Command and Staff Program

Succession Planning

Replies
330
Voices
173
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

    Succession planning for "civil service" employees is much harder than for non-civil service organizations. In a civil service organization officers do their time, take a test and then get promoted. Administration must project this and attempt to give them the tools to be a leader. These tools would be more "leader" based training prior to them getting promoted. Once promoted they need to have a "mentor" to assist them while they are navigating their new responsibilities.

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      Joey Prevost

      Yes Sir, but you would still have a better system to monitor development. As you and I both know sometimes you are looking to fill a position and pickings are slim. We still need to assess and develop replacements.

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        Jack Gilboy

        This is very true. Sometimes is more about filling the spot than it is about developing the future leaders of the agency.

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      Drauzin Kinler

      Monte, it is no different in the non-civil service agencies as well. Many of the older leaders do not want to share anything with their replacement. We are continuously faced with these challenges, and then we wonder why the newly promoted person is having such a difficult time managing their personnel.

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        Travis Linskens

        Drauzin,

        I know this is true at some agencies. Thankfully, it's not true at my agency. I think this goes back to top down leadership.

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      Major Willie Stewart

      Monte,
      Great point, but I see where you are coming from. Ours is much easier especially in a department with an elected official. We have been lucky to have a Sheriff who’s on his 3 term. However, I can also see the difficulty in this as well if an elected official or appointed official only does one term which is usually 4 years. In this case, a newly elected official’s succession plan may not look the same as before. So even though I think succession planning is a great to, it can be challenging to be effective.

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      Nicole Oakes

      I do believe that even though we are promoted by seniority because of civil service there are still those that are recognized because of the hard work they do. And get the chance to gain more knowledge and skills though special training and assignments then those who just sit back and wait.

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      I think that having a leader based training would be extremely effective. My agency does a great job of putting new hires through an extensive training process, but once someone is promoted you are basically thrown into that role with little direction. We don't have assigned mentors, but I think that could be very beneficial. There are several people that are usually willing to answer questions if needed, but no on that is designated to you. I understand that on the job learning is sometimes the most effective, but there are many times where a transitional program or mentorship program would help a lot.

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        Curtis Summerlin

        Our agency is good about sending new leaders/ supervisors to training when available after promotion which is great, but doesn’t address the issue from day one on their new assignment. Assigning a mentor or having a few days spent with a senior supervisor would help. It could be like a short FTO program for the next rank.

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        Paul Brignac III

        I too agree that assigning a mentor is a great idea. At our agency the FTO serves as a mentor of sorts, but after the initial training is complete, the trainee would still benefit from having a mentor. I believe I may implement this at my department.

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      Miranda Rogers

      I completely agree with leadership-based training, however, it can be just as challenging in political offices to have an effective succession plan.

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      I agree with this. Because when you work for a Sheriff's office everything is totally different when it comes to promotions. There is no required time table for Sgt., Lt., Capt. etc.

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      Michael McLain

      Monte you are absolutely correct. I work for a non-civil service organization. Until my agency incorporated this college in the promotion process, it was based on the "good ole boy" system.

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      Mitchell Lofton

      Monte, while I do not entirely disagree with your statement, succession planning is more about developing these future leaders. As the cream rises to the top, we must select and begin developing these officers early in their careers. By doing so, these individuals will be prepared and confident when the time comes to participate in the promotional process. I completely agree with you regarding having a mentor after promotions to assist in learning the new responsibilities.

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    Mike Brown

    I agree with Monte because of the civil service rules in place we are tied by their rules and limited in what we can do. But this does not stop any supervisor from properly training their officers to do the job of a supervisor.

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      Brian Johnson

      All, remember there is no "legal" right to a promotion, civil service or not. If you feel you do not have a qualified person to fill the vacant position, as a police executive, you sometimes have to make the tough decision not to fill the position. We nee the "right" people on the bus and in the "right" seat! Sometimes we will have to re-test to get an outstanding candidate pool to promote from. An important part of leadership!

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        Brian Lewis

        I totally agree Brian. Too many times we have selected individuals because they were next on the list, but not necessarily the best candidate for the position. I would like to see senior leadership re-test rather than taking from the list.

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        Lt. Mark Lyons

        I agree that the right people need to be in the right seat. I work for a Sheriff, and sometimes the power and authority they wield can cause turmoil within the organization.

        When I was first hired, our Sheriff at that time was known to commonly promote people based on personal relationships, political donations, or any other reason he saw fit. We had people get promoted to Captain fresh out of the academy with no prior experience. Secretary's would be sent to the academy and assigned to investigations when they graduated, with no prior experience. Now, these moves were few and far between, but they happened a lot more often than they ever should have.

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        Stephanie Hollinghead

        Brian, you are right. We need the right people who are qualified for these positions. This is an area my agency has struggled with. Until now we never really had a formal promotion policy and procedure. The outcomes of putting people in positions for the sake of filling a position can be devastating to morale and culture.

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        Donald Vigil

        I completely agree with you Brian. As a small agency we have in the past promoted unqualified personnel out of so called necessity, which has in turn bit us on our backside causing low morale and undisciplined officers to name a few.

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    Joey Prevost

    In viewing this module I believe that succession planning should be done on every level. Whenever we leave a position, we should assess and cultivate a replacement prior to moving on. This can be somewhat challenging in a seniority based promotional system such as civil service as mentioned above. Still and all, we should assess potential candidates. My agency does not have any type of system in place to monitor a development plan or a policy in place.

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      Jason Porter

      Nor does mine. But I try to show as many people what my responsibilities are as often as I can. I hope this sheds a little light on what the administration is responsible for and possibly helps groom them for my position one day.

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      Judith Estorge

      Joey,

      I agree there should be training from the very first promotion as Corporal to Sr. Corporal all the way to Major. If an officer is adequately trained each step of the way they will be better qualified to do the highest job. We neglect our officers by sticking them in available positions with little or no training.

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        chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

        I totally agree, some agency do neglect there good workers. If articulating expectations is a main thing its something that needs to be looked as for one of the expectations.

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      Nancy Franklin

      Joey,

      I agree that succession planning is important for all levels in an organization. In my experience, we often find ourselves scrambling to fill positions because of failures in succession planning. It is important to teach individuals how to do a job before they are thrust into the position and have to play "catch up" to learn new skills.

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        Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

        Nancy,
        I agree about succession planning being important at all levels. The ladder principle of promotion in not effective and usually causes a lot of damage to morale.

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      ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

      I completely agree. We are just starting a succession plan and it has never been done in this department before.

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      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      I am a leader in the correctional field and something I have implemented is cross training throughout the facility. Every new recruit is exposed to every aspect of corrections throughout their field training. They have a better understanding of what their future could be if they chose to build a career in corrections. We also cross train individuals within divisions. All members of these divisions can fill in for an officer that is off duty or takes a transfer.

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      Samantha Reps

      I do agree with you, we should take the responsibility to make sure whomever is taking our position over knows what to do. I also agree this needs to be done on all levels in the agency.

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      Chad Blanchette

      I agree. I think there are certain types of leaders that do well in an operational setting vs an administrative setting. Grooming the correct leader is important at each level.

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    Drauzin Kinler

    Succession Planning is an area that I consistently address with my personnel. So often in the past, leaders have left the agency and their replacement in a bad situation. Many of the new leaders in my agency get promoted and put into positions without any succession planning ever being considered. This causes the leader to come into an area already having to face unnecessary challenges. Instead of the leader being able to focus on the real issues, they are required to spend time in the earlier stages learning how to perform their job. Many of the older generation leaders did not believe in this practice simply because they figured that no one trained them, so they shouldn't need to prepare anyone either.

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      Donnie

      I feel like I’ve already been doing this on a smaller level. I have always attempted to identify who would be my best successor should I move on to other things. This module provides good insight on documenting something I’ve already been doing. It’s a tool that will make it easier in the long term.

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        Lieutenant John Champagne

        I agree and also have tried to prepare my successor to take my position at any given time, but at the end of the day, the promotion will be out of my hands.

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    Jason Porter

    In my position I have the opportunity to teach almost on a daily basis. Not only the do's and don'ts of the job but the areas that I am responsible for. If I can show someone a part of my responsibilities to make them a better employee and possibly take my position one day then I feel that I have helped that employee become a contributing part of our team.

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    Judith Estorge

    Succession planning is limited when your organization is governed by Civil service promotions. There is some negotiation of who to place in what positions but so often it is just filling the void. If an employee can pass the promotional exams they are eligible for whatever position becomes available. The difference to be made is in properly training employees for the upcoming positions and weeding inadequate employees early to avoid future problems.

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      Dan Wolff

      Judith Estorge,
      I’m not real familiar with the Civil service promotions or job filling aspect when it comes to law enforcement. However, I think once hired shouldn’t there be criteria set by the Chief or his designee for proper qualifications for certain positions? Even if they pass the promotional exam, I guess there is no criteria for the position they are placed if an opening exists for that rank? Sounds like that is a great example where a succession plan would be beneficial for the organization to make sure the right people are in the right job.
      Dan

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      Lance Leblanc

      Judith, I agree our civil service promotions are flawed. It has promoted some incompetent leadership in our department. Because we are structured in a pyramid when these leaders become captains and majors, we as an agency pay the price.

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        Jennifer Hodgman

        While we too have civil service boards, I do believe it is our command leadership's role to get the right names to them and not place the sole responsibility of promoting ineffective leaders with with the civil service board.

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    Dan Wolff

    In succession planning, the four-step process would be beneficial in meeting any challenges facing an organization. In the process of leadership, an effective leader always thinks about their replacement and some will even go beyond to be a mentor. However, I have never seen a succession plan policy or written checklist as the process states. It would only make sense that we as leaders have a long-term plan for those reaching retirement or a contingency in cross training for those positions that are “one deep” in case of emergencies. If our organization has such a policy, I have not seen it or heard about it.

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      Dan, I agree with you on all counts. We have a succession plan and a very strong commitment to leadership training at all levels, but there is not a policy or checklist in place specific to succession. We do have requirements for eligibility and factors, such as leadership training, that carry weight. I also believe our sheriff may add certain training as a prerequisite for promotion, which could be considered part of a checklist.

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    Nancy Franklin

    Succession planning is a critical component for any successful organization. It is important in the law enforcement profession to take succession planning seriously, especially given the unpredictable nature of our profession. Changes can literally occur overnight and if the organization has not paid attention to developing staff and properly succession planning for these changes we find ourselves scrambling to fix a need. This is not only a disservice to the employees effected, but also has a negative impact on the effectiveness of an organization in the community.

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      Clint Patterson

      Nancy, I believe that succession planning is a key element to the infrastructure of an agency. My agency will be seeing a large number of retirements in the next 3-4 years. Even though this seems to be a long time away, I hope we manage to start cross-training and developing the replacements sooner than later.

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    Brian Johnson

    As discussed in this module, succession planning is one of the most important functions for police leaders. We have all witnessed a void in leadership when someone retires, transfers or leaves for another agency. We look around and realize that we failed to plan and develop the next generations of leaders within our departments. This could have a profoundly negative impact on the department for years and even decades- depending on the size of your department. LAPD Chief Moore has probably promoted more Deputy Chiefs in his short tenure as Chief, than many of Chiefs before him. Chief Gates might be the only chief that promoted more to the executive ranks of the LAPD. Large organizations have a deep bench so succession planning seems easy, but it's not. The only easy part is that they have more people that are taking personal development seriously because the competition to promote is very competitive. I would offer the 20/70/10 rule. You should be developing the 20% that are sharp and eager to learn, the 70% will be loyal followers, and the bottom 10% will never be happy. Leaders develop other leaders, which is the key their success.

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    Clint Patterson

    This module on succession planning made me realize that our agency is not following their plan very well. We commonly have people placed into a position or promoted, that have absolutely no competency in the area they are moved too. Usually, this person is often not even liked by their subordinates or looked at as a leader. Another common concern is we wait too long to find a replacement for the person that is retiring or leaving. This creates a difficult transition for an incoming employee, because like most of you have stated, the person retiring doesn’t develop the replacement or share their tricks of the trade. This can quickly result in morale issues.

