California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 33

gator. In 1986, her department started a Crisis Negotiations Team (CNT) where she spent 10 years as team commander. In 1996, she left CNT and became the Commander for the department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), only the second woman in the state of California to achieve the position. “Typically people on SWAT are natural-born leaders—they’re assertive and problem solvers and they’re action-oriented people,” she said. “They know the importance of team dynamics and inspiring others to become the best they can be.” Through this experience she learned that situations change very quickly in law enforcement, especially during a crisis. “To be successful in negotiations and conflict resolution, you have to rapidly assess your response and remain very flexible,” she said. The leadership qualities she learned during her tenure in CNT and SWAT translated well to all other areas of law enforcement. She learned how to stay calm under pressure, rapidly assess situations, and confidently make decisions about how to best deploy people and resources. She learned how being an effective communicator and how to engage in active listening, both of which are both paramount to good leadership. She also learned the importance of providing a work environment that motivates staff toward professional and personal growth, and the importance of recognizing individual accomplishments. In 2002, she was promoted to Captain and left SWAT the following year. “My time in both tactical units made me a better and well-rounded manager and I tried to incorporate the things I had learned into my new position,” she said. The Value of Education in Leadership Development In addition to her career achievements, Setzer also participated in formal education to further develop her leadership skills. She graduated from the California Police Officer Standards of Training (POST) Supervisory Leadership Institute (SLI), where she developed additional leadership skills and became a more effective manager. Setzer also attended the FBI National Academy (FBINAA) where she received additional opportunities for training. After retirement, she reconnected with some FBINAA colleagues who introduced her to American Military University (AMU) where she is currently serving as a kaw enforcement education coordinator. She remains committed to developing law enforcement leaders and promoting education to enhance professionalism in the public safety industry. She is pleased to see a growing number of universities and professional organizations offering educational programs designed specifically for law enforcement leadership development. For example, AMU recently launched a Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Certificate Program to provide chiefs of police and their command staff with training for assuming greater leadership roles. These certificates are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level and focus on everything from human resources management to leadership and motivation. As the field of law enforcement evolves, officers must prepare themselves to meet these complex leadership challenges through a combination of diverse assignments as well as formal education and training. ■ Here are some of the important leadership lessons Setzer learned on the job and in the classroom during her 30year career: Learn How to Listen. Remember you don’t know everything and you don’t always have all the answers. A good leader actively listens to people in order to understand their point of view and helps leaders capitalize on subordinate and peer expertise. Don’t Project your Value System onto Others. “Learn to appreciate that we all come from different experiences and backgrounds and other people aren’t always going to see things the way you do,” she said. Be Hard on the Issue, but Easy on the Person. There will be many times leaders find themselves in conflict with others. It is important to hold your people accountable for their actions, but it is as equally important to never make it personal. “Once an issue has been addressed, let it go and move forward and do not hold it against the person,” she advised. Be Honest. You can’t always give people all of the information about decisions made in every situation, but it’s important to make an effort to explain as much as possible. “I’ve always believed that people can deal with any decision if you’re honest with them,” she said. “Look people in the eye and be sincere.” Give Credit Where Credit is Due. “Never take credit for something that someone else has done,” she said. Leaders work hard to ensure those around them succeed. Recognize Accomplishments Often. “It is important to thank people and recognize their work,” she said. In particular, Setzer always stressed to her officers the importance of recognizing the ݽɬ