Law Enforcement and Leadership

1443 Words6 Pages

Police leadership uses standardization and procedure as a way to create consistency and predict¬ability in law enforcement operations (Batts, Smoot, & Scrivner, 2012). The San Diego Police Department, like nearly all law enforcement agencies uses leadership models mimicking the United States military. Paramilitary organizations use highly structured framing to conduct business operations. The structural frame creates compartmentalized specialization, and predictable, uniform task performance desired by police executives. The tightly designed rank-and-file structure delineates locus power and control based on position (Bolman & Deal, 1991). Power rests at the top. Contained with this structure is top-down control of personnel, resources, and division of labor. The law enforcement organization codifies and outlines general guides of how to conduct business in a pre-determined fashion. The systemization rests on high direction and low task leadership models (Bolman & Deal, 1991). Is this model still the most efficient model of leadership for law enforcement agencies? Alternatively, the question is raised; can newer leadership models focusing on transformative leadership, and integrative leadership models where shared power, planning, distribution, and other work activities prove effective in structural law enforcement organizations?

Changing the law enforcement outlook is a difficult undertaking. Most modern agencies must adapt to the fluidity of modern law enforcement context to the onset of increased mobility, technology, and sophistication (Batts, Smoot, & Scrivner, 2012). These force necessitate that law enforcement consistently strive to be on the cutting edge in order to stay ahead of crime. Taking a bottom up a...

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