Do You Have a Mentor?

images-1Mentor: “An experienced and trusted adviser.”

  • Do you have a mentor? 
  • If not, you should if you are a leader.
  • Leaders have mentors!

Those who mentored and formed me were Professors John Clark and David Ward when I was in graduate school at the University of Minnesota and Professors Frank Remington and Herman Goldstein from the University of Wisconsin Law School whom I met when I came to Madison.

Frank Remington died in 1996 at 73 years of age, and John Clark a number of years earlier. I have lost track of David Ward after he retired.

But to this day, 43 years later, Herman Goldstein has not only been a mentor to me through all those years, but also a close friend.

For police leaders, it is important to have mentors who are not currently practicing policing. At least that was my experience. The police subculture is so strong it is often very difficult to be able to step away listen to things from different perspective and lens.

I am sure that I would not have lasted as long as I did without the counsel of Professors Goldstein and Remington when I came to Madison.

Herman and I continue to feel strongly that unless the policing field comes to grips with the substantive issues that Herman has described in his work over the years, and make deep changes in the way in which police perceive their role, use discretion, and the way they especially use and abuse the criminal justice system, little is likely to change — even with the present report from a Presidentially commissioned task force.

We both feel there is great need for change and that the road to change will be tremendously bumpy and difficult. We hope the policing task force understands that and that police leaders throughout the nation accept and take on the challenge of implement the recent recommendations of the Task Force.

I think it is also important for me to highlight the work of my mentor over the years and how he has not only influenced me, but also scores of other police not only in America, but throughout the free world.

  • To view these 50+ publications by and about Herman, CLICK HERE.
  • To view an excellent video interview by Sam Walker with Herman, CLICK HERE.
  • To read a “Law Enforcement News” interview with Herman, CLICK HERE.

    The two of us together in Washington, DC in 1993 at a PERF gathering.
    The two of us together in Washington, DC in 1993 at a PERF gathering.