Command and Staff Program

ACE Track

Leadership in Practice: Community Leadership

Replies
203
Voices
102
Dr. Mitch Javidi
Instructions:  
  1. Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module.  Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 
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    Monte Potier

    I believe that Community Leadership is important to have a "bond" with the community for the organization as a whole. Many times in Law Enforcement we ask for assistance in investigations that we have very little investigative leads. In those occasions without the support of the community those crimes would not be solved. The "trust" we build with the community helps out "image" and helps us in the future.

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      Frank Acuna

      Monte, I agree it is difficult to be truly effective in our pursuit of criminal justice without the support of our community. This means they must trust us and desire to interact with us, feeling safe to assist with criminal investigations.

      Frank

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      Nancy Franklin

      Monte, I agree that community bonds are critical to law enforcement. We need the assistance of the community to perform our jobs effectively. Making those deposits of trust in the community can go a long way - especially when we have a critical incident that may otherwise reflect badly on our organization. Having the support and trust of the community can help us through these difficult times.

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      Lance Leblanc

      Monte, you are right we depend on the public for assistance all the time for investigations. Maintaining good relationships and trust with the community will result in a higher rate of solving crime.

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      Eduardo Palomares

      I totally agree. The community are the eyes and ears of law enforcement. It is vital that law enforcement agencies build partnerships with the community to build trust and support. One thing we can’t forget is that even as public safety professionals now, we are members of our communities first. Without community support we can’t effectively perform our duties as law enforcement professionals. Great point.

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      Major Willie Stewart

      I agree Monte. We have to start with creating a better image and how communities perceive officers. This starts with leadership. Our department is big on community relations and that's a good thing. Overall, I think our department has a pretty good image and respect from the public.

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      I agree that community leadership is extremely important. With times being very trying right now for law enforcement and it often seeming like a lot of people have a hatred towards them, it is important to have community support and leadership. Building a relationship with the public should be a continuous process even once you have their trust and support.

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    Frank Acuna

    Law Enforcement officers are Community Leaders who derive their power from community trust. We must focus on being better community leaders by focusing on positive interactions with the public. We are afforded several opportunities for these positive interactions, whether stopping to get a cup of coffee and having a conversation with someone standing in line or when you decide to give a warning rather than a traffic citation. There are several barriers to being truly effective community leaders, including our cynicism, tunnel vision, conflicts, suspicion, hyper-awareness, or a lack of empathy. When we achieve balance in our personal lives, we can break down these barriers and achieve better emotional intelligence and improve our community leadership.

    Frank

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      Brian Johnson

      Frank, very well said. We must mentor the servant mindset into all our people, or cynicism will create the us vs. them mentality, which is too prevalent in law enforcement.

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    Brian Johnson

    This module is a great reminder for all of us to develop and maintain balance in our personal and professional lives. We all understand and deal with the stress from our profession in different ways. I have found that life-long fitness has been the key for me to control my stress and remain grounded. We must treat employee wellness and well-being very intentionally. We all know that suicide is the number one reason for the tragic loss of a fellow LEO. As leaders, this must be one of our main priorities.

    The importance of community trust and support cannot be overstated. Our authority and power is given by the people we serve, can never forget that. To develop, build, and maintain community trust, we must view ourselves public servants, period. In the context of law enforcement, we must embrace the three pillars of community policing: prevent, problem solving, and partnerships. I would argue that community partnerships has and always will be the measure of our success.

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      Kyle Turner

      I agree that community trust is extremely important. The breakdowns and protests we see across the country in response to police action is often the result of a lack of trust. Law enforcement must be proactive in developing and nurturing this trust on an ongoing basis.

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        Henry Dominguez

        Kyle I agree. Building that trust also allows us to openly communicate and educate the public on what and why we do certain things.

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      Joey Prevost

      Not letting the cynicism creep over into out personal lives is often a challenge. I now completely understand about social isolation and how effort needs to be made to engage with others outside of work.

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        Drauzin Kinler

        Joey, early on in my career, it was natural for a police officer to isolate themselves from the outside. When I first started in law enforcement, I distanced myself to the point that the only friends I had remaining were police officers. As the times change, the role has reversed, and I now find myself more engaged with those I do not work with daily. Community relations changed the way many agencies used to operate, therefore enabling us to see that it was a requirement to associate with the public in order to be effective in our jobs.

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          I agree with Joey and Drauzin. There was a time when it was perfectly acceptable for officers to socially distance themselves from others. It was part of the job and for new officers being admitted to that small, safe fraternity of peers was a right of passage. At the time, our profession did not know any better and it was perpetually personified in both TV and movies. But lets face it.. it was the time of the wheel gun and organized choir practices (I know I'm dating myself). Times are changing. Department's are becoming invested in officer health and wellness and the focus is returning to community oriented policing. We cannot be successful as law enforcement officers and law enforcement agencies if we are not uniquely focused both internally and externally. Our profession and our communities demand these changes.

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        Lt. Mark Lyons

        We have multiple discussions about these issues with our new deputies during orientation. We encourage them to maintain relationships with others outside of work. We tell them to stay grounded and to get involved at their church, join a social club, or pick up a hobby. Anything to get them out around "normal" people.

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          Eduardo Palomares

          This are very important conversations to have. Officers and Deputies should have friends from outside the profession to maintain a healthy balance. I still hang out with my non law enforcement friends. This allows me to see their views.

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            Jarvis Mayfield

            I believe this is a great idea however I have experienced that several of my non law enforcement friends have separated themselves from me since the start of my career.

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    Joey Prevost

    I think we often lose sight of Peel's Principle. That the Police are the Public and the Public are the Police. We are simply those members of the public tasked with policing. It is important to have the support of the community, otherwise you are seen as an occupying force. We should take every opportunity to let the community get to know us.

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      Chris Corbin

      I couldn't agree more that we are simply members of the community. Unfortunately, in today's world, we as a society love to apply labels and identities. Doing this pushes us apart because it highlights our differences, not our commonalities. In my opinion, we have so much more in common than not. But by assigning very distinct labels and identities to relatively minor differences and making it all about those differences, we create the illusion, both in our minds and in the minds of others, that we are miles apart.

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      Dan Wolff

      Joey Prevost,
      Absolutely agree. In today’s society with so much negativity on police in the media we must take the time to interact with the same people we protect/serve and get to know them. In our department we use social media platform whenever we can to humanize the people of our department. As a supervisor on patrol I always tell our shift if they have time drive slow through neighborhoods and stop and talk when given the opportunity. They would be surprised of the information they can get and it builds community relationships. National night out is an awesome tool we use as well.
      Dan

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      Monte Potier

      Wisely said Joey. As a police agency we need the public to assist us. We cannot be everywhere at all times!

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      Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

      I agree with your comments Joey. It is easy to forget we need the support of the community and fall into an Us vs. them mentality.

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      Matthew Menard

      I agree. If we isolate ourselves from those we serve, they will not trust us. We must engage the community whenever possible and they will be there for us when we need them.

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    Chris Corbin

    The most interesting, and exciting concept that I took from this module, is the lecturer's argument that community involvement directly benefits an officer's wellness. We all know the importance of community engagement from the angle of understanding our constituent's needs, gaining the authority and partnerships that we rely on to carry out our duties, and humanizing the profession. But I had never considered the personal benefits that officers themselves would receive from such interactions, and now see the officer-citizen relationship as being far more mutually beneficial than I ever believed it to be.

