to an executive appointment. They have worked hard, and we are proud of their accomplishments.”
Chief DavidsonAmong the recently appointed chiefs were Ron Davidson, Texas A & M University Police in San Antonio; Charlie Johnson, Lake Tanglewood Police Department; Stephen Mylett, South Lake Police Department; Jim Nelson, Dumas Police Department; and Daniel Pennington, Freeport Police Department. They were among 50 top law enforcement officers to participate in the New Chiefs Development Program, a mandated training for all new top law enforcement managers in the state.
The new law enforcement leaders credit the LCC with paving their road to success.
“If you want to advance in law enforcement, you definitely need to get a command college under your belt,” said Chief Davidson. “With some of the other programs, you’re gone for a long time. I always recommend the LCC because it is set up in blocks, you get to move around the state, and it’s paid for. It allows you to break out of your local paradigm and see how other departments are doing things all over the state.”
Since graduating from LCC as a sergeant at the University of Texas, San Antonio in 2002, Davidson has gone on to earn a Bachelor and Master’s degree in the field. He still reaches back to some colleagues from LCC to develop a “best practices” approach to issues that arise.
Chief Nelson“The networking was great,” said Chief Davidson. “I am still in touch with three to four guys that I went through the whole program with for helping with decision-making, researching policies and procedures, and developing a best practice approach.”
For Nelson, networking is the key, even though he graduated from the program’s predecessor in 1997.
“I have friends I graduated with from all over Texas and still talk to them periodically,” said Nelson.
After his appointment as Police Chief in Dumas on April 1, Nelson immediately implemented one of the lessons from LCC when he was faced with doing his first budget. He also better understood how to interact with a culturally diverse community, which includes immigrants from Somalia and Burma.
Chief MylettDuring their careers, Davidson and Pennington also attended the prestigious FBI National Academy, but credit LCC with provided the practical, hands-on applications they use on the job.
“There is no doubt that the things I learned in LCC helped me in my career,” said Mylett. “The focus of the LCC was leadership and management. The instructors were exceptional and the courses were all relevant to the emerging police leader. There were so many concepts and ideas related to leadership and management that I found so very useful that I applied many of them to my role as a police supervisor and, eventually, police executive. The LCC is a must for anyone who aspires to compete for executive level positions.”
Chief PenningtonPennington still remembers the personality assessment that was used to identify his own leadership style and to understand the personalities of supervisors in command position.
“If you can understand the perspective of the boss, you can have a better working relationship,” Pennington said.
Johnson said the biggest selling point in getting the job in Lake Temple was the LCC. One of the members of City Council was in law enforcement and knew of the great reputation of the program.
Chief Johnson“I learned there is more to law enforcement than patrol and arrests,” said Johnson. “I learned about leadership and budgets from great professionals and instructors. I also learned that you are never too old to learn.”
The Leadership Command College is designed to provide law enforcement executives with the knowledge and skills necessary for successful leadership in a modern law enforcement agency. The program consists of three, 15-day instructional modules, selected reading assignments and a comprehensive Leadership White Paper (LWP). The sessions are held at Texas A & M, Texas Women’s University and Sam Houston State University.
The instructional curriculum is a careful balance of proven management practice and sound academic research. The curriculum is divided into three broad content areas: Leadership and General Management Principles; Political, Legal and Social Environment of Law Enforcement; and Law Enforcement Administration.