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The Advancing Community Policing Grant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61
Department Observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65
Lessons Learned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66
Panel Commentary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67
Creating A Shared Vision Through
Leadership Training
Creating a Shared Vision
Through Leadership Training
The Advancing Community
Policing Grant
The San Jose Police Department started com-munity policing efforts in earnest in 1991 and
chose to make community policing every member’s responsibility—there were no specialized
community policing officers.
The police department currently operates out of a
single station, although there are now two
Community Policing Service Centers and plans for
two more. The department is in the design phase
for a separate substation to serve the southern
portion of the city. San Jose is divided into four
patrol divisions, each overseen by a captain. Patrol
captains have 24-hour problem-solving responsibility within their divisions.
Every six months, the department has a “shift
change” in which patrol officers can bid for their
next assignment based on seniority. Typically,
transfers in and out of other bureaus occur at the
same time. San Jose has an active rotation policy
for its members, which limits most specialized
assignments to three to five years. Even so, many
patrol officers remain in a specific area for longer
than a single six-month shift. The department
wants to implement one-year shift changes for
greater consistency in the community. This is a
labor/management issue, and contract negotiations have not resulted in a change.
San Jose has achieved a relatively high level of
implementation of its community policing philosophy and partnerships/programs. The department
has active partnerships with schools, neighborhood and community groups, and other city and
county agencies. The mayor and city manager
have each supported a coordinated response to
community problems.
Beginning in the late 1980s, Project Crackdown
was the city’s most comprehensive program that
used principles of community partnership, community development, neighborhood empowerment,
and coordination of a broad range of city services to
address the problems of gangs, drugs, and neighborhood blight. Following Project Crackdown, the
city continued its collaboration with a Mayor’s Gang
Prevention Task Force, which has now operated for
10 years. This task force is a highly collaborative
grouping of city and county agencies, schools, businesses, and community-based organizations. It has
created many strategic alliances and pursued initiatives involving gangs, school violence, truancy, and
community empowerment.
At the time of the Advancing Community Policing
(ACP) grant in 1997, the department’s community
policing efforts had lost momentum. A number of
focus groups revealed that a comprehensive program to address leadership development and the
creation of a consistent vision for community
policing were needed to reinvigorate the department’s efforts.
The Project
The San Jose Police Department requested grant
money to pursue a number of departmentwide initiatives. A professional development course was
planned for all 300 sworn and civilian supervisors
to teach them the skills critical to implementing
community policing. Thirty peer facilitators/mentors were to be identified and trained to lead the
professional development classes and act as mentors to newly promoted supervisors. The department also proposed conducting additional training
for command personnel. An executive retreat
allowed the chief of police to develop the top leadership of the department. A consultant helped the
department create a strategic plan while teaching
strategic planning skills to department members.
Another consultant presented an innovative leadership simulation process that used role-playing to
reinforce the importance of community partnerships and collaborative leadership. The department
expanded its intranet to allow for the delivery of
information, updates, and curriculum to personnel
at individual worksites. Site visits were made to
Baltimore and Boston to see specific community
policing programs and to Los Angeles to evaluate
a modification of the West Point Leadership
San Jose’s goals and objectives for the ACP grant
were to:
➜ Increase the leadership capacity of middle management and line supervisors and develop a
core set of attitudes for community oriented
➜ Increase the decentralization of decision-making
➜ Develop a comprehensive community oriented
policing professional development course
through site visits and research
➜ Using leadership simulation gaming, train 300
supervisory and command personnel in practical
leadership skills related to community policing
➜ Create a shared vision for the future of community oriented policing in San Jose
➜ Institutionalize leadership and professional
development training within the department
At the time the grant was awarded, a new chief of
police was taking over the department. Chief
William M. Lansdowne modified terms of the initial grant request to include direct training and
development opportunities for sergeants. This
allowed more sergeants to attend the state’s
Supervisory Leadership Institute, a highly regarded, long-term leadership development program. In
keeping with the tenets of community policing,
additional community members and government
partners were allowed to attend. Also, the peer
San Jose, California was founded in 1777
and incorporated in 1850. It was
California’s first incorporated city and the
first state capital. San Jose is the 11th
largest city in the United States. It is in
the center of Silicon Valley, has a population of more than 894,943, and covers
176 square miles. The population is 36.6
percent white, 26.6 percent Asian, 30.2
percent Hispanic, 3.3 percent black, and
3.8 percent other races.* The department
has 1,359 sworn officers and 450 civilian
➜ Evaluation of the professional development
➜ A retreat for the chief of police and top command staff to create a consistent vision for community policing
Seven significant elements of San Jose’s ACP project are highlighted below. Each one offers
lessons for other law enforcement agencies that
seek to implement community oriented policing.
