Law Enforcement And Leadership Essay

1711 words - 7 pages


Police leadership uses standardization and procedure as a way to create consistency and predict¬ability in law enforcement operations (Batts, Smoot, & Scrivner, 2012). The San Diego Police Department, like nearly all law enforcement agencies uses leadership models mimicking the United States military. Paramilitary organizations use highly structured framing to conduct business operations. The structural frame creates compartmentalized specialization, and predictable, uniform task performance desired by police executives. The tightly designed rank-and-file structure delineates locus power and control based on position (Bolman & Deal, 1991). Power rests at the top. Contained with this structure is top-down control of personnel, resources, and division of labor. The law enforcement organization codifies and outlines general guides of how to conduct business in a pre-determined fashion. The systemization rests on high direction and low task leadership models (Bolman & Deal, 1991). Is this model still the most efficient model of leadership for law enforcement agencies? Alternatively, the question is raised; can newer leadership models focusing on transformative leadership, and integrative leadership models where shared power, planning, distribution, and other work activities prove effective in structural law enforcement organizations?

Changing the law enforcement outlook is a difficult undertaking. Most modern agencies must adapt to the fluidity of modern law enforcement context to the onset of increased mobility, technology, and sophistication (Batts, Smoot, & Scrivner, 2012). These force necessitate that law enforcement consistently strive to be on the cutting edge in order to stay ahead of crime. Taking a bottom up and collaborative approach is unique, and contrary to agency protocol. Many law enforcement agencies simply do not aspire to come into the modern age by utilizing bottom-up or transformative leadership. Line-level law enforcement officers, investigators supervisors, and police executives are more educated and sophisticated with technology in their arsenal to enhance job performance. Despite having better education, training, equipment, access to specialized resources, and information, law enforcement agencies struggle with sharing power with their workforce. The result of this failure to modernize leaves law enforcement officers going through the motions and working at less than maximum efficiency.

Purpose/Assessment of the need

The goal of project was to adapt an existing work group with the purpose of comparing and contrasting task oriented leadership communication models utilized in paramilitary organizations to relationship based leadership communication. Paramilitary structured organizations use outdated leadership models. Transformative leadership model utilizing shared power and collaboration was used to answer the question of relationship based leadership is as effective within a highly structured work groups...

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