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Back to Archives | Back to November 2011 Contents 

IACP Foundation: Private Sector Lessons Translate into New Tools for Law Enforcement

By Mark A. Marshall, Chief of Police, Smithfield Police Department, Smithfield, Virginia; Immediate Past President, IACP; and Chair, IACP Foundation

ince its inception, the IACP Foundation has been fortunate to establish many public-private partnerships that have greatly benefited the IACP membership and the field of law enforcement as a whole. One outstanding example of this investment in professional policing by a corporate partner is the Law Enforcement Business Fellowship (LEBF).

Developed in collaboration with team members at Target, and under the auspices and review of the IACP Foundation Board, the LEBF is a two-week training program, based on several of Target’s most effective leadership and management courses—revised and geared toward law enforcement command staff. The program is held at Target’s corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and all costs associated with the training are covered by a grant from Target through the IACP Foundation.

Photographs courtesy of
Jessica Schlemmer, Target
The third iteration of the LEBF served these
nine senior command staff candidates.

This year was the third iteration of the LEBF, and the course served nine senior command staff candidates from a variety of backgrounds, agencies, and geographic locations. Attendees were selected from a national application process, and each one came to the class with different expectations and perspectives regarding his or her role as a law enforcement leader in a changing world.

Through both classroom and hands-on training courses, the candidates were exposed to the most current corporate trends and instruction on topics such as media relations, change management, talent planning, community partnerships, forensics, and the business management strategy Six Sigma.

The IACP Foundation is grateful to Target and its team members for the outstanding development and professional execution of this course. The Foundation is pleased to announce that Target has committed to offering the LEBF again in the summer of 2012.

The accounts below, in select candidates’ own words, reflect how valuable public-private partnerships can be to individual officers, their departments, and the communities they serve.

Inspector Donald Rouiller, United States Capitol Police Department, Washington, D.C.

“One key component of the fellowship that resonated with me was the course on talent management. The focus on developing employees through performance management, goal setting, and coaching is a better approach than the standard annual performance review done in most public safety organizations. The emphasis that was placed on team leadership and peer assessments is a novel approach that, if implemented correctly, can greatly improve performance while fostering positive working relationships. The impeccable credentials of the instructor gave credibility to the discussion.”

Lieutenant David Smith, San Francisco, CA, Police Department

“I think that the overarching theme of this training is that there are very few fundamental differences between the business practices of private and public organizations. Specifically, agencies do not necessarily require the expenditure of large amounts of funding for outside instruction to be successful. For example, one instructor presented the following statistics: 70 percent of our learning comes from on-the-job experience and only 10 percent comes from formal instruction. The other 20 percent comes from leveraging key relationships within our own agencies. To me, this suggests that there is a lot we can do on our own, in our departments, utilizing our own key players within the organization. It is a simple but challenging shift in our approach to traditional training models.”

Lieutenant Michael Sullivan, Louisville Metro Police Department, Louisville, KY

“The Six Sigma course was excellent. It provided the tools to define a problem, identify issues, and develop solutions. As law enforcement managers, we are constantly tasked with leading different projects; however, as a general rule we have no project management experience. The Six Sigma training gave me a framework that I did not have prior to the training to approach projects. I used some of the things I learned during my first week back at my agency, as I approached a project to develop a partnership with the Jefferson County Drug Court. I used some Six Sigma tools to frame the issue and develop a proposal that includes the creation of a new position. The proposal was so concise and complete when presented to the executive staff that it was immediately approved to go forward without any changes.”

Deputy Chief Andrew Olson, Metro Transit Police, Minneapolis, MN

“One of the most powerful and relevant topics we examined is one we are all very familiar with: shrinking budgets and dwindling resources. While law enforcement executives all over the country are challenged by the reality of fewer resources and increasing responsibilities, the Target Assets Protection department embraces that very scenario as a business model. They actually plan to employ fewer resources even as their risk and responsibilities goes up, and they do so without compromising on the security of their guests, their team members, or their physical assets. They continue to improve the value they bring to the greater organization by closing the gap between resources and risk with technology and the smart, strategic deployment of their staff and other resources as well as innovative problem-solving strategies. There are certainly lessons here that must be embraced by law enforcement agencies that wish to remain viable.”

For more information on the LEBF, visit the Foundation’s website at and click on Programs. ■

The IACP Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization established to solicit, receive, administer, and expend funds for law enforcement–related charitable and educational purposes. Donations may be tax deductible; please check with your personal tax adviser. The foundation’s federal tax ID number is 54-1576762.

Please cite as:

Mark A. Marshall, "Private Sector Lessons Translate into New Tools," IACP Foundation, The Police Chief 78 (November 2011): 12.

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From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVIII, no. 11, November 2011. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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