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      Laurie Mecum

      Clint, I agree.....we need to stop promoting people because they feel entitled because they have been there longer too. They need to have a level of competency for the position. Very few positions are put out and filled before people leave.

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    Laurie Mecum

    Succession planning is vital for any agency or business. We need to get away from promoting people just because they have been there the longest. They may not be the most qualified for the job or even be leader quality. We have seen that in our agency. We have had people leave and departments had no idea what to do because the information was never funneled down. The mentality of hoarding all the knowledge needs to stop. That’s not being a leader nor is it properly preparing staff for succession. All too often people are gone before they are replaced not giving time for them to train them for their position also.

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      David Ehrmann

      You hit the nail on the head, Laurie. Keeping someone in one position, or one lane does not benefit the agency. I like the idea of cross-training so that everyone knows or at least has an understanding of what other divisions do. I also think that people who retire should not be allowed to remain in the same position. This holds up advancement for others.

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    Jarod Primicerio

    Succession planning is a crucial component in every organization. Specifically, law enforcement needs to prioritize this to ensure the long-term success and the new generation can gain the necessary information from years of tenured and experienced officers. It appears all too often that many of the specialty positions and high-ranking personnel remain in silos; thus when they retire or vacate the position, there is not a seamless transition.

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      Adam Gonzalez

      Indeed, this is a crucial component. This module really was enlightening for me. I have considered before the need and importance of training those that will one day replace me but to do so on the grander scale of those above me and their need to do the same? I guess sometimes I have just figured that those within the highest echelon already know who is next. However, I have seen, especially during election cycles when surprises can take place, and many are left wondering where they now fit.

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    David Ehrmann

    Upper-level leaders need to develop a plan to replace senior leadership when and if they depart. I have seen this occur within my agency. We had a Captain that left to take another job. A lot of faith was put into this person, and the agency was not prepared for his departure. Agencies need to plan not only for those senior leaders who are approaching retirement but also have a plan in place in the event a senior leaves suddenly and unexpectedly.

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        Christian Johnson

        I agree. We are not perfect, but it is far better than it used to be.

        It is up to us to help make it even better.

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      Amanda Pertuis

      I believe that was a learning incident. Many departments are finding that succession planning is up to them. We train up our people, so if someone leaves in Communications we are covered.

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      Rocco Dominic, III

      I agree, I believe we should take it a step further and filter it down into the front line supervisors. Start grooming those that have potential and are looking to advance.

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      guttuso_fa@jpso.com

      I think a lot of departments don't think of this when setting up succession plans, losing someone due to unexpected death or leaving. It is definitely something that needs to be implemented in any succession plans.

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      Adam Gonzalez

      In one of the more revelatory modules yet, this information covered an area that I simply didn't think about. Perhaps this is so because of the many administrators ahead of me or because at first thought, it doesn't seem to hold value in my immediate realm of authority. However, the quote "You're not going anywhere until you have trained someone to take your place" as offered by the businesswoman in the short video segment, made complete sense. I need to be on board with this concept so that I am doing what I need to do in order to best help those that will be replacing me. Additionally, I need to make sure that I also am preparing for those above me as well!

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    Roanne Sampson

    In the past, many leaders retired or left our agency with their training and expertise. I find that since our agency began leadership training, they have made a significant step in succession planning. It was not like that before. Every officer has been given the opportunity to receive leadership training, which keeps our leadership evolving. When I think about each division and each Commander in our agency, I find that their are individuals who are already trained and ready to step into those positions and can do it effectively.

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    Christian Johnson

    The module was short, but showed the true value of succession planning.

    When I began my career, I felt we were not doing so well in this area, but I believe it has improved quite a bit since then.

    Leadership training has certainly been a big part of that, but it has been a culture change as well. I have seen many people get "passed over" by people that have been harder working and more dependable.

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      Lance Landry

      Christian that is the way it should be. The cream should rise to the top. People should not be promoted based on a certain number of years. I see it daily where a 2-3 year deputy competently works circles around a 15-20 year deputy.

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        I also agree. "Seniority" is a nice concept, but it rarely makes for promoting the best candidate. Maybe if there is a tie or something like that. I also think more emphasis should be placed on past employee evaluations.

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    Amanda Pertuis

    We have been training for succession planning for many years in Communications. We allow all of our personnel attend leadership training and our leadership and management teams . I agree with all of the qualities to look for in potential leaders. This was a great module!

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    Rocco Dominic, III

    This module illustrated the importance of succession planning.
    When I began my career there was not succession planning. It was who you know, or who liked you, that help in advancement. It has gotten a little better with the Sheriff implementing the leadership classes, and requiring anyone who want to advance to command staff to complete National Command and Staff course.
    I believe the succession plan should also be implement into the advancement of front line supervisors.

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    Brian Lewis

    My department is failing horribly in succession planning. People have been promoted for all the wrong reasons. I like the IACP succession planning steps and will present to our administration a strategy to implement these steps at my agency.

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      Henry Dominguez

      I agree and will do the same here. We had a history of the Ladder Principle rather than the best candidate for the job. Hopefully on our way to changing that.

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    Lance Leblanc

    A succession plan helps develop the next leaders so they are prepared. This is vital for the future of any law enforcement agency. My agency's promotions are determined by the civil service system, which in my opinion does not promote effective leadership.

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      Chasity Arwood

      I agree with you, succession planning is a vital part of developing leaders within an agency. The current civil service system does not always promote the best person for the job.

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    Donnie

    I feel like I’ve already been doing this on a smaller level. I have always attempted to identify who would be my best successor should I move on to other things. This module provides good insight on documenting something I’ve already been doing. It’s a tool that will make it easier in the long term. Unfortunately, the “good ole boy” promotion systems are still in place. A plan may help alleviate that if there are specific criteria to meet.

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    Lance Landry

    We have no formal succession plan or policy currently at my department. It has always been an informal process where those with initiative, skill, and experience have separated themselves from the pack. In turn this became the pool of personnel where promotions where given.

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      Burke

      We also do not have a general order labeling how we conduct our succession planning, but we do allow training and experience in other fields to provide a path for succession.

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    Burke

    We have never labeled our succession planning, however, we have a clear path how it proceeds. Training and mentoring, specialized assignments is the path we utilize to seek out individuals that will take over at some point.

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      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      My agency is similar in the fact that we have no formal succession plan. We do send people to leadership training and mentoring is conducted, but only when the person seeking advancement initiates the mentoring process. This is also done on an informal basis. One thing, I have tried to accomplish is seeking feedback from front line supervisors in an effort to identify those who may be selected for future leadership roles.

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    McKinney

    When I began my career like many in this class, our roles and thoughts were different from where we are now. As I am in the middle part of my career, I think about those organizational members that I serve with on who the successor of our great agency will be. I often have many thoughts on this topic because of how fast time moves. For us to leave a legacy, we must be able to mentor and empower those members each day, so when our shift is over, we know they are ready to assume the many responsibilities of a leader in an evolving profession that pose various obstacles and challenges.

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      michael-beck@lpso.net

      That is a very forward way of thinking. All too many times have I seen people in a ranking position fail to train their replacement because they do not want to mentor them or give away their knowledge. They tend to believe their knowledge is their power but fail to see the big picture that the more you empower your subordinates, the more power you actually have and how you become a more credible leader.

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    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    This module identified the importance of succession planning and its need among law enforcement agencies. Properly identifying and training future leaders is the key for long term success of any organization. Unfortunately in my agency I believe that it is more of a reactive approach rather than an proactive one. Recently my agency has experienced several upper level retirements that has created a need for a better succession plan and policy. Hopefully with the knowledge I received from this training, I can better prepare my own agency in future consideration of successors. A good place to start would be the 4 step plan developed by the IACP.

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      I see a simular situation in the near future for my agency. Thankfully my Sheriff took the initial step in December of meeting with all Senior Staff to discuss their current position, future goals, and succession plans to identify possible replacements and their status of development. I believe many agencies with elected officials can slip into a position where succession planning is hard to do beyond 3 or 4 years because of the volitivity of elections and high turnover rates. However, I now realized the importance of mid-level and upper-level supervision to at least plan for new leader development to prepare potential candidates for advancement to keep a level on continuity where possible.

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    I believe this is a huge part of leaving a positive legacy and ensuring the future success of the organization and those who are being developed to be tomorrow's leaders. I have told all my staff repeatedly that my job is to develop my replacement. I have seen where it was obvious that someone was going to be leaving and a solic succession plan was not in place. Often the agency head has an idea who he will put in that place, but there is little to no preperation. The new leader then struggles to understand what he could have been shown through mentoring or through development of a succession plan. When I moved into my position I had to relearn the position. There was no guidance or leadership from the previous Academy Directors and it took a couple years for me to feel I truly understood the position and what my responsabilities and authorities are. I do not want the next Academy Director to have to do that. I am involving my staff in decissions and processes so they can step in and take over should anything happen to me. I was very happy that my Sheriff met with all Senior Staff members last December to discuss future succession plans. Knowing he was gaining insight from all commanders give more faith in his future succcession plans. The steps and lessons learned from IACP are great guidelines. I believe succession planning should be considered at every level of management as was pointed out by the lady from Ritz Carlton, their supervisors can not move up unless they have someone trained to take their place.

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      Major Stacy Fortenberry

      I was placed in much the same position as you. I went from shift Lt. responsible for daily operations of 10 deputies to Division commander with no mentoring. In 26 years of law enforcement I had never seen our budget and overnight I was tasked with preparing the budget for the largest division we have. A year later and I'm finally gaining my confidence in this new role. Much of this could have been avoided with just a little planning.

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      cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      I agree with Dianna Oreck too. I believe succession planning should be done in every division and level of management. If it is not done, it is setting our departments up for hard times.

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        dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

        I agree. I also agree that once someone is moved into a position, they must understand the parameters of their position to be effective. Utilizing some type of training to orient them into their new job, much like an FTO process, just not as long.

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    michael-beck@lpso.net

    Succession planning has always been a part of my thought process since I became a supervisor and even before. It is always imperative to train those who come behind you in an organization. I had a supervisor once give me the advice that if there is no one to take my place (have my knowledge or skills), how will it ever be possible for me to move beyond the position I currently hold. He also told me law enforcement is fraught with danger, both external and internal, and if something should happen to me, the next person should be able to take up the position, virtually seamlessly. I took those words to heart and always made certain to complete an evaluation of my duties. I give those under my command the ability to take on portions of what my job entails in order to prepare them to take on my role. I, in-turn, have attempted to learn as much as I possibly can from those ahead of me in rank.

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      McKinney

      Michael, based on your discussion statement, it appears you had an engaged supervisor at the early stage of your career. I agree that we should be preparing our team members to assume our responsibilities when we pursue new endeavors. I want the satisfaction of knowing that I exhausted all resources for that person to take my position when the time presents itself.

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    Lieutenant John Champagne

    Succession planning is something every agency should do; unfortunately, not many do. It makes sense to prepare your leaders to lead when the time comes, but instead, most promote when absolutely necessary. The reason behind the promotion is normally due to other factors other than their leadership qualities

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    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    Our department does not have a formalized succession plan. We do fairly well on training the Deputy to become a SSG and have some built in training to develop the SSG to become the Lt. We have often failed when it comes to training the Lt. to take over a division as a Cpt and move into an administrative role. Our long term Sheriff retired recently and many of his staff left around the same time. This left junior leaders figuring out what senior staff did on the fly.

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      Brad Strouf

      I agree and think that many (if not most) agencies utilize some of the principles of succession planning, but rarely have a formal process in place. By utilizing policies and checklists, for example, the process would be much more efficient and effective.

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    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    In the learning Module 5, knowing that having a succession plan is a dynamic ongoing process of systematic identifying, assessing and developing leadership talent . Every agency should be able to implement a succession plan.

