welcome to the leadership in police organizationSSM program 

Leadership in Police OrganizationsSM (LPO) is the IACP’s flagship leadership development training program. LPO is modeled after the training concept of dispersed leadership (“every officer a leader”) and delivers modern behavioral science concepts and theories uniquely tailored to the law enforcement environment. 


The purpose of the LPO training program is to help police leaders:

  • Understand and apply modern behavioral science and leadership theories that affect human motivation, satisfaction, and performance in        
    the achievement of organizational goals
  • Learn frameworks to organize knowledge and experience into effective leader actions
  • Integrate course content into daily leadership practices
  • Inspire a lifelong commitment to the study and practice of effective leadership


The three-week LPO course explores leadership at different levels in the organization: leading individuals, leading groups, and leading organizations. The course, designed at the Sergeant (and first-line, non-sworn supervisors) level and above: 

  • Applied learning: The course is highly interactive, using small group case studies, videos, role playing, and class exercises to reinforce learning. 
  • Translation of theory to practice: Participants learn behavioral science theories with real-world application to better understand how to lead   change in individuals, groups, and organizations. 
  • Practical leadership strategies: Participants learn strategies for influencing human behavior to increase motivation, satisfaction, and performance throughout an organization.

The LPO course culminates with group “change project” presentations. Students work in teams throughout the course to identify actual organization issues/challenges they would like to see change. Groups use applied learning to propose and present a thoughtful solution. Many agencies have adopted and implemented these change projects, resulting in organizational culture shifts, enhanced officer safety, increased efficiency, and even creation of new laws/ordinances.

More on LPO here.


Agencies can host an LPO program with attendance limited only to their agency or a predetermined conglomerate of smaller nearby agencies. Alternatively, agencies may host an “open-enrollment” course. In this scenario, IACP will contract with the host agency, and the host agency will determine how many seats of the 36 available they will fill with internal personnel, and the additional seats will be opened up nationwide. Registration to attend an open enrollment LPO is coordinated by the local host agency. Contact LPOteam@theiacp.org for more information.

The program can be hosted at any training facility that can accommodate six tables of six. Training locations have varied from training academies and hotel meeting rooms to local community centers. 

Typically, the three-week LPO program is conducted one week at a time, over a period of three months, to minimize operational down time. The IACP provides two instructors for each of the three weeks, and classes are populated with up to 36 students at the first line supervisor level and above. 



For agencies who have hosted an LPO and wish to continue the program in-house, the IACP offers follow-on train-the-trainer faculty development workshops (FDWs) and local instructor mentoring. Prerequisites for this option are that the agency host one or more LPO courses and populate at least half of the 36 seats in each with internal personnel.

Faculty Development Workshops (FDW)

The FDW is an intensive two-week, train-the-trainer course led by IACP instructors. During the FDW up to six LPO graduates learn to teach the program by gaining a deep understanding of the behavioral science underpinning each lesson. Through practice and feedback, students learn to apply adult learning theory as classroom instructors. At the conclusion of the FDW, participants are given all teaching materials required to run the programs locally and are mentored to set up the program with IACP’s assistance. FDWs are only available to agencies who have contracted with the IACP to host an LPO.

Local Instructor Mentoring

Each FDW is followed by a three-week LPO course led by the newly minted local agency instructors with in-class mentoring from IACP instructors. Mentors meet with instructors the day or evening prior to review slides and teaching objectives and answer questions. During training, mentors observe from the back of the room and coach instructors during breaks as needed. Mentors debrief with instructors each day providing thorough feedback on instructional techniques and lesson delivery. At the conclusion of the mentoring process, agencies are poised to continue delivering the program internally.  


Each winter, IACP hosts its annual LPO Training Conference, an opportunity for local agency LPO instructors and local LPO training coordinators to receive program updates and refresh their training skills through practice/feedback sessions with IACP instructors on select lessons.


The cost to host an LPO varies by location and time of year, but the typical cost for the three week LPO is $500 per student, per week, for tuition. Books are $77 for a three volume set.


To obtain more information about attend an LPO or bringing the LPO program to your agency, please call 703-836-6767 or email LPOTeam@theiacp.org.

Please follow us and participate in LPO on social media by visiting our Facebook page and by using #IACPLPO on Twitter!


View answers to frequently asked questions.