Law Enforcement Learn Leadership Skills at FBI Summit

A week-long FBI summit is going on in East Alabama. Law enforcement and other officials have been in Opelika this week for an annual FBI seminar. They’re learning ways to better serve their departments and the public.

About one hundred officers from around the state are participating in this year’s Southeastern Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar. The annual SLEDS conference provides leadership training for lieutenants, sergeants and captains in our local police departments.

“It’s to teach our mid-level managers throughout the law enforcement community in the state of Alabama law enforcement strategies, techniques, principals on leadership, dealing with the community, dealing with problems in their areas of responsibility,” Special Agent of the FBI Birmingham Division Johnnie Sharp said.

For over three decades, the conference has given our men in blue a chance to learn from some of the FBI’s best teachers.

“The training is such a high level, I’ve been able to actually pick up several things that are still beneficial that I can go back and tell my supervision, my first level supervisors, my sergeants, lieutenants, captains some of the things that I’ve learned and implement some pretty good changes,” Chief of Police for the University of Alabama John Hooks said.

From cyber-security to problem solving and media training, the workshops help the participants develop their leadership skills. Those skills can be used to help spring board them into higher positions, including eventually applying for the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

“These individuals in the training are going to be the executive leaders of tomorrow and certainly getting this information is going to do much to ensure their success. Plus, it emphasizes that very heavily the cooperative relationships and the efficiencies and the benefits of working together in any type of situation to address the public safety issues that we;’re all confronted with,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said.

The summit also provides networking opportunities and a chance for departments to work closely with other officials who can provide an extra set of hands when emergencies are knocking at the door.

“Personal relationships in law enforcement are critical. Picking up the phone, being able to call someone on a first name basis and say ‘hey, we’re working on this type of issue or that issue. how can you help us or we need help doing this’ and that back and forth work and relationships and establishing levels of communication is what is actually the key,” Jones said.

This year’s summit was co-hosted by the Auburn and Opelika Police Departments and the Lee County Sheriffs Office. The seminar ends Friday, October 11th.

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