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    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    Our department does not have a succession plan. In the last several years we had many people retire which left a void in first line and upper management positions. Fortunately, we had a rank structure in place that slowly moved people along into first line leadership positions. This allowed the younger deputies to learn and step into the positions left voided by those who retired. When I was promoted to division commander, I did have some administration experience from being in charge of our narcotics division and dealing with the budget, etc.

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      mmoscona@floodauthority.org

      The same thing happened to us. The Captain and Chief of Police retired in the same week. We had 3 years warning that the Capt. was going to retire and I was being considered and sort of groomed for that position. But, when the Chief also left that plan went out of the door with him. We went for two weeks without a Chief and another month or so without a Captain. It was a mess!

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    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    Succession plans seem to fit the business model of entities other than law enforcement. It could work if it was done accurately, however in my experience, it never does. My agency seems to be heading in that directions, just not the way it is outlined in this module.

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      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      The department appears to go in this direction, but still have a lot of work to do. Many times I watched people retire, which the department knew was coming, but never trained someone to take on that role.

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      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree Darren, it seems that our agency has made considerable advancement in this area over the last 5/7 years.

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    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    We have been working on a succession plan in our agency for about a month now. One of the toughest issues with this in law enforcement is the turn over rate.

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    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    I believe it is essential to have a succession plan with law enforcement agencies. I have seen many supervisors in crucial roles, retire from the department without the department having someone identified or trained to take on that supervisors role. Many officers start their careers together and retire in groups. It is crucial to have people identified and trained when this happens to allow a smooth transition.

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      dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree with you, Beau. I think our agency may be lacking a little bit in succession planning. Our agency has improved, but there is still for growth.

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      I feel that our agency wait too late to start succession planning. Succession planning should begin the moment a leader takes on a position. We should not be waiting for retirement to begin mentoring and training someone. I continuously tell my personnel to always prepare for their departure. There might be an unexpected death or promotion that leaves a position vacant.

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    Chasity Arwood

    Succession planing is an important part of ensuring that leadership with an agency continues and critical roles within an agency can be filled. My department is beginning to realize that senior officers need to be trained and given responsibility in order to learn different leadership roles within the department.

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      cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree. My agency is realizing that this is important as well and they are making the moves necessary to make it happen.

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    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    This was a very good module and something that I agree with very much. In the past, I felt my agency was behind the eight ball when it came to succession planning. It seemed as though even though we knew people were 3 or 4 years from retiring, we buried our heads in the sand, almost as though we hoped it didn't come to fruition. It seems that we have done a much better job of succession planning in the last 5 to 7 years and i feel that the leadership training we are providing is a positive step in that direction.

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    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    Our agency has fallen behind on succession planning but is improving. In the last few years, my superiors have done a good job of promoting people who have been trained in a job that has been vacated.

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    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    Succession planning is essential for the continued growth and continuity of a law enforcement agency. I believe the business world does a much better job of succession planning than most law enforcement. I think it is more important for departments where you usually have a sheriff who is in office for a long time. When they leave a lot of their leadership team leaves with them, creating a vacuum effect and having to fill those positions with others who are not necessarily ready to fill those positions.

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      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      I agree that the business world seems to have a better grasp on the succession planning but believe if our agency wishes to remain fluid and continue to meet the needs of our community we can benefit greatly from having an effective and organized system to help promote an easier transition when these positions are needing to be filled.

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    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    While we do not have a set plan for succession we do cross train so that vacancies can be adequately filled in the event of illness or other departures. It is probably time for a plan to be developed and put in place.

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    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    Our agency has succession planning and future leaders are being mentored and trained. Recently there is more leadership training taking place than has been in the past.

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    As leaders, we now more than ever have to have a succession plan, in case we fall prey to the politics of the game we are in. We must remember to lift up the future leaders and let them serve to their fullest potential. We also, more importantly, need to make sure that we do not silo information, and plan for the next leader and set them up for success when we are done renting our current position.

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    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    Recently our agency could have benefited greatly from a formalized succession plan and also the concept of cross-training. It is something that I believe law enforcement agencies need to make a point of developing thoroughly and being able to set-up to meet the needs of the ever-changing world we live in. If information is not shared now when we get into the position of mass exodus we are setting up our agency to fail.

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    Succession Planning is something our agency needs to improve on. I think that some people that are in a leadership role do not share their knowledge or skills because of job security. If they share what they know to followers, they may no longer feel valued. I think that if our agency builds a culture that promotes succession planning, it might help leaders think differently. They will be open molding and mentoring personnel.

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      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree, this has been occurring since older leadership and has trickled down to present administration, causing lousy work environments.

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      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      Commander Mixon:
      I agree that while we encourage others to cross-train within their divisions that we do not practice this enough. Years ago we had to safeguard information until at some point we realized that we were crippling ourselves by doing so.

      I try to cross-train others when I can. It is important to start this early on. In some cases, I found that some people do not have the same exposure to some materials and are not capable of carrying out some of the tasks while others are able to do so with a little guidance.

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    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    I feel that succession planning is vital to any agency, hot only it will help build the work culture. Still, it helps to develop future leaders who present leaders can mentor, and feel comfortable about taking over the job.

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      sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      As a supervisor my self, Im currently working with one of my deputies to hopefully replace me. Problem is our shift is a young shift and I have to spend some time with the deputy I'm training. I have no desire to remain at my current position until retirement.

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    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    A few years ago, the need for continuous succession planning was evident within our agency. We had a commander with over twenty years of performing in her position retire. We couldn't identify just one person to step up into her position due to the amount of responsibilities she had accepted and absorbed in her position. We ended up having to separate many sections of her position and distribute them to several individuals in order to give her successor a fair chance at assuming the position.

    This sent a clear message to us that we needed to make some changes to facilitate cross-training and succession planning as part of our organizational culture. Now we are encouraging leaders through our department to cross-train, train and develop others to help create a seamless transition for promotions and attrition.

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      steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      Agree, we should never allow one person to have so much responsibility without a secondary in plan. I have seen many people hold so many aspects of responsibility that when they left, people were unsure of how much was being left undone. We as manager need to know and understand everything those that directly report to us are responsible for.

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      clouatre_kj@jpso.com

      I've observed this first-hand with my own department. in the past, i've observed particular senioe people hoard their work, more than likely to proove how valuable they were and needed. Not a person that respected the title he carried and didn't ultimately have the best interest of our agency. This has shed light on major issues of giving people power who did not mento others.

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    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    If there is any formal succession planning in our agency then it is a closely guarded secret. As a Lieutenant I feel it is my duty and responsibility to prepare my Sergeant to replace me. And he knows that he is responsible for preparing his replacement. But to my knowledge there is nothing beyond that. I am designated as the back-up District Commander when he is out but does that make me next up. No because all our promotions go through Civil Service so in essence anyone with the qualifications can apply of any position and go through the "selection" process.

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    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    We all as leaders must make sure that we play our part in succession planning within our organization. First a clear understanding of what each position is responsible for is key to finding the next person capable or preventing the current person from failing. Once we understand this we can look for the talent needed and actively participate in preparing that person with training and development to step up to the task in the future.
    Cross training is essential and should be a requirement, especially in small agencies were there is only one commander with no assistants in a division. This will ensure in the event of crisis of the least amount of transformation time needed to maintain the current ability of the division.

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    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    Like ive been told many times from my commanders, as a Sergeant one aspect of my job is to train my replacement. Which at the moment i'm doing it along side this course.

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      Frank Acuna

      This is a great perspective. I too believe a good leader not only shares their knowledge but mentors and develops leaders to take over upon their departure.

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    This was a great reminder of the old squad card from the army. while that was only on the basic level, it makes sense that this would be done on the higher levels. My agency falls under state civil service and as such anyone, with the basic qualification can apply for most positions, mentoring and coaching still takes place. Our succession can be seen as if we raise all of our leaders up to a certain level, then they are viable candidates for the job.

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    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    Succession planning is a difficult topic within law enforcement agencies that have elected officals. Although, I do see the rank and file training officers for the next level up if we see potential, there is no set succession planning. I do beleive it is changing, maybe not so much in a formal way, but recent retires and people vacating the department has shed light on this issue.

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      It is certainly is challenging time in regards to succession planning. Departments across the nation are seeing mass retirements of most eligible officers while the academies are not filled with future replacements. There will certainly be a knowledge gap nationwide. Hopefully many departments have identified future leaders and mentored them properly.

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    This module definitely touches upon how to ID future leaders within your organization. It is highly comepetitive to move forward within any agency when there are only so many spots one can occupy. This can create a void if qualified people are overlooked or feel untapped. It can lead to people moving to other agencies or having less productivity. When you can retain, hire, recruit, and kep your talent in house it will bebefit your agency and the area you serve.

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    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    Succession planning needs to be something that all agencies should take into account. You never know when unexpected absence will occur. Organizations need have an able person to fill that void. Just sticking someone in that spot for the sake of having a body is not good for the organization nor the person placed in that position. Cross training needs to be done and someone should not hold all of the keys, they need to be shared.

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    Lt. Mark Lyons

    I agree with the content of this training module. Succession planning crucial to the long term growth and success on an organisation. As leaders, we should always be looking for someone who we can groom to take our place so we can advance. However, I have seen situations where certain leaders would be intimidated by the performance of their subordinates and would actively try to suppress their growth within the organization.

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    Royce Starring

    Succession planning is something that every agency should be doing, Departments often will wait until retirements have taken place to start the process.

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        wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

        I agree panic promotions happened in my organization several times. Painful lessons learned through experience often
        at great extent, should not go out the door with key leaders. With a plan in place, the uncertainties of being unprepared will diminish.

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    Succession Planning is something every agency should be practicing, yet few plan correctly. During my career, supervisor positions have become available numerous times, and individuals have been promoted due to "status" in the department and not the most qualified candidate. This can lead have harmful effects on morale and work culture. Its important to start evaluating potential leaders early in their careers; therefore, when positions become available, they are ready to assume the responsibility. As leaders, we should determine younger officers and begin to train our replacements.

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    Adam Gonzalez

    In one of the more revelatory modules yet, this information covered an area that I simply didn't think about. Perhaps this is so because of the many administrators ahead of me or because at first thought, it doesn't seem to hold value in my immediate realm of authority. However, the quote "You're not going anywhere until you have trained someone to take your place" as offered by the businesswoman in the short video segment, made complete sense. I need to be on board with this concept so that I am doing what I need to do in order to best help those that will be replacing me. Additionally, I need to make sure that I also am preparing for those above me as well!

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    Henry Dominguez

    Our succession planning was always education related, in other words the one with the higher degrees were highly looked at than those with lesser degrees yet more experience and well rounded. I have really grasped onto the leadership qualities of individuals rather than just college education. This module as well as the prior modules have really opened my eyes to great leadership and the qualities to look for along with what to watch out for in individuals who believe in the Ladder Principle or a Pragmatic Leader.

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      Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      I agree I also look at the leadership qualities and not just the college education when it comes to putting my subordinates up for promotional opportunities.

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      Mitchell Gahler

      We have some officers within our agency that have lesser degrees, but are extraordinary people and officers. It's too bad that education is their main focus and not focused more on their leadership qualities or their ambition and attitude.

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        Jared Yancy

        I agree! People with no degree are sometimes more beneficial than the ones with them. When you focus more on the organization things are a better fit. Many people with years of service and experiences makes the best supervisors. Good post!

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    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    A departure of an effective leader from an organization leaves a gap in the structured productivity of the organization. Without proper guidance, morale can drop, and productivity slows. In most organizations, this can cause a problem internally and externally.

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    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    I believe that cross training is always a great idea. Organizations should always have trained personnel available to fill in a voided position. If no one is trained, it is not a wise decision to place a subordinate in that voided position, no matter the organization. As a leader, I educate and place my subordinates during shift in different position every time we are scheduled to work. This ensures each subordinate the opportunity to learn different roles within corrections. This ensures corrections can operate efficiently without the presence of personnel who is absent that may hold key positions.

