Current Trends In Law Enforcement

November 18, 2020

When the pandemic started a back in the spring of this year, I sensed we were headed toward unchartered waters. It’s why I held a series of 3, free webinars with key leaders around the country to talk about and provide some suggestions to current, in-the-trenches leaders on how to manage the crisis. Then came the George Floyd death in police custody setting off a summer of protests (most peaceful and some not so much) and the defund-the-police movement combined with civil unrest in many cities. We then moved into the fall with a contentious presidential election where the outcome has been called by media, but remains uncertified by most state legislatures and is under challenge by one of the candidates. In many ways it is the perfect storm of uncertainty in which to lead. In our podcast this week, we had a discussion, what I call a crucial conversation, on these events and offer some best tips for dealing with them as a leader.

First, remember that helping your people navigate, means looking at yourself first. Where is your mindset? What makes you the best leader you can be? Be thoughtful and introspective on the situations in which you find yourself. When you are honest with yourself, you will find the best within and be able to apply that to your leadership. Don’t just rely on your strengths. Use the unusual and challenging circumstances of this year to grow beyond your strengths and to actually improve yourself first. This will help you be resilient to the events and, in turn, help your people be resilient. Remember resilience is not just surviving, it’s coming out on the other side better than you were before.

Second, as a leader, it’s your job and duty to be aware of what’s going on in the organization. Remind everyone in your organization that recruitment and retention is their job as much as it is yours. Ask them to commit to being just 1% better at what they do each day much as James Clear talks about in his book, Atomic Habits. Help them clearly define their attributes and focus on that first. Be a vision of hope with a dose of reality.

Third, as a leader, it’s your job to give a vision of both reality and hope. Give your people the reality in which they operate. Don’t sugar coat it, but then give them the tools and training they need to be the best they can be and then reassure them that there is hope for a brighter future. That the pendulum swings both ways. Encourage them to journal their daily leadership encounters. Remind them that even the most routine functions of their day have opportunities for growth and leadership. 

Focus on these three areas and you will get through this year with flying colors and remember “Don’t say nope to hope.”


“Be a vision of hope with a dose of reality.”

Dean Crisp



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