Strengthen your agency by planning for your replacement

As a police chief, if you got hit by a bus tomorrow, would someone in your agency be ready to step into your role?


By Leischen Stelter, editor of In Public Safety

As a police chief, if you got hit by a bus tomorrow, would someone in your agency be ready to step into your role? Police chiefs must take the time to develop robust short- and long-term succession plans to ensure their agency does not experience a leadership crisis upon their departure.

“Your value as a chief is leaving your department better than you found it. Too many chiefs retire with little to no notice and leave their agency rudderless,” said Richard Kreisler during an educational session at the 38th annual California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) training symposium. Kreisler retired as the chair of the public safety employment practice group with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore (LCW), a law firm specializing in advising public safety agencies across California. He was joined by two colleagues to share the firm’s succession planning strategy and how this strategy can be used by law enforcement agencies.

Be Open and Honest About Your Retirement Plans
Succession planning is a constant process and it takes a minimum of five years to develop a robust plan. Because succession planning is such an involved and lengthy process, chiefs must be willing to disclose their retirement plans. This request is often extremely difficult for chiefs to accept, said Kreisler, but one that is critical to the strength of the department.

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