The WFCA Partners with IACP to Offer New Leadership Program

Published: 11/29/2009
Author: Western Fire Chiefs Association

The Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA) has partnered with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to offer a new leadership program specifically tailored for fire and police personnel to train together on core concepts of dispersed leadership and behavioral science theories. Based upon feedback from personnel in the fire community who attended the leadership development program that IACP has offered to over 200 police departments, IACP approached the fire service community about modifying the current program to focus on training first responders together. The course is based on leadership curriculum originally developed at West Point military academy and was later modified for the public safety community.

What distinguishes this course from all the other “leadership courses”?

1. Dispersed leadership theories form the core concepts- The course focuses on the “every officer a leader” approach.

2. It is research and behavioral science based. It teaches participants the behavioral science theories behind the stages of adult and group development and decision making with a specific focus on applying leader strategies learned to real live workplace situations. Through support of the U.S. Department of Justice, over a million dollars was devoted to developing a well researched, academically solid curriculum.

3. It is field tested. Over 200 public safety departments in 21 states have utilized the program to develop their leaders.

4. The focus is on practical application of the material. Using case studies, exercises, videos and journals, students learn to apply what they have learned to develop leader actions to address problems in both their professional and personal lives. Students are given three weeks in between classes to practice what they learn in the field and then come back and discuss their experiences with the instructors.

5. Credible, experienced instructors come from both the fire and police community.

The Leadership in Public Safety Organizations Pilot Program is scheduled for February 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. Tuition is $1,050 for all three weeks. Discounted lodging arrangements are available. Individuals interested in obtaining information on this program or in attending should contact Jennifer Porter of the IACP staff at
703-836-6767 ext 366 or via email to


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