Special to the Register
I was able to participate in the second class of The Public Safety Leadership Academy put on by The Ohio State University. This class was hosted at The Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy and included instructors from the university, private and public sector speakers and law enforcement professionals.
This class was an intensive 11-week program where 33 law enforcement leaders from across the state came together and learned about different topics from budgeting, communication skills, leadership and ethics to organizational and individual behaviors, strategic planning and several other subjects related to modern-day law enforcement leaders.
This class began on March 31, with 33 individuals representing many different agencies with different views on policing and leadership.
By the end of class on June 13 we became a team of law enforcement leaders who realize the importance of getting beyond the old-school thinking of jurisdictional boundaries and that working as one will provide for a better Ohio and better police services to our citizens.
We also learned it will take effective leaders to step up and challenge the status quo and implement change in our agencies.
We looked at many different aspects of managers and leaders. Many people can manage, but only a few truly strive to be a leader of their people.
Getting them to rise up and put their best foot forward every day in all they do is important to me and is what I will always strive for with our department. I was able to learn new ideas at this academy for doing this and also learned my own strengths and weaknesses so I can continue to develop myself into a more effective leader.
This development is a continual process and is why a program such as this is so beneficial. Another benefit of this class was the volunteer work that was done on a weekly basis.
We assisted the Lower Lights Church in Columbus with assignments such as putting together food bags for cancer and AIDS patients, building community gardens, playing sports with underprivileged youths and feeding women who were released from prison and trying to reintegrate into society.
This work allowed us to see that without a badge and uniform we could still make a difference, and every time we assist another we can make a difference in their life.
By completing this class, not only have I networked with 32 law enforcement professionals from the state, but our department has also.
We all bring different ideas and means of getting our jobs done, and the Sandusky Police Department now has 32 other law enforcement professionals we can bounce ideas off of so we can continue to move forward during challenging times.
Officers in the class represented large departments such as the Columbus Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, as well as smaller agencies such as Medina Township Police Department with 11 officers. We had ranks of sergeant, lieutenant, captain, commander (in charge of downtown Columbus precincts) and deputy chief.
As part of the class we were able to participate in a shield detail, in which multiple agencies come together for a couple of days and work together with a goal such as traffic enforcement or a warrant sweep to keep the community safer.
It reiterated the fact that we can all work together and that different badges and patches on a uniform only mean so much when we all work toward the greater goal of putting our community first.
This class has taught me a lot, and I plan to utilize the information learned in this class to continue making the Sandusky Police Department the premier agency in the area and do all I can to make myself the best leader for the agency.
Many of the experiences of the class will never be forgotten, such as riding in Columbus Police Department’s helicopter for an evening.
I would strongly encourage law enforcement leaders from our agency and surrounding agencies to send someone to the next class of the Public Safety Leadership Academy Class 3.
Scott Dahlgren is a lieutenant with Sandusky Police Department.