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    Dan Wolff

    Finding a balance of our personal lives and professional lives is constantly something we must practice every day. We must use this time as to show our compassion and humanize our profession to the community. When dealing with the community while on duty, I take the time to talk with people, and express to them that their contributions to the department are always welcome. Make them feel they are a big part of making our community safe. Building relationships with empathy, sympathy and investing in emotional health is beneficial in community relations.

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      Eduardo Palomares

      That’s great community oriented policing Sir. We need to take the time to get to know our community members.

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    Mike Brown

    Sometimes we forget that we work for the community. Our community involvement has a lot to do with how well we can perform our duties. If we continue to look at every person as a suspect we will never solve the issues that plaque the community.

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      Jason Porter

      It is easy to forget that we are a part of the community we serve. You are right when you say that "If we continue to look at every person as a suspect we will never solve the issues that plaque the community." We have to step back and take a look at ourselves and remind us that we are a part of the community.

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      Judith Estorge

      I agree that we work for the community but also believe the community needs to help as well. They have the best access to our youth today and can make the greatest impact. It takes a village is true but should start at home.

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      Samantha Reps

      I agree, far too many times we only focus on the bad instead of the good. At times, we stereotype as we start dealing with the kids of known offenders never giving them a chance.

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    Jason Porter

    Community leadership in the community you serve is necessary in order to accomplish our jobs. Without the community backing us and talking to us, it will make our job that much tougher. Being a community leader in your personal life to humanize our profession will only aid in allowing us to work. If the community sees us as law enforcement professionals with a human side, they can and will relate to us much easier.

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      Brian Lewis

      I totally agree Jason. Social media has become a great tool to help foster communication with our community as well.

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      McKinney

      I agree that it is essential for us in the law enforcement profession to have a strong relationship with our community partners. Having a strong bond with our community members allows us to network in varying ways, which promotes growth for them but us as well.

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    Drauzin Kinler

    Community relations is one area that my agency focuses on heavily. As a result, for the past several years, we have some of the lowest crime statistics recorded over the last 24 years. Community involvement relates to building a relationship that benefits law enforcement and the public it serves. The community that we serve is appreciative of the services we provide, and they support the agency.

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    Nancy Franklin

    This lecture provoked thoughts that I had not really considered much before - at least in the context in which they were presented here. My agency is good about focusing on community engagement and in fostering positive and collaborative relationships with our citizens and businesses. These investments in community trust have paid dividends for us throughout the years, but it is not something we can take for granted. This community engagement is a constant and ongoing process of investment. From a personal perspective, I enjoyed the way the lecture encouraged community engagement and being a good citizen with assisting law enforcement professionals with combating cynicism and the other negative impacts that a law enforcement career has on us.

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    Jarod Primicerio

    Community relations is at the heart of law enforcement. As much as we prioritize calls for service, we need to ensure our police officers are integrating with the community. Off-duty integration component in this segment is crucial. As related, it is definitely a trust multiplier and can boost the public trust when they know a police officer is volunteering; not required to be at an event.

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      Lance Landry

      Your last statement speaks volumes. I agree there is a huge difference in volunteering versus required. Experience has shown the ones that grumble and gripe have the most positive community interactions.

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    Lance Leblanc

    Building better community relationships should be a priority for every law enforcement agency. Law enforcement can not do their jobs without the backing of the community. This is critical in solving crimes. Law enforcement also depends on the community for support for raises.

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      Clint Patterson

      Great point about raises. If the community you represent don’t have faith in the police agency, then asking to pass a millage or support an increase can have a negative effect. This can cause the officers to formulate a dislike towards their community.

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    Chasity Arwood

    Community relations is an important part of law enforcement. The support of the community is vital during critical incidents as well as crime prevention efforts and intelligence gathering.

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      Laurie Mecum

      I agree Chasity...we can benefit alot by having our community involved during critical times. They may have information we need!

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    Judith Estorge

    Community relations is important within our police culture but is hard to effectively implement. My level of cynicism makes it hard to find the true value in community walks, for example, when we do no follow up or provide solutions past paper hand-outs for future problems.

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      David Cupit

      I agree with you Judith, it is hard to deal with cynicism that lies within us. I think with a little effort we can improve our community relationships.

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      ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

      I agree, community walks have little affect in my experience as well. I think we can do more good with talking to the business owners and community leaders.

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    Brian Lewis

    Since promoting to management I have had the opportunity to be more involved in the community both on and off-duty. This was a huge eye opener for me. It opened my eyes to just how cynical I had become over the years. Have positive interactions with the community earlier in an officer's career is vital to stem the tide of cynicism.

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      Sergeant Chad Blanchette

      I agree. I think it is important to establish those community relationships so we can control the "them vs us" mentality.

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    David Cupit

    I enjoyed this and module and agree that we have to deal with our cynicism and get it under control. We need to improve our community involvement and increase the trust.

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    Clint Patterson

    The support and trust of our communities can be significant in our careers, especially with the world of technology and millennial generations. Our Sheriff utilizes the social network platforms to gather intel about the communities, provide clear and accurate details regarding criminal activity, and to promote safety and health precautions in times of need. This type of community outreach, while very entertaining at times, can also be a thorn in an investigation and cause unneeded “knee jerk reactions.” However, it is an effective way to communicate with the younger generations in the community and inspiring to see the support, strong beliefs, and trust the community has in our agency.

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      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      Yep, agree again Clint, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Sometimes it can help, but also it can be a hindrance. It specifically bothers me that we tend to rust as times getting these things out on social media. We are so worried about putting together something for a release, that if we just took that time to investigate we could announce an arrest by the time we get the release together.

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    Laurie Mecum

    Being involved in our community is extremely important. We can rely on them for assistance with investigations and other information. Also, in our parish, its a lot of how our salary gets paid, through their property taxes. I do believe we have a really good rating with our community. Our crime stats are low, actually the lowest they have been in years. Our community likes our Sheriff which helps too. He is actively involved in the community.

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      Roanne Sampson

      Laurie, I agree. The Sheriff is very community oriented and he is very well liked. Our agency is filled with positive community programs for everyone.

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      Rocco Dominic, III

      I agree, Laurie.
      Our sheriff is active in the community which helps the community and the departments relationship.

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    Roanne Sampson

    Our agency is great with the community. We have community oriented programs for every age group. The Sheriff is very engaging and informative. He understands the importance of community involvement and he is very supportive. The division I command is comprised of mainly community programs for youth, which benefits the Sheriff's Office as a whole. Our programs allow the public to see law enforcement in a different light. We also have lots of collaboration from different organizations, agencies and church groups.

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      David Ehrmann

      I can’t say enough how engaged our agency is with the community. Also, you are an example of how officers can get involved with the community. The programs you have created, the events you host, and all the things you do for the community are amazing. In my opinion, you do more for the community than any other officer does. Can’t brag on you enough!

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      Christian Johnson

      I agree with Dave, Roanne.

      The things you do for the children in our community cannot be talked about enough!

      And, as you said, it shows us in a different light, which I believe has true, long-lasting benefits.

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    David Ehrmann

    In our profession, there is a need to separate work from personal relationships. A person can only talk about work things and law enforcement so much before it begins to take over personal relationships. As leaders, we must convey to our people that they have to have a home life, have balance, and have relationships outside of law enforcement. This not only helps our officers to avoid the pitfalls of the profession but allows them to better engage with the community.

