Courage comes from the Latin “cor” for heart. When we encourage (which is a very important practice of effective leaders) we enhearten, enspirit and embolden others.

unknownI was encouraged this week after receiving a copy of Police and Society, 7th edition, from the Oxford Press, 2017.

The authors are Kenneth Novak, Brad Smith, Gary Cordner, and Roy Roberg; all noted for their work improving police and their agencies: In their chapter,  “Organizational Change,” they wrote.

“The most thoroughly documented transition from traditional policing to a COP paradigm was in the Madison, Wisconsin, Police Department. The use of what was called quality leadership, including participation at all levels, smoothed the transition process and helped to overcome initial resistance to the new developments (Couper, 2011). The change process started in earnest within the department in the early 80s, well-before most of the present day knowledge gained through research and evaluation was available. Thus, much of what the department accomplished in the way of change was groundbreaking. At the time, the department had approximately 280 commissioner personnel serving a community of approximately 175,000 (Couper and Lobitz, 1991).”

The authors go on to describe how the foundation was laid, key elements in the change, and the results. Their chapter on organizational change concludes with experiences of police departments in New York, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh.

I have been pushing my professional organization, The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), to hold a national summit meeting in which leaders in police organizations who have successfully implemented and sustained change can come together with other police leaders and share what they have learned. This is so important for the field of policing today because much needs to be done in order to restore lost trust in many communities across our nation. It is going to take outstanding leaders and leadership to make this happen!

My vision is that a number of police agencies would then move from being a “learning organization” to that of becoming a”teaching organization;” to share with others their experiences and what they have learned. That’s what professionals do.

This year will be a challenging one for policing and we will all have to work together for the betterment of our nation and our police.


  1. There are more about the Madison’s project in the book I’m currently reading; ” The challenge of Community Policing, testing the promises”. By Dennis P. Rosenbaum.
    In addition, there is a very interesting project for police managers at ” College of policing website” with the title: Secondments – bringing unique policing skills into your workplace.


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