ATLANTA — Georgia State’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology (CJC) is bringing together the university’s women leadership community with members of metro Atlanta’s highly respected female command staff to launch the state’s first Leadership Academy for Women in Law Enforcement (LAWLE).
The four-day (32-hour) LAWLE program, which begins this fall, will address the top challenges women leaders in law enforcement face while providing tools to develop and enhance their leadership skills in courses on strategic career planning, inclusive leadership styles, confronting gender discrimination and workplace harassment, bridging communication gaps and women supporting women. Participants will leave with an individualized career plan outlining specific goals and the tools needed to reach them.
LAWLE is a special targeted program of the Leadership Development Institute of Georgia (LDIG), an initiative developed in CJC to provide training around three pillars: career leadership development, organizational cohesiveness and community engagement. The National Institute of Justice’s 30×30 Initiative to raise the number of women in law enforcement to 30 percent by 2030 contributed to the decision to develop the program.
“Women make up only 12 percent of sworn officers and 3 percent of police leadership in the U.S.,” said Dean Dabney, the executive director of LDIG. “It’s tough to promote women into leadership because there aren’t enough women in the force. It’s like a pyramid. You need to grow your base to expand the number of leaders at the top.”
Capt. Aprille Moore (B.S. ’05), unit commander for community engagement at the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, will lead the strategic career planning session of LAWLE. A 16-year veteran law enforcement professional, she admits she’s been mindful of her personal and professional goals since her first day in law enforcement. She plans to bring her best practices to the classroom.
“It’s helpful to have training and conversations with women who lead,” she said. “The things we’ve experienced are different than our male counterparts. From uniforms to training, marriage to motherhood, trying to manage these roles as a woman in this workspace is difficult. Talking to women who’ve paved the way can give you information that will help you avoid some of the same pitfalls.”
Moore, who is also a Georgia State alumna and a member of the Alumni Association’s 2022 class of 40 Under 40, said the women law enforcement leaders she follows, like retired MARTA Police Chief Wanda Y. Dunham and Chief Gina V. Hawkins of the Fayetteville (N.C.) Police Department, offer examples she hopes will be helpful to women she trains.
“Being a woman in this space is learning how to show up and show up boldly,” Moore said. “They don’t allow being in a minority status, a woman in policing, dictate how they show up to lead the agencies they lead. They shape the culture of women in policing.”
Graduates of the LAWLE, a rigorous leadership development program, will receive certified credit from the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council and will be eligible for follow-up registration in three hours of academic credit at either the undergraduate or graduate level from Georgia State.
Registration closes soon. To learn more, go to https://ldig.gsu.edu/leadership-development-course-offerings/#wmnlaw or contact program director Dave Camp at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.