LeadSimm Training. Some of the strongest outcomes were seen with the two-day LeadSimm
collaborative leadership training, in which more
than 450 department members and community/
school/government partners took part. After the
training, participants said they more clearly understood the need for and the value of partnerships
before and during a community crisis. The training
was so well received that sergeants used additional sessions to send officers from their teams.
Many participants reported learning skills and concepts that have improved their handling of community problems. Other police officer participants
formed ongoing relationships with community
members that have aided them in addressing
community concerns.
mentor and facilitator program was revised to
become a sergeant’s mentoring program for newly
promoted supervisors. In addition, the intranet
was expanded to become a virtual library including
such topics as personal development, problem
solving, and promotion. The chief also asked for a
strategic plan for community policing to be developed using internal resources.
Ultimately, the San Jose ACP project included the
➜ Training for lieutenants and captains on how to
create and sustain community policing
➜ A professional development course for
sergeants that included community policing
➜ The development and training of peer mentors
who would mentor newly promoted supervisors
and serve as facilitators for the professional
development course
➜ Site visits to Baltimore and Boston and a visit to
the Los Angeles Police Department to study its
West Point Leadership Model
➜ The acquisition and use of technology to support web-based learning
➜ Training on leadership and community policing,
including LeadSimm leadership simulation
* U.S. Census Bureau, 2000.
The LeadSimm training broadened the participants’ perspectives. Police officers gained a better
understanding of the issues facing the chief.
Community members saw police officers as
human beings. Officers got to know community
members as individuals who were willing to give
up their time to learn alongside police.
The sessions became increasingly popular for
other city employees and school officials, and people outside the department eventually formed the
majority of class members. Participants have
developed a consistent view of collaborative leadership and its relationship to community problem
solving. What began as an internal effort has
grown into a powerful outreach tool.
The department produced a video of the
LeadSimm experience to explain its value as a
training tool for community policing and leadership
development. Members of the city council plan to
provide this training to their constituents.
The department’s work with schools was also
directly enhanced by the use of the LeadSimm process in school violence training. Responding to concerns about school violence, the department used
the ACP grant to try out the LeadSimm process on
the issue of catastrophic school violence. An initial
simulation was followed by a live exercise at a high
school to test procedures that would be required
in an “active shooter” situation. The exercises
demonstrated what could be expected during an
incident of targeted school violence. This process
enhanced the relationship between the police
department and the school district. Thanks to this
exercise, one of the largest high school districts in
the city trained directly with the police department
and other city partners on responding to school
Professional Development Course. The department has developed a customized professional
development course for supervisors. The course
curriculum includes leadership, qualities of successful community policing programs, problem
solving, team building, public speaking, and mobilizing community resources. A focus group helped
identify the major components of the curriculum.
This process engaged more than 30 people of all
ranks within the department (both sworn and civilian), as well as members of city government and
the school administration in a daylong discussion
of community policing. The goal was to identify
the critical skills that a supervisor needs to be
effective. Although the curriculum has been developed, the course has not yet been implemented.
Virtual Library/Learning Team. A learning team
was created using the concepts promoted by
Peter Senge, an expert in knowledge management and author of The Fifth Discipline, to conceptualize and develop an intranet-based virtual library.
The team of almost 30 individuals benefited from
the learning process and developed skills that will
support future creative endeavors. The department now has an expanding and frequently updated virtual library on its intranet site. Use of
the virtual library is growing.
When the professional development course is
taught, the virtual library will present class reading
materials, serve as a resource for assignments
between sessions, and deliver information on
current issues facing the department.
Strategic Plan. The department now has a strategic plan for community policing that will guide it
for several years. This plan will assist the department as it moves from a centralized force with
one station to a decentralized force with four
service centers and a substation. A broad cross
section of department members participated in
developing the plan.
