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Leading Policing in EuropeAn empirical study of strategic police leadership$
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Bryn Caless and Steve Tong

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447315728

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447315728.001.0001

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Getting to the Top

Getting to the Top

The Selection and Appointment of Strategic Police Leaders in Europe

(p.57) Two Getting to the Top
Leading Policing in Europe

Bryn Caless

Steve Tong

Policy Press

About a third of police leaders advance to the strategic level through academic study or university qualifications (often a Master’s, usually in law). Some others rose through attendance on internal police development programmes, blending skills’ acquisition with some kind of academic content, including ‘leadership’, a number of other police strategic leaders were promoted on the basis of their track record and experience, though it is not clear how past performance underwrites future success. A very few leaders were external appointments for a short term. None of these routes is definitive; none of the competencies required at the strategic level appears generic to policing. There is persuasive evidence that patronage and ‘cloning’ still play major roles in the advancement of police officers, some of whom also seek political support. There is no appetite, seemingly, for a pan-European qualification as strategic police leader and no discernible commonality of values that can be objectively assessed.

Keywords:   selection, promotion, patronage, leadership, skills

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