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      Donnie

      As law enforcement officers, we are cliquish. I believe this is because we have a general distrust of the community. Even when we associate outside of work with our families we tend to ignore them and congregate among ourselves. While this does affect our relationships outside of work it has an breakable bond within work. Balancing this proves to be challenging.

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        Lieutenant John Champagne

        I agree law enforcement is cliquish. It is important to have hobbies outside of the job and hang out with non-cop friends to bring balance to our life!

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    Christian Johnson

    As pointed out during this module, it is extremely important to separate work and away from work. So many only spend time with other law enforcement professionals. I think its a must to have friends that you never talk about work to at all.

    With my shift, we do a lot outside of work. The one rule? We can't talk about work. It makes every get together so much more enjoyable.

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      Agreed, having time for friends, family and leisure time makes the career last longer. We can relax and enjoy our paths much easier once we choose to be approachable. Being social and interaction with your family and taking time off for personal enrichment provides longevity in your career.

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    Amanda Pertuis

    This was a great module. We do have great programs and relationships within our community. I enjoyed the ways to combat cynicism.

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      dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree with you, Amanda, we have amazing community relations programs in our agency. The sheriff really goes above and beyond with community outreach.

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    Rocco Dominic, III

    This module teaches us about the importance of community involvement and how that can have a positive effect on our personal lives. Being involved allows you to get to know your community on a more personal basis.

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    McKinney

    I agree with Lt. Ellis, where he mentioned that “we” in the law enforcement community need to humanize ourselves. I feel it is important that we take on roles in the community where we volunteer our time to show another aspect to who we are outside the uniform. This allows the public to see us from a different perspective, which contributes to our community relations.

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      Burke

      I agree. Too often we shut ourselves off from the world. The community needs to have positive interactions with us.

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      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      I agree that we must try to humanize law enforcement and break away from the us versus them mentality. But we also need to ensure that we humanize everyone we come in contact with and not prejudge the communities we serve. Lt. Ellis talked about the Silent Majority in high crime neighborhoods. If we don't understand that there is a silent majority, we can arrive at assumptions that everyone in that area is a criminal.

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    Lance Landry

    I recognized some negative traits, nothing I am proud of, in myself during this lecture on Community Leadership. I have tried to combat cynicism with involving my-self with outside hobbies and organizations. There is most definitely room for improvement.

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    Donnie

    As law enforcement officers, having a positive relationship with the community we serve is important. In order to have a safer place to raise a family and associate outside the workplace we need our community involved with policing as well. Establishing a credible bond allows law enforcement to do the job the community expects us to do.

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    Burke

    This is a good subject on community. If we do not take the time to provide positive interactions with the community we are only left with the negative ones. They expect us to answer our calls and arrest people. What they should come to expect from us is being a part of the community.

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      I completely agree. In my jurisdiction it is not uncommon to be approached by thankful citizens who want to thank me or share a token of appreciation. Often someone pays for my meal when I am in uniform without me even knowing who did it. The trust and love shared with a community is irreplacible. I have friend who are officers in other parts of the country and they are in awe and jealous of what we sometimes take for granted.

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    Royce Starring

    I module emphasized the importance of community leadership. This involves gaining and maintaining the trust of the community. I also found the pitfalls were spot on with how things has happen in the past.

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    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    At my agency we take community leadership very seriously. We hold regular meetings with the community and HOA's to ensure their needs are being met. We try to instill community cooperation because without the community we can not effectively do our jobs. Our Sheriff places great value on community trust and understands that our community is who we answer to. Without their trust we can not survive as a department.

    I was glad that this module touched on cynicism and how to combat it. As law enforcement professionals we must realize that cynicism is a default mindset that may come with dealing with the worst of humanity.

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    The descriptions and explanations of this chapter cover a lot of material I normally cover in emotional survival. The awareness of having interest outside law enforcement and caution of becoming cynical are two warning signs of the isolation that was described. I have a great relationship with my community and often feel that I receive much more from the community than I give. It is rewarding and empowers me to become more involved. I also appreciated Lt. Ellis' story about the criminal who was waiting in ambush but didn't do it because of previous interactions with Lt. Ellis. I have been in simular situations and seen the humanity of those in that situation break through because I treated them with dignity and respect previously. Not only is this emportant for the emotional survival of the officer and his family, but it is a win for the entire community.

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      Brad Strouf

      This module was relevant to the necessity of staying community oriented and remembering that being a good citizen is just as critical as being a strong law enforcement officer. Great lessons in this module.

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    Lieutenant John Champagne

    It is so important also to be a leader in the community. It personalizes the badge and shows the community we have some of the same interests. It also allows us to gain trust and build bonds in the community we serve.

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      chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

      Lt., I agree with this method. Actually being out in the community symbolizes that we're not greater than anyone, it lets them know we are here to actually serve and protect you.

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    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    In the learning area 3, module 8, we have to remember to become detach from the agency when it's time to have a personal life. Learning that you have to maintain balance within your agency and personal life is a very true point. It's so easy for us to lose ourselves in this situation, but if we maintain our balance we will not be apart of one of the statistics for suicide. It's true what Lt. Ellis mentioned in his lecture, that this job isn't just a job, this job is a calling. Not many can endure this type of work.

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      michael-beck@lpso.net

      You are correct that we get lost in this situation. I believe at first its a survival mechanism for new officers to gain acceptance, but after a while you can't get out. It's like an addiction.

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        mtroscla@tulane.edu

        I agree, when I first started they used to beat the "us vs them, we are your family now" drum. Things have changed significantly, and for the better.

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      cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      This is true. I can see how our jobs with a lack of balance would drive a person to suicide. I would bet that law enforcement officers who had a lack of balance are high on the list. Not all people can handle the stress of our job.

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        Adam Gonzalez

        Not all people can handle the stress of our job is certainly an accurate statement. And, unfortunately, not all within our ranks can handle this job as well. This fact makes it even more incumbent upon each of us, fortunate enough to be in a leadership capacity, to reach out to all within our scope and lift others by our words, our actions and our example. Thank you for your thoughts!

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    michael-beck@lpso.net

    This module appeared to be much like the Emotional Intelligence class we teach at our academy. We attempt to teach this to new recruits but often forget about those have been on the job for any number of years. I talk with my shift about some of these issues. I often see in new deputies, the need to belong is strong. They only hang with other cops and shut off the outside, civilian world. I did it when I first became an officer and it took a long time for me to make friends who were not in law enforcement once again. The perfect saying for this mentality is, “Sometimes there justice and sometimes, there’s just us.” This career and consume you if you let it. I believe if we stay vigilant and monitor our people to live a more balanced life, they will eventually be thankful for it.

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    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    There is no way that a department can be successful without a strong, symbiotic relationship with the community. The community, and their safety are our only reason for being so we should always treat them as such.

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    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    For years I had no balance in my personal and professional life. It was always work first. Just recently have I started to find a little balance. I should have done this years ago. I realized I am a better person when I maintain balance between the two. I plan to continue working on this

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      Major Stacy Fortenberry

      Craig, we have both spend our careers on shift work up to this point. Lots of nights spent with cops in a low socio economic area. We both have work to do in increasing our balance.

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    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    It is often discussed that police organizations need to be involved in the community for the organizations benefit and the communities benefit. What is rarely discussed is the benefits the individual officer receives by becoming involved. His emotional IQ can increase, stress decrease and over all health become better. While being involved in the community helps humanize the badge it can also humanize the public to the officer. This can help increase their capacity for empathy.

