The Leadership in Police OrganizationsSM (LPO) training program is based on a behavioral science approach to leading people groups, change, and organizations, and was piloted with great success in 2005. The original course material was developed and taught for many years at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Through years of research and development, the curriculum was specifically tailored to meet the challenges and needs of the law enforcement community. Since 2005, the IACP has worked with over 400 local, state, and federal agencies of all sizes to take the LPO program to 38 states and abroad. Ninety percent of the departments pursue our Faculty Development Workshop (FDW) to develop their own instructional cadre. IACP then provides this faculty with mentoring, standardized instructional materials, and support to enable them to sustain the program with internal resources. Elements of the training have also been used in promotional processes and in-service training.
The distinguishing feature of the LPO program is a focus on the systematic development of leaders at all levels of an organization - the concept of “every officer a leader.” In the 21st century, police organizations can no longer rely on an individual or small group of leaders. To develop leaders, law enforcement executives must create a culture in their organizations that is supportive of dispersed leadership. This means establishing expectations that all officers will take leadership initiatives at their levels of responsibility. Besides teaching people how to lead individuals, the LPO program coaches people on how to lead groups, organizations, and efforts toward change. For any organization or enterprise, group dynamics can be the difference between success and failure. LPO program attendees study these dynamics to become adept at making groups cohesive and better able to reach organizational goals. This knowledge, acquired by participants about themselves and others, has enhanced relationships both on and off the job, resulting in a profound, life-changing impact for many course graduates.
The three-week LPO program, typically taught one week a month over three months, emphasizes applied learning; is very interactive; and utilizes small group case studies, videos, role playing, and class exercises to reinforce learning. Students are taught leader strategies for use in dealing with practical work place challenges. The course teaches participants the behavioral science theories to better understand how to lead individuals, groups, change, and organizations. Participants are challenged to use the theories and strategies taught to increase the motivation, satisfaction, and performance within their organization and to support organizational change. This effort is highlighted during graduation by presenting group projects created by the students in which teams identify actual organization topics in which they would like to see change. Groups then use applied learning to propose a calculated solution to these areas. When held accountable by the host agencies, the IACP has observed student projects change organizational culture, enhance officer safety, provide annual budget savings, and create new laws.
As previously mentioned, IACP also offers a ten-day FDW, or train-the-trainer, for those departments wishing to develop their own instructors for continuation of the program at the local level. 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. Additionally, IACP also offers a customized one-week LPO Executive Seminar for field training officers, command staff, and the specific needs of the department.
To view a list of our IACP-Certified LPO Instructors, please click here.
To obtain more information on bringing the LPO program to your department, please contact the IACP's Center for Police Leadership and Training at 703-836-6767 or email email@example.com.
Please follow us and participate in LPO on social media by visiting our Facebook page and by using #IACPLPO on Twitter!
LPO 2015 Schedule (PDF)
Miami Beach Police Department
Leadership in Police OrganizationsSM (LPO)
Week 1: March 30 – April 3, 2015
Week 2: April 27 – May 1, 2015
Week 3: June 1 – 5, 2015
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
Week 2: April 20 – April 24, 2015
Week 3: May 18– 22, 2015
See the LPO 2015 Schedule (PDF) for a full list of courses.
How many students make up a full LPO course?
36 – Students are then split into “teams” of 5 or 6 and will continue to work within those groups throughout the three weeks.
How many weeks is LPO?
3 weeks – generally run for one week per month for three months.
Who teaches LPO?
Current and recently retired law enforcement and academic leaders vetted by IACP and evaluated every week in the classroom. These individuals are police Chiefs, Deputy Chiefs, Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants who meet the quality standards established by IACP. For a list of IACP certified LPO℠ National and Master Instructors, click here.
What is the cost for an LPO course?
Typical cost is about $415 per student, per week for tuition. This price varies with each location, as the price is determined by the actual expenses (GSA lodging and meal per diem for the host location, actual airfare costs, etc.) of bringing our instructors to the host location; there is no “set” student tuition price.
Who can host this course?
The program can be exported to any location where a training facility is available. Training locations have varied from training academies and hotel meeting rooms to local community centers. Agencies can host a LPO program with attendance limited only to their agency or they can choose to host an “open-enrollment” LPO course.
How does an “open-enrollment” course work?
In this scenario, we will contract with the main agency and they will determine how many seats of the 36 available they will fill with internal personnel; the additional seats will then be opened up to surrounding agencies. As we discussed, it might be beneficial to determine the level of interest in your area, and to see if there are any agencies that could potentially co-host an open-enrollment program with you.
Why is LPO a positive investment in leadership and change?
Student groups work on organizational change projects and solutions are presented during the last week of class to the command staff. Results of these projects have included annual budget savings, changes to protocol to create a safer environment for officers, and the creation of state laws written by LPO students, to name a few.
Is LPO POST Certified?
The IACP has worked with agencies to receive POST certification for this course. While the IACP does not actively seek POST certification for every state, we are happy to assist your efforts in accomplishing this.
How do I host an LPO?
Contact the IACP’s Center for Police Leadership and Training at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-836-6767
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