President ’s MessageBy Jim MacSween, Chief of Police, York Regional Police As police leaders, living in uncertain times is part of the fabric of our professional lives. When I decided to join policing 34 years ago, I knew that there would be challenging days for me as a law enforcement professional and as a person. The past few years have certainly brought us many situations that have changed the way we do business in policing. Whether those things were social upheavals, economic uncertainty, armed conflicts across the globe with local repercussions or the demanding work involved in safeguarding all communities and the well-being of our police members, there has been no shortage of things to keep us up at night. Talking Leadership Everyone is talking about leadership these days. It seems that everywhere I go, the conversation inevitably turns to how we can better lead and support our organizations and people. During my time on the OACP’s Board of Directors, we have discussed the situations we are facing as Ontario’s police leaders. We have also shared the things that have worked and sometimes have not worked within our own organizations. Talking and learning about leadership is critical to actually leading empowering police organizations. I note that guest speakers at our 2023 Police Leadership Program received a copy of Dr. Rose Patten’s recent book , Intentional Leadership: The Big 8 Capabilities Setting Leaders Apart. Dr. Patten was elected Chancellor of the University of Toronto in 2018 and is the Adjunct Professor and Executive in Residence at the Rotman School of Management, teaching senior leadership, talent and succession, and governance. She is also Special Advisor to the CEO and senior executives at BMO Financial Group, was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2007, and was recently appointed Honorary Colonel at the Canadian Armed Forces College. Dr. Patten writes, “We can thrive as leaders by intentionally and deliberately reinventing ourselves, checking our beliefs and placing far greater emphasis on human skills and other select but highly personal leadership qualities.” This concept of intentionality is critical for police leaders. Are we developing leaders who lead with a sense of purpose and intentionality that inspires and supports our members? Is our leadership grounded in our authentic selves? As leaders, are we showing humility when working collaboratively with all members of our organizations? Are we rooted in personal and organizational ethics that won’t crack under public scrutiny or personal attacks? Leadership Matters Leadership is not encapsulated in a social media posting or public posturing on often complex issues. Real leadership involves dialogue, collaboration, listening intently and asking for assistance when we do not have all the answers. It’s also important to admit that we do not know everything and that we commit ourselves to doing our best to find the solutions to often complex problems. In 2024, OACP members and policing professionals will have opportunities to focus on leadership at our annual Leadership Conference. The sessions at our 2024 Annual Conference in London (June 9-12) will focus on leadership within our organizations and our communities, and as we look to the future, I encourage you, as a police leader, to make sincere authentic leadership a hallmark of who and what you are. Together, all of us can make a real difference in the lives of our members and the communities we serve. Chief Jim MacSween served as OACP President in 2023-2024.
READ MORE LIKE THIS
TRENDING ARTICLES
1

THE FUTURE OF LEADERSHIP IN POLICING

Under the leadership of Chief Jim MacSween, the executive leadership team at York Regional Police (YRP) established a mission to re-imagine leadership development within the organization. YRP knew that standardizing leadership principles and delivering them to all ranks of the organization would enrich the development of ethical and professional leaders.

2

Behind Blue Eyes

Behind Blue Eyes: A Police Officers Resiliency Journal as a way to help myself, other police officers, and first responders heal. My journal is a tool and resource and was created because my 23-year-old self would have benefited from the wisdom, insights, and life experiences that I have now. I was not prepared for the death, trauma, and suffering that I would see in my career. Since I was not prepared for it, I didn’t know how to navigate it or to handle it effectively.

3

Connect, Lead, Inspire

As policing leaders, there are key elements to consider when it comes to developing outstanding organizations. Opening conference keynote presenter Tanya McCready of the Winterdance Dogsled Tour and author of Journey of 1000 Miles opened the conference with a timely message: time, dedication, trust, and practice are key elements to leadership, as well as ensuring that leaders know their team and where they thrive best.