What began as an internal effort has grown into a
powerful outreach tool.
Sergeants’ Mentoring Program. A mentoring
program has been developed and implemented to
help newly promoted sergeants develop the specific skills that are necessary for the creation and
continuation of community policing. This program
emphasizes the scanning, analysis, response, and
assessment (SARA) model and includes scenarios
to demonstrate how others have approached problem solving. Newly promoted supervisors now go
through a mentoring process with an experienced
supervisor to refine problem-solving skills and
develop creativity.
Site Visits. Three site visits gave approximately
10 members of the San Jose Police Department
the opportunity to share experiences and philosophies of community policing with other law
enforcement leaders. As a result of these site visits, several specific programs have been started in
San Jose, including:
➜ Faith-based initiatives from Baltimore and
Boston. This program resulted in a “cops, kids,
and clergy” day between top command staff,
clergy, and local youths to discuss ways to create better partnerships. Several follow-up meetings were held at the community level.
➜ Decentralized accountability within the patrol
structure for problem solving. The Baltimore
Sector Command model was used to create
a process for some lieutenants to assume
problem-solving responsibility for specific geographic districts on a 24-hour basis, where they
formerly had responsibility only for a specific
period of time on their workdays.
➜ The West Point Leadership Model. As modified
and taught within the Los Angeles Police
Department, this model has been adopted as
a component of the professional development
Executive Retreat. The executive retreat was held
offsite. Reviewing the results of focus group interviews stimulated discussion about community
policing and the direction of the department. The
results of those interviews (approximately 50 pages
of comments and commentary from department
members) continue to serve as a resource for
addressing common issues within the department.
Department Observations
The LeadSimm training was the first concrete
activity of the grant. Because this was new and
unique, it took some time for word to spread that
the training was valuable. Attendance was low
until outside participants were invited and word of
the value of the training spread.
For the past several years, the chief of police has
been the strongest proponent of community policing. As a result, the grant met with resistance
from individuals who felt that the training and
activities were merely a fad to be tolerated.
For the duration of the grant, the department
engaged in an aggressive training regimen, which
created a scheduling strain. That also negatively
affected attendance. A possible solution is to institutionalize this training to make it a part of the culture.
The department took longer than it intended to
produce the curriculum for the professional development course, which slowed the momentum to
deliver the course. The curriculum is now complete and the department will train facilitators and
schedule classes.
The grant encompassed a broad range of activities, which fostered creativity. However, it was
difficult for some department members to fully
understand how various activities were related
and difficult to see the “big picture” of the department’s commitment to community policing.
66 Benefits
The ACP grant contributed to advancing community policing in the San Jose Police Department in
the following ways:
➜ The process of applying for the grant focused
the department’s attention on assessing its
needs relative to community policing and
allowed the department to strategize and plan
an approach to improving leadership development, an issue of ongoing concern within the
➜ The grant has re-energized the commitment of
both police officers and community members to
community policing. Several captains and lieutenants have had responsibility for major portions of the grant. Each applied new ideas to
further refine the grant. Each time a new individual or group became engaged, that involvement
added sophistication and complexity to the initial
concept. More and more people became connected with community policing and understood
that the grant was addressing a broad range of
initiatives. Department members had new
opportunities to meet people inside and outside
the department and to build relationships that
were directly related to advancing community
➜ Focus groups used in the preparation of the
grant generated ideas that expanded the dialogue on community policing within the department. This discussion invigorated participants
and demonstrated the department’s willingness
to share ideas in an open environment.
➜ Both the grant application and implementation
process and the training provided by the grant
offered new opportunities for staff and
improved their skills.
➜ The grant allowed a large number of individuals
to speak on behalf of community policing,
removing the burden from the chief of police as
the sole promoter.
➜ The evaluation component caused the department to consider desired outcomes and to
design elements of the grant specifically to
meet those outcomes. The department began
with the end goal in mind. As an example, the
professional development course was originally
conceptualized as an internal course. On consideration, the value of opening the course to the
department’s partners and members of the
community became apparent. The same thinking was applied to the LeadSimm training.
The department aggressively solicited outside
➜ The professional development course curriculum
can continue to be used by supervisors to
advance community policing.
