My campaign slogan, In Touch, Informed, and Involved strikes at the heart of who I want to be as your next Sheriff. An important part of being “in touch” includes being aware of and employing best practices in law enforcement today. One of these best practices and one that is sorely needed in the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office is a mentorship program.
Throughout my career in law enforcement, including my time with the LCSO, I have observed police commanders with a tendency to micro-manage individuals that are struggling, under performing or disliked, by monitoring their work more closely, finding fault and over critiquing everything they do. When this happens, the individual sees these tactics as a lack of trust, and here the vicious cycle begins. The low expectations of management cause the individual to then doubt their own ability, which in turn leads to low confidence and more errors. When deputies feel disapproval, lack of appreciation and criticism they tend to stop giving their best. The unfortunate result to all of this is that these perceived poor performers are managed out of the department or leave on their own. This cycle of management is a key contributor to poor morale and affects retention.
As a Field Training Officer with the St. Louis Police Department, my goal was to first build a relationship with my trainees to create an environment for learning and growth to occur. I found that probationary police officers related more readily and positively to me as mentor/guide than they did to supervisor direction because our relationship wasn’t viewed as threatening and I was seen as a trusted coach. The goal of mentoring is to come along side officers who struggle with guidance, direction and feedback. After all, mistakes in the field are not failures, but teaching opportunities.
My plan to introduce a mentorship program to the Sheriff’s Office is one way we can get back by giving. We should seek to promote the professional growth of individuals within the Sheriff’s Office, and inspire their personal motivation by coming alongside them with support and training. This will in turn enhance our effectiveness and service to the community, and will overall improve morale. I have a full plan for a mentorship program, and look forward to employing it to improve morale and performance.
Posted on 19 Jul 2022, 11:23 - Category: Blog Entry