Separating Contenders from Pretenders

New chiefs or new commanders must know their territory as well. What are your local hot buttons? Before the downward economic troubles, it was crime and perception.

Staying in touch with local issues is one thing but how about evolving global issues before they land on your door steps. Let’s consider terrorism (foreign and domestic) for example and ‘that will not happen here’. Heard that before and more chiefs are now quietly admitting to terrorism based investigations or referrals in their areas. Wandering around in this area doesn’t cut it. Networking will be a great aid. Are you a member of a regional task force, county or regional chief’s association or other regional statewide organizations? These are great to share information and resources. No chief or sheriff can be an isolationist today, it requires collaborative efforts. This is a reality of life, not my perception. It is hard enough to know your own territory and then when traveling criminals come on your turf, it is the help of others that will help you.   Today’s demands placed on departments far exceed those of yesteryear. If someone tells you of the days gone by, that is their perception and not the true reality. To be a contender in today’s leadership you have to get out, get moving (wandering) and network. Today’s demands cannot be handled by yesterday’s thinking.


About The Author:

William L. "Bill" Harvey is a native Virginian. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. He has a BA in criminology from St. Leo University and is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute of the University of Louisville (103rd AOC). Harvey served for over 23 years with the Savannah (GA) Police Department. He served in field operations, investigations and support services, and completed his career there as the director of training. He has published several articles in professional periodicals and has lectured nationwide. He is serving as a chief of police in central Pennsylvania area; a duty he’s performed for the past nine years. He is on the advisory board of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association and other professional associations.

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