Police training

Capt. Jeremy Polk graduates from premiere leadership program

Captain Jeremy Polk with his graduation plaqueOn the Importance of Training: Sgt. Kevin Crawford and Cpl. Daniel Bruce also reflect on their leadership training

UNT Police Capt. Jeremy Polk recently graduated from the Leadership Command College, one of the nation’s premiere law enforcement management programs. In addition to teaching police leadership, the program allows participants to develop skills in conflict resolution and communications, learn about best practices and ethical standards, and work on personal development such as fitness.

“Leadership goes beyond basic skills or knowledge and in the Leadership Command College we learned to examine our own management styles to improve ourselves and our working relationships,” said Polk.

The Leadership Command College, modeled after the FBI National Academy, is free for Texas law enforcement officials. Polk is the first officer from the UNT Police Department to attend this elite program.

“Just being able to attend this program was an honor since there are only about 2 percent of active law enforcement officers in Texas who hold this certification,” said Polk, who noted that the UNT Police Department is working to send two more officers to the program soon.

The nine-week program spans a year and allows law enforcement officers to meet and learn with fellow Texas officers from around the state. This gives participants a chance to discuss trends in crime and other issues their department faces, which in turn allows everyone to help discuss problem-solving ideas.

“We were also required to do a research paper on a contemporary topic and present on that topic several times,” said Polk. “I’m a few years removed from grad school now, so this took some extra time and attention on my part – but it was worth it. I heard a variety of viewpoints on several different topics and it gave me new insight. It showed that the best way to work toward solutions is with research, data and solid decision-making.”

Polk learned that many of the best practices being discussed and taught are already in practice at the UNT Police Department. Within the department on campus, he hopes to encourage other officers to take pride in that and continue to bolster the relationship with the UNT community.

“The reflections of our leadership’s core values and expectations should be apparent in every citizen interaction,” said Polk. “We may not always be perfect, but we will continue to strive for perfection. Attending this program reinforced my pride in being a member of this department and the UNT community.”

The importance of training at the UNT Police Department

Regular training for officers and staff is an important part of the UNT Police Department. Training includes one-day courses to weeks-long schooling to help the department stay current on best practices to better serve the UNT community.

In February, Sgt. Kevin Crawford and Cpl. Daniel Bruce graduated from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration’s School of Police Supervision. This four-week school focused on both personal and professional development.

“This course allowed me to take a step back and take time for personal reflection,” said Crawford. “It often seems the expectation is that I’m supposed to have all the answers. The focus in this course was on learning and growing in our roles.”

Growth means focusing on your own goals, such as Bruce’s goal for promotion, and on making the department a better team.

“We were taught the importance of servant leadership – to coach, lead, care for and help a team accomplish the department’s mission,” said Bruce. “The other course that influenced me was about keeping a high value on moral and ethical practices.”

By focusing on these areas, you can develop a team that collaborates well for the best solutions, said Crawford.

These practices not only make for a better, community-oriented police department, said Bruce, but they help support positive morale among the officers.