Leading & Following in Law Enforcement
The principles of courageous followership have found their way into many aspects of our culture. In California, for example, The Police Officer Standards of Training have for many years included The Courageous Follower in the year long sergeant level training program.
There is now a new arrival in the application of courageous leadership and courageous followership values and strategies. Robynne Sherrill who focused her doctoral dissertation on the relationship of leaders and followers in the law enforcement community has published a workbook titled “Discussions Matter To Law Enforcement” with an accompanying facilitators guide. Roy E. Alston, Ph D and police lieutenant with the Dallas Police Department has written the foreword and , at Robynne’s invitation, I have written the postscript.
Click on covers
These days there is no shortage of scholarly work on followership emerging from universities. What is in short supply, however, is the creative application of research findings to real world people, groups and problems. Robynne Sherrill’s work is an important exception that is beginning to correct the imbalance. Shifting productively between the lead and follow role is an important element to healing in those communities where the social contract with law enforcement has been strained and frayed. It does not substitute for work on race and economic issues but is a vehicle for the authentic communication these need to be candid and meaningful.
As her book approached publication, Robynne wrote on Nov 17 of last year
My writing coaches, Lieutenant Roy Alston, PhD – who also wrote the foreword for my book, and best selling author, Ira Chaleff – who wrote the Postscript, have truly blessed me with their guidance and expertise.
While Robynne’s words are appreciated, it is Robynne who is blessing us with her determination to make the principles for which we each stand more accessible to law enforcement officers and communities throughout the country.