Leadership Academy Final Project:
“Senior Crime College”
Script For Final Presentation
Slide 1- Introduction
Slide 2 – Sound the Alarm
In doing previous research looking for new programs to bring to the
Southwest District Representative (SWDR) Unit, I came across some
alarming statistics on the number of senior citizens victimized by fraud.
Slide 3 – Identify Areas of Interest
When Vancie and I were deciding what project to work on for the
Leadership Academy, we decided to focus on what the Austin Police
Department is doing, or could be doing, to specifically address the problem
of seniors who are victimized by fraud crimes. The first area of interest was
[Read slide]. Vancie and I see this area of interest as an opportunity. The
statistics indicate a need for something new or different.
Slide 4 – Second Area of Interest
[Read slide] The second area of interest was created when Vancie and I
discovered that despite the alarming statistics and the number of different
types of fraud scams, APD has no mechanism to gather information from
all areas of the city and elsewhere to disseminate to senior citizens in a
format that is easily accessible.
Slide 5 – Third Area of Interest
Research into responses from other areas of the country revealed that
educating seniors in fraud recognition and protection was an important
component in an overall strategy to reduce the amount of fraud
victimization. [Read slide]
Slide 6 – Fourth Area of Interest
[Read slide] During the research, Vancie and I found that the federal
government enhances penalties against persons convicted of telemarketing
fraud in Federal Court. Although Texas outlaws much of what is
considered fraud, it is prosecuted under the dollar amount. We believe that
it is possible to deter criminals from specifically targeting seniors if the
penalties were enhanced, similar to the current Sexual Assault and
Robbery Penal Code statutes. Currently, Texas has no such provision for
Slide 7 – Areas of Interest Summary
In short, our areas of interest can be summarized as [Read slide]
Slide 8 – Analyze
[Read slide] After determining the areas of interest, Vancie and I looked at
the West Point Leadership Theories to see which applied. We had an
advantage when preparing our final project because we had planned as
part of the final project to have already held a 2-hour block of instruction
designed to educate seniors about fraud crimes. We called it the “Senior
Crime College.” Having already worked through all of the processes and
problems, we were able to reflect on what leadership theories and
strategies we used.
Slide 9 – Theories
These are the major sections that we reviewed to determine which
leadership theories applied. [Read slide]
Slide 10 – Targets of Influence
These are the two primary groups that we considered when deciding who
we could influence and how. [Read slide] “Senior Citizens” refers to the
students of the “Senior Crime College.” “Those needed to accomplish
goals” include persons both internal and external to the organization.
Slide 11 – Individual
In the section on individual leadership theories, Vancie and I found the
following theories applied. [Read slide]
Slide 12 – Adult Development
In the cycle of transition and stability, we believe senior citizens would be in
a stage of stability. This causes concern that the sense of stability gives
rise to complacency when seniors consider themselves targets of potential
fraud. In the area of Adult Development, Vancie and I focused on the
senior citizens in determining the best way to instruct them. [Read first
entry] When speaking with agencies or organizations that presented
similar instruction, we found out that two commonalties emerged in seniors
victimized by crime. These opinions were expressed by several of the
presenters. First, most seniors don’t think that they could ever be fooled by
a fraud thief. Second, many seniors who were victimized by fraud could
not recognize the signs of fraud when they were exposed to them. [Read
second entry] The persons who have had previous experience instructing
seniors also had several bits of advice on how to capture a senior’s interest
and hold their attention. For example, giveaways, set periods of instruction
with a long break, and prize drawings.
Slide 13 – Expectancy Theory
Vancie and I broke down Expectancy theory into 2 areas: Influencing those
needed to obtain short-term goals and those needed to obtain long-term
goals. [Read first entry] We needed the DR’s to help set-up and run certain
parts of the “Senior Crime College.” Additionally, we needed one DR to
become the “Future” of the “Senior Crime College” because he or she
would take over the program after Vancie and I bowed out. [Read second
entry] Long-term includes entities and persons within the organization
needed to accomplish the goals of a central database. Also, it included
other area command DR programs because Vancie and I hope to export
the idea of a “Senior Crime College” to all the area commands to
significantly increase the number of seniors who learn how to recognize
and protect themselves against fraud crimes.