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    As discussed, succession planning is vital to the future of any organization. As leaders we must always be on the lookout for those who possess the traits and qualities of a good leader. We should begin mentoring and coaching them to one day replace us or other leaders. If we fail to do that we are left unprepared and our lack of foresight can ultimately seep out into the public. This can lead to bad relationships with the public and cause undue turmoil for all involved.

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    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    This module showed the importance of succession planning for an agency or any business. We should be training our subordinates to become our replacements. All too often, someone leaves a position and agencies are caught off guard. This happened in my department and I believe it was a wakeup call for the administration. I also like the idea of cross training, seems like an interesting concept. Some leaders would have to put away their egos for that to be successful.

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      Lt. Marlon J Shuff

      I agree with the idea of cross-training. The military does an excellent job of this in promoting a "next man up" mentality.

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      Richard, I’ve also seen this happen but not when someone unexpectantly left but rather when this person left as part of a planned retirement. As is common nowadays with understaffing, this person was kept busy with their duties to the day they retired. There was no succession planning and they were never given an opportunity to properly train and mentor their replacement which caused a serious loss of institutional knowledge and experience that continues to impact the section.

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    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    My agency does apply succession planning. Once we began our leadership training throughout the agency it became apparent that succession planning was intricate in leadership. Education and training along with skills play a factor in placement however leadership skills are more vital in a long lasting future. As leaders we must observe those that have key components in leading and groom them with knowledge and skills to continue our paths to a successful transition.

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    Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    Through the process of identifying, training, and mentoring talented officers, succession planning is critical to preventing what Lt. Col. Scott referred to as a "single point of failure" as a result of officers leaving the agency. It's important that all of these officers, once identified as future leaders, are developed, trained, and mentored, not just a select few. Using the analogy of two plants: If you give one water and sunlight, it will certainly grow. The other plant can be just as capable of growth, but if you deny the other plant water and sunlight, it will not. It's that simple. It's the responsibility of administrators to create an environment for the development and growth of all. The agency will benefit in the long run.

    Marlon Shuff

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      Joseph Flavin

      Your two plant analogy resonated with me. I agree with you that administrators should create an environment for the development and growth of all. Once future leaders are identified they should be developed, trained, and mentored.

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      James Schueller

      That is an excellent analogy, and is so true. I think this type of training really will help getting that point across, especially as the graduates of the program continue to move up in their organizations. Its is the responsibility of administration to ensure this happens.

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    Joseph Flavin

    Succession Planning is an important part of an organization's continued success. I think it's important that every agency has some form of a succession plan for reasons outlined in this module. While I don't think that an agency should make pre-determined selections for promotions, they should know the qualities and traits they are looking for and foster an environment for growth and opportunity for all of their staff. An agency should not just focus on one individual's growth and potential.

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      I agree with your comment. I also believe every agency should have a succession plan not only to replace vacated positions but to grow and mentor your employees. The reason I feel it is important because as you are mentoring those next employees for positions you more than likely are going to send them to different training. It is during this time that it is best for them to make mistakes so they can learn from them while they are still being mentored.

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      Durand Ackman

      I agree with your comments. The succession plan needs to be based on skills and/or qualities that will benefit the agency long term and not keyed in on specific individual people's growth.

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    This module on succession planning came at a good time. We have several upper positions within our organization that are more than likely going to have to be filled due to retirements. I have started to look ahead to see who may fit the type of requirements that would benefit our organization. I am going to use the 4 step succession planning process. I like the way it lays out the steps and it lays out a very nice process of documentation and procedures that can be set for the organization.

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      Ryan Lodermeier

      I agree Sheriff, the 4 step process is laid out nicely. It also helps set the tone for uniformity when promotional opportunities arrive. The 4 step process I think can help mitigate concerns of favoritism when people are (or are not) selected for those leadership roles.

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    James Schueller

    Excellent module with multiple definitions of what succession planning is, and the steps needed to plan and carry out the best plan for your agency. I appreciate that it acknowledged that there is both formal and informal succession planning processes, as there is value in the informal steps as well. The section where we learned numerous components of staff development was enlightening, as were the lessons learned from IACP. Combined these two lists of characteristics, traits and qualities paint a very good picture of what is needed for successful transitions.

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      Brent Olson

      James,

      I agree that the informal can be just as valuable as the formal. I think the informal is almost easier as well, as it is something that is done in many small ways everyday and within every interaction.

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    Mitchell Gahler

    This was a unique module to go through as I identified many of the key areas that are implemented at our office. One of the areas that I took from the module was mentoring and how important it is to develop individuals into well-rounded officers. Mentoring occurs at our office within all levels of our staff. Whether it's from the top down, or the bottom up. We have many people at our office that provide insight, as our supervisors allow for individual vision in order to maximize individual and organizational success. Succession planning is vital in an organization in order to promote self-initiative in order to develop enthusiasm and drive. This has empowered our organization that has provided self-ambition in order for officer and leadership development. This was a great module to go through.

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    Samantha Reps

    Being a mentor makes a good leader, this should be happening at all levels of the organization. Mentoring gives more direction for those who are learning to have someone help them through mistakes and help them be more successful. Succession planning should be somewhat of a priority in the organization. We should be aware of those that are motivated in the organization to be successful.

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    Frank Acuna

    Succession planning must be recognized by the organization as an important factor in the future success of the organization. Long gone are the days where leaders can leave an organization with all the knowledge and experience they accumulated over the years. Leaders instead should seek to develop their staff to replace them upon their departure. Succession planning however must be intentional and not be overlooked. Creating policies and programs to develop successors within the organization can help thrust succession planning into the culture of the organization.

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      Timothy Sandlin

      I agree. Agencies can be decimated by the loss of key leaders with the strategic and operational knowledge leaving out the door with them.

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    Ryan Lodermeier

    This module really hit home when Lt Col Scott stated that many of us when we started our jobs never imagined we would be a in position of leadership one day. Whether that leadership is a front line supervisor or chief of police of a large agency . It is imperative that agencies take succession planning seriously, if this process is not performed it is inevitable that tasks will be forgotten and fall through the cracks, knowledge will be lost, and the agency will ultimately take a step back as they try and fill in the missing attributes.

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      Paul Gronholz

      I think we've done a good job of identifying and promoting the next leaders in the department. I do think we could improve upon this by providing a formal training program to newly promoted leaders.

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    Chad Blanchette

    Succession planning is truly imperative for the future of any organization. Identifying the qualities in a person that match the culture and the vision is crucial going forward.

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      Kaiana Knight

      I agree Chad. Succession planning is imperative and important for the growth within any organization. I think that if we succession plan early, it will benefit us in the long run.

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    Kyle Turner

    I believe some of this is applicable and some is not. The module suggests that leadership should identify potential successors and begin to work on their development. However, in most public agencies, the hand selection of successors is looked down upon and not appreciated by the rest of the agency and brings up accusations of favoritism. At all levels of the department, opportunities for development, mentorship and training should be provided to everyone. The succession plan should be the development of all employees to reach their highest potential - which then becomes the succession plan - rather than . Those that take the opportunities to develop and improve themselves to fill the department's needs will stand out and be in a position to be successful when the opportunities arise. Objective testing and selection processes based on position specific criteria also ensures the most qualified candidate is selected for the position.

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      Kelly Lee

      Kyle, I would respectfully disagree with you. I understand and agree with what you are saying BUT I think there is another side to it of even those that are developed to their full potential who don't have a desire to be a leader. I work with several of those staff in my department. They are great people, trustworthy and such and would make a great supervisor or leader but they have no desire to actually do it. I think the point they are trying to make in this module is that organizations should seek out those who want to take the next step and become leaders within their department.

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        Ryan Manguson

        I agree Kelly with your response. It is import as an organization to ask those types of questions in the development process up front. Are you interested in taking on a leadership role, in the formalized sense, within the agency . No sense in developing someone who has no interest.

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        Sgt. Shawn Wilson

        Agreed. It is imperative that agencies identify those that have the capacity to lead the organization. I have always looked at accusations of favoritism and other rumors as what they are; rumors. When confronted with facts and true leadership, rumors dissipate quickly.

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    Kelly Lee

    Great module that points out the importance of working on a succession plan and the reasons behind it. Agencies should be looking for the young talent and those wanting to be involved and then start the process of getting them a mentor and scheduling them for leadership classes. This process does not happen over night and takes time to develop. Like the concept that as young officers, everyone should be assigned a mentor to help that grow and figure out where they want their career to take them.

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      Marshall Carmouche

      As a current leader, I feel that part of my responsibility is to assure the young talented workers get the training and knowledge they need for their success and the success of the agency.

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    Ryan Manguson

    This was a good module on succession planning. In recent years with high number of agency leadership retiring. I have seen much more emphasis placed on succession planning. We probably should have been doing more of it proactively in the past in stead of being reactive to retirements. By then we are behind.

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      Christopher Lowrie

      I agree Ryan. We are getting better at it but we should have been focusing on this a long time ago.

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    Paul Gronholz

    Its important to have a succession plan for today's changing environment. I feel that my department does a good job of hiring the right people. Once the right people are in the door, we provide quality training for them to help develop their leadership skills. We've established a mentorship program for new officers. We could probably expand on that and develop a mentorship specifically for officers that have been identified for promotion. Internal training can also be improved once the promotion happens.

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    Durand Ackman

    Good module discussing the importance of succession planning. It is important for the organization to recognize and plan for departures of their personnel. This is much easier to do when we know of an upcoming retirement or separation but sometimes there are departures with little notice. This is why it is important for leaders to mentor other members of the organization and prepare them for future opportunities. Planning ahead will benefit the individuals moving up as well as the organization.

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    Change is ever present in law enforcement, so it is vital to have a succession plan in place to address unexpected vacancies. With a tumultuous day to day environment, one constant should be the comfort in knowing the agencies knowledge, experience, and memory will not be effected by unforeseen vacancies.

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    Major Willie Stewart

    A Succession Plan can be a very effective and great leadership tool. It can prepare an organization to ensure what’s needed for growth and advancement is carried out. However, there is some challenges when it come to leadership heads. In law enforcement, the leader of many departments are either elected or appointed. Often 4 years per term. Now for those who only do one term, there may not be much succession planning that’s carried out. I don’t feel no to leaders have the same visions. And always a new leader will definitely make his or her own changes. But for those who do two or more terms in an organization, I feel succession planning is definitely an effective and need tools for organizational and leadership development. The overall effort is to grow and advance your organization.

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    Timothy Sandlin

    A plan to develop employees from the beginning of their career to have opportunities to be carry the agency forward with competence, credibility, and the vision of the agency is a great idea. To be effective this has to be planned and deliberate and effective communicated. It is a good way to develop everyone as a leader. Through the process those of higher performance will be identified. This is difficult in an agency that has frequent turnover or administrations. I compare it to a football program that changes the head coach every couple of years. It is hard to build with that constant change in focus from the top.

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      Robert Schei

      I agree - great idea and should be well received. But yes leadership change at the top often makes it very hard to complete.

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    The four-step module from IACP seems to be a good recommendation to ensure succession from planning to implementation.

    I feel our office has a pretty good succession plan, but there isn’t a formal policy or checklist regarding succession. The sheriff is very in tuned to providing leadership training and encourages supervisors to prepare subordinates for the next level, as well as developing them for specialty assignments. Every deputy is provided online access to a series of leadership courses and we have access to a lot of training. All corporals are encouraged to attend LEEDA and all sergeants are encouraged to complete the LEEDA Trilogy. This course has been added for Sergeants and above. Experience in other divisions plays a roll for promotion, as well as feedback from supervisors and other divisions. We do our best to provide quality candidates and make it as difficult as possible for the Sheriff to make the final decision.

    Our toughest setbacks have been trying to keep up with growth and being able to train new hires. It seems when we are almost there, we add more positions to the roster and usually about the same time one or two retire or move on. Not to mention our hiring process isn’t the smoothest, but we are getting there.

