Vermont Press Releases

Training for Vermont law enforcement builds future leadership; media invited to attend LPO presentations

Press Release -- Vermont State Police
June 5, 2013

Stephanie Dasaro, Vermont State Police Public Information Officer, 802-279-9773

Waterbury, VT – 6/5/13 – The Vermont State Police (VSP), along with the Burlington Police Department, are proud to announce the completion of its seventh Leadership in Police Organizations (LPO) training course, a program piloted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). In an attempt to address future leadership needs, LPO offers leadership development based on a behavioral science approach to leading people, groups, and organizations that addresses the particular challenges faced by the law enforcement community as an agency-wide concept, reaching all ranks and positions.

Colonel Tom L’Esperance, director of the Vermont State Police and graduate of the first LPO class held in Vermont in 2010, explains that through the development of leaders, “It is possible to influence human behavior to achieve organizational goals that serve the public, while developing individual employees, teams, and the organization for future service.”

Law enforcement leaders from VSP, New Hampshire and New York State Police, Burlington and South Burlington Police departments, Vergennes Police Department, Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, and Peel Regional Police in Canada attended the most recent three-week LPO held at South Burlington Police Department. The program culminates this Friday, June 7th with group presentations that use the theories and strategies taught to increase the motivation, satisfaction and performance within their organization and to support organizational change.

“The Vermont State Police have distinguished itself and the LPO program by empowering their students to apply what they were learning to solve local and regional problems, which has lead to successful strategies for improving agency recruitment and retention practices, establishing mentorship programs, increasing the efficacy of cruiser technology and changing legislation on methamphetamine,” said Cecelia Rosser, Director of the Center for Police Leadership and Training (CPLT).

Today’s signing of bill of H.522, an act relating to strengthening Vermont’s response to opioid addiction and methamphetamine abuse, is a clear demonstration of the effectiveness of LPO projects on achieving critically important change. As recommended by 2012 students using LPO strategies, the new legislation requires retail establishments to use an electronic registry system (NPLEx) to record the sale of nonprescription pseudoephedrine in an effort to enforce sales limits and curtail “meth lab” incidents.

In the 21st century, police organizations can no longer rely on individual leaders, but rather our law enforcement partners must create a culture within their organizations that establishes an expectation that all officers can and should take leadership initiatives at their level of responsibility to make positive changes and build for the future.

As a partner with VSP since LPO’s inception in Vermont, Chief Mike Schirling of Burlington Police reasons that, “Our success as law enforcement leaders will be judged not only by what we accomplish today but also by how we prepare our agencies to confront the challenges of the future.”

“Peel Regional Police are continually looking for opportunities to train our staff to be better equipped to deal with the challenges facing law enforcement, internally and externally. Our staff found this program to be a fresh pragmatic approach to implementing leadership principles and are excited to return to Canada and integrate it into the curriculum,” said Chris McCord, Deputy Chief of Police.

The media is invited to attend one of the LPO presentations, scheduled for 9:00AM on Friday, June 7 at the Emergency Operations Center, located at the Department of Public Safety, 103 S. Main Street, Waterbury, Vermont. Immediately following the presentation, the media will be allotted time to discuss the program with attendees, representatives from each participating agency, and distinguished guests, including Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. For those attending, please bring photo identification for entry into the Department of Public Safety.

The LPO℠ program, piloted with great success in 2005 and revised in 2010, has the distinguishing feature of focusing on the systematic development of leaders at all levels of an organization using the concept of “every officer a leader.” This three-week course, typically taught one week a month over three months, is an adaptation of a program developed and taught for many years at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Through years of research and development, the curriculum was specifically tailored to meet the challenges and needs of the law enforcement community. Since 2005, the IACP has worked with over 300 local, county, state, and federal agencies of all sizes to bring the LPO℠ program to 37 states and internationally. Ninety percent of the departments pursue “train the trainers” to develop their own faculty. For more information, visit:


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