Friday, December 27, 2013

The Law & Order Life Radio Show Hosted by Fasil Khan

This Saturday at 11:00 AM EST (December 28, 2013) on The Law and Order of Life Radio Show, we will have special guest Edward Brown, M.S., a researcher and lead instructor for Core Edge Police Professional Development.

Police officers face a unique set of challenges as a result of the negativity seen every day in their jobs. The 8 Mandates to the Law and Order of Life focus on these issues and give you powerful tips and actions you can put into place right away to start creating the life you deserve. Whether you’re trying to manage the constant flow of negativity associated with the job, struggling to strengthen your personal relationships, or looking for assistance with advancing your career, Khan Coaching is committed to guiding you through these transitions and empowering you to command your life.

Ed is a former Atlanta police officer and has trained supervisors within the Atlanta Police Department as well as police officers throughout the state of Georgia and abroad. He has advanced legal training from the University of Dayton School of Law and a master’s degree from Mercer University in Public Safety.

Ed's latest book, The A-Team: How to be a Top Police Department in Recruiting, Training & Retaining Employees” can be ordered now on

Check it out live on

Call the show to have your questions answered live on the air! Dial: 973-925-4559

Friday, December 13, 2013

How Police Departments Can Use an Action Learning Model for Knowledge Management

Edward Brown, M.S. defines a Learning Organization as an “Organization that acquires knowledge and innovates fast enough to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing environment. Learning organizations (1) create a culture that encourages and supports continuous employee learning, critical thinking, and risk taking with new ideas, (2) allow mistakes, and value employee contributions, (3) learn from experience and experiment, and (4) disseminate the new knowledge throughout the organization for incorporation into day-to-day activities.”

Essentially, police departments are bonafide  learning organizations when it comes to the technical aspects of policing. Police academies and in-service training are extremely valuable for updating officer survival techniques, legal and constitutional considerations, and liability issues. Even field training is valuable on an individual level. However, what happens with the 30 years of experience and information police supervisors and officers leave with when they retire? Where are the archives that house this information?  How can police departments become better knowledge managers reminiscent of research libraries and information curators? Could experience be packaged to create POST certified training? 

Fundamentally, other learning organizations have begun using action learning as a methodology for retrieving internal experiences and translating it into documented information.  Study Guides and Strategies website (n.d.) defined action learning as “…learning and problem-solving strategy for organizations, whether commercial, government or non-profit. The focus is to increase employees learning capacity within an organization while responding to a real world challenge in a cross-departmental team. Reflection is an important part of the experience.”

Study Guides and Strategies broke learning actions into 6 (six) components, which are:

  • Takes advantage of its members’ own actions and experience
  • The experience of "exchange" can generate fresh approaches across departmental lines (networking), and help build systemic innovation and learning capacity within the organization.
  • Begins with a period of strategic questioning of the problem
  • Sets action items and goals
  • Regroups to analyze progress
  • Reflects upon, and documents, the process

How would this work within police departments? First, police leaders would determine that there is a problem within their knowledge management system. Veteran supervisors and officers who do not systematically pass on their experience to personnel keep police departments in a regressive mode. Even U.S. prisons have become criminal universities for inmates passing on best practices to other  inmates. To stay ahead, police departments have to view police experience as vital to knowledge management. Second, by enlisting police personnel as archivists using current resources within the training section, there are no additional expenditures for maintaining a database of interviews and biographies, video logs, and publishing center. Third, designating a curator ensures that all information is catalogued and used within academy and in-service training.  Fourth, police departments that institute a knowledge management component within their department become the epicenter for other departments in retrieving these best practices. Departments could even charge a user fee for the information as well as offer POST credits, not to mention a consultant fee to help set up knowledge management centers within other departments. Finally, retiring supervisors and officers create a legacy that is self-fulfilling as well as valuable to police operations.  A hundred years from now, future police supervisors and officers can review how past supervisors and officers made certain decisions that may be germane and relevant for that time.

If the old adage, “Knowledge is Power,” has any validity, it is critical that police departments maintain the most important part of this edict of knowledge, experience. By preserving experience that becomes wisdom, police departments can maintain the quintessential aspect of power.