Slide 14 – Increasing Expectancy for Short Term
[Read each numbered section on slide separately] 1. Clarify the path.
Vancie and I planned the Senior Crime College breaking it down into parts
so that it would not appear so overwhelming. 2. Build Confidence. This
applied mainly to the primary DR that we chose to inherit the program. We
met with this DR, Officer Mike Summers, often and made sure that he
observed and understood the process that we were following. More
importantly, we told the Primary DR that he had been chosen especially
because we trusted in his abilities. 3. Restructure the work environment.
This applied mainly to making sure that the DR’s had the time, equipment,
and giveaways necessary to implement the “Senior Crime College” using
all the best advice given by others who had presented similar information to
seniors. [Read next entry] Clarify the requirements. Vancie and I were
clear with the DR’s what we were trying to accomplish and what we needed
to have happen. The only reward promised was a “thank you” and the
satisfaction of knowing they’d been involved in a successful project.
Slide 15 – Increase Valence
[Read each numbered slide separately] 1. Determine which rewards are
valued. Having worked with the DR’s for nearly a year, I already knew that
each of them valued praise and success. 2. Provide valued rewards. We
had already demonstrated in the past that we would openly and officially
recognize outstanding work. The desired success was contingent upon
how well the “Senior Crime College” went. 3. Explain the Benefits. Vancie
and I explained to each DR why we were doing the “Senior Crime College”
and how it would benefit each senior. Many of the DR’s expressed feelings
of protectiveness toward the seniors after relating them to their own parents
Slide 16 – Increasing Expectancy Long-term
With long-term influence over persons with whom Vancie and I do not work
closely, it limited our abilities to have control over expectancy,
instrumentality, and valence. [Read each numbered section] 1. Clarify the
path. A selling point for the Senior Crime College is that it’s a package
deal. We already have a power point presentation, script, research
materials, and sources for pamphlets. A DR wanting to implement the
“Senior Crime College” in their own area command need only make copies
of the package, learn the material, and set up their own location. 2.
Conduct training. This is related to clarifying the path. Vancie and I will
provide the materials and advice necessary to complete your own “Senior
Crime College.” [Read next section] Clarify the requirements. The formula
for a successful crime college is already there, a DR need only follow it.
Slide 17 – Long-term Valence
[read slide] 1. Explain the benefits. The only strategy available to Vancie
and I in working with persons outside our command is explaining why the
crime college is important and the success that we experienced with it.
Slide 18 – MTC
[Read slide] Positive reinforcement consisting of praise and
encouragement was used to motivate the Primary DR and the SWDR Unit.
Observational learning is intended to motivate other area command DR
Units in that they will want to experience the same success that we had
with the “Senior Crime College.”
Slide 19 – Job Redesign
[Read first section] This is probably the single most important component
to having a successful program; picking the right DR to spearhead it. A DR
who will take the assignment and run with it. Vancie and I selected Mike
Summers as our Primary DR because we identified him as a high growth
needs individual. Since coming to the DR Unit, he showed that he was
anxious to take on responsibility and challenge. He also has a very open
and pleasant personality that seemed like it would be appealing to seniors.
These are the leader strategies that we used with the Primary DR to take
full advantage of his potential. [Read slide] Vertical loading. Assuming
responsibility for the Senior Crime College will place the Primary DR in a
quasi-supervisory position and he will need to use his creativity to keep the
program interesting and successful. Establishing Client Relationships. We
assigned the Primary DR to act as the liaison with the senior activity center
where the crime college would be held. This exposed the DR to the very
seniors who were in need of this program. He formed a close relationship
with many of the seniors. Opening Feedback Channels. Vancie and I
made sure that we were always approachable and accessible to the
Slide 20 – The Group Systems
These are the applicable areas and theories under this section. [Read
Slide 21 – Group Structural Dimensions*
[Read first section] In thinking of our crime college students as a group,
Vancie and I saw two key dimensions: [Read slide] Composition. The
similarities between group members were rooted in their age and
somewhat similar life experiences based on their age. Cohesion at the
outset of the college would be minimal, but Vancie and I hoped that the
college would increase the cohesion in that each of them would think of
themselves as a graduate of the “Senior Crime College.” This would, in
turn, raise their confidence that they could recognize a fraud if they saw it
and protect themselves from it. This could also be thought of as an output,
or an effect on the individual.