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      guttuso_fa@jpso.com

      Great observation Major especially the part of humanize the public to the police officer.

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    Henry Dominguez

    I think having a strong community relationship can only help a department. It humanizes us and shows that we are people too and have families and struggle with some of the same issues they do. When you have that relationship, it is easier for them to understand what and why we do what we do. It helps them to better understand the job instead of automatically jumping to conclusions because of the unknown.

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      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree when we have to be more involved with the community to help any department. this is one way to ensure the public that we are here with them and not aginst them.

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    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    I feel we do need to humanize ourselves. It is very important to be visible and approachable. I always encourage officers to get out of the car and talk to store clerks. Over the years, I have gained a lot of intelligence of criminal activity from them. A lot of crime takes place around these stores and they witness a lot of things and are familiar with the regulars.

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    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    In our department we have a great relationship with the public. There is no doubt in my mind that the relationship we have with the public is a big part in why we are successful in solving many crimes quickly. If the public has trust in your department, they are much more willing to step forward with information to help solve crimes.

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    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    It is important to have community related programs within an organization. It gives insight to the community we serve as to how we operate, how this benefits them, and how it benefits us to have their support.

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      cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree. The community needs to see us in a different way than what they are used to seeing. It allows the relationship between the community and the agency to understand how things operate and what is expected on both sides. We can also be personally involved with the community.

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      wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

      I agree we should try to be an active part of the community. With balance, we can then have healthy outlooks and better relationship with the community.

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    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    We have a lot of community-related programs that promote the community and law enforcement working together. We also have several outreaches working with the senior citizens of the parish. Our sheriff is very accessible and communicates a great deal through social media, which the community seems to love. For investigators, it can be two-fold, because sometimes the information can be hurtful to the investigation. Other times you post a positive message and there are those who are just going to find something negative to flip the script on the positive. It's a double-edged sword in my opinion.

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      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree, sometimes we put out too much information to try to get ahead of the curve. We have a significant community relation from the programs that our department does for the community.

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    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    Community events with law enforcement is a really big deal. It allows the community to see law enforcement professionals on a different level. The community usually sees us as always doing our job which at this time can be a crisis in their life. Seeing us as having fun and being involved personally with the community allows the community to interact with us and ask questions as to how we operate within the community. It also allows us to ask the community what they need from us and what their desires from us are.

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      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      I agree that taking the seriousness out of every encounter and allow the public to loosen up with the officers. This can have great implications for the jobs when we do come in contact with them at a later time and must be in our professional manner.

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        sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

        The public seem to really enjoy the Night Out Against Crime events. They get to see us eating and interacting with their families in a relaxed environment. They get to see we are human.

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    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    Departments need to have community programs to help dehumanize the job. The public gets an insight into what we are trying to accomplish and how we are trying to help the community. Our department has numerous outreach programs along with a social media page, which gives the citizens updates on major police presence calls and burglaries in the area. I think making a positive impact with the community will build the trust that the community has for the sheriff's department.

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      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      Beau, I agree that making a positive impact with the community will build trust and credibility. I also agree that organizational transparency also helps instill trust and improves interpersonal relations with the community.

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    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    Developing a strong community relationship is a must in the public safety profession. At the current moment in time, I see a great need for improved community relations for both patrol and investigations in my current agency. We are constantly fighting an uphill battle with everything from fleeing offroad vehicles to unsolved homicides all of which stems from a lack of community cooperation. This could be changed if we develop a way to engage the community and have them help and see that we are trying to help them. The ability to "humanize the badge" will help relationships and cut back on potentially dangerous situations for our employees and constituents alike.

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    As we look at the events going on all over the United States, we have to be connected and involved in our community. Having those relationships with our community members is paramount to being successful when incidents happen in the city.

    As I reflect as being a leader in our community, I am also reflecting on how we can show others that police, in general, are not bad, and we have are top cops and our corrupt cops.

    I just wish that our partnerships would have stopped all the unnecessary damage and destruction to our communities.

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      I think we all wish that we could have prevented many of the things that plague our community. In a lot of ways, it makes you want to bring back some of those things from years gone by, even if the might have only existed on TV or in a Norman Rockwell painting.

      We do need to reconnect with the community, on a personal level. I remember that there were several initiatives rolled out, in the 90s that were supposed to make us better neighbors. Many of these programs never got off the ground because too many of us thought that they were not broad enough. Looking at today's world, I wish we had done them all.

      While we may not be able to bring back the old days, maybe we can make the old days into the new old days or good new days. We cannot control what will happen to our profession, but we can control how we deal with people and our neighbors, at work and at home.

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    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    I've learned early in my career in the importance with community relations while working in Corrections. After years of interacting with arrestees and after their release as a district Deputy. I would run into these same people on and off duty with my family. I've always had a positive experience, they'd even update me on their life choices. Powerful moments. Very similar to the speakers account of chasing "Eric" and having him surrender upon seeing that officer who showed him kindness.

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    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    Being involved with the community is one sure way to help with modern-day policing. As an officer, it is vital to be involved so the community doesn't look at just another officer but as a friend. the only way to be considered a friend is to show yourself friendly. When i first started my career, community policing was a must, this was always the key to solving any crime quickly, because of the relationship that was built.

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      When I was assigned to patrol , countless times we received calls for service in reference to kids playing in the streets. Numerous times if time permitted I would play basketball, football and even engaged in several races. If we can establish a relationship with the younger citizesn of our communities we build lasting relationships.

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    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    Giving back to the community is very rewarding. I have volunteered with the local fire department for my entire career. Great comradely and friendships resulted from this commitment to serve. I recently joined another charitable organization to assist others in life. This sense of good deeds done for others helps me feel like I am giving more back to the community than I take from it.

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    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    I've experienced the value in our community outreach programs that our agency hosts.

    In reading to preschool children, a few have shared that one of their immediate family members were arrested; our positive interaction with them humanize law enforcement and makes officers appear friendly rather than threatening. It also reinforces the message that they can come to us if they need help.

    Our Citizens Academy allows citizens to meet officers from every major department within our agency to better understand why we operate the way we do; this helps foster trust, credibility and two way communication. We have invited members of the community who have expressed distrust with us to attend and learn about our operations, and the individuals within, and to experience it for themselves. At the end of the 10 weeks, many miss our sessions and contact us to keep in touch. In turn, when they experience problems in the community, they are willing to contact me with information, trusting I will use it to do the right thing.

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      clouatre_kj@jpso.com

      Agree with your assessment, especially with our current climate, it is imperative to get a trusting relationship with the public, young and old. My department also has a Citizens Academy, which teaches the public all about law enforcement. I also teach the Investigations portion of the Citizens Academy, but unfortunately the majority that attend are there because they already respect law enforcement and want to show their support. I still believe it is a great public relationship builder, but I only wish the ones who truly need to learn what we go through will never attend anything like this.

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    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    I really like how Lt. Ellis talks about personal balance in this module. I think we often get to wrapped up in our jobs that we neglect time to ourselves. The stress of the job requires us to make time for physical fitness, for family, and for friends outside of law enforcement. I am guilty of mostly having friends involved in law enforcement.

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      mmoscona@floodauthority.org

      I agree because of the uniqueness of our patrol area of responsibility, we have the opportunity to interact with hundreds if not thousands of people everyday. A waive, a greeting a smile can go a long way.

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      Sergeant Durand Ackman

      Very true and trust/respect is very important for our profession, especially with all that is going on in the world the last couple of years.

