"One of the most damaging characteristics of American policing is still the turnover of its leaders. Every new mayor in most American cities begins his or her term with a new police chief. Instead of building on what has been learned from year to year, and the office of the chief of police being occupied by a professionally trained administrator, all is often lost after a municipal mayoral election. A “new broom” does sweep clean, but it also sweeps away a lot of an organization’s learning—both good and bad. If policing is ever be a profession, it will have to develop a system of sustained leadership…"
Principles of Quality Leadership
1. Believe in, foster and support TEAMWORK.
Did Madison police improve?
"What about my effort to change and improve department leadership? Did it happen? Was it effective? I needed to know the answers to these questions as well, not just from my gut, but from hard data. I decided to ask the National Institute of Justice to take a look at what we were doing and to give us some feedback to my two questions. The research contract was awarded to the Police Foundation in Washington, DC. After a three-year study, my questions were answered:
"The multiyear study examined the efforts undertaken by us to create a new organizational design—both structural and managerial, built to support community- and problem-oriented policing. Significantly, researchers found the department’s attempt to bring progressive, comprehensive change to our operations was successful:
"In the conclusion to their report they made a statement that I believe captures Madison’s twelve-year effort to improve the police function in their community:
"Surely the most dramatic finding in this project is that it is possible to “bend granite”…[I]t is possible to change a traditional, control- oriented police organization into one in which employees become members of work teams and participants in decision-making processes... This research suggests that associated with these internal changes are external benefits for citizens, including indications of reductions in crime and reduced levels of concern about crime."
[i]Community Policing In Madison: Quality From the Inside, Out. Technical Report, Mary Ann Wycoff and Wesley G. Skogan. Washington: Police Foundation. 1993.