Slide 22 – Managing Conflict
[Read first section] After learning that other organizations had presenters
that had been traveling on a statewide and local level, Vancie and I saw the
potential for conflict with [Read second section]. We were concerned that
there would be a feeling of competitiveness and a need to protect territory
on the part of other presenters. In particular, these 3 groups: [Read slide]
Slide 23 – Sources of Conflict
[Read each bullet] This was an obvious source of conflict because it would
make communication more difficult. [Read second bullet] This is related to
physical separation but it also includes confusion and misinformation as
possible results. [Read third bullet] Here we saw recognition as a possible
conflict as other organizations wanted to be associated with being the
primary expert on seniors and fraud crime. Fortunately, Vancie and I only
encountered one person who felt as if they were being left out. He
obviously connected his identity and status to his role as senior fraud crime
expert. We smoothed things over with him by using the leader strategy of
[Read second section] Our superordinate goal was that we were all
working toward the same noble end and that with the amount of seniors in
the area, there was room for more than one source of information about
senior fraud crime. The primary goal was protecting innocent victims.
Slide 24 – The Leadership System **
These are the theories that Vancie and I applied. [Read slide]
Slide 25 – Bases of Power
[Read slide as you go] Legitimate. Vancie and I are both supervisors, so
we have the authority given to our ranks by departmental policy. We can
tell people what to do. Reward. We are both in positions where we can
recognize and praise good work. In addition, I’m the Lieutenant over the
SWDR Unit, so I have the ability to make preferential assignments for the
DR’s who work for me. Coercive. Vancie and I never had to use this base
of power, but the fact that we could use it was understood by all. Expert.
Vancie and I established our credibility because we demonstrated that we
understood exactly what needed to be done and we had done extensive
research into fraud crimes. Referent. We would like to think that at least
with the Primary DR referent power played a factor in how well he assumed
ownership of the program, even before we actually turned it over to him.
Slide 26 – Outcomes
We experienced 3 types of outcomes using our bases of power. Because
we anticipated and managed the potential conflict with the presenter from
the other organization, we did not encounter any resistance. [Read first
section] Compliance. The three entities that we believe complied but have
not yet demonstrated anything higher were: [Read slide]. PIO will be
instrumental in the creation of a central database for public use. [Read
slide] Identification. There were two entities that we believe identified with
us. [Read slide] The DR’s are listed again because some of the unit DR’s
showed a great deal of enthusiasm for the program and other appeared to
simply participate because they were ordered. The activity director was a
huge help. She started out wanting to cooperate but ended up buying into
the concept and actually bringing new ideas to the table. [Read slide]
Internalization. The Primary DR accepted the need for a crime college and
why they needed to be successful. We have no doubt that the future
Southwest crime colleges will be planned as well, or better, now that he
has full control of it.
Slide 27 – Situational Leadership
We applied this theory to the SWDR Unit. As a whole, we identified their
development level as [Read slide]. They possessed a high degree of
competence but variable commitment. The corresponding leader behavior
that we used was [Read slide]. Vancie and I allowed individual DR’s to
plan the Senior Information Fair that was held in conjunction with the crime
college. This allowed them to make their own decisions and solve their
Slide 28 – Primary DR
[Progress slide as you speak] The primary DR started out as a D1 having
a high commitment but lacking the knowledge of how to accomplish his
assignment. He quickly rose through the development levels to become a
D4; Peak Performer.
Slide 29 – Leader Behaviors
[Progress slide as you speak] Correspondingly, Vancie and I started with
S1 leader behavior telling him what to do and ended with S4 giving the
Primary DR significant autonomy and control over the program.
