A Ten Part Series
PART 1 of 10

 imagesA number of years ago, I was the new kid in town; the newly-appointed chief of police in Madison, Wisc. My direction from the Police Commission that appointed me was to improve (change) the way in which the department responded, often violently, to student protests and to integrate the virtually all-white, all-male organization.

Within a few years, the department had transformed itself from a “hats and bats” approach to one which used dialogue to manage conflict. We were one of the first police departments to intentionally use the now-acclaimed “soft approach” of dialogue, negotiation and minimum displays of force.

[See the recent article by Chief Michael Masterson of Boise, ID and the research of Dr. Clifford Stott in the U.K. on this subject.] We were also, slowly but surely, integrating the department with each new recruit class.

Implementing new and improved ways of doing the work of policing a city was not simply a matter of change – it was a transformation!
And transformation is a more intensive change process involving not only actions, but hearts as well. A transformation is when the organizational changes are sustained over a significant period of time.

The next blog: “Police Transformation: Not Just One Transformation, But Many!


The New Quality Workbook for Police will be available June 2, 2014 at the eBook store.

On June 2, there will be a 30% discount available for “early birds.”

When you click on “eBook store,” use this code: B28BHNR4 for your discount.


  1. It nice for the police to talk to the crowds and get them on their side; however, how long will it be before the police are told by the political and corporate masters to get rid of the crowd. LAPD for example got along well with Occupied Wall Street, but eventually, they were told to destroy the Wall Street movement as a nationwide coordination by the mayors and the police departments to destroy all the Wall Street movements.


    1. It’s the classic bind — but one that needs to be walked by our nation’s police leaders: are you only a leader of police, or are you also the people’s leader? Policing a democracy involves both (and often difficult) roles.


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