** Police Chief 101: Practical Advice for the Law Enforcement Leader. By Gerald W. Garner; published by Charles C. Thomas Publisher Ltd., www.ccthomas.com (Web); 265 pages; $40.95.
Can a book specifically aimed at police chiefs—and those who aspire to the title—be of interest to security professionals? The answer is “maybe.”
Jerry Garner, chief of police in Greeley, Colorado, and an internationally known author and trainer with 40 years of experience, has written a unique work that is a true primer on leadership and executive career survival skills. The book offers guidance that is applicable to executives in both the public and the private sectors. To realize its value, readers will have to see beyond the title and the target audience and mull the advice proffered.
The book benefits from an approachable format with 15 chapters that trace an executive’s linear journey from “When You’re the New Chief” (Chapter One) to “How to Know It’s Time to Go” (Chapter 15). Each chapter concludes with a useful summary.
Some chapters will be relevant solely to sworn officers, such as “The Chief as a Player on the Political Scene” and “Managing Your Relations with the Community.” Others will ring true for all executives regardless of assignment, including leading your staff and maintaining a healthy relationship with your boss. The absence of a bibliography does handicap the book’s utility.
While most of the ideas and suggestions will not be new to experienced readers, there is benefit in reinforcing proven techniques and practices for readers who want to advance as managers, regardless of sector. Whether you agree or disagree with Garner’s advice, the book makes for a compelling few hours spent with an experienced American police chief.
Reviewer: Thomas E. Engells, CPP, CPM (Certified Public Manager), is the chief of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Police Department. He is a member of ASIS International.