Edward Brown, M.S., is a researcher and lead instructor for Core Edge Police Professional Development.  Ed is a former Atlanta police officer and has trained supervisors within the Atlanta Police Department as well as police officers throughout the state of Georgia and abroad. Ed is also a consultant to police departments in archival and knowledge management.

He has advanced legal training from the University of Dayton School of Law and a master’s degree from Mercer University in Public Safety Leadership.

Ed is the author of nine books including: A Badge Without Blemish: Avoiding Police Corruption and The Secrets to Communicating Effectively with Police Officers.

Click for review: Police Now!


Learning Organization (n.d.). Retrieved from:

Study Guides and Strategies (n.d.). Action Learning. Retrieved from:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How Police Leaders Can Boost Their Brain Excellence for Leading Innovation

Edward Brown, M.S.

The police profession can be conservative.  Although, police leaders have to juggle the competing interests of constituents, leaders can use innovation to become more effective. It has been said that the higher one goes up the police hierarchy, the less accountability there is. In other words, you cannot force police leaders to consider new ways of doing things unless they view change as aligning with their self-interest.  In keeping with this notion, police leaders who have climbed to the top of their organization should consider their legacy and how history will view their contributions to their department as well as the profession.  Are you satisfied with mediocrity?  Before police leaders can speak persuasively, they must first formulate compelling ideas through advanced critical thinking skills.

Police leaders, as transformational leaders, use their insatiable curiosity and ability to spot departmental inefficiencies to innovate services.  But, what is innovation?  Innovation is simply the foundation of new beginnings. In short, looking at old traditions through new lenses.  Through innovation, you can discover new ideas, learn new techniques, offer better quality, and even help personnel increase productivity.  However, what many police leaders do not realize is that innovation can be used to help move their department to the next level.  “Next level” sounds cliché, but the mission is really to focus on the ability to think about a police department as a living organism and feeding it the proper nutrients to grow.  Corporations are always borrowing ideas from other industries to improve productivity and profitability, which is part of their DNA.  Police departments shouldn’t be any different.

Police leaders can use critical thinking to innovate and transform their departments in several ways.  It can be as simple as having access to the right information so that they know what the latest and greatest schools of thought are. Taken from the IBAR Critical Thinking Method, formulated by Edward Brown, this is called “Benchmarking.” In benchmarking, you compare and contrast your departmental operations to industry leaders, standards, or best practices. By comparing departmental operations with these standards, leaders are able to select the options best suited for their usage.  

Think it is too difficult to manage innovation on your own? Simply send your most promising employees to a critical thinking class to encourage them to look at your internal operations differently.  Or, assign a  group of creative people to manage innovation independently. Leaders will be amazed at the services  that can be improved, as well as the efficiency of even the simplest of tasks, when innovation is encouraged. Leaders have to be secure within themselves when a transformational idea comes from someone else or the process is doomed for failure.

Because of the reluctance to change, innovating is a challenge to get started. But, there are enormous resources available to effectively begin the process. Start reviewing books, websites, organizations, and many more avenues that are available on innovative thinking.  Although you are spending time, resources, and money on finding the answers, learning how to make your department innovative, will enhance your department’s operations.  Innovation changes every single day. Have you thought about your true  contribution to the police profession and how your legacy will be viewed? If you haven’t, you still have time.

For more information on developing the critical thinking skills necessary for innovation, click here: 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

5 Things Police Leaders Should Never Do When Speaking Publicly

Edward Brown, M.S.
Quite often, police chiefs who have come up through the ranks feel that effective public speaking isn’t necessary for doing their job. After all, they made it this far without being inspiring or persuasive in their communications. Besides, departmental messages can be handled by the police spokesperson. But, imagine if you could become a savior to your department when effective communication is most needed?  When a community leader galvanizes a group to protest a police action, what could you say to get that same group on your side?  Could you be more persuasive when attempting to get the city council to give your department more resources than fire and sanitation services? No matter what skills got you to the “Top Cop” position, the skills most needed in today’s society are the ability to persuade, inspire, and influence constituents under dire situations. The following are five (5) things police leaders should never do when speaking publicly:

1. Do not address an audience or constituent without adequate preparation. It is important for police leaders to become skilled at impromptu or “spontaneous” speaking. Having an outline that addresses a problem, its genesis, a solution, and a call to action, becomes essential under any circumstance where a department’s confidence and brand are on the line. You should never try to “wing it” or come up with something flat-footed. Even the best speakers make preparations seem spontaneous.

2. Do not leave critical messages in the hands of a police spokesperson.  A police chief should handle critical issues such as budget cuts, employee furloughs, injuries, and officer deaths. Departmental personnel and the public are looking for encouraging words to ensure that the department shows sympathy when an officer goes down and decreases the public’s fear when a dangerous person is running rampant.  These times are especially important for police chiefs and command staffs to rise to the occasion by possessing finely honed public speaking skills.

3. Do not give perfunctory, emotionless presentations. When people experience a loss or hardship, they want to know that someone in authority empathizes with their pain. The standard, emotionless response that police chiefs typically provide does not help ease departmental or public pain. Furthermore, departmental good will is lost when chiefs lack the confidence to become emotionally vulnerable in a time of need. It isn’t necessary that a chief breaks down publicly, but there should be some evidence that he has a heartbeat.

4. Do not leave nonessential information unsaid. There are many times when an ongoing investigation prevents police leaders from divulging pertinent information. An active case requires that critical information remain sealed to either clear up a case or develop evidence for later prosecution. However, controlling public and media messages is all about controlling the conversation. Steer the conversation in a way where you control the tone and mood of the information that is revealed. “No comment” remarks create more intrigue and fodder for rumors than mere explanation of what can be disclosed. Always set the stage on your terms and emphasize a commitment to resolving the case, issue, or controversy as soon as possible.

5. Do not give the same exact presentation to different constituents. Although a message may be the same, the delivery and nuance of each audience requires changes based on constituent’s needs.  If you speak to the Rotary Club, change the same presentation to meet the needs of a Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU). By being aware of the subtle, yet important, differences between each forum, you won’t be labeled a mere politician who does not understand that audiences often overlap. 

The borderless Internet and the global media make effective public speaking paramount for police leaders. The days of police activities remaining local are over. Police leaders have to become acutely aware that while their jurisdictions may be limited, the reach of their messages is unlimited.  One day, you may be a police chief in a city or county with very little activity. The next day, you may be the face and voice of a monumental event.  Become a master communicator that constituents can be proud of rather than a police leader who is proficient at the administrative aspects of policing, but oratorically ill equipped.

For more information on how police leaders can become more persuasive and influential in their public speaking skills, visit:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

3 Speaking Tips for Police Leaders to Communicate More Effectively with Citizens

Imagine  being able to enter any public forum where you have to give a presentation, respond to an incident, or persuade a Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) that your police department is proactively addressing their needs. As a police chief, command staff, or supervisor, your ability to influence and persuade citizens within your jurisdiction hinges on your ability to tap into their self-interest and deepest concerns. The following three (3) tips will put you on the road to becoming a more persuasive public speaker:

1. Understand and articulate the problem. By understanding the problem that plagues citizens, you can become more empathetic when you speak. What pain are citizens facing that you are empowered to solve?  Is there a short-term or long-term solution? Will you need buy-in from other sources to achieve a desired outcome? By becoming emotionally and psychologically clear about the core needs of citizens, you can easily persuade them through understanding their pain and speaking directly to it. 

2. Become a better storyteller. Police leaders who merely recite facts are the least persuasive. As you delve into the emotional pain of your citizens, tell a story that suggests that they are not alone. Individuals often believe that they are the only ones having a particular experience. By vividly describing a similar event that happened and its resolution, it brings comfort to citizens.  Citizens want solutions that are immediate or just around the corner. 

3. Develop a call to action that creates a partnership with citizens. There is an old saying that people support what they help create. Make sure you include citizens in the brainstorming process and ensure that there is some accountability and monitoring by them. Without a partnership, the relationship between a police department and citizens becomes one-sided.  In other words, citizens look for a police department to solely solve problems that citizens are in the best position to facilitate.  For example, recommend that citizens keep regular logs or videos as evidence to helping solve crimes, and then police personnel can facilitate the enforcement component, which police are responsible for doing.

Citizens can be your best allies or worst enemies. By understanding the emotional and psychological needs of any group, you are in a better position to influence behavior that not only cuts down on crime, but mobilizes political action by citizens that will be a benefit for gaining greater departmental resources.

