Rutherford County Sheriff’s graduates of the Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command are from left, Maj. Bill Sharp, Sgt. Bryant Gregory, Sgt. Jon Frazier, Lt. Richard Grissom, Lt. Terry McBurney and Sgt. Chris Kauffman.
Six supervisors with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office learned about management skills, budgets and legal issues during a 10-week class taught by the Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety.
Detective Maj. Bill Sharp, Lts. Terry McBurney and Richard Grissom, Sgts. Jon Frazier and Chris Kauffman, as well as Sgt. Bryant Gregory, graduated from the School of Police Staff and Command taught at the Tennessee Highway Patrol Academy in Donelson.
Courses included introduction to management, interpersonal organization and communication, leadership, organizational behavior, ethics in police management, traffic enforcement and budget and planning.
All of the participants said the class will provide them with skills necessary for modern-day law enforcement and management. In addition, the course allows the supervisors to pursue various management positions or promotions if desired.
For Sharp, the course covered liabilities in the workplace and gave him ideas on how to motivate younger employees.
“You can get the younger generation to buy into the philosophy of what we’re striving for,” Sharp said.
Supervisors networked with other law enforcement leaders from 14 other agencies to share ideas, he added. Classes gave different options.
McBurney said the class prepared him for increased supervisory and administrative responsibilities.
“The school provided a well-rounded, diverse educational format that heightened my knowledge and supervisory skills necessary to be a successful and more efficient leader in law enforcement,” McBurney said. “I am grateful to Northwestern for the invaluable knowledge I gained.”
The school also provided participants with tips for daily management responsibilities, Grissom said.
“It increased my confidence as far as my management skills and ability,” Grissom said. “Going to the school has taught me many things in management I did not know. It will make me a better supervisor, considering I learned some aspects on how to deal with employees and any problem issues that may arise. Overall, I believe this school taught me the confidence I need to become the best leader possible and make the correct decisions required for my job.”
Frazier said the course prepared him for advancement.
“The experience at Northwestern University helped prepare me for a senior position by combining academic principals, organizational development and practical application for addressing timely and critical issues facing a progressive law enforcement agency such as ours to better serve our community,” Frazier said.
Kauffman said the command school was excellent, giving a new perspective on management.
“At my level, it’s more about leadership than management skills,” Kauffman said. “That class taught me as you advance in rank, you need to maintain leadership skills but also improve your management skills. Some of the best instructors in the world were there teaching. It was extremely challenging. It gave me a sense of accomplishment. I’ve very thankful I was given the opportunity to attend the course.”
Gregory said he benefitted from meeting other law enforcement professionals from the United States.
“We have many of the same issues and have different ideas to help our communities,” Gregory said. “It was upper level college courses from one of the top 15 colleges in the nation. It was really good to learn from a business aspect of management style. It can also be beneficial in the law enforcement side.”