Thirty law enforcement officers from across Virginia will be among those graduating on Thursday, Sept. 22 from a leadership development program designed for public safety professionals by the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation in partnership with the Pamplin College of Business.

The program, known as the Institute for Leadership in Changing Times, is aimed primarily at law enforcement officers but is open to others working in the public safety field in the private sector as well as government agencies.

Col. Dave Miller, deputy commandant for leader development of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and director of its W. Thomas Rice Center for Leadership Development, will address the graduates. Other participants in the ceremony will include Pamplin dean Richard E. Sorensen, Virginia Tech police chief Wendell Flinchum, and Christiansburg police chief Mark Sisson.

Developed 13 years ago, the curriculum has evolved to provide an up-to-date educational experience for participants, said Frank Smith, Pamplin's director of management and professional development. Participants identify a project relevant to their job responsibilities before arriving in Blacksburg in June for a week-long series of workshops, taught by Pamplin and other faculty. They work on the project over the course of the summer, applying their new leadership knowledge and skills, and implement the project in their jobs in the fall.

During the program’s concluding two-day session this month, participants present their projects to the class, Smith said. “The projects enable the sponsoring departments to see an immediate return on investment from their graduates.”

Virginia has “one of the most comprehensive leadership development strategies for public safety in the country, beginning with the foundation course delivered at Virginia Tech through the Pamplin College of Business,” said retired Chief Henry Stanley, president of the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation. “We have found Pamplin’s management and professional development staff to be customer-service oriented, quick to respond, and supportive of our needs,” he said.

The graduates this month, the program’s 20th class, include law enforcement officers from Arlington County, Christiansburg, Culpeper, Fairfax County, Hanover County, Lexington, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Metro Washington Airports Authority, Middle Peninsula Regional Security Center, Newport News, Prince William County, Purcellville, Roanoke County, Virginia Tech, Virginia Division of Capitol Police, and Winchester.

To date, 490 participants have graduated from the program.



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