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    "The ultimate test of leadership is how your people operate in your absence"

    I think succession planning fits nicely with this. As leaders we must always be training people in how to do our job. That is an implied task of mentoring and developing our followers. If we've been good, effective leaders, our followers will be prepared to take the lead in our absence. This module brought up some points that I had not thought about so far. I like the concept of a checklist and policy for succession planning.

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      Maja Donohue

      Jed, I agree with you about a couple of things. First, training your own replacement should be the norm, not the exception. And second, having a formalized and deliberate succession plan will ensure that things are not missed. I must admit I’ve never heard of a succession plan policy, but after watching this module, it absolutely makes sense to have one.

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    Nicole Oakes

    Our department is civil service and promotions are done by seniority. It is interesting because even though it is by seniority, you still see the "Worker Bees" rise to the top. Really what it means is that those people with a passion for the job and who are servant oriented usually are the ones who do most of the work. In this way they get recognition and are able to receive the training. This is about as close as we get to a succession plan.

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    Christopher Lowrie

    It is so important to try and eliminate gaps in institutional memory. Proper succession planning can help by the strategic placement of personnel at the right time.

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      I think that Christopher brings up a good point. Most agencies ignore gaps in institutional memory. While this was discussed in the module at a macro level, it really effects smaller departments on the micro level. For instance, many smaller agencies have that officer who is the "everything instructor". We all know this person. They are the one who has gone to every instructor course imaginable. Agencies who do not diversify their instructor pool find themselves in a bind when that person leaves the agency. This is even more important if the skill base is highly technical, like budget controller or someone who manages justice department data etc.

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    Robert Schei

    Succession planning is an ongoing dynamic process that ultimately helps an organization to align its goals and its human capital needs. Growing the next generation of public safety leaders may be the most significant and critical responsibility of senior law enforcement leaders today. Couldn't agree more.

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    After watching this presentation, I have a new found appreciation for succession planning. I have always believed in training your replacement/ cross-training. This is a military management approach that is used especially by units that are handing off operations in a combat zone. This is called the right seat - left seat ride. I think that LTC. Scott hit upon some key concepts. First, this process is formal and it begins at hiring. Second, the ultimate goal of succession planning is a seamless transition not matter the circumstance. Third, healthy -successful organizations have a succession plan. Last and probably most important; finding, developing, training, and mentoring junior leaders is critical to an organizations success. From a personal perspective, I was not surprised to find that the lessons learned from the IACP regarding this topic have all been covered in this course in one way or another.

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      Justin Payer

      David, You made some very good points. I have seen several incidents where a leader had to leave the job for one reason or another and a void was left. With succession plaining, that void could have been filled immediately instead of having a long transition phase.

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    I really enjoyed this module and I think it pointed out a lot of interesting facts. I think that succession planning is something that may agency is a little weak on. When supervisor and leadership positions open up due to retirement, promotion, or for other reasons, our Sheriff chooses someone to replace them after they are already gone. I think that hiring someone and transitioning them while the original person is still there would be very beneficial. It would show them how they handle things, current tasks they are taking care of, and more importantly what to kind of expect in that role. That would hopefully help a smoother transition process into that position. Something else that I would like to see my agency improve on would be leadership training for people that are younger and will potentially be in a leadership or supervisor role someday. My agency has improved dramatically in that area over the last few years, but it can always get better.

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      Same here Kari. We've gotten better with succession planning but nowhere near where we should be. We've started new sergeants before their predecessor leaves which is a good start. We also put our new sergeants through an FTO program with tasks and mentoring. There has been good feedback on this program. Not like the old days when you threw the keys at the new sergeant and say "good luck."

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    Frankly, this is a new concept in my agency. Succession planning however is an important step to the future success of any agency. In my office, we have an evolving process recently implemented to help identify future leaders. As this module alludes to, the overall package is what we should be looking for. Technical skills are only part of the equation to identify employees to take over leadership roles. This is a living process if done correctly. We need to follow the steps outlined by IACP as one example.

    For me, identifying future sergeants and lieutenants starts early on in a deputy's career. There is a natural element to come people that draws your attention. They are the "go-getters" of the agency. I put a lot of credit on someone being well-rounded. Technical skills, education, motivation, and so forth all come into play when I look for a future leader. We also have to invest in those we are grooming early on. Leadership is a skill and one that needs continually training to be successful.

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    Maja Donohue

    The obvious benefit of succession planning is to provide consistency in leadership over time and to eliminate substantial gaps in institutional memory. But I think the biggest benefit is the ability to quickly adapt to unexpected vacancies and resignations. We keep coming back to the concept of “putting the right people on the right bus and in the right seat,” and I think the only way to get this accomplished effectively is to focus on staff development. As Lt. Col. Wellington said, “we must create an environment where people understand the organizational culture and feel that they can attain and exercise leadership responsibilities.”

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    When a person is newly promoted we assign a FTO process to this new leader. I think that it would be more applicable to assign the newly promoted a mentor who is currently in the same role.

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      Matthew Menard

      I like this idea. Often times we think of FTO as only for newly hired employees not for someone who is promoted.

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    Jennifer Hodgman

    I agree with the content of this training module. Succession planning crucial to the long term growth and success in an organization. As leaders, we should always be looking for someone who we can groom to take our place so we can advance. We should also be developing our future leaders to do better at our jobs than we could.

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      Thomas Martin

      I agree that succession planning is crucial to the long term growth and success in our originations. We cannot see our people as “warm bodies filling a position.” It is imperative that we give our people everything we can to ensure their professional future, and the future of our organizations.

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    Matthew Menard

    We all have a "shelf life" when it comes to leading our organizations. Because of this, we should always be looking for the position we may be asked to fill, but also to mentor those who will take our place long before that time comes. I particularly liked the mentality of Ritz-Carlton in which they tell their managers they aren't going anywhere (promoting) until they can identify and training the person who will take their position.

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      Andy Opperman

      Great point about the Ritz Carlton philosophy. I think this would really avoid people getting into leadership positions that are only in it for themselves. The philosophy really forces the leader to give back and actually become a teacher, which is a whole different world then just performing a task yourself.

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      Ronald Smith

      The energy from the RItz-Carlton video brought me back to life. We have tried to sell an investment in leadership training to officers and staff. People just do not seem interested until after they were forced to go. The idea of the checklist is a good one, and the checklist could follow a person throughout their career.

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    Brad Strouf

    I feel that many agencies utilize an "informal" succession plan in their organizations. Many of the steps are taken, just not in a documented, formal manner. By implementing policy and process and creating a checklist, this will bolster the process and ensure future success.

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    Andy Opperman

    It is funny how when you watch a training like the module on succession planning you think how important a process like this is. Then you think to yourself why is our department not doing this. I think we are so tied up in the day today that our vision for the future really gets clouded. If you have some pull at your department following the four-step process for succession planning seems imperative. I think some people feel many times that favorites get picked for certain position which does happen, but to not fill future leadership voids because of that future could have drastic consequences. You allow people to walk out the door with a lot of knowledge that gets lost. Like expectations, succession planning had to be written in stone, with policy, mandated training, and with support from the administration.

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    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    Succession planning this writer feels is often overlooked due to getting bogged down in the day to day operations. To combat this as an organization it is imperative that we begin to develop leaders from day 1. Succession planning becomes clearer when an organization has a plethora of qualified leaders that fully understand the vision and mission of the organization. We as leaders can also develop succession plans within our area of control.

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      Sergeant Michael Prachel

      Yes, even at the initial hiring process as new employees, there should be some thought about future endeavors with the department. There should be some thought there if this person is a future leader, or can they mold the person to be a leader. Departments need to form that leadership pipeline, and like you said, start at day #1.

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        Scott Crawford

        I fully agree. The problem I run into is that in the corrections division, most peoples goal is to get out to patrol as quickly as possible. Finding good people to mold and shape that are willing to stay is a tough process.

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      Steve Mahoney

      i agree. We do get bogged down and this gets pushed to the back burner. We need to have a plan written out on paper and follow it just as religiously as we do other trainings and plans

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    Marshall Carmouche

    Succession planning is good for the agency to remain vibrant in its leadership. I try to allow those under my supervision to obtain all the training they possibly can. Hopefully, the more training received the better the personnel may become.

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      Derek Champagne

      Good point Marshall. I also encourage those I lead to attempt to attend as much training as they can. I also encourage them to implement the things they learned in hopes of preparing them for future leadership roles.

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      Zach Roberts

      Marshall,
      I would absolutely agree, it is extremely important for succession planning within an organization. I as well try to allows those under my supervision to obtain all the training they possibly can as I believe this will only help develop them over time.

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    Ronald Smith

    I have stated it is up to me to train my replacement for years. This succession planning tool is a good look at how to do that. I enjoy mentoring people, but many of the people we hire now do not have any aspiration of advancing. We just held a Sergeant Promotion process eight people tested, 30 people were eligible. I do not understand this generation.

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    Sergeant Michael Prachel

    This module caught my attention because it’s not a topic we may tend to think about. The module mentioned that in law enforcement, the only constant is change. Succession should be planned – if so, it can be a smooth transition. I’m sure many veteran officers have seen transitions that were both smooth, and a complete mess.

    A great point made is when we are hiring employees, we need to immediately think about the future and where this person could fit. They are our future leaders and we should be already thinking about molding them to become leaders.

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      Sgt. Samantha Koscher

      I agree Mike. I think it is crucial to hire for character traits and shared values. Once they are a part of the organization, we can nurture those character traits and technical skills to develop them into our future leaders.

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    Steve Mahoney

    I have always heard my chiefs, and sheriffs talk about how their goal is to get their employees hired as chiefs or supervisors at a higher rank at their department or another. I never had a chief, sheriff or commander actually have a plan on doing that. This module gives a great way for all departments to institute succession planning

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    Eric Sathers

    I see the idea of succession planning take place at my agency, however, I am not aware of any formal process. In fact, I think it would be somewhat difficult to implement a formal process in a public agency where promotions are through a formalized process, typically managed by civil service rules. Regardless, there is quite a bit that can still be done to prepare a group of potential candidates for success by offering cross-training and leadership development. Either way, it is crucial to not allow a person to retire with all the knowledge about how to do a particular position or job without having a backup plan.

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    Sgt. Samantha Koscher

    Succession planning can help make transitions to new positions more smooth. Succession planning allows for the transfer of knowledge and experiences to limit the "gap" experienced when a new leader takes over. Leaders can evaluate their current staff and nurture their leadership potential. I liked the idea presented about cross training. This allows for staff to see things from a difference perspective and allows an opportunity for professional growth.

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      Buck Wilkins

      The cross training is a great plan. We used to do it more often at my agency when we were not low staffed as we are now. But it really helps to learn other things within your agency.

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    Paul Brignac III

    To a degree I believe succession planning comes as a result as a connection to the department you work for that goes beyond money or status. I believe those that have a genuine love for their department and their community naturally create succession plans to ensure things continue to grow after they retire.

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    Thomas Martin

    It was said many years ago that when someone was replaced the new person only learned ten percent of what the previous person knew. The proper use of succession planning would greatly enhance this percentage. It would behoove organizational senior leadership to implement these practices into their policy and procedure.

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    Buck Wilkins

    If more agencies used succession planning I feel that when the time came for someone to be moved up the chain they would be more prepared. I know this is seldom used at my agency and people are placed in positions that truly have no idea what they are doing.

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      I agree. We are in the same situation and succession planning is scares. The impact if any leader, at any level, leads is felt significantly until we can get someone to assume their role. It makes for a very disruptive time and transfer.

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    Scott Crawford

    Our agency does not use succession planning as described in the lecture. I know I was lucky enough to train under a few supervisors who used a hybrid model of succession planning.

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    I think the point regarding the 4 step succession plan using the IACP model is a very valuable takeaway. Our agency, due to both it's size and turn over rate, has done a poor job of succession planning. We have many single points of failure which make me quite nervous to say the least. I found this module very thought provoking.

