Understanding the Profession of a Chief of Police, Good and Bad. By: Larry Lawton

I’ve been thinking about Law Enforcement leaders lately and thought back to 2013 when I had the distinct honor of introducing the Reality Check Program to Chiefs of Police and representatives from all over the world at the IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) Ethics Committee in Plano, Texas at the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.

The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration is a training facility used to host Judges, Prosecutors, Public Defenders. Lawyers, Law Enforcement officials and colleges for training and education. Director Dr. T. Neil Moore and Associate Director Dr. Daniel T. Primozic run a world-class facility.

I met some dedicated, professional and caring individuals from as far away as China and had some great conversations and debates. I came away with a better respect for Chiefs of Police and what they do. The balancing of helping the community, dealing with city councils, officer safety and showing the public they want to work with them and not against them is no easy task. Law Enforcement is the one profession that change comes from the top down.  

What the IACP also did was reinforce in me how important the role of Chief of Police is. Although the vast majority of Chiefs of Police are good, caring, smart, dedicated people, like in all professions you have bad ones. It is called human nature.

As a man who helps police agencies become the best they can be, I have found that the Chief of Police has to be a leader with integrity, willing to learn, put his or her ego in a closet, try new things and have the trust of the leaders of the city. The police department needs to build public support and trust and without those two things, the leader failed.  

A Chief of Police who doesn’t have the vision of the leadership of the city has to be removed as soon as possible. In law enforcement, time is of the essence. It is all about having the public trust and without public support and trust, disaster is sure to follow. The consequences of a bad Chief of Police are more serious than in any other profession as a persons liberty and life are at stake.

Lawton911 and the Reality Check Program help police agencies save young people, connect with the community, understand community policing on a different scale and ultimately reduce crime and increase officer morale. Click Here for more information.

Stay safe, stay diligent and keep educating the public.


Larry Lawton

About Larry Lawton:

Larry is an Author, Speaker, Teen/Young Adult Expert and Law Enforcement Consultant. Larry developed the nationally recognized Reality Check Program and Reality Check Video Card Program. 

Lawrence “Larry” Lawton appears regularly on national TV and Radio as an expert on teen issues, crime, schools and community policing. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, MSNBC  —  CLICK HERE to see Larry Lawton on TV

Larry Lawton is the only ex-con in the United States to be sworn in as an Honorary Police Officer and only ex-con ever to be recognized on the Floor of the United States Congress for his work with helping young people and law enforcement agencies.