Slide 30 – Senior Citizens
[Progress slide as you speak] Considering the seniors as a group to be
influenced, we identified their development level as D1. They had high
commitment to learning but did not yet have the knowledge. Our leader
behavior, therefore, was S1; Directing. This was done through the crime
college where we told them what we wanted them to know.
Slide 31 – Transformational Leadership
[Progress slide as you speak] Vancie and I helped the Primary DR see the
crime college as a future opportunity. He could attach his name and
reputation to a successful program. This not only benefits the seniors he
instructs but also helps establish himself as a top-notch employee.
Slide 32 – Leader Strategies
Slide 33 – The Organization and Community Leadership
The following are the areas and theories that apply to our situation. [Read
Slide 34 – Organizational Open System
The components of the organizational system directly affected by the
senior crime college are: [Read slide]. Indirectly affected are the
components [Read slide]. This is especially true if all or most of the area
command DR units adopted the “Senior Crime College.”
Slide 35 – Stakeholder Management
We identified the following stakeholders as low threat, high cooperation
therefore we wanted to involve them in the response: [Read slide] The
following stakeholder was identified as high threat, high cooperation,
therefore, we wanted to collaborate with him. [Read slide] He has a great
deal of influence in both the community and the legislature.
Slide 36 – Managing the Environment
The APD budget had been frozen by the time we had the “Senior Crime
College.” It is unlikely that funds will be available again until August or
September. This will be a problem faced by any area command wanting to
adopt a “Senior Crime College.” As a result, we have to manage [Read
slide]. The leader strategies that we employed were [Read each bullet].
Maintaining alternate resources. Instead of relying on the department for
giveaways or prizes, we built a stash of giveaways and solicited area
command businesses for donated prizes. Acquiring prestige. To ensure
that the crime college becomes and remains a sought-after commodity, we
have publicized the crime college both inside and outside the department.
This will hopefully help it receive funding because the popular programs
usually are the last to receive the budget axe. Co-opting. We are trying to
eliminate competition from other DR units and their programs by convincing
them to adopt the crime college.
Slide 37 – Social Capital
In creating social capital, we looked at what type of group the “Senior
Crime College” would be. [Read first section] It is Gesellschaft because
the seniors are not bound together by personal ties but because of age or
circumstance. [Read second section] This also makes the senior crime
college a relational community because they share the same characteristic.
[Read their section] The “Senior Crime College” builds two types of capital:
[Read slide] In human capital, we are educating and training the seniors to
better be able to defend themselves against fraud. In social capital, we are
hopefully helping to connect the seniors with each other and the other
types of resources available to seniors in the community.
Slide 38 – Leader Strategy
In examining the leader strategies laid out in the course guide, we found
that the Senior Crime College moved beyond the mechanisms described
by Robert Putnam. The strategy can be titled, Community Policing
because it involves orchestrated acts of the police department that either
purposely or incidentally create greater social capital as a byproduct of the
police working with the community.
Slide 39 – Ethics
[Read slide] This wasn’t a leadership theory that we intentionally applied,
but Vancie and I realized that we cannot lead or influence anyone unless
we have credibility. Therefore, maintaining an ethical example is a
mandatory condition for any leadership theory.
Slide 40 – Overcoming Resistance to Change
This occurred at an individual level with the presenter from the other
organization who felt threatened by what Vancie and I were doing. [Read
slide] The two primary sources of resistance were this individual’s inability
to understand why we were making changes to a system with which he felt
comfortable. Also, he felt that he would lose something of value to him and
that was his self-identification with his role as senior fraud crime expert.
Slide 41 – Leader Strategies
The two leader strategies that Vancie and I employed were [Read slide]
We explained how increasing the number of sources of information for
seniors could only benefit the seniors. And, we agreed that benefiting the
seniors was our primary concern. To involve this presenter, we sought his
advice, invited him to the Senior Crime College, and had intended to
publicly acknowledge his assistance during the Crime College. He,
however, chose not to attend the Crime College.
Slide 42 – Response – This is where we take Action – Our First response
to the Area of Interest – Education - is the “Senior Crime College.”