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    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    The portion of the module that discussed personal and emotional health is so important for us in law enforcement. We are light years behind the corporate world relative to this. I have a brother whose company has week long seminars that teach and push this topic, as studies have shown for years that if their employees can maintain a balance in their work/personal life, as well as maintain a healthy lifestyle, the company will benefit long term. It is proven that a healthier person can maintain a stressfull job better than one who does not tend to their physical and mental well-being.

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    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    Community outreach programs are a must to get the community involved in their own public safety. We must rely on each other to make sure that our communities are safe. By having positive interaction with he community we strengthen our bond. Our interactions generally is when someone needs assistance. These outreach programs will allow our interaction to be more humanized and not the conventional interactions.

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    Adam Gonzalez

    Even after so many years later, the five qualities necessary for all leaders, as written in the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu are still very applicable and pertinent today. Though the word benevolence is rarely used or said these days, I find it both interesting and insightful that in a book about war, this traditional word is respected in such high regard. We as community leaders would be wise to learn from those in the past and apply such nobility to our cause such as benevolence, the third essential virtue to leadership, as recorded so long ago.

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    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    Our agency is kind of unique because our primary patrol responsibility is what might be considered a recreation area. The hurricane protection system or levees are utilized by hundreds if not thousands of people everyday for exercise and recreation. This alone gives us that many chances for positive personal interaction. My Sergeant ( a graduate of this course) and I have started reminding our guys of this. Suggesting that they waive to the runners and walkers. If someone is sitting on the ground, to stop and ask if they are alright and offer a bottle of water (we all carry at least a case of water provided by our agency). It's the little things that begin to develop into the big things that just may get us out of the quagmire that we find ourselves in. Great and insightful module.

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    The teachings of this module are fundamental for leaders to utilize in building reliable police and community relationships. The need for balance between our professional and personal lives is significant and something we often neglect. If our lives are balanced, we can respond to situations at work with the proper emotional intelligence to correctly solve the issues.

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      Marshall Carmouche

      Community relations, staying active in the community as well as keeping lines of communication open build trust between law enforcement and the community.

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    Lt. Mark Lyons

    I remember back when I first started my career in law enforcement. One day while working at one of our corrections facilities, I was talking with one of the inmate workers. This particular inmate had a brother who was a sgt. with our agency. The inmate told me that this job was going to change me, just like it had changed his brother. I remember telling him I was too old (32 years old at the time) to change and that I was pretty much set in my ways at this point in my life.

    Looking back after 15 years, I admit he was right. Without me even realizing it was happening, I changed a lot from who I was over the years. I can relate to a lot of the information provided by the instructor. Year of monitoring my surroundings, reading peoples body language, etc. Before long, I found myself only socializing with my fellow officers.

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    This module reminds us to not take every single event we respond to as a bad encounter or could become a negative experience. Being able to let down your guard enough interact with the people we engage while still using common sense officer safety can be uplifting. Use your EI and empathy to speak to citizens and help when needed. Use events to meet with our staff and meet each member as much as possible. Provide a dialogue and path to engaging with some dialect.

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      Mike, you are correct. I loved getting with my guys and telling them we were going to do a foot patrol in certain areas. They were nervous to be away from their units at first, but when they saw how much fun it was and how the residents loved spending time with us as we walked made all the difference. Seeing a real person walk by instead of just a head in a car means the world to people.

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      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      Building relationships by utilizing EI and allowing your guard down at times in the community will enhance a strong foundation to better police the areas in the future.

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    While the module covered a wide area of topics, dealing with our personal well being to our involvement with the community, on and off duty, I believe that the most important is the need for a balanced life. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not the person to give advice on this subject, if you look at mine. Working in a smaller agency, most of us wear multiple hats to accomplish out mission.

    Understanding this, our officers need to have down time. I do know a few that they work, go home and sleep. They are not the rule, but most do not have that balanced life. We have those that try, too hard, and come up short. As I stated when we discussed earlier about secondary employment, as long as officers are not paid a living wage, commensurate with their life, officers will seek to make more money, to support their families. This is what I see, many times, that sabotages the officers' efforts. Prior to the Covid-19, I saw many officers that would work almost every day to pay the bills. Those that did not work details, for the most part, would get into a side business to make extra money. You do have officers that do not work details and have curtailed their spending, in an attempt to seek that balanced life. I wish these officers the best, in their quest for a balanced life, as well as myself. This is what I would refer to as one of my greatest weaknesses.

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    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    With the knowledge of this module, the officers can then embrace the community. Not only will this increase our effectiveness as law enforcement officers, but also as citizens and family members as well. We also must live and appreciate our lives in order protect and serve our community.

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      Deputy Mitchell Gahler

      I agree. It is important to interact with the members of our community to develop relationships and gain trust from those who expect a lot from us. Just those small interactions can pay dividends in so many ways.

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    One of my old agencies made community involvement a requirement to achieve a promotion. As your rank climbed so did the requirement to be involved with the community. Community leadership, done right, is what makes or breaks a department. If you don't think so, just look at the turmoil around the country. Here is Louisiana we have had police involved shootings and no one is trying to burn down any police agencies. We do a good job with understanding that the community is us and we are the community. Strong personal community relationships with fair and inclusive policing is what we all should be striving for.

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      Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      this is true, We as an agency really do a great job. Whenever I am at a detail or just in a store a citizen of our parish will always thank us for the great job we do.

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    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    To maintain a healthy balance between work, family, and community life we must avoid the pitfalls and work harder to master using emotional intelligence. My agency goes the extra mile by engaging the public in how the Sheriff’s Officer operates. Most of the officers that work for our agency live in the community and are seen as a citizen just as equal as an officer. Leadership training has strengthened our core values.

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    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    Community relations is a big priority for my Sheriff's Department. We have a Special Services division, which sets up several community programs. We have several programs for juveniles as well. These programs have helped us maintain the public's trust and confidence.

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    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    Being involved with our communities should be a priority for all law enforcement agencies. In our agency the largest program that surrounds itself with the communities for children is our juvenile division. The summer program is paramount to our younger generation. The Sheriff sponsors a camp every summer for boys and girls. It is one of the many programs that is ran by our agency. The youth of our parish really looks forward to the programs ever year.

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      Lt. Joseph Flavin

      I think that's great that your Sheriff sponsors a camp every summer. The Sheriff's Office I work for sponsors a youth fishing event every year and encourages staff to participate by fishing with the local kids at this event. I agree that being involved in our communities should be a priority.

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    Deputy Mitchell Gahler

    This module discussed the importance of balance in both our professional and personal lives and how community involvement creates positive relationships in order to gain respect and trust in our communities. One of the key objectives I took from this module was combatting cynicism by using expertise to assist others. Developing relationships with our neighbors and members of the community both on and off duty is key, as we are not only looking out for the welfare in our neighbors, we are depositing trust and confidence back to our profession. There is never a bad time to educate others about our profession so they have a better understanding of what our job entails. It's also important to reach out to our young people to create positive relationships to show that what they see on the news, or hear from other people, is not accurate about law enforcement. I try my hardest to stop and interact with young people to educate them of our profession, or just to simply play catch with the football. "When you’re open to them, it provides real value to our profession as a whole."

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      I agree with your comments. It is even more important during this time to interact with our communities because of the negative mindset towards law enforcement right now. If our community sees us in a different light, as a citizen, I think they will feel more comfortable interacting with us. It will help in getting rid of the us versus them mentality. Giving back to our communities is just as important as policing them.