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    Travis Linskens

    Succession planning is an important concept at every level of an agency. Making sure a succession plan is in order will make the need to replace someone that much easier and smoother. Developing people is challenging at first but in my opinion it makes your job easier long term because it allows you to delegate to a more competent lower level.

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    Brent Olson

    Succession planning is paramount in any organization, however I feel like many times it is not given the appropriate level of priority. I know in the past my organization has lost a key leadership position and it was a bit of a struggle for us to get the position filled, and someone caught up on the role and responsibilities of the position. Had succession planning been in place, the selection process and transition would have been much less of an issue. I currently supervise many from a younger generation and succession planning will be necessary in order to retain many of them. I have found with this generation many have clear promotion based goals, and are not afraid to express them and insist on ways to improve from me to help them succeed.

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      Kenneth Davis

      Brent- I feel the same way. My agency has begun to take this key process seriously, but it took a new Chief from an area where succession planning is pre-eminent to make it happen. We are better off... in so many ways, with his style of leadership. Our challenge presently is finding folks who want to enter the succession planning portal. Recruiting has not only been difficult in the line, but also at the command staff level.

      Best and stay safe-

      Ken

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      Chris Crawford

      Agreed. I think this has to be a never ending consistent priority conducted by all leaders in all positions.

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    Kenneth Davis

    Succession planning should be a key goal in any agency. The ability to early identify emerging leaders to contribute to an agency's growth allows for unlimited potential (Scott, 2021). My current agency has, in the last eighteen months, embarked upon succession planning- a first for us. It took the appointment of an Authentic Leader to show our agency the value of planning for the future and mentoring talented officers to take the reins of the department as our current leadership moves into retirement. Prior to his arrival, there was no plan, no program no mentorship...it is thought it was just whomever was next in line- not a great way to pick leaders.

    What has been a substantial undertaking, in the immediacy of our work, is finding folks that plan to make a long-term career in our department...or even policing in general. It has been a challenge for us and will likely continue to be so.

    References
    Scott, W. (2021). Succession Planning. Module # 6, Week # 4. national Command and Staff College.

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      Gregory Hutchins

      Interestingly, the people exist within the organization. Verbalizing a commitment to stay within the organization is often reserved due to the current climate, audience, and context. Out of self-preservation, many do not want to let others, especially their leaders, know of their career aspirations out of fear of retaliation. Too often, senior leaders on learning personnel want to change divisions, precincts, or departments they are ostracized. Many of our talented personnel desire to stay here, but only if they know they are appreciated, valued, and wanted. As transparency of plans such as succession planning is desired by our officers, affording the junior officers with the future template of the agency along with the desired career path requirements provides them with direction and purpose. While things change, often frequently, it is an inherent responsibility of the senior leaders, genuinely committed to the organization's future, to promote the future, to gain buy-in and engagement. Failure to do so results in the continued old-school mentality and stagnation poisoning the organization.

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    Kaiana Knight

    I think that succession planning is very important for any organization to succeed. I think that the lesson explained in great detail why we should succession plan, the benefits of succession planning, and the qualities to look for when succession planning. Several of my coworkers are cross-trained to do different positions in the department I work in. As stated in the lesson, training and cross training helps people grow personally and to help the organization protect itself from positions that can become a single point of failure. I think that if we succession plan early, it will benefit us in the long run.

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      Kevin Balser

      Cross-training is important to any department and in my agency, there is some emphasis on this. I do manage this internally within my division and try to cultivate those future leaders.

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    Jay Callaghan

    Great points on being proactive within our organizations to develop, maintain, and retain the leaders within our organization. The IACP points of interests are a great resource on how agencies can go about their respective succession plans. Many times organizations will lose a leo leader to retirement. That leader may have years of institutional knowledge and established relationships with external partners that would be beneficial to their successors. It is important that succession plans be established sooner rather than later and be part of the norm to prevent gaps in service and productivity.

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    Chris Crawford

    The succession planning process should be a never ending process by all leaders in an agency beginning with the new recruit. All position's should be viewed as temporary with a consistent vigilance for finding a replacement. This should start from observing a new recruit still in the academy.

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      Robert Vinson

      This is a great point. Every new hire we have in FTO has the potential to impact the next thirty years at our agencies. I think as you say, it's important we look at it as a continuous cycle and are mindful of future upward progression.

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    Robert Vinson

    Succession planning is obviously an invaluable tool to induce forward momentum and lifelong progression in the agency. It's frustrating that more careful thought and planning is not put into success planning. It seems that in many departments promotions are not considered until a vacancy is available, at which point it is too late. Others seem to just utilize longevity to fill spots which I also do not believe is ideal. This module was an eye opener for me and something I hope to encourage at my own agency.

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      Burt Hazeltine

      I agree that in the past not enough planning was put into the future of a department. My agency has made important steps forward to prepare the future leaders of my agency. I hope that many other departments take the steps necessary to provide quality leaders in the future.

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      Darryl Richardson

      Robert, I agree with your statement. I feel that with my department offering the leadership program to everyone even new hires as soon as they start and also having personnel participate in Command College they are going in a better direction .

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    Derek Champagne

    Succession planning is something every agency should do to better prepare the incoming leader for the position. New leaders are often having to learn on their own with little guidance. As a Deputy you may show up to work on a Friday as a Deputy and then on the following Monday you could be a Sergeant. You are then expected to go and do Sergeant things without ever being told what those “Sergeant things” are. Using this as an example, this seems to happen in all ranks.

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      Ronald Springer

      Derek,
      It was very true that happens very often. It seems we lose people all the time in my agency some planned, but most unplanned. And the way we seem to replace people is by everyone interested applying and a drawn out selection process. It does not appear that we use a succession planning process because all positions are posted to the entire agency.

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    Ronald Springer

    Succession planning is not something I often think about. I don’t have any say in hiring, promotions, or training. I can only hope that we use succession planning as part of the decision making progress but I have never been a witness to the process.

    Scott, W. (2017). Succession planning. Module 6, Weeks 7 & 8. National Command and Staff College.

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    Burt Hazeltine

    Succession planning is as important to an organization as recruiting, if not more important. So often agencies spend more time and money to get and retain officers than they do to prepare them for future leadership. If we are preparing every officer to be a leader, we are then preparing our agency for the future. Planning for this is vitally important. The fact that our agencies are participating in a program such as Command College, they see the need and value in planning for the future.

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    Kevin Balser

    I have begun my internal assessment of personnel within my division so that I can identify future leaders. I will have within the next two years two lieutenants and a sergeant that will likely retire. These positions will certainly leave a void in my staff but I do feel confident with personnel that I currently have in place that making those transitions will be smooth. Succession planning is an important part of this process and there is a need to continually evaluate the staff so that future leaders can be devloped.

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      Andrew Peyton

      Kevin, although I am not in a position to conduct promotions, I too find it important to recognize future leaders. As a Sergeant, I evaluate my personnel and identify those I believe will be the future of our agency. Often, I am approached by leaders in other divisions looking for guidance when making promotional decisions or transfers when my personnel are included.

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      David Mascaro

      I am in the same position as you, I just have a little more time to mentor the replacements. The agency will change dramatically within the next 5 years.

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    Darryl Richardson

    A succession plan aids in the preparation of the next generation of leaders. This is critical for any law enforcement agency's long-term success. For my Agency leadership development has undoubtedly played a role, but so has a cultural shift. Many people have been "passed over" by those who have worked harder and been more dependable.

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    Andrew Peyton

    Succession planning is critical for the health and growth of an organization. If we fail to plan for the future, tenured employees will retire and the knowledge and job experiences leave with them. through programs such as this, we are ensuring the development of future leaders.

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      Jose Alvarenga

      This is true. I also feel that without succession planning as the leaders progress you will have unprepared supervisors under you. This can cause management issues prior to anyone even retiring.

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      Jerrod Sheffield

      Andrew,
      I agree that succession planning is crucial in any organization. We must plan accordingly by thinking into the future and training the proper people to take our place when the time comes. We must leave behind a legacy that will carry new leaders into the next chapter and have confidence that they will thrive in doing so because we have paved the way for them to succeed.

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    Succession planning is something I think my agency needs to work on. We may have certain leaders / individuals; that refuse to share their knowledge. This is all due to possible job insecurity; fear that someone will take their place. If we build a culture of that endorses succession planning; it may help the future of our agency.

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      Kyle Phillips

      You make a good point about supervisors/senior leadership keeping information hidden to ensure job security. I believe we have a similar situation where our Agency doesn't currently have a known succession plan, job insecurity may be the reason why. I can see how the culture embracing the succession planning process would lead to greater feelings of job security.

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    David Mascaro

    I have been conducting an assessment of two potential candidates that possess the qualities outlined in this module. In my division, we will be losing a lieutenant and two sergeants within the next five years. This is going to be an issue department wide as a majority of the commander positions are held by people who all graduated the academy together. Although there is no uniformed succession plan in place within my agency, I will develop and implement one as it is a necessity.

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    Jose Alvarenga

    Succession planning is extremely important for the advancement of the agency. Our agency has a point system place where points are issued depending on certain objectives you can only receive a max amount of points in each field. These points are issued for time in the agency, extra activities, interview, and merits. I definitely don't think its perfect but beats the time in service promotion. I definitely feel that when you reach a Captain level and above promotion those should be appointed. I believe at that point the point system is useless and the Lieutenant who fits the particular position should be appointed to that area.

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    Gregory Hutchins

    The steps provided to support the development of an effective succession plan for an organization will always rely upon the commitment of the senior leadership. Without their buy-in and engagement, the discussions about creating and implementing a plan are just that, a discussion. Too often, senior leaders create their fiefdoms to consolidate their power to stay in their position.
    Subordinates are moved into positions to protect the individual's interests, often those not appropriately aligned to those of the organization. One sees the promotion of individuals not because they have potential, but more so they are a problem that needs to go away. Sadly, these types of individuals continue to find ways to promote and gain influence. These situations erode the legitimacy of any stated plan or program of the department to solicit, mentor, train, and promote those that genuinely represent the department's future.

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    Kyle Phillips

    This module was very informative. I have not heard much prior to this module on succession planning. One thing that came to mind was Agency/Organization size and does that effect the success of this succession planning strategy. I think that clearly stating rewards as they pertain to promotion is a challenging thing to do, as there are often not enough rewards to go around in a smaller Agencies and employees begin to feel discouraged if passed over through multiple attempts. Working with those employees towards future development can aid them in the future processes, but with limited room for advancement poor moral and cynicism can set in with employees whom feel they have repeatedly been passed over. Although our Agency doesn't currently have a shared succession plan, I feel as a supervisor that I am responsible to my employees to ensure that I am providing valuable feedback, direction, flexibility and opportunities for growth so that they can achieve their career goals.

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      This is just my belief, before my first series of leadership courses, but succession planning seemed to be a "secret" and some considered it perhaps the "good ol' boy" theory. Although some of that may be true, I truly believe every leader in any organization, no matter its size, wants to leave their organization with their strategy and long term goals in place, which is why often times they do mentor a couple of people. Larger organizations most certainly need a more formal plan and we all know there isn't room for everyone on the promotional ladder, so we must lead them to be leaders at every level, because that is exactly what we need. And I completely agree with your assessment of your responsibilities. The most challenging times are when we are mentoring someone that does not necessarily achieve their career goals. Continue to mentor and coach them, too.

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        Jacqueline Dahms

        Agreed. Up until about 8 years ago, succession wasn't a thing in my division. The people in leadership recognized the amount of retirements we would have in a few short years and quickly developed appointed positions for track formal succession. The appointment hasn't been received well by most staff because of the extra duties and little to no positional benefit other than pay. It has help identified those that are truly interested in the future of the organization and those that were in it for power or money.

