Sergeants hone leadership skills

Two sergeants from the University of Oregon Police Department have completed a prestigious leadership program in Salem.

Michael Matchulat and Brad Petrie received certificates on June 13, at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training police academy in Salem, acknowledging completion of the International Public Safety Leadership and Ethics Institute's 160-hour Leadership Development Course.

The course is designed to develop leadership skills in the supervisors and managers who will become future leaders in Oregon public safety agencies. 

The course was offered by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. It brought together public safety leaders from across the state for two full days every other week from February to June, to study, discuss and write about issues of ethics, leadership, vision, collaboration and accountability. The group digested eight books and more than 40 articles, with five to eight hours of homework generated each session.

"Every officer supervisor in the State of Oregon should take this class," Matchulat said. "It's that good. Learning how to identify and align personal values with your agency's, and your community's – finding common ground to work from – that's really important. We did a lot of research and discussion of techniques of how to lead, support and motivate, despite different styles and personalities." 

Matchulat joined the university's public safety department in 2010, after serving as a police officer in Springfield. He's also a UO graduate with a degree in communication disorders and sciences. Petrie joined the UO in 2011 after retiring from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, specializing in counter-terrorism. He has a son attending the UO.

State certification in police supervision requires ongoing education and training in leadership skills, which the IPSLEI course helps to satisfy. Other UOPD supervisors are expected to attend in the future. The department requires sergeants to have supervisor-level state certification; lieutenants must have manager-level state certification. 

Beyond fulfilling classroom needs, the IPSLEI leadership course supports UOPD's goals for high-level community policing.

"We need to be effective in a diverse culture with a lot of interested parties," UOPD Chief Carolyn McDermed said. "This program is outstanding in stressing the importance of integration and collaboration among all stakeholders, and in developing a personal leadership vision that accounts for cultural dynamics in a community."

- by Kelly McIver, UO Police Department