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      Kyle Phillips

      Mitchell, I was also intrigued that combating cynicism could be done by engaging with the community and showing them the human side of an LEO. The way you describe taking an opportunity to influence members of your community is inspiring and much needed right now.

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    Lt. Joseph Flavin

    Community involvement and community engagement plays a vital role in the relationship that a community has with it's police force. This module does a great job discussing the importance of community leadership. The agency I work for encourages its personnel to engage with the communities they serve. I think it's important that we develop these community relationships while off-duty as well. Like Lt. Brian Ellis discusses, this helps humanize our profession to members of the community. Now more than ever it's important to avoid a cynical way of thinking. Our profession is under constant attack from the media and if we don't go out of our way to educate the public than we are reinforcing negative viewpoints through our inaction.

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      Sergeant James Schueller

      I agree with you on now being the time we need to avoid being cynical and to humanize our profession. The best way to combat the constant attacks from the media is to educate the public ourselves like you mentioned. And you're also right on needing to engage off-duty as well.

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    This particular model discussed the importance of community leadership. It talked about having a healthy balance between work and community. I 100% agree that finding that balance is extremely important. It is important to be involved in your community away from work and for our citizens to see that when you are not at work you are a citizen just like them. If they see that side of you it will be easier for them to approach and talk with you and relate to you. This can open up those important conversations where you can provide education on what it is that police officer do. By doing this we can gain support. This will be a benefit for when law enforcement is going through tough times they will stand beside and support us. Also, having a happy balance between work friends and friends who are not involved in law enforcement so that we get a different perspective on life. I have really worked to expand my friendships outside of work over the past few years.

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    Sergeant James Schueller

    This module was about community leadership and involvement, but I think just as equal was its focus on Officer Wellness. It was clear that we have to be right with ourselves before we can fully contribute positively to the community and people we serve. It was good to see how big of a role that cynicism plays in this equation, as it is very easy to fall into the "Us vs. Them" mentality. I think its an even more important discussion to have now with the current focus on the role of Law Enforcement. We can be our own worst enemy if we perpetuate the negativity, and we must remember that the silent majority do still support us- let's not be the one to change their minds against us by our actions or attitudes. I was glad to see the comment about "It takes 5 positive interactions to make up for 1 negative interaction. Great reminder that we need to be professional and model the behavior that we want to see back. I thought this was a great module at an important time for our profession.

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      Sgt. Ryan Lodermeier

      I agree Jim, this module couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. You raise a good point about how we can become our own worst enemy with a snowball like activity of cynicism, that’s something I didn’t think of

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    Kyle Phillips

    This module was a great reminder of how important being involved within your community and external organizations is to survival as an LEO and a family. Being aware of the pitfalls of problem behavior is critical to addressing their manifestations within, and learning new behavior to circumvent them in the future.

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    Eduardo Palomares

    Community Leadership requires all peace officers to understand their role in their communities. Public safety professionals must maintain a healthy balance between work and their personal life. This allows public safety professionals to effectively engage in community activities. Officer are representatives of their agencies and themselves. We all have a responsibility to serve our communities on many levels such as education, cooperation, participating in community outreach programs and also enforcement. We have to demonstrate empathy and be servants to enhance maintain public trust. Unfortunately, even with community leadership, we can’t completely undo the “us vs. them” mentality. Officer can perpetuate the “us vs. them” mentality when they mistreat the members of the public. It is important for us as leaders to always foster an attitude where officers feel part of the community on and off duty. It is important to take the time while on duty to learn about the public in the community we serve. I agree with the lecture that law enforcement is the ultime customer service profession.

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    Sergeant Chad Blanchette

    This module was a good reminder of the importance of having a life outside of the job. When I first started this profession many moons ago, it was typical, and expected that on your days off a portion of that time was spent with your fellow teammates. These activities frequently involved alcohol. Fortunately, I was able to separate myself from this type of camaraderie and focused my time off on my family. I saw quite a few of my colleagues continue down this path and there were some that ended up losing their careers because of their actions that involved alcohol.

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    Sgt. Ryan Lodermeier

    This module comes at a great time. It's no secret that law enforcements relationship with it's community is fragile. All too often we turn on the TV and are exposed to another police involved incident typically followed up by interviews with citizens, law makers, community leaders etc... talking about how the police messed up and how the outcome of the situation is somehow our fault. Yes, sometimes police do make mistakes, big mistakes...and those mistakes have consequences. But all too often the blame seems to get projected onto those that wear the uniform. being exposed to this constant barrage of media about negativity has tremendous consequences for the officers and their well being. For these reasons this module was a good refresher on the pitfalls of cynicism and conflict. It was also a good reminder to turn off social media for a while and get back to regular personal interaction with people in our community, the vast majority who support what we do.

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      Ryan Manguson

      I agree Ryan. There are times turning away from social media and news media and focusing on actual personal relationship is a much healthier endeavor.

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      Timothy Sandlin

      I agree. Specifically to focus on the personal interaction that forms human connections and sincerity. If people can form that connection then it is when people can sincerely have conversations about differences and issues. In this relationship I feel we are much more effective at coming together and creating a positive outcome.

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    Sergeant Durand Ackman

    Great module on the importance of being a positive influence on our community. While I completely agree with that, I was glad to see some emphasis on the benefit to the individual officer as well. I have taken courses about wellness, teach some wellness, serve on peer support, etc. yet I still struggle and often find myself socially isolating. I know it is bad for me but I would much rather isolate at home than go out into public - there are other people out there!!!

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      Sergeant Paul Gronholz

      I completely understand. I feel like this practice of being socially distant because of covid has helped me to further enhance my anti-social personality. I joke about it but I actually really enjoy being by myself. I need to recognize that positive relationships with friends, family, and neighbors, will only help me to live a more balanced life.

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        Maja Donohue

        I literally burst out laughing when I read you post about enhancing anti-social personality because I have fallen into the same pitfall of social isolation. I even brought my husband along with me. In fact, we both joked about social distancing early on when COVID shut things down because we felt it would not affect us that much being away from the public. I now realize that I need to make an effort to connect with people in my community for the same reasons you mentioned.

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    Sergeant Paul Gronholz

    I appreciated the focus of this module on life balance. Too many officers struggle because their life doesn't display balance. Wether that's working too much, not having positive relationships with individuals outside of law enforcement, or not practicing total wellness. Cynicism is something that takes its toll. We need to understand that not everyone out there has some nefarious motive. I continually find myself distrusting people or thinking that they are trying to take advantage of me or others. We need to recognize that being cynical will only prove to be harmful to ourselves and work to find the good in people.

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      Gregory Hutchins

      A lot of the suspicious behavior is a defense mechanism due to an inability to not taking offense. Too often, people become offended over simple things that were not a big deal or were not the other person's original intent on retrospection. Learning to take a step back, remain grounded in one's values and beliefs, and dismiss things that do not affect oneself goes a long way in countering the development of us vs. them mentality.

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    Samantha Reps

    Getting involved in the community is important and making those interactions to be positive. It stated that it takes five positive interactions to make up for one negative interaction.
    Having a outside life is an important thing. We tend to surround ourselves with shift work and hanging out only with others in our profession. It is easy to only go from work to home and that's it.

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      Sergeant Kelly Lee

      I have found for myself that getting more people involved in my life outside this profession has helped me greatly reduce my stress and "re-charge" over the weekend to return to work. I too heard the comment about 5 positive interactions are needed to make up for one negative interaction. That is kind of scary to think about in the fact, some people have lots of making up to do.