Slide 43 – Senior Crime College
[Read first 3 entries] The Senior Crime College was a 2-hour block of
instruction presented to the Seniors covering areas of fraud recognition and
protection. This program was modeled after the “Senior Crime College”
done by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office. The major difference
between the two programs is that in Kentucky, only a representative from
the Attorney General’s office gives the presentations. Local law
enforcement is not involved. The Austin Police Department’s “Senior
Crime College” will be taught by the District Representatives from the
respective area commands.
In our “Senior Crime College,” we had seniors sign-up for the class by
having a sign-up sheet at the senior center 30 days before the class was
held. We tried to limit the class to 50 students because of the classroom
size at the senior center. There was such an interest in the program some
seniors were placed on a waiting list. The seniors who did not get to attend
the initial class will be scheduled for the next available class.
Some of the topics we discussed with the seniors were: how to protect
yourself, things to beware of, signs of a thief, and what to do if you have
been victimized by fraud. The seniors were given actual examples of fraud
cases that have happened in the Southwest area of the city over the past
Some of the topics we discussed were: [Read slide] The common theme
for Telemarketing, Mail Fraud, and Identity Theft was “Hang it up or tear it
up.” The common theme for Home Improvement Fraud, and Face-to-Face
scams was, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” A copy of our
power point presentation from the “Senior Crime College” will be passed
out for you to see. (Pass out power point presentation from “Senior Crime
Each area command will be able to personalize their “Senior Crime
College” by using examples of fraud reports from their own commands and
focusing on the type of frauds that most affect their unique community.
The lesson plan, videos, and handouts used in our “Senior Crime College”
presentation will be made available to other area commands if they choose
to implement the program.
Slide 44 – Successful Teaching Techniques
Julie and I used a variety of successful teaching techniques with the
seniors. We used: [Read bullet] Varied Instructional Materials. The
seniors were given handouts, pamphlets, and they were shown a
power point presentation, in addition to the lecture and videotape. Copies
of the power point presentation were passed out in handout form in case
one of the students could not see the presentation on-screen. Numerous
pamphlets covering the various topics discussed in class were also given to
[Read next bullet] Red Flags. Red Flags were passed out to the seniors in
an attempt to make their instruction interactive. If one of the seniors heard
something during the lecture that would “raise the red flag” in their mind,
they were encouraged to wave the red flag for all to see.
[Read next bullet] Giveaways. During our research on the “Senior Crime
College,” it was learned from other presenters that seniors enjoyed
giveaways. The Southwest Area Command DR Unit provided a “Senior
Crime College” pin, coffee cup, pen, pencil, eraser, and a coozie that was
placed in a gift bag and distributed to each senior attending the class.
[Read next bullet] Prize Drawings. The Primary DR contacted local
organizations in the Southwest area to see if they would provide a donation
for the “Senior Crime College.” Several area businesses donated gift cards
and other merchandise. A drawing was held at the end of the first course
of instruction and at the end of the “Senior Crime College.” Each senior
was given a ticket that was attached to the bag of pamphlets. At the end of
the first course of instruction, a number was pulled from the “Magic Pig”
and the lucky senior received the prize.
[Read slide] 45-minute blocks of instruction. 45-minute blocks of instruction
were used to alleviate student intellectual fatigue and so that the seniors
could get up and stretch and move around if they need to.
Slide 45 – APD 1St Senior Crime College
Slide 46 – Photo showing the Magic Pig
As you can see in this picture, Julie has her hand on the “Magic Pig” and
we were preparing to do a drawing. The man sitting to the right of me has
the bag of pamphlets in his hand waiting to hear the lucky number.
Slide 47 – Flag waving Session
Here everyone is demonstrating that they can recognize a sign of fraud
when they see it. The seniors were asked questions similar to: What
happens to the red flag in your mind if someone approaches you wanting to
share money they found?
Slide 48 – Senior Information Fair
The SWDR Unit held a Senior Information Fair on the same date as the
“Senior Crime College.” This was not part of the “Senior Crime College”
but was held in conjunction with it. We anticipated a large crowd at the
senior center and the DR’s planned an information fair to reach the greatest
number of seniors. In attendance were the Travis County Health & Human
Services, AFD, EMS, 911/311, and other organizations who service the
senior community. The DR’s also had a VIN etching station set up outside.
