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NCJ Number: 220557 Find in a Library
Title: How to Mentor a Chief of Police
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:55  Issue:9  Dated:September 2007  Pages:129-133
Author(s): Albert Varga
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explains the role of a police chief mentor, the formal and informal process of mentoring a chief of police, and common prominent issues that lead the chief of police or protégée to the mentor.
Abstract: A mentor is a coach, teacher, or a colleague who acts as an advisor and guide. Usually, the mentor remains behind the scenes. A mentor is an excellent listener, allowing the protégée or new chief of police to verbalize the problem. The mentor guides the new chief to find his/her own solution. It is important for the mentor to guide the new chief to consider options, find the solution, and reaffirm the new chief’s choice of action. Mentoring for police chiefs takes on two avenues. One is formal mentoring involving a structured program and the second and more prevalent is informal mentoring. Informal mentoring is when police chiefs seek mentors on their own for a specific problem. Some of the common prominent issues that cause a police chief to seek a mentor are leadership and communication skills, ethical and liability issues, disciplinary and personnel issues, handling the budget, community relations, relationships with elected officials, staffing, media relations, training, management of day-to-day operations, and criminal and/or traffic control, with the first five seeming the most prevalent. The mentor’s role is to learn what the protégée or new police chief is seeking, such as affirmation or a solution to the problem. The mentor needs to listen, and in general terms, offer advice based upon experiences. The new police chief must be allowed to find the solution and then encourage his/her decisionmaking. In 2004, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) launched and established a formal mentoring program for new chiefs. The application to have a mentor is matched with a volunteer chief who will be the mentor. There are 60 chiefs approved as mentors.
Main Term(s): Mentoring programs
Index Term(s): Career development; Police career development; Police chiefs; Police management
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