So why do we need another book about police leadership? I struggled with this question for several years before coming to the conclusion that there was a need not only for another police leadership book but, more importantly, there is a need for a book written from the perspective and understanding of the uniqueness and challenges that police leaders face. The idea that a new book — read a new approach — was needed in the profession formed in my head as my agency slid into the throes of both a financial and leadership succession crisis brought on by a shaky economy and looming retirements. I began to have some doubts that we could just simply keep up with the status quo that had sustained the agency for the 15 plus years I had been working there. Early on in my career, the agency had undergone several quick changes in the chief of police, one leaving under a cloud of corruption, until the city was able to finally provide command stability by appointing a chief who would stay in place for nearly ten years. During this time of stability I observed that as commanders came and went, there was often very little real change to my corner of the world. This suggested to me that the development of leadership within the agency was fixed, purposeful, and obviously working. As I gained experience and tenure, I decide that I wanted to move up in the ranks.
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