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Nobility of Policing by Michael Nila


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Police Leadership Conference:
Staying Connected in a Changing World
April 10-13, 2011

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Nobility of Policing by Michael Nila

  1. 1. Cmdr. Michael J. Nila (RET) The Nobility of Policing: Connecting to Purpose!
  2. 2. 1944: The Battle of the Bulge “ Hey buddy, are you looking for a safe place?” “ Yeah” the tank commander replied. “ Then park your tank behind me, because I am the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going!”
  3. 3. Policing and Leadership are both about “holding the line!” “ Stand behind me and it will be OK!”
  4. 4. The Guardians <ul><ul><li>“ If the Guardians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fail -- the democracy will crumble!” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. “ Of every one hundred men that they send me, ten should not be here. Eighty are nothing but targets. Nine are the real fighters, they the battle make. Ah, but the one, he is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” Where do we get such men and women? An Ancient Greek Warrior General writing from the front lines to the city fathers...
  6. 6. <ul><ul><ul><li>Learn It! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Live It! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give It! </li></ul></ul></ul>Your Challenge …
  7. 7. The Nobility of Policing <ul><li>“ Policing is one of our most noble professions. The actions of any police officer, in an instant, can impact an individual for life, and even a community for generations. Given this realization, every police officer must be centered on what is important. </li></ul><ul><li>Service, justice, fundamental fairness—these are the foundational principles in which every police action must be grounded. The nobility of policing demands the noblest of character.” </li></ul><ul><li>— Stephen R. Covey </li></ul>
  8. 8. What Is Nobility? <ul><li>Nobility: Greatness of character and high ethical qualities or ideals that serve a cause greater than self; faithfulness to a higher calling or purpose. </li></ul>
  9. 9. What Causes the Nobility to Fade? <ul><li>Be it Rampart, Miami River Cops, Corruption in NYPD or a small town in Tulia Texas -- how often has the badge been tarnished? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we betray the badge and the public trust? </li></ul><ul><li>Policing is a job about Heart and Spirit and when that is wounded the Noble calling can no longer heard </li></ul><ul><li>“ Nobody ever talks to us like that!” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Responsibilities of Policing Photo by Jaime A. Lopez, LASD
  11. 11. Our Critical Responsibilities <ul><li>Preserve freedom and uphold democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>Uphold the law. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure justice. </li></ul>
  12. 12. What Is Justice? <ul><li>The use of authority and power to uphold what is right, just, or lawful. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Doing the right thing, in the right way, in a particular circumstance, with a particular person, that serves the right cause.” (“Practical Wisdom”) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Virtues of “Practical Wisdom”... <ul><li>Courage </li></ul><ul><li>Loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Control </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness </li></ul><ul><li>Gentleness </li></ul><ul><li>Friendliness </li></ul><ul><li>Integrity </li></ul><ul><li>Open-Mindedness </li></ul><ul><li>Thoroughness </li></ul><ul><li>Kindness </li></ul><ul><li>Generosity </li></ul><ul><li>Truthfulness </li></ul>
  14. 14. Our Critical Responsibilities <ul><li>Preserve freedom and uphold democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>Uphold the law. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure justice. </li></ul><ul><li>Protect life. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the peace. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Power of Control vs. Power of Influence
  16. 16. Mores and Laws <ul><li>“ When mores are sufficient, laws are unnecessary. When mores are insufficient, laws are unenforceable.” </li></ul><ul><li>— Emile Durkheim </li></ul>
  17. 17. Two Types of Power <ul><li>Power of influence: Using one’s honor and principles to earn people’s respect and make a positive difference in their lives; the power to work effectively with others to get a better result. </li></ul>Power of control: Using coercion, threats, force, or the perception of power to gain compliance or obedience; the power to do something to someone.
