The differences between a leader and manager are studied in abundance, in various management courses for multiple reasons. The practice of grooming current managers to future leaders and to specify the desired traits of a leader, are the most common benefits that are drawn out of such studies. The role of police organizations is very crucial for the society and therefore the managerial and leadership qualities in them matter a lot and hence it will be beneficial to assess the difference between leaders and managers, specifically in police organizations.
Leaders and Managers at Police Organizations
The key difference identified between the leaders and managers at police organizations is that, the leaders are primarily involved into work related to strategy formation however the managers are busy with the implementation of strategy and execution along with team handling. The leaders at police organizations are involved into roles that are related to creation of managerial teams and the techniques to train them and prepare them for practical operations based on their experiences. On the other hand, the managers are working in order to use the predefined strategies in order to train, test and prepare the new recruits, along with the existing officers to perform tasks as expected in the guidelines laid down by the leadership personnel. People handling is a very important differentiator among the leaders and managers of police organizations as on one hand the managers are supposed to use people in order to carry out the required operations, on the other hand the leaders are expected to develop people in order to enhance the quality of operations.
If we look at the leaders and managers of police organizations as individual contributors, it will be important to understand that they are both required and must mutually cooperate in order to show flawless execution. The leaders are very important for the organization as they are the ones who develop the key strategies based on the criminal laws and define the criteria within which operations must take place. They also provide coaching and guidance to the managers and encourage them perform according to the expectations.
The managers in police organizations deal with the law directly and they are the communication channels between leaders and officers on operation. Managers prove to be very important in their own aspect as they are the ones who are responsible for the actual implementation of strategies by the officers and to further ensure that the commands coming from the top management are strictly followed by the officers involved in the core operations.
A common example of the above would be a situation where a special investigation has to take place where Commissioner of police decides to create the special task force where, he selects a Captain and a team of officers that report to the Captain. The strategy of operation for the special task force is designed and developed by the Commissioner of police and proper training plan is laid out. The captain is then asked to train his team as per the training plan and then once the training is over then finally he is asked to lead the team of officers to the actual operations according to the predefined execution plan.
Hence, although for business, research and various other government organizations there may be a lot of similarities between the roles related to leadership and managers however as far as the police organizations are concerned there is a strong difference between the strategy formation and execution which happens at different levels and therefore in order to restrict the criminal activities the police organizations ensure that they use the experience of their senior leadership in order to develop the strategies which can be easily implemented and well executed by the officer teams led by their managers.
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