Navigating narrow straits: Leadership development of municipal managers of non-policing law enforcement services
Keywords:Peace officers, bylaw officers, non-police law enforcement, municipal governance, management, municipal enforcement
As municipal governments continue to use non-police law enforcement (NPLE) personnel in pursuit of public safety strategies, managers tasked with overseeing such staff are typically those without experience in the intricacies of law enforcement, public disorder, and the justice system. Non-police law enforcement calls for the use of very special skills, knowledge, and abilities not typically experienced in other areas of municipal operations. Managers, regardless of their profession, can effectively manage NPLE when afforded the opportunity to learn the law enforcement perspective, understand the stressors placed on enforcement staff, and be educated in the judicial requirements of municipal and provincial enforcement. Municipalities should refrain from placing staff under a manager strictly for ease and convenience. Further, the services provided should operate with proper oversight. Managers must be appropriately experienced in leading staff and operations involving complex and human-centred portfolios. This study outlines the issues faced by managers tasked with overseeing NPLE and provides a snapshot of the current professional structure of NPLE leadership in the province of Alberta, Canada.
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