  18. 18. The Tools of Policing <ul><li>The law </li></ul><ul><li>The use of force </li></ul><ul><li>Incarceration </li></ul><ul><li>Influence </li></ul>
  19. 19. Tools <ul><li>“ When the only tool you know how to use is a hammer, every situation looks like a nail.” </li></ul><ul><li>— Unknown </li></ul>What tools are we leading, teaching, educating, orienting our police officers to use?
  20. 20. When people of action cease to believe in a cause, they begin to believe only in the action!
  21. 21. Leadership - Purpose - Character - Excellence are inseparable
  22. 22. “ It is in our nature to seek purpose!” Leadership - Purpose - Character - Excellence are inseparable <ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Mastery </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul>
  23. 23. Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration, motivated by a passion , generated by a vision , produced by conviction , ignited by a purpose . Myles Munroe The Spirit of Leadership
  24. 24. Rumi -- 13th Century Mystic <ul><li>“ Those who are here unfaithfully do incredible damage!” </li></ul>
  25. 25. “ One is apt to think of moral failure as due to weakness of character: more often it is due to an inadequate ideal.” Richard Livingstone British Scholar 1880-1960
  26. 26. Convincingly Good People <ul><li>“ Our profession must hire convincingly good people. The communities we serve deserve no less.” </li></ul><ul><li>— Sheriff Lee Baca Los Angeles County, California </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>“ To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a choice to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents; What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour.” </li></ul><ul><li>-- Sir Winston Churchill </li></ul>Leadership is Always About Readiness!!!
  28. 28. <ul><li>When people would ask her what she was training for she would answer – “life!” </li></ul><ul><li>Obviously there is some reason this happened and I can’t change it so…” </li></ul>LAPD Officer Kristina Ripatti Are You Prepared?
  29. 29. Illinois State Police Academy
  30. 30. The Obligation of Policing <ul><li>“ No one is compelled to choose the profession of police officer, but having chosen it, everyone is obligated to perform its duties and live up to the high standards of its requirements.” </li></ul><ul><li>— President Calvin Coolidge </li></ul>
  31. 31. “ The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts ...The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny ... it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus Greek Poet and Philospher 2500 Years Ago
  32. 32. <ul><li>My Goals are simple. </li></ul><ul><li>I will always be painfully honest, </li></ul><ul><li>Work as hard as a I can, </li></ul><ul><li>Learn as much as I can, </li></ul><ul><li>And hopefully make a difference in many people’s lives! </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deputy David W. March </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department </li></ul></ul></ul>Legacy
  33. 33. Virtues of “Practical Wisdom”... <ul><li>Courage </li></ul><ul><li>Loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Control </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness </li></ul><ul><li>Gentleness </li></ul><ul><li>Friendliness </li></ul><ul><li>Integrity </li></ul><ul><li>Open-Mindedness </li></ul><ul><li>Thoroughness </li></ul><ul><li>Kindness </li></ul><ul><li>Generosity </li></ul><ul><li>Truthfulness </li></ul>“ The best way to be virtuous is to practice virtues!” Aristotle
  34. 34. The Nobility of Your Mission “ When you begin to doubt the nobility of your mission or the sanctity of your profession because your heart is heavy, or you feel anger, disillusionment, disenfranchisement, betrayed or confused -- stop and listen to the voices... the voices that rise up from ... a field in Pennsylvania, from a wall at the Pentagon and from the spot of earth the world has come to know as Ground Zero. Because if you listen, you will hear those souls tell you “thank you” for what you do ... hear them cheering you on. Let them carry you through this difficult moment, allow them to nourish you and encourage you and doubt no more, for you are warriors and champions for those who have gone before and to those most vulnerable now. You are admired and respected, for you are the best at what you do. God bless you ...” John R. Thomas First Deputy Superintendent Chicago Police Dept.
  35. 36. <ul><li>Michael Nila </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>630-878-4796 </li></ul>Ward Clapham [email_address] 604-808-2211  cell To purchase a book which contains the Nobility video: Please contact Michael at above information or go to: