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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.

Q: What are some key strategies for successful cultural change in a police organization?

One of the most important components of affecting lasting, meaningful change is to have continuity of leadership. The diminishing average tenure of chiefs is creating an obstacle for organizations to sustain cultural changes because often rank-and-file believe they can just “ride it out” until the next chief arrives. Agencies have to have a solid foundation of policies and procedures in place to both enact and sustain change.

Putting together an advisory committee composed of a cross-section of the department - including union representatives - to help guide cultural change will increase buy-in across the organization.

Anonymous surveys of the entire organization are also a good resource for leadership to gauge priorities, learn what is/isn’t working, and develop a roadmap for change.

Q: How can Truleo help an organization with cultural change?

In order to affect cultural change, leaders need to understand the current status of the culture within the organization. By analyzing the interactions of officers - the good, bad, and the sometimes ugly - leaders can better focus their change efforts.

Truleo is a tool for leaders to identify patterns of conduct early on to provide counseling and training, and the opportunity to intervene far earlier than we’ve traditionally been able to, giving law enforcement the ability to save careers and shape better officers. Most employees will rise to the level of expectations set, but agencies also have to monitor and enforce those expectations.

Truleo’s ability to capture - in real-time - the data that shows officers are performing their duties in a professional manner, gives law enforcement leaders the opportunity to

identify and celebrate excellence in their agency. It can alleviate some of the administrative burden placed on supervisors, and ensure that performance appraisals are meaningful and based on data.


Interview Guests:

Chief Art Acevedo - Advisor



Chris Sansone - Host




About Truleo

Truleo analyzes police body camera videos using artificial intelligence to help promote police professionalism. Truleo worked with FBI National Academy alumni to build the models that deconstruct officers’ language into professionalism and risk metrics to help agencies promote best practices, train new officers, and mitigate risk. To learn more about Truleo’s mission to improve trust in the police with body camera analytics, visit

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