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        Major Willie Stewart

        Sgt. Lee,
        I agree with you. Personal time is very important in this profession. We must remember that we often spend more time with those on the job than our families. So taking as much time with family and friends is paramount. The job will consume you if we let it.

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          100% agree.

          I'm fortunate enough to be in patrol. When I go home, I can take off the gun belt and forget about the job until I return. When I was in CID, I was always working. Even when I was off, I was mentally working cases.

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    Ryan Manguson

    This was a great module reminding us all of the importance of community involvement for both personal and professional enhancement. It is important for us to feel connected to the community and the same for the community to feel connected to us as human beings. It was an important statement that it takes 5 positive interactions to contact act a negative. We in law enforcement are human and mistakes will be made. We need to building up that positive bank of interactions to counteract those unfortunate times a negative interaction occurs. Having that bank of positive interaction and trust built in the community, the community will react with more understanding because we have that positive connection and trust built.

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      Magda Fernandez

      Kelly, I agree with you. Having different interest and friends out side of work definitely helps reduce stress. It helps to have different conversation and not everything centered around shop talk. It is always good to re-charge batteries and have a fresh start at work. Work life balance is critical. I am guilty of not balancing that very well.

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    As a senior leader, I am constantly looking for best practices when it comes to community oriented policing. When I first read the overview of this presentation I expected one thing but got something even better. How we interact with our communities starts with each of us. Understanding how important it is for us to be in and a part of the community on a personal level is critical. I think Lt. Ellis's emphasis on the ways we "disconnect" from the community and our personal relationships through cynicism, tunnel vision, suspicion, and lack of empathy is the first step to bringing balance to our personal and professional lives. Many of the previous responses mention how easy it was to socially distance ourselves from others when we first got into this business. If we are going to make the transition to guardianship (which stresses the wellbeing of both the officer and the community they serve) we have to find ways to reconnect with our personal relationships, peers and community members. It is imperative that this process start with the onboarding and FTO process. It is also incumbent upon seasoned officers to share their experiences (both good and bad) with new officers because whether they believe it or not, new officers look up to them.

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    Sergeant Kelly Lee

    Great module for reminding us of the importance of community involvement. As the module explains, being involved in your community doesn't mean that it has to take a lot of our time, we don't have to sit on a board of directors or anything like that, we can just simply be in tune with our own neighbors. We can build strong relationships and humanize the profession by simply walking out our front door and being involved. This is something we can all do very easily....

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      I agree Kelly. It doesn't require a committee nor does it have to be documented on Facebook/Instagram every time either. I know we publish as much good as we can to counteract the very few negatives, but sometimes it tends to look like we are trying to hard to say "look at me" rather than doing it for the right reason. We had a squad sergeant that would take his squad to disadvantaged neighborhoods on their off days and help the older people in the community clean up or fix broken stairs/ramps. Never said a word that they were doing it or looked for the praise. It had a profound impact on both sides of the badge as word slowly got out on its own. That sergeant felt the people that needed to see it, saw it.

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      Sgt. Shawn Wilson

      Be a good neighbor....When we leave work, leave work. Is their a need to carry 4 knives, 2 guns and Tq's while off duty. As leaders we need to stress this to our people. I completely agree with you Sgt. Lee, be a good neighbor.

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    Maja Donohue

    Working in a negative environment really takes a toll on our humanity. We disconnect from society because we think that social isolation is a defense mechanism, a way to control our little corner of the world. This attitude destroys our relationships both at home and in the community. It evolves into apathy and cynicism and makes our jobs more stressful. Cynicism is corrosive and eats away at all the good things in life. Finding balance starts with allowing other people to be a part of our lives and getting involved in our communities. When we have positive outlets and surround ourselves with positive people, we lead more fulfilling lives and build safer communities.

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    Magda Fernandez

    I really like this module. It emphasized the need to have the very important relationship with our communities on and off duty. I am fortunate to work in an agency that does. The relationship we have built with the business on our beat, the hotels and schools have been the saving grace during these tumultuous times. They have rallied behind our agency and have shown full support. Our agency adopted a school where officers have a lot of visibility, they go read to students in uniform, help out during holiday parties and participate in fun runs with the school. During COVID-19 the officers have still been able to connect with the classroom kids via zoom. This has extremely rewarding for the officers knowing they can still make a difference.
    I also believe that in our personal lives, being engaged in the community is critical and rewarding

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    Christopher Lowrie

    I have worked with cops who surprised me by their way they conducted themselves on and and off duty. One person (who is now retired) told me that they used to get mad at kids/families who would disturb him while taking break at restaurants. Not a great message to send. Another officer I knew would eat, sleep, and breathe police work. The officer's wardrobe consisted of Glock t-shirts and anything made by 511. When off duty he would watch cop movies and cop television shows all the time. I believe a balanced life guided by Sun Tzu's five characteristics would have helped both these officers become more well rounded and less jaded.

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      Lieutenant Jennifer Hodgman

      I agree with you on living a balanced life guided by Sun Tzu's five characteristics would likely have helped officers whom I have known throughout my career.

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    Major Willie Stewart

    Over the past several years positive relationships between police and communities have become very complicated. Their is a need to bridge the gap between communities and police but, the social media has created a tarnished image for law enforcement officers. Relationships within the communities help police in policing effectively. The community has answers, but there is a lack of trust and fear of officers who are out here to protect and serve. However, having a positive relationship and image goes beyond duty. Officers should also have a positive relationship with people of the community off duty. It's a good idea to engage in community events and activities off duty.

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    We all know cynicism is wide spread in every agency. Hearing about certain causes and how to combat it was enlightening. Making up for one bad interaction with five positive ones is a losing battle with cynical team members.

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    Lieutenant Jennifer Hodgman

    This module is great refreshers on making sure we have work-life balance. There were several key points presented that I will undoubtedly use with my newer officers who need to be reminded that this job does not define who we are!

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      Don't forget where you came from, right? The badge and gun do not define us. It's an important job but after we're gone, someone else is there to assume the void we leave. I say this every time someone retires, it is sad but true. Our legacy is important but so is our lives. Find the balance.

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    I felt this module was a great reminder to us that a lot of help comes from the neighborhoods we foster. The people that we interact with positively and regularly are the ones not afraid to provide information or stand up for the right reasons. Also, the more we communicate with the people the more both sides can understand each other’s point of views. I’m fortunate to live in a county that has tremendous support for law enforcement, and we have several different forums that allow open communication and interactions.

    The module was also a good reminder that our family comes first and in addition to socializing with our cop friends, we need to branch out. I’ve read Kevin Gilmartin’s book Emotional Survival for LE and it is a very good, easy, and short read. Almost written in crayon…would definitely recommend it and I’m not a prolific book reader.

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    Leadership amongst the people you work with in your organization can sometimes be just as important as leadership with the community. Building a positive relationship with community members will most likely take a lot of time and it will be a process, but it can be done. Community members often work the same as employees where trust has to be built and as a leader you have to make it clear what your intentions are. If they can learn to know and understand that they mean well, a positive relationship will hopefully develop. A positive community relationship is more important now than it ever has been.

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      Agreed Kari. We have to continually work for positive community engagement. It really doesn't matter what it is, in my opinion, it just matters that we are doing something. Find ways to show kindness and selflessness. We're fighting a tough battle among political and media sources, it's way too easy to give up.

