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How Do We Recognize Police Leader-Thinkers?

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Police Leaders as Thinkers


The ability of police leaders to be thinkers is impacted by the environment of policing in the early twenty-first century. The traditional conceptualization of the role of the police no longer accurately captures the diversity and complexity of contemporary policing. The police officer in the early twenty-first century is a psychologist, mediator and problem-solver and has near-continuous contact with community residents (Griffiths 2020). In some police services, officers are involved in a more holistic approach to problem-solving that has the potential to effectively address the underlying issues that contribute to crime and disorder, rather than merely responding to the symptoms of these issues.

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Correspondence to Curt Taylor Griffiths .

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Appendix A: Police Leaders as Thinkers Project

Appendix A: Police Leaders as Thinkers Project

Interview Topics

  1. 1.

    In your view, (a) What are the attributes of a police leader as a thinker? (b) How do we tell whether a police leader is a thinker?

  2. 2.

    What/who were the major influences in your personal and professional life that have influenced how you think as a police leader?

  3. 3.

    How important is it for leaders to be thinkers? Can one be a leader without being a thinker?

  4. 4.

    Would you characterize most police leaders as being risk adverse?

    • If so, why do you think that is the case?

  5. 5.

    What is the process that you engage in when thinking about a long-standing problem or issue?

  6. 6.

    How have you been able to avoid (or have you been able to avoid) being restricted by the culture of policing which it might be argued often does not support innovation?

  7. 7.

    Police leaders often have ideas but are unable to action them.

    • What strategies do you use to increase the likelihood that your ideas will come to fruition?

    • Move from blue sky to implementation?

    • How do you secure and sustain buy-in? Within and outside the department?

  8. 8.

    Does being a thinker require skill in the art of compromise? If yes, in what way?

  9. 9.

    In your view, are there risks associated with being a police thinker? If so, what are they?

  10. 10.

    How do you help others in the organization become thinkers? Is this a skill that can be learned and passed on? Or is it innate?

  11. 11.

    What lessons have you learned about the factors that facilitate or hinder “thinking”, “acting” and “succeeding” in implementing ideas?

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© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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Griffiths, C.T., Dubord, N. (2023). How Do We Recognize Police Leader-Thinkers?. In: Verma, A., Das, D.K. (eds) Police Leaders as Thinkers. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-19699-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-19700-0

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