Law Enforcement Leadership and Supervision

Course Description:leadership

Law enforcement organizations are defined by the quality of their leadership and supervision. Leadership is the ability to influence others, not just a title. Effective leaders earn the respect, trust, and loyalty of their followers. Time and again, studies have identified first-line supervisors as critical to an organization’s leadership effectiveness. Good leadership, however, does not occur in a vacuum. It requires well-trained supervisors who understand the arts and sciences of motivating and inspiring officers, communicating effectively, managing chronic underperformers, setting and enforcing ethical standards, shaping organizational culture, and holding officers accountable.

The two-day course is designed to provide students with the skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary to lead effectively in today’s complex law enforcement organizations. The materials are delivered through a combination of interactive small-group learning exercises, facilitated discussions, and problem-solving activities. Students will learn the traits and behaviors of good leaders, proper use of power and authority, cultivating and growing leadership abilities, harnessing the positive power of expectations, holding employees accountable, counseling difficult employees, and motivating others.


To provide students with the attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary to lead effectively in today’s complex law enforcement organizations.

Course Outline:

Day One

  • Leadership fact versus leadership fiction
  • Skills, attitudes, and behaviors of effective leaders
  • Proper use of power and authority
  • Theory X and Theory Y
  • Leadership assumptions and Pygmalion Motivation, engagement, and productivity
  • How to cultivate and grow leadership abilities
  • Five levels of leadership effectiveness
  • Improving accountability

Day Two 

  • Counseling difficult employees
  • Decision-Making
  • Recognizing and avoiding cognitive biases
  • Critical thinking
  • Group think
  • Teamwork
  • Motivation through consequences
  • Legal considerations
  • Integrity and psychology of misconduct
  • Leadership communication


The Instructor:

Brian Fitch, Ph.D., is a lieutenant and a 33-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Dr. Fitch is a nationally recognized expert who has trained more than 25,000 law enforcement professionals in leadership, communication, decision making, and ethics throughout the United States, as well as abroad in Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Fitch holds faculty positions at Woodbury University and Southwestern University School of Law. Dr. Fitch has published more than 25 articles on leadership, communication, and ethics in Police Chief, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Law Enforcement Executive Forum, Auspol, RCMP Gazette, and Law and Order, among others. Dr. Fitch has published and edited four books, including Law Enforcement Ethics: Classic and Contemporary Issues (Sage, 2013); and Law Enforcement Interpersonal Communication: The IMPACT Model (Sage, 2015). He is a graduate of the California Commission on POST Master Instructor Development Program and Cornell University’s Executive Leadership Program. Dr. Fitch holds a master’s degree in communication studies and a doctorate in human development.

Course Pre-requisites: Sworn Law Enforcement

Special Equipment/Other Needs: None

Total Course Hours: 16 Hours (can be customized to customer's individual needs, including 8 hours)

Training Activity: Classroom

Approved Course List: 25 Maximum

Course Number: Not in course catalog

Course Justification: Counter-Terrorism Investigations and Law Enforcement - 2.1: The law enforcement community will ensure that suspects involved in criminal activities related to homeland security are successfully identified, deterred, detected, disrupted, investigated, and apprehended.

Target Discipline: LE Supervisors at all levels, including FTO, corporal, and sergeant, lieutenant.

Training Level: Sworn Law Enforcement