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    I am very excited about our future in my organization. Although I am getting to be one of the "older" ones now, I see many staff members with great strengths continue to build on their experience and become stronger leaders themselves. Although not extremely formal, my agency has preached cross-training and leadership development for many years. We have provided many avenues for leadership training, and our cross-training availability is almost never-ending. We have expectations for staff wanting to be promoted that they must complete all four sections of the Institute of Credible Leadership Development and complete their basic emergency managers certificate, with additional educational expectations for those seeking further promotion to the senior command level. I have found myself with an assignment in nearly every division in our office because a wise captain once told me, "patrol will always be there." I now preach that same sentiment and have benefitted greatly from having experience in multiple divisions in order to see the larger picture in a lot of what I do. And knowing there are great people in the pipeline, it is awesome to be a part of that.

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      Brian Smith

      Sounds like you are very lucky to be in a forward thinking organization. My current agency has experienced so much growth and change in the last five years, there is little consideration for department-wide succession planning. Even my previous agency did a poor job at it. Leadership training was hap-hazard. And, it was unofficially determined the Sergeant Apprentice training produced less sergeants than those who never went through the training program. Keep up the current work at your agency with your development programs!

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    Zach Roberts

    Succession planning is something my agency has never had or done. They played the next man up and he or she will learn while on the job game. This has proven to put the wrong people in the wrong positions which has created failure for many. The need for succession planning is critical. Since I have taken on the role Lieutenant, I have begun to develop a plan for succession which includes identify the people taking initiatives, putting together a good work product, positive attitude and sharing the same value and mission on the department.

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      Jeff Byrne

      Zach, My agency found ourselves in your position about 7 years ago and it almost had some pretty devastating results. That's great you have started that planning for your agency. Such a critical component in a law enforcement agency.

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    Jeff Byrne

    Succession planning was weal in our agency until about 7 years ago when we were found scrambling to put forth a viable candidate for Sheriff after the "chosen" candidate from outside of the agency found himself in legal trouble. The Sheriff we elected should have been the "chosen" candidate from within our organization from the beginning many of us felt. Ever since he got elected, succession planning was at the top of his list to put in place so we didn't find ourselves in that predicament again. The importance of succession panning can not be overstated in a law enforcement organization.

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    Jacqueline Dahms

    I think succession planning is great if it's executed with fairness. I believe there are leaders out there that cheerlead for their "person" because it is "their" turn. I call this "the good 'ol boys club". Having a systematic plan in place that levels the playing field, is fair, comparable and void of discrimination is important. Identifying the right people for the job is vital.

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      Andrew Ashton

      Jacqueline you are correct that too often people are put into positions when they are not the correct fit. As stated in the module, you must have the right people in the right seats on the bus in order for it to run and operate properly.

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    Brian Smith

    Where I see many organizations fail at preparing future leaders is in short-term losses, such as sickness and injuries. Many places are busy looking five to ten years ahead (if that), they forget about the potential for sudden and immediate losses. Wellington pointed out a great point that succession planning must not be only for the pending retirements but also for the unexpected. Building the leadership program from the start of one’s career allows an agency to be set if a major catastrophe or loss occurred.

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    Andrew Ashton

    Our Sheriff has been engaging all the supervisors over the past few years with succession planning. As our agency grows with the population in our County it is obvious that the command structure must change. This usually begins with the retirement of many command staff personnel. We are currently in a position that will have those who replace the ones leaving will have longevity to give the agency as well and forward thinking.

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    Curtis Summerlin

    I like the idea of a written succession plan with a policy and checklist. I know that our Sheriff thinks towards the future and has an idea who he wants where for the long run, but I do not think it is a written policy. We have an unwritten rule that you are always training your replacement and should be teaching them what you know so they will be ready to move up.
    I believe this has helped as our agency is experiencing a great deal of growth, with positions and units coming online faster than ever.

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      Tyler Thomas

      The unwritten rule of developing the person who will replace you is critical. The idea of a policy and checklist falls in the same category as a training matrix. I believe creating a training matrix to show what training officers should seek or accomplish over the years is a good way to help develop. The problem I'm currently facing is the lack of motivation from anyone to grow since we don't have a lot of different positions to offer since we are a small agency.

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    Tyler Thomas

    Succession planning is critical. Large agencies generally benefit the most from succession planning as the number of potential leaders is greater. Small agencies or even micro-agencies have a small number of employees and positions. Succession planning in my small agency is on the right track but previous leaders and supervisors did not believe it in so the current staff is behind the 8 ball in succession planning development.

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      Jared Paul

      Tyler,

      I can definitely see the struggles with implementing succession planning at a smaller agency. I worked at a pretty small agency prior to my current one, and we did not have any form of succession planning. The admin had been in their positions for years and they were not planning on leaving anytime soon. This gave them a misconstrued perception that they did not need to plan for replacement or future growth,

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    Jared Paul

    I am very new to the succession planning of my agency. A few years ago it was identified that our agency needed to implement a succession plan. We are continuing our succession planning regularly now, and I can say that I have seen a huge difference. Being able to effectively identify the organizational needs has allowed us to grow. We have added new lateral assignments, develop our leadership staff, and identify the future interests among the officers. We are getting ready to send out our next succession planning survey which allows our officers to inform us of what lateral and promotional positions they are interested in, in the near future. This allows us to create lists, cross-train and develop the skills of those officers accordingly.

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    Jerrod Sheffield

    Succession planning should be something that all agencies have in place. As time goes on, the current leadership will retire and be replaced with ones below them who will take the torch to the next level of moving forward. All levels within our organizations should have plans put in place in the event a position has to be filled at a moments notice. Our agency promotes cross training as one way to get a glimpse into other divisions within our office. This aids in helping us all function in unison and helps each of us understand all aspects of how our agency functions. We do not currently have a written policy in place, but we do strive to train those below us to take our positions when the need arises. We maintain a good level of communication that flows very well and helps prepare each of us for the next step in the leadership ladder of success.

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    Glenn Hartenstein

    At our agency, our Chief has discussed succession planning with our command staff and supervisors. Unfortunately, in today's anti-police environment, it has been difficult to find quality recruits to meet the demand of our profession. Prior to covid, our Chief would meet with our Command staff and supervisors on a yearly basis, usually in a retreat setting, to discuss the future growth of our city, our department, and our staff. During these meetings, a five-year strategic plan was developed to address these issues and the development of our employees to meet these challenges. Succession planning is critical for the growth of any department and necessary to meet the demands of the people we serve.

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      Glenn, you are correct. Succession planning is critical for the growth of any department and it is needed especially in today's society. These past couple years have been hard on law enforcement. However, planning future leaders within the department will be key to the success after the hard times have pasted.

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    David Cupit

    Succession planning is a great idea and I wish more agencies would the process set forth in this module. The problem i have seen in organization is most people are just trying to get ahead and not worried about the agency once they are gone.

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      Trent Johnson

      Agreed, although I don't know if it that they care only about themselves as much as they may lack the foresight. Obviously there are those who are only concerned for their own advancement, but I really do believe that this is a relatively new concept despite being discussed in a 1999 IACP conference. I don't know how wide spread the idea has been, but I will credit this course with making information such as this far more accessible to those not in the roles of Chiefs and Sheriffs.

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      Kimberley Baugh

      I agree David, it is very important. Another problem I have seen in some people is they do not want to show people what they know; that person tries to make them self irreplaceable.

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    Trent Johnson

    I first heard the term succession planing in a class I attended about a month ago and I was blown away that there was a philosophy of preparing the agency for vacancies of certain leadership positions. Most agencies I have worked in and seen do not plan for this and leave a vacancy for months on end while testing, interviewing and evaluations take place. This is brilliant and I hope to one day be able to put it to use as I near my end at my agency.

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    Joey Brown

    Succession planning is critical for law enforcement organizations in the development of future leaders and survival of the department. From experience, this process is at the bottom of most police agencies checklist and is only a box that is checked once it is discussed.

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    A few years ago we had a senior staff officer that retired very quickly due to health concurs. He was our Administrative Captain, which is responsible for our budget, fleet, equipment, and support services. When he retired, it placed a large burden on the department, and we really suffered for several months. The loss of his knowledge and experience was felt for years. From that point, we started developing a succession plan. We learned from our mistakes and now we heavily invest in a successful succession plan for leaders.

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      Steven Mahan

      Johnathon, I can see how that would affect the entire organization. Sometimes I think people are afraid to succession plan because it gives up a small portion of their control or makes them feel like they are prepping for a replacement. We can all see how effective leaders would be more interested in the organization than themselves. I am happy to see your agency made the appropriate changes.

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    Kimberley Baugh

    This module focuses on succession planning. Succession planning is a necessity for the organization to grow. It is involves preparing your agency and staff for open leadership roles. Everyone should be cross trained and have the ability to get the required tasks completed. It is critical to have your staff cross trained because you don’t want a vital supervisory spot to suddenly become open and you have no one to fill it. The agency needs to implement the four steps for succession planning when filling vacancies.

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    Stephanie Hollinghead

    Succession planning is an area within my department that has and is lacking. I think cross-training is important as well as mentorship. Succession planning was not even considered previously in my agency or at least I never heard leaders talk about it. When we promote people into positions without any planning, they have challenges to overcome. They tend to spend more time early on learning to do the job instead of focusing on things that need attention. What I have seen in my agency and what I am trying to push out “is the knowledge is power” mentality. For some giving up knowledge is like replacing them before they are ready to go. This is a huge disservice to the agency in the long run.

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      Dustin Burlison

      I right Stephanie. In my agency, our Sheriff makes it a point to rotate people around in leadership positions to cross train them, let them see the agency as a whole, and to learn to be flexible in their styles. Many of us don't even decorate our offices because of the rate of change. It was initially very frustrating for everyone, but we began to see the bigger picture, we are always excited to learn about our next assignment. It has done wonders for our agency, I hope yours will be more open to it in the future.

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        Magda Fernandez

        Dustin, I am glad to see that agencies all over the country are embracing the strategy you discussed. All specialized positions, at any rank, are rotational. It allows officers, leaders, and supervisors to get valuable experience in a variety of roles. Whenever an opening is expected or unexpected for collateral duties or promotion, our leadership team is aware of current abilities, experience levels, and future potential. A great way to keep the organization on track, as long as the mentoring continues as people move up the ranks.
        V/r,
        Magda

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    Dustin Burlison

    Succession planning is a great way to ensure the hard work of leadership continues long after they are gone. It also allows the agency to keep pushing towards its goals and mission in the case of an unexpected absence. I like how this module builds on all of the previous ones because to properly identify the future leaders you must first empower them to make decisions, train them on leadership, and let them drive the train from time to time so the good ones have an opportunity to rise to the top.

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    Steven Mahan

    I liked LTC Scott's 4 step plan. I felt it was easy for any agency to follow. I thought it might be a little out of order, though. The succession plan would begin with senior-level leadership establishing the plan and then developing the policy. That would be followed then by forming a succession planning checklist. Then the agency would be able to select future leaders and begin the process. I can see it from the previous order because leaders can see those who have potential even before the plan is organized.

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      Matt Lindsey

      I agree I found the 4 step plan beneficial. It caused me think about how my department views succession planning and the need for a more formal process.

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    Magda Fernandez

    A common theme on some of these topics we have studied is directly and indirectly posed: failure to plan is planning to fail. The four steps were a big surprise for me, as our chief instituted these steps and selected candidates based on the categories in the lesson. We may not have understood what he was doing, as it wasn't communicated or explained, but he had candidates essentially audition in acting roles to evaluate our current skills and future potential for those future roles. He saw the needs for the future and planned for it. I only wish he would have communicated this planning throughout the ranks so we could support the process he implemented with passion, instead of occasional confusion. Other agencies are not so lucky, and flounder due to not putting the right people in the right places for various reasons.

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    Jared Yancy

    Failure to plan is planning to fail, is very true statement. As a leader, you should always have a plan. The four steps explained by Scott are something that every agency should use. When you have the wrong people in certain places, the organization will fail. Cross-training others within your agency is the best thing to do. Certain positions should have multiple people that know how to do them, and this is why succession planning is a great tool to use.

