Last night I had the opportunity to share some thoughts and ideas with a group of law enforcement leaders. Normally when I refer to leaders people assume I am talking about supervisors and command level personnel. Being a retired chief and being the chaplain to a couple of chiefs associations, that is usually the case. However, last night I spoke to a group of line level leaders. People who are leaders in the profession, but lead from their positions of responsibility that put them on the streets of our communities. These are the patrol officers, detectives, investigators and sergeants that show up when you call for help. They are the heart and soul of the profession.
There is a trend in the profession to tap into and develop leadership at every level of the organization. When I was at Eden Prairie we put on a similar leadership development program. Last night I stood before 24 police officers from the Minnetonka Police Department, the Plymouth Police Department and the Maple Grove Police Department. If these people are the current and future leaders of our profession, we are in good hands.
Although I only had an hour with them, I feel I did get some seeds planted. I’ve given this talk half a dozen times now, and with the feedback I’ve received it is starting to shape up. It is tough to condense the concept of “Spiritual Fitness” into an hour when the topic has never really been discussed or presented before. I spend the majority of the time trying to define the concept of “Spiritual Fitness”. The second point I try and stress and explain is how the people drawn to careers in public safety have an extremely “Unique Spirit”. It is a spirit that is a critical characteristic of a high quality and effective police officer. My objective is to then explain the importance of the relationship between “Spiritual Fitness” and that “Unique Spirit”.
The comment I’ve heard most consistently after these presentations is “Okay, I get the idea, now how do I do it?” I’m happy people want more, but impatient with myself by not providing it. But hopefully through this website, people sharing the message and more time to focus now that I’m retired, progress will come quicker.
Thanks for last night folks, it was a great experience!