Of the 250 law officers who have completed the Certified Law Enforcement Executive Program (CLEE) conducted by the State of Ohio Law Enforcement Foundation and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police since 1996, La Grange Park Police Chief Dan McCollum has become to first from outside of Ohio to do so.
McCollum, the president of the Illinois Association of Law Enforcement Executives, paid for his training in Worthington, Ohio out-of-pocket and said the program’s instruction in teacher training, ethics, leadership principles and resource allocation/budgeting will be of benefit to both him and his department.
“I was very impressed by the academic rigors of the program,” McCollum said. “Since getting my master’s two years ago, this was the kind of challenge I thought in my career that I wanted to undertake.”
The chief has stated his intent to bring a credentialing program of similar academic rigor to the state of Illinois.
He also hopes to eventually phase out the practice of hiring or promoting officers before they are properly credentialed, training then for their new jobs only after they already have them, which he said is common in law enforcement.
“If you want to be a hairstylist… you don’t go to a hair salon and say, ‘I think I’d like to come and work for you; go ahead and hire me, pay me to train me, and then I’ll be your hairstylist,” McCollum said.