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      Rodney Kirchharr

      This saying is a staple in everything we do, if we are not prepared then we are failing the entire organization. We do not want to let our people down like that and should be working everyday to prevent that from happening.

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      Deana Hinton

      My agency is in this tight spot right now. In the coming year we are facing mass exits of our leadership and their are not enough leaders in the wings to fill the spots. We are looking at a crisis, especially due to the fact we will also be getting an new Sheriff. How it will unfold will not be attractive.

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    Rodney Kirchharr

    Succession planning is something that is needed in all agencies. We as an agency have been struck at least twice with deaths that left positions open that needed to be filled, but there was not a plan in place. Cross-training is the one thing that I think needs to be done more of, I see people who are in positions for a majority of their career and while they are great at their job, if the need arose they would struggle with stepping in to help in other positions. While most of those people are capable to take the other roles, the down time of them learning the ins and outs would be a failure in my book. If there were people already prepared then we as an agency would have less lag in the future.

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      George Schmerer

      I agree with your point on cross-training. I do not think agencies do enough cross-training when it comes to critical roles within an organization. The premise that someone could step in and perform the task is the only thought that typically the organization is concerned about. However, there is a significant amount of institutional knowledge that is lost when effective cross-training is not accomplished. The next person coming in will unnecessarily struggle if an effective succession plan was not in place.

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      Dan Sharp

      I agree. I have seen this many times where someone is in a specialized job for a number of years and when they leave the agency struggles to find a replacement and then has to slow down and wait for them to get up to speed. Cross-training is a great way to combat this. Unfortunately, I don't see much cross-training going on in my agency.

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    Deana Hinton

    I think one of the most critical objectives in succession planning has to be having a program that provides a clear path to career development. Within my own agency this is a huge issue. When someone approaches leadership with a request on how to achieve a career path, there is no clear answer. Everyone gives advise but there is no path. This leads to frustration and I believe is a contributing factor in great people going to other agencies where paths are clear. We are in desperate need of direction in succession planning.

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    Donald Vigil

    My agency's succession planning starts at the officers' level from when they are first hired. In order to increase their officer step levels for pay bumps they are required to take certain classes in each step level to enhance their professional growth and overall knowledge. As the steps increase so does the level of classes that they are required to attend which is usually in line with their years of service and experience.

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    George Schmerer

    This module on succession planning is critical to the overall health of the organization. Without a succession plan in place, the agency will struggle with the development of the next leadership core. Succession plans also allow officers to know what the expectations are for advancement. Staff development and cross-training staff members are important to the over mission capabilities of an organization. It allows officers to step into new roles quickly with little impact on the overall effectiveness of the department.

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      Kent Ray

      I agree that the potential candidates must be aware of requirements, duties, and expectations. Obviously, we do not do a very good job of preparing officers for promotion or to step into their supervisor’s role, because they are always surprised by the amount of work, responsibility, and the learning curve.

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    Michael McLain

    Until my agency began incorporating this college into the promotion process. We had did not have a plan or method other than departmental time for promotions.

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    Matt Lindsey

    Succession planning is critical to the continuity of the organization. Recently, my department has experienced a high number of retirements due to experienced officers and supervisors reaching the end of their career. There were several factors leading to this, but it shined a light on the importance of preparing employees to be the future leaders of the organization. I think mentoring is an important aspect of this and often occurs informally. The specific succession planning steps provided were informative and highlighted the importance of having a systematic plan in place to address the need of succession planning.

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      Jeremy Harrison

      Matt,
      I would like to see more succession planning take place. Like most things though, someone would have to take the ball and run with it. Unfortunately, everyone is so busy, it is hard to find someone or a group to work out the kinks and implement a program which could formalize mentoring and succession planning more. I wrote in my original post how I was concerned our union would fight tooth and nail if we implemented some type of formal succession planning program. From personal conversations, they do not want our command to have much, if any, input into who is promoted and leading our department into the future. Our union wants the department to primarily use outside assessors to determine our department’s future. We will see how this works out but of all the items thus far in the program, this seems to be the heaviest lift to me.

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    Andrew Weber

    I wish my agency had a better succession plan. We seem to look at the ones that work on bettering themselves first, and then through testing, do they test well enough to make it to the next part. I think the promotion processes should incorporate more of the agency's mission, values, and ask about qualities of people instead of simple knowledge of the job. I work with a supervisor who is very book smart. People don't like working under him because he has no people skills.
    I think I just found a project I can work on for my agency.

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    Dan Sharp

    Mentoring and cross-training are so very important to any succession plan. They keep the continuity of the organization going. Recently, my agency has seen an extraordinary number of retirements. These were in leadership positions and specialized positions in the department. As a result, we have implemented a mentoring program for newly promoted lieutenants and captains through the training center. We have also begun selecting replacements for key specialized positions when we are aware the person in the position is going to be leaving in the near future. This allows for the new person to shadow and learn the position before they take it over.

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      Lawrence Dearing

      This is awesome, Dan, that you have a succession plan in place to develop your future leaders. Like you, my agency has undergone quite a transformation in recent years with many retirements. Unfortunately, we have only recently (in the last 5 or so years) begun to develop a sort of succession plan and mentorship for future leadership, so we had to learn a lot of this the hard way. However, the plan has seen some success and this training course only enhances that.

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    Jeremy Harrison

    My department does not have any formal succession planning in place. There are some informal efforts in that some people are selected to gain diverse experience or are sent to schools such as this one. Unfortunately, we generally wait until a person has left a position before their replacement is identified and the position is filled. Some of the lack of succession planning is due to our very strong union who would file grievances if one person was overtly identified in advance for opportunities others were not. Low manpower is probably the second reason we do not do any formal succession planning. However, we have started somewhat of a mentorship program for new supervisors when they get promoted. The new supervisors are required to spend a couple of weeks with another supervisor, have meetings with their new boss, and are taught how to do critical parts of their jobs. Unfortunately, when a person is not being promoted and is only being transferred, there is not a formal plan to teach that person critical skills. I would be interested to see if we could pull of a formal succession plan with the current state of our union and manpower.

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      Jeff Spruill

      This is one argument for encouraging movement and rotation. Succession planning in an agency where formalized processes are difficult (like ours) can b somewhat improved if more people are cross-trained in key positions. I know that we have fond it tough to move people regularly against their will, but if we make it clear and build a culture where leaders' willingness to rotate around is a sign that they desire advancement, we may get more buy-in. It's no fix-all obviously, because people who don't desire advancement may lock up key spots, but being more transparent in saying "unwillingness by a supervisor to move is a clear signal that they do not desire advancement" may actually help some. Right now we let that be assumed and I'm not sure very many people get that concept.

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    Kent Ray

    Currently my agency follows the basic leadership rule of leaders are expected to train and prepare subordinates to be their replacements. The agency is small enough so the potential replacements are easily defined. We do need to formalize the process and make time to execute on the training. Then we need to continue the development of the potential replacements. The use of the IACP four step succession planning process is a sound starting point that will allow us to begin formalizing our succession planning process.

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      Devon Dabney

      Having a plan in place for the future can solve a lot of issues when retirement arrives for older supervisors. Individuals at all levels in a organization tend to be more comfortable when there is a plan in place because it reminds them of their goal.

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    Jeff Spruill

    As Jeremy has mentioned above, we have the barrier of a very strong union that makes succession planning somewhat tough. But IACP's process also provides some framework for how to do better successional planning in a way that cab be successfully bargained. For example, the concept of the "checklist" can be adapted to provide a kind of list of qualifications, desirable qualities, and so on can allow the succession planning process to be based on a type of application process or board structure (even if somewhat informal). This way, being recognized as future talent for particular positions has more to do with assessable, objective performance and not a "good ole-boy" system.

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    Devon Dabney

    Succession planning is effective when done correctly. Law enforcement profession should take succession planning seriously, especially given the constant overturn in our profession. Properly identifying and training future leaders is the key for long term success of any department.

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    Succession planning: An excellent module to reinforce that human capital is the life blood of the organization and must be cultivated. I have been planning my succession for the past 7 years, mentoring and developing various subordinates looking to see who will rise to the occasion. There are many capable candidates waiting to assume my duties. On the other hand, I have witnessed other leaders who do not develop or cultivate the subordinates under their command, keeping a “lock” on their position so it seems no one can replace them. There seems to be a sense of ambivalence on the part of their superiors as their succession attitude has not changed over the years. This style of leadership does hold promise for the organization in that since they are “locked-in”, they will not advance any further. This module was on point in relation to the qualities that are helpful to look for in a servant leader, all of which these “locked-in” selfish leaders do not have.

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      Tommy “Chris” Weeks

      I thought this was a great idea as well. You're not able to move up until you train someone for your position. Organizations would run way smoother if this was implemented.

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    Chris Fontenot

    This succession planning module was inspiring. Not only did the lesson discuss the basic principles, it explained in detail the process recommended by the IACP.

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    Lawrence Dearing

    It is the ultimate compliment to an organization to train its successors from within. There are many surrounding agencies who have repeatedly hired outside their organization for Chief and senior leadership. Fortunately, my agency has become adept at providing good leadership training and mentoring and developing our leadership team from within, making seamless transitions with promotions and lateral moves within our organization when vacancies come about. I really liked this module, and took some ideas from the IACP model to enhance our own plan.

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    Jimmie Stack

    Succession planning is critical in any job setting. Most senior members take their knowledge with them when they leave their respective jobs. Having a sound succession plan bodes well not only for the agency but for the community members it serves. Being a selfish person by not sharing your experiences causes catastrophic damage to the agency and the members of the department. I have always said Aspire to inspire before you expire. A good leader will be judge not by all the knowledge he or she has obtained but by how one shares that knowledge with the personnel underneath their command.

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    Mitchell Lofton

    I have never honestly thought of succession planning in this manner or depth. I have always thought it was part of my job to teach my team what I do and to watch and learn from my supervisors what they do so that I am preparing myself. I believe my current division does this well as we cross-train to help one another.

    I have also seen many times where some people feel their knowledge is the source of their power and refuse to share it. They believe they are more valuable by being the only ones with the knowledge. Unfortunately, these people seek self and not the agency's good.

    I found the four steps of succession planning interesting and something I would like to see implemented at our agency.

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    Kecia Charles

    I cross train my staff to fill all positions within my department. This makes for seamless transition from on position to another. Succession planning is also vital for an organization's success. I find that my agency does not adequately plan for succession. Most positions are not filled until after the person has left.

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    Lance Richards

    Cross training is not always as simple as it seems. In my current position, I had to wait until accepted for the position before I could begin the training process. Although my career had prepared me for the position, I still had much to learn.

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      Jason Doucet

      I agree. Being part of a smaller agency, the only cross training is through conversation and sometimes that can only scratch the surface of the true role of an organization's leaders. But with goals in mind, we can have the mindset of what would we do in that position.

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    Tommy “Chris” Weeks

    I feel like in my division cross-training and succession planning have been going on. Because of our job responsibilities, everyone is in a position to take the person above them in the chain of command in the event I retire or am promoted higher. I do like the idea of having a policy detailing the succession of an individual in both planned and unplanned circumstances.

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      Paul Smith

      I agree. I think that as a leader you should teach someone your job. It is our responsibility to identify the those under us who show that they want to take their career to the next level.

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    Walter Banks

    As discussed by LTC Scott in this section, leaders with vision prepare for the departure of leaders in the organization. They are always looking for talent within the organization and actively recruiting quality people with similar values to the organization. We do not always have ready-made leaders; we should always train and mentor people to take our place and improve on what we have already accomplished.

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    Paul Smith

    In my agency I have seen changes with succession planning drastically. When I first started it was all about who you knew and how political you were. Now the agency has implemented a promotion testing system that is able to identify the best people for the job.

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    Jason Doucet

    Succession planning is important determine the future of an organization. We must continually plan for an immediate and long term strategy that identifies with the needs and potential success of an agency.