Becoming a Police Chief: Developing a Mindset for Success and Service

This four-day, POST Certified, course will prepare you for assuming the position of Chief of Police, and what to do and what not to do when you first take the job. You will learn about the expectations of the Chief of Police from the: city manager, elected officials, news media, and police chiefs’ points of view. Also covered in this course are shaping public policy, labor relations and personnel issues, legal issues, leading in a political environment, organizational development and change, public engagement, crisis communication, leadership and planning your career as a police executive. This course is part of CPCA's Executive Development Certificate program

This course is WHERE you need to be to find out:  

  • WHY you may want the job — The rewards and challenges of leading today’s police department.
  • WHAT is expected of a Police Chief from the perspective of several critical and influential stakeholders.
  • HOW to effectively anticipate and assess issues and the need for change upon taking command of a municipal police agency.
  • WHEN you are ready to be a police chief and how to prepare in order to be successful.  

Topics covered in this course will include:  

  • Preparing for the position of Chief of Police and how to be competitive when applying.
  • Expectations of the Chief of Police from the points of view of the city manager, elected officials, news media, and other police chiefs.
  • Contemporary legal issues for the Police Chief.
  • Shaping Public Policy.
  • Labor Relations and Personnel Issues for the Police Chief.
  • Leading in a Political Environment.
  • Organizational Development and Change.
  • Public Engagement: A Vital Leadership Skill.
  • Crisis Communication and Leadership.  

The course will be presented using a combination of learning techniques, including attendee participation, small group discussion, lecture, scenarios, and discussion panels. Attendees will have an opportunity to interact with experienced police chiefs, city managers, executive search consultants, police legal advisors, and other experts who specialize in the topics listed above.

Course Instructors
Chief Joel Bryden (retired), Walnut Creek Police Department
Morin Jacob, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
Chief Jackie Gomez-Whiteley (retired), Cypress Police Department
Jim Touchstone, Partner, Jones & Mayer
Ed Medrano, President, Private Consulting Firm
Laura Cole, President and Founder, Cole Pro Media
Pete Peterson, Dean of Public Policy, Pepperdine University

Course Coordinator & Instructor
Chief Darryl McAllister (retired), Union City Police Department


Course Dates & Location Information
Monday, September 27 - Thursday, September 30, 2021 in Pismo Beach
Monday, March 28 - Thursday, March 31, 2022 in Napa
Monday, June 6 - Thursday, June 9, 2022 in Palm Springs