May 24, 2018 | View as webpage
This briefing brought to you by Pursuit Response


Welcome to the first PoliceOne Leadership Briefing. This newsletter takes a different approach from other P1 newsletters, with each issue offering full posts from top experts on what we feel are the most important topics and trends of the moment in policing. It’s a newsletter written by leaders, for leaders – all aimed at helping you better understand and resolve the top challenges you are facing within your agencies.

The Leadership Briefing will feature PoliceOne columnists and editorial board members, but will also draw on perspectives from our sister-sites, EMS1 and FireRescue1. All public safety leaders face similar challenges around personnel recruitment, retention of high-performing staff, community and stakeholder education, implementation of new technology, and advocacy with local, state and national legislators.

As this is a new format, your feedback is important. I welcome you to share this newsletter and email me your suggestions for articles, tips and resources.

Nancy Perry
Editor-in-Chief, PoliceOne

In this issue:

By Joel F. Shults

Where I grew up in rural Missouri we would automatically invite folks to "drop in any time" when we exchanged greetings. Kind folks said "y'all come" sincerely; I said it with a whispered prayer that they’d at least call ahead first. While charming in concept, an unexpected crowd could create chaos and temporary poverty.

Among first responders, the concept of “y’all come” is called self-deployment. It means that every cop of every stripe and every medic and firefighter has an open invitation to show up when a major scene develops. This reflects the highest character of service and sacrifice. Unfortunately, it also can become an incident commander’s tactical nightmare.

Every seasoned responder knows the chaos of crisis and the desire to get help quickly. No one wants to fault a hero for showing up to help. The reality is that there are diminishing returns when self-deployed responders arrive immediately after an event. Here are three ways self-deployed responders can bring havoc to a scene:

1. Lack of coordination: Coordination of movement, purpose and objectives relies on standard information. Without a briefing and specific assignments, there may be dangerous friendly fire risks, as well as individual responders establishing individual objectives at odds with incident command. Civilians may be given conflicting instructions on what to do. Resources can be ordered without going through a central channel, resulting in redundancy and further disorganization of arriving assets.

2. Lack of equipment: While reporting from the command post at Ferguson during the August 2014 riots, I observed police officers arriving to help without riot gear. Without shields and gas masks, they were of no value to the front line. Some self-deployed responders may arrive in soft clothing with little immediate identification as a sworn officer or licensed paramedic.

3. Lack of communication: I don't know of any after-action report without commentary on breakdowns in communication. Information being relayed to a variety of dispatchers can get lost if not funneled to the incident commander. Accountability of personnel, tracking of evidence and critical intelligence can get lost on the wrong channel or not passed on to decision-makers.

Staging is key

Training supervisors how to select a staging area is key to successful management of a multi-resourced, high-activity event. For fixed locations such as hospitals, schools and government buildings, the staging areas can be pre-planned. An ideal location has plenty of parking, availability of briefing areas, bathrooms and security. It must be an inter-agency value that every arriving body or piece of equipment report to staging except in the most extreme initial circumstances.

Principles of incident command are a great subject for roll call training and policy development. Officers who adhere to these well-tested principles should be encouraged and affirmed. This could mean the difference between long-term chaos and mission success.

Train better for major incident response:

This guidebook helps educate police leaders on the benefits of integrated communications systems. Learn how technology is increasing situational awareness for the officer on the ground while providing immediate feedback for operational leaders in the command center.

Download the Free eBook

By Linda Willing

Millennials, though they are more than one-third of the workforce, are still derided in social network discussions and demystified by conference panelists. While some leaders still lament millennials, the next generation entering the workforce is significantly different from their predecessors and will require leadership adaptations to contribute to their fullest. Linda Willing, a FireRescue1 advisory board member, introduces iGen to police chiefs.

For members of this new generation, iGen, total and constant connection isn’t even a choice; it’s just the way things are. Most of their social interaction takes place virtually rather than face-to-face. Even millennials hung out together in person. iGen experiences most of its social interaction online.

For police departments, EMS agencies and fire departments hiring these young people, it means that they may not have fully-developed social skills. They may lack expertise and confidence with in-person communication and conflict resolution.

In general, members of the youngest generation at work are by far the most inclusive and socially tolerant of all previous generations. They accept diversity as a fact of life and expect the workplace to be fair and welcoming to all. They will not be attracted to organizations that do not share these values.

People in iGen are less entrepreneurial than their predecessors and more averse to risk taking. They want security and safety in their lives, and therefore may be more attracted to stable employment than was expected during the Internet boom.

The newest generation wants to be part of a team and is willing to work hard. They may need more reassurance and support than previous generations, but they are also motivated to follow rules and respect others.

It is tempting to only see the challenges of any new generation that comes along. But organizations that only see negatives do so at a price: their own future. This newest generation at work is the only one you get. It is up to those with experience and wisdom to help them prepare for the challenges of the law enforcement, EMS and fire profession.

How to recruit, lead the next generation of police officers:

3 and out …

3. Why hate crime laws don't matter: There are areas where legislation could really make an impact on police officers; hate crime legislation isn’t one of them, argues Chief Joel Shults.

2. Protests after an officer-involved shooting: The Policing Matters podcast hosts, Doug Wyllie and Jim Dudley, discuss how the mainstream news outlets and social media create such an uproar after an officer-involved shooting.

1. Transparency, trust and accountability: Former Seattle Police Chief Kathy O’Toole shares the best practices and innovations transforming policing in Ireland, and what agencies back home could learn from those lessons.

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Got a leadership tip, management question, commercial use inquiry, or an article idea? Send me an email,

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