Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

William V. Pelfrey


This research identified and examined the attributes of police strategies and the related leadership styles in an attempt to develop a model that would benefit police organizations and the community in an effort to have a positive impact on the quality of life of all citizens in the community.

It was a qualitative study that utilized literature from the law enforcement community, the business community, the athletic community, as well as the military community. Personal law enforcement and military experience was considered in order to bring an intimate view of leadership in times of peril and crisis into the text. Recollections of former leaders and the leadership styles they employed were considered when reviewing the literature for this text.

The need for leaders who employ leadership styles that facilitate the effective planning and execution of police strategies in today’s police organizations is a primary issue in our communities. Leaders and leadership have almost countless definitions, but the intent of this research is to challenge senior police leaders to inspire the citizens, which includes police officers, in their community to define and recognize leadership according to the specific and unique qualities of their police organization and their community (Densten, 1999). The police strategies that are considered in this research are ineffective unless a leader with the desire to change the course of his or her police organization is willing to commit to improving the quality of life of every voiceless, nameless, and faceless citizen in his or her community. Police leaders have to exercise a style of leadership that will transform the personal and professional lives of the police officers in his or her organization.

This research has identified the attributes of traditional policing and community oriented policing as well as the attributes of transactional leadership and transformational leadership in an attempt to determine the most effective manner to employ one of these strategies in order to accomplish the diverse goals of today's police organizations. This study recognizes that every police organization is unique and that there are organic variables and traits that allow certain organizations to employ certain strategies by implementing certain styles or combinations of styles while other organizations have to utilize alternative strategies and styles based on resource and community issues.

This study does not attempt to merge the attributes of police strategies and leadership styles into a perfect and complete puzzle. All of the parts and pieces will not match perfectly or align properly. Effective leadership is the key to sculpting the rough edges and sides that don‘t quit seem to fit perfectly into the organization. There is no cookie cutter formula, however, police leaders must have the ability to adapt and to motivate police officers and citizens to change the quality of life in their community. This study sought to determine the attributes of police strategies and the attributes of leadership styles that best merge and align with the goals of police organizations. There needs to be a relationship between police strategies and leadership styles as well as a relationship between leaders and followers, and police officers and citizens (McKee, 2001). This study identifies the attributes and attempts to provide a skeleton model that police leaders can modify and adapt to their particular police organization and community.

The cumulative findings of this study support the need for effective police leaders who can implement police strategies by employing a leadership style that inspires participation, cooperation, and goal accomplishment. This study recommends that community oriented policing strategies best support the needs, concerns, and desires of all citizens when transformational leadership attributes are employed at the senior police leadership levels and adopted by the first line police leaders. The recommendations are intended to improve the quality of leadership in police organizations as well as the quality of the relationships between the all citizens, which can facilitate improvements in the quality of life in the community.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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