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Q&A: Cultural Change in Law Enforcement with Chief Art Acevedo

Chief Acevedo has led several large police organizations across the country, and was the president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. I was able to sit down with him and chat about the inevitable cultural shift that organizations will go through, particularly in the ever-changing field of law enforcement.


Q: What are some of the biggest challenges a leader will face when trying to affect cultural change in a police organization?

Sometimes, change is the only thing cops dislike more than the status quo. Fear of the unknown is part of human nature, and police leaders need to be mindful of that when embarking on cultural change in an organization.

A common pitfall that some agencies encounter is not including the people who will be affected the most by changes in the roadmap discussions. Members such as front-line officers and supervisors, as well as professional support staff, are key stakeholders in these discussions and their level of buy-in will be influenced by whether they had a voice in the direction of the agency.