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    Some of the best advice I ever received was years ago in the police academy. There was an old school LT over the academy. He told us that it was imperative the we had friends and hobbies out side of law enforcement. That Lt had me report to his office about three years after I graduated the academy. He asked how things were going and how I liked police work. He asked me to name five friends (not family or relatives) that were outside of law enforcement/public safety. I could only list two. He asked me to try harder to have a balanced life and to work on having more relationships outside of law enforcement. He retired shortly after that.

    Lt. Williams showed up at roll call about a year later and asked to speak w/ me afterwards. First thing he said was, "were you able to get those last three friends?" I did and I thanked him for caring and sharing with me. I found out later that he did that for EVERY officer that graduated from my academy class. All 42 of us!

    Leadership.

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      Absolutely we need influencers outside the profession. Too often we cling to those whom we understand. I have tried to bifurcate my professional and personal life for many years. If we work and play with co-workers, do we wonder why we can't find balance. I purposely don't "talk shop" off duty. Family and friends know this about me and have honored that desire.

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    Timothy Sandlin

    It is crucial to the law enforcement professional to create some type of balance within their life. We must understand the emotional and other pitfalls that is easy to fall victim to if we are not self-aware and seek self-improvement along with balance. We have to work to humanize our profession. We should seek out positive community involvement wherein we can contribute in a positive way outside of our profession. We should focus on being a good citizen, work at our emotional intelligence growth, family well-being, better relationships, and overall life balance.

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      Robert Schei

      I agree, it is easy in the professional to self isolate or only hang out with those who serve. This makes it easy to become jaded and see everyone as a "bad guy". The more community involvement I have allows me to see the good in everyone around me as well.

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    Nicole Oakes

    We are the community. We along with our families live in our community. It is important to be transparent and open and community fully with our community. The foundation of policing is to protect and serve. If we do not serve every day then we have failed in our duty as police officers. We have to communicate with our citizens so that they understand that we are here for them. Taking the time to speak with a neighbor and answer questions that they have about work or little league or how to trim a shrub, lets them know that you are a real person. We should remember how big an impact we actually have with a conversation.

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    This was an important message and frankly, I fail at it too often. Work/life balance is a hard one because we're so "plugged in" to our work. Texting, email, phone calls, etc. The key points I took from this module were having empathy and not forget that it can play in our favor as the lecturer indicated by his story of the fleeing suspect. Treat everyone how you'd like to be treated, that's an easy one but hard to live out sometimes. As I get older, I realize that "the bad guys" aren't necessarily all bad, they just make bad decisions and we often do think about the root causes. For example, the drug addict/dealer; many have turned to substance abuse to mask their underlying issues of past physical and sexual abuse. They are people.

    The other area where I have struggled in the past is being too cynical. This does come out in family life and time away from the job. Viewing things through a negative eye on the job is hard to let go of when interacting in your private life.

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      Andy Opperman

      I think many of us have fallen into this trap. We do not spend enough time as leaders with new officers explaining the importance of work/life balance. I can remember how much overtime I worked as a young officer not because I was forced to but because I wanted to. That can take a toll on a person over time.

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    Robert Schei

    I enjoyed the personal example related to lack of empathy from Lt. Ellis. He discussed how his approach with Eric may have saved his life. By taking just a few short moments allowing Eric to say goodbye to his mother prior to arrest Lt. Ellis made an appropriate personal connection with Eric that created significant results. This example reminded to take time to be a good listener and have compassion. We need to ensure that we are treating people with respect and dignity while still conducting the expectations of our positions.

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      Robert,
      I totally agree with your statement. I have found that having empathy for the people we may come in contact with during our work hours can have a drastic impact on them.

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    Andy Opperman

    I think its extremely important that officers find ways to balance their personal life with work. I do believe that many police officers especially early in their career identify with being a police officer as who they are. While the career does become part of us because it is a calling, it cannot be all that you are, it’s unhealthy. Its important as the module taught that police officers have a personal life outside of the department, its also important that the department combats the cynicism that can hurt their culture. I personally like the idea of making sure newer officers work different shifts throughout their career so can have different call experience. Shift work can really seclude officers from the public especially for officers that work night shift. Suspicion versus awareness is also important point made during the module. We prepare many times in training for the worst-case scenario. This training is important, but we should always give people the benefit of the doubt. I worked with another lieutenant once that had the philosophy, he would rather let a guilty person go then lock up an innocent person. This goes to the belief of innocent until proven guilty. If the person is guilty the facts will prove your case.

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    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    When balancing work and my personal life I always place family first and will never sacrifice family for the job. Currently tasked with leading a U/C crew where the work hours are always unique with additional added stressors, I stress the importance of family to all in the crew and always tell the crew that family comes first . Knowing your people is important; their birthday, wife's birthdays, anniversary dates, kids birthdays. With the priority being on family no one in the crew will ever miss an important date for their family. There is always a push by the crew to work but when the crews priorities are correct with family being number one then home life is better for them and the crew operates more efficiently and safer while at work.

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    Having the ability to work in a narcotics unit for a period of time I was able to connect with numerous individuals on a some what different level. I believe by being in a plain clothes position this helped me with some of the connections that I have made. I made it clear to new narcotics investigators that the ability to communicate with the individuals involved with narcotics related crimes is probably the biggest accomplishment that they will receive in that position. By having empathy for the individuals that we arrested began some relationships that have been in place for quite sometime. Not only when I need assistance in solving other crimes, but just reaching out to me to let me know how they maybe doing in treatment, or making a couple extra passes past the house of a loved one.

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    Brad Strouf

    By recognizing the pitfalls that lead to cynicism and isolation, we can work at increasing our emotional intelligence living a better life. Both personally and professionally. This will lead to greater empathy and stronger community relations as well.

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    Jarvis Mayfield

    Having a balance in the life of a police officer will save many lives. So often officers have no release from "the job" which puts them in bad places. Having non law enforcement friend is sometimes hard for the officer. Because the officer may not have non work related topics to talk about with his friends. An officer in order to socialize with these friends have to be able to separate from the job.

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    Matthew Menard

    One of the points made in this lecture that resonated with me was the ability of community involvement to decrease our cynicism. All too often those in the law enforcement profession get lost in the fact that we deal with people at their worst and the worst type of people our society has to offer. It is easy to forget that the vast majority of the people in our communities are good and honest. If we make a point of spending time participating in community events, it goes a long way in renewing our faith in humanity.

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    Gregory Hutchins

    It will continue to be unique to see through law enforcement leadership classes how one treats another. Through sections 18-20, the conversation revolves around our guilty until proven mindset, yet our standard operating processes treat individuals as innocent until proven guilty. Sadly, this mindset is cancer that becomes a controlling process that infects our entire lives unless mitigated.
    Like with the bitter type, seen in earlier modules, this mindset and its ability to draw others into the negative abyss promote the cynicism that pulls us from the positive path. The more we draw in through social isolation, to circle the wagons with defensive, angry, and suspicious people at everything will only promote this mindset that everyone is guilty first.

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    Marshall Carmouche

    Law enforcement creating, forming and maintaining a bond with the community will show that the law enforcement officer is also a human capable of error as is everyone else. I think the community, especially with social media, thinks that law enforcement should not make mistakes. We are not perfect. Community involvement will also create a bond with the youth that needs to build stronger. Often the police officer has to act as the only person some youth can talk to, We need to keep and build that trust. Community involvement is necessary for law enforcement as well as the community we serve.