Slide 49 – These are pictures from the Senior Information Fair.
In the lower right picture, you will see the Primary DR for the “Senior Crime
College” with some new recruits. He will be the primary contact person for
other area commands should they wish to implement this program. If any
other area command is interested in implementing the program, check with
us after this presentation.
Slide 50 – Our 2nd response to the Area of Interest – Collection and
dissemination of information to the public is: Information - Keeping the
Seniors “Plugged In”
[Read first entry] Julie and I pitched the idea to PIO about a link on the
official APD web-site that would be called “Senior Scambusters”. This site
would contain the latest information on the types of scams being reported
in the Austin area. The information would originate from the area
commands and the White Collar Crime Unit. Under state law, the
department is required within 1 week of the offense to send DPS a copy of
the offense report if the victim is a senior age 65 or older who is victimized
Under our proposal, when a copy of the offense report is sent to DPS,
another copy would be routed to PIO. PIO would select what information is
contained in the web site. Although not all seniors have Internet access,
we learned that the senior centers have computers with Internet access for
the seniors to use.
[Read next bullet] Many of these “Senior Crime Colleges” will likely be held
at senior centers, churches or retirement communities who already have in
place some type of publication. We would use their publication for a
monthly or bi-monthly update and reminders about fraud. [Read next bullet]
We hope to export the “Senior Crime College” to all area commands. This
would keep a larger group of seniors informed about fraud.
Slide 51 – Our 3rd response is Legislation
[Read first bullet] The proposal is to enhance the penalty for crimes of theft
involving fraud against victims age 65 or older. Julie and I are going to
write a rough draft of the proposal and submit it to the police Administration
for approval. If approved, we will send it to a specific legislator so that he
can sponsor it.
Julie and I asked State Representative Terry Keel if he would sponsor the
Legislation if approved by the department. He agreed to begin work on it
immediately after receiving the rough draft. Representative Keel is a
member of the House Jurisprudence Committee.
Slide 52 – Assess
For our assessment we chose a: [Read first bullet] Student Evaluation. An
evaluation was handed out to the seniors as a survey at the end of the
Senior Crime College. 57 Surveys were handed out. 51 were returned.
The survey asked the following questions with the possible response being
Yes, Maybe, or No.
Question 1. “After having attended the ‘Senior Crime College,’ do you think
you are now better able to recognize a ‘scam when presented with one’ ?”
92% said Yes. 8% said Maybe.
Question 2. “Do you feel more confident that you can hang up the phone,
tear up the mail, or not respond to a ‘scam’ artist?” 100% said Yes.
Question 3. “Did you learn anything new about fraud crimes?” 85% said
Yes. 12% said Maybe. 3% said No.
Question 4. “Would you recommend the Senior Crime College to other
seniors?” 99% said Yes. 1% said Maybe.
An example of the survey will be handed out to each side of the room.
(Pass out survey)
[Read next bullet] In approximately 6 months, Julie and I will contact PIO
to determine if the web site is up and running and the number of hits it has
received up to that point.
[Read next slide] In 6 months, Julie and I will check with the other area
command DR’s to see if they have implemented the program and how it is
working out for them.
[Read next bullet] In 6 months, Julie and I will review “1199” (Fraud/other)
reports in areas that have “Senior Crime Colleges” to determine if it
appears that there are more seniors reporting potential fraud rather than
reporting that they have victimized by fraud. The information gained from
this review will be used to determine changes in the curriculum for future
Slide 53 – Assess (cont.)
[Read next bullet] After the rough draft has been submitted to
Representative Keel, Julie and I plan to check on the status of the
legislation every 90 days.
[Read next bullet] In December 2002, Julie and I plan to survey the
Southwest “Senior Crime College” graduates again to see if they are
implementing what they were taught.
Slide 54 – The end
This is the official pin of the Austin Police Senior Crime College. [Advance
slide] This program is another path to Success and Recognition [Advance
slide], and Julie and I have proof….. [Advance slide]
This concludes our presentation. Does anyone have any questions?