Over the course of the grant, from 1998 to 2001,
community policing became more institutionalized
as a part of the department’s culture. Other citywide initiatives have complemented the grant. The
city has expanded successful neighborhood-based
initiatives to additional neighborhoods. This broader effort, named the Safe Neighborhood Initiative,
gives comprehensive city attention not only to
crime and blight, but also to housing, economic
revitalization, and neighborhood organization.
Internally, the city has instituted a process to measure the quality of services called Investing in
Results, which has allowed the police department
to focus on how its efforts support the city’s
broader mission. Additionally, the department has
opened two of four planned community service
centers, which have given the department a valuable presence throughout the city.
Lessons Learned
When a department invests in its people in creative ways, professional growth and a subsequent
positive effect on the community are the results.
The ACP grant in San Jose proved to be a catalyst
for change in an organization that needed it. The
following strategies for implementing community
oriented policing emerged from the department’s
experience with the ACP grant:
➜ Communicate regularly and in detail about the
scope and intent of activities and initiatives.
➜ Convene members of the department on an
ongoing basis to discuss progress.
➜ Include community members, key school personnel, and government partners in any training
or discussion about community policing. This
benefits the department, the other participants
see the department as a powerful partner, and
relationships that can be nurtured and called
upon in the future are created.
➜ Empower individuals to take responsibility for
projects. Creative, energetic people should be
encouraged to build on the ideas of other people. The outcomes will include a better project,
a sense of group pride, and a renewed commitment to community policing.
➜ It is not enough for the chief of police to support
community policing. That support must extend
through the chain of command and be demonstrated daily.
Panel Commentary
The panel applauds the candor of the San Jose
Police Department in acknowledging that its community policing efforts “lost momentum” and that
it consequently had to design and implement a
leadership development program to “reinvigorate”
its philosophical commitment to community policing. Police agencies rarely self-report that critical
programs are jeopardized or are in decline; yet it is
universally recognized that any significant program
will experience cycles of success and failure. San
Jose’s experience is immediately analogous to
that of every agency that has attempted an ambitious agenda for change, and their approach to the
need for course correction and reinvigoration was
reasoned, appropriate, effective, and a model for
The process of grant application and analysis is
itself a catalyst for organizational insight and
growth. In the case of the San Jose Police
Department, the research initiatives and creative
thinking of key personnel led to the validation of
key challenges and the consequent identification
of powerful programmatic responses to those
The retooling of the original grant by incoming
Chief Lansdowne was reported with honesty and
insight. It is critical that every significant program
has the support and imprimatur of the executive.
It is a credit to both the San Jose Police
Department and the COPS Office that they
allowed for opportunities to rethink and ultimately
modify the original grant based on the personal
vision of a new chief of police. It is worth noting
that the specific modifications proposed (i.e.,
expansion of leadership training for first-line supervisors, the increased involvement of community
and government partners, the creation of a virtual
library) were creative, progressive, and conceptually powerful.
This ACP grant was clearly used to maximum
effect. The San Jose Police Department made a
significant contribution of its own intellectual capital and organizational talent to leverage the
$249,000 award. The LeadSimm training program
could stand alone as a substantial accomplishment
and, in other hands, might have consumed the
total sum of the grant funds. It is remarkable that
It is not enough for the chief of police to support
community policing. That support must extend
through the chain of command and be
demonstrated daily.
in addition to the LeadSimm program, the San
Jose Police Department undertook and implemented five ambitious programs, including a virtual library, a sergeants’ mentoring program, and a
strategic plan for community policing. This level of
performance is exemplary and should remind
other agencies of the power of a grant—regardless
of the amount—when it is wedded to a clear, relevant vision and a plan for its use.
This grant is notable because of the broad manner
in which it addresses leadership, with all levels of
the organization included in training. Civilian personnel from the department and community members also participate in the training, including the
professional development courses.
These efforts to be innovative and provoke the
organization to “shake up” its usual practices to
more fully implement community policing are
commendable. That boldness, however, must
come with a caution: traditional organizations
tend to be highly resistant to change. Under such
conditions, change must be carefully and deliberately managed. This is a consideration both for
those who fund change and for those who implement it.
Throughout the process of change, it is important
to develop “champions” at several levels of the
organization who both support a specific community policing philosophy and value change and
innovation. These champions were important to
the success of San Jose’s efforts.

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