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People Leadership in the police service: Future Opportunities, Challenges and Directions.

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Emergency Services

Guest Editors:

Dr Jonathan Smith, Director, Salmon Personal Development Ltd.  E-mail: [email protected]

Dr Ginger Charles, Presidential Fellow of Saybrook University, Executive Director of the Institute for Spirituality in Policing, and Faculty member at Modesto Junior College
[email protected]


In some sectors great leadership may be in short supply (Caulkin 2016, Rosebush, 2012), but police services around the world have more than their fair share of effective leaders.  One reason for this may be the considerable investment that has been seen in both looking at future requirements for leadership in the police service, and in developing these attributes (College of Policing 2015, Pearson-Goff, M. and Herrington 2014). 

This investment must continue as police leaders face ever evolving challenges.  Budget cuts, increasing and changing demands, worrying trends of disconnections from communities, rising levels of stress, burnout and feelings of injustice, and increasing questions related to integrity and legitimacy are just some of the pressures police leaders are experiencing (Charles 2016, Wankhade and Weir 2015).

In this special issue we wish to contribute to this continuing investment by focusing forward toward the future challenges for police leaders in the next ten years.  This is with a particular nexus on the people issues within the police organisation.  It is our intention to bring academics and practitioners together to provide a thought leadership piece which explores the people leadership qualities required of leaders in the police community over ten-year’s time.  As well as being of benefit to police services around the world we anticipate this exploration will also assist other emergency services internationally and the public sector more widely.

We are interested in well written, high quality articles from either practitioner or academic perspective.  Articles need to adopt a critical stance, which examines the issues in a robust and in-depth way.  Controversy and challenge are welcome.  Articles could provide a theoretical perspective or an analysis of what police leadership over the next decades is likely to look like - what demands its leaders will need to be equipped to face, what skills, qualities or capabilities leaders in the police will need to have, or what leadership culture will be required.  Whatever approach, articles must link into the people aspects of leadership and take thinking much further than that currently available.

We are interested in promoting conversations around what are likely to be the key resistors or difficulties that will need to be overcome if the desired type of leadership wanted in the police is to be realised.

Articles would be welcome that offer a psychological, sociological, theoretical, and/or organisational systems perspective, or share research on how the likely people leadership attributes required for the future have been used, tested or evaluated. 

Topics may include:

  • leadership styles, qualities, and demands,
  • health and well being,
  • resilience,
  • innovation,
  • sustainability,
  • ways of gaining commitments,
  • higher purpose,
  • motivation,
  • ways of managing change, partnerships or uncertainty, and how any of these contribute to addressing major challenges in policing including global challenges such as climate change or the increasing levels of corruption or violence seen in some countries. 

This is not an exhaustive list and we are open to a wide variety of areas related to future people leadership in the police service so long as the relevance and usefulness of the exploration is clear and linked to people issues within the police service.  Whatever perspective is taken we are keen for it to end with an examination of the use of the article’s exploration to practitioners within the police. 


Caulkin, S. (2016) Everything you know about management is wrong. CMI Professional Manager. Spring.
Charles, G. (2016) Police Pursuit of the Common Good. Reforming and Restoring Police Community. Bloomington: Balboa Press.
College of Policing (2015) Available at {Accessed 21/11/16}
Pearson-Goff, M. and Herrington, V. (2014) Police leadership: A systematic review of the literature. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 8(1), 14-26.
Rosebush, J.S. (2012) Why great leaders are in short supply.  Harvard Business Review. March 30.
Wankhade, P. and Weir, D.(eds.)(2015). Police Services: Leadership & Management Perspectives: Springer Publications: New York. ISBN 978-3-319-16567-7.

Submission Procedure:

Submissions to this journal are through the ScholarOne submission system here:

Please visit the author guidelines for the journal at
which gives full details. Please ensure you select this special issue from the relevant drop down menu on page four of the submission process.

Informal inquiries about the papers can be made to the guest editors.  Jonathan Smith – [email protected] or Ginger Charles at [email protected] 

Submission Deadline: Friday 28th April 2017