To receive more information for developing persuasive public speaking skills for law enforcement leaders, visit:

Friday, October 18, 2013

How Police Leaders Can Use Personnel to Overcome Budget Cuts and Limited Resources

Edward Brown, M.S.

      Budget cuts and employee furloughs create havoc on employee morale and productivity within police departments.  When quality of life issues affect employee motivation, police leaders have to discover innovative ways to do more with less.  In other words, use strategies that don’t have budgetary restraints.  Research suggests that money becomes a predominant desire for employees when recognition, incentives, and other rewards are not in place.  Employees will generally accept less pay doing a job they enjoy rather than making more money doing a job they dislike.  Consequently, to offset financial restraints, police leaders should align personnel assignments with the personality and self-interest of employees.  This simply can be done by reviewing the personality profiles compiled by the police psychologist during hiring. 

Hogan (2000) identified four (4) types of people (Analyticals, Directors, Socializers, and  Amiable)

  • Analyticals tend to be driven by logic and mental acuity. They respond to stimuli that answer “why” and “how” questions. If you want to attract and persuade these types of individuals, it is important to appeal to their rationale and logicality with facts, figures, and proof. They are nonassertive and internally driven to work problems out within themselves as introverts. Within a police department, Analyticals would be suited in assignments where research, analysis and crime patterns are needed. They would need very little supervision and work performance could be measured easily.

  • Directors are logical also, but are more assertive and driven towards results and accomplishments at all costs. On the surface, they may appear to mimic some traits of Analyticals, but they are much more extroverted and goal or mission oriented. If you want to attract and persuade Directors, give them bottom line information and keep it short, hitting only the key points. They are externally drawn to see the outcome of specific actions.  Many police chiefs and supervisors fall under the Director’s banner. Directors would thrive on special assignments where there is autonomy and mission orientation.

  • Socializers are more emotionally and “Big Picture” thinkers. If you want to attract and persuade these individuals, talk passionately about the overarching mission of your department and tell them how they fit into it. As long as they see themselves as becoming heroes, they are interested in participating in the process, because they are assertive and are big on attention. Show enthusiasm and be light on details. Socializers are not like Analyticals requiring a great deal of facts and details. As public speakers, Socializers are effective in assignments where you need buy-in for police initiatives. Socializers would be great in neighborhood planning units (NPUs) where long-term goals of the community are discussed.

  • Finally, Amiables are emotional and introverted based on their need for relationships. If you want to attract and persuade Amiables, it is important to talk about the importance of collaborations and team building. These individuals would be great at police community and outreach programs. They enjoy the status quo and are less inclined to rock the boat as long as their emotional needs are met.   Amiables could be your best evangelists and cheerleaders within your department as long as there are no dramatic changes to what they have bought into operationally. Amiables embody community-oriented policing. Simply give them the creative freedom to connect deeply with the community and they will flourish. 

      Quite often, when police leaders are addressing personnel collectively, the four types of personalities will be in attendance.  Police leaders' best bet is to speak in ways that cross all sectors. Provide facts, figures, and proof to Analyticals.  Give specific information to Directors that relates to accomplishing a mission. Describe passionately the department’s objectives to Socializers in ways that he or she can shine. In addition, stress the importance of stability and camaraderie when addressing Amiables.  By understanding the importance of persuading individuals based on their personality make-up and self-interest, Police leaders can increase employee productivity despite the economic landscape from budget cuts.

Excerpt from The A-Team: How to Be a Top Police Department in Recruiting, Training & Retaining Employees, By Edward Brown, M.S.


Hogan, K. (2000). The psychology of persuasion: How to persuade others to your way of thinking. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

About the Author

Edward Brown, M.S., is a researcher and lead instructor for Core Edge Police Professional Development.  Ed is a former Atlanta police officer and has trained supervisors within the Atlanta Police Department as well as police officers throughout the state of Georgia and abroad.

He has advanced legal training from the University of Dayton School of Law and a master’s degree from Mercer University in Public Safety Leadership.

Ed is the author of nine books including: A Badge Without Blemish: Avoiding Police Corruption and The Secrets to Communicating Effectively with Police Officers.

Review Book: Top Cop