Preparing leaders at all levels
Woodburn Police Sgt. Colleen Altabef was among 20 public-safety leaders from Oregon who recently completed the International Public Safety Leadership and Ethics Institute program (IPSLEI).
The group was ceremoniously recognized June 27 at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) in Salem.
The IPSLEI program consists of four, 40-hour modules (160 hours total) focused on developing leadership skills, according to DPSST's Director Eriks Gabliks. The leadership development course covers written case studies, video case analysis, and interactive learning processes.
The class met two days every other week over the past four months.
"DPSST offers this class on an on-going basis to help develop current, and future, public safety leaders in Oregon," Gablicks said.
The four-program modules are: Developing a Personal Philosophy of Leadership and Ethics, Leadership, Organizational Leadership, and Ethics and the Challenge of Leadership. The program aims to bring leadership and ethics into the picture ahead of promotions, rather than indoctrinate someone as he or she enters a supervisory role.
Gablicks said a cornerstone of the program is that effective leadership skills and influences are needed at all levels of the organization and graduates of the program will become the future leaders of public safety entities in Oregon.
"With more than a thousand officers planning to retire in the next three years, we need to recruit new officers to fill entry-level positions and develop current officers, and our future leaders, who will be filling command positions being vacated by seasoned personnel retiring from leadership positions," Gablicks said.
Altabef has been a police officer for almost 17 years and has been with Woodburn since February of 2011, according the city of Woodburn sources. Her father is a retired police officer and her mother is a retired Army Lt. Colonel.
"Our community backs the police department way more than a lot of the other communities," Altabef said in city-produced video profile filmed last spring. "When the bombing happened, there was blue ribbons all over the city."
Altabef said at the time of the Woodburn bank bombing in December of 2008, she was an officer with Stayton Police and volunteered to come to Woodburn for a day to help out.
"That was my first feel for Woodburn, and I got to know a lot of the officers here," she recalled. "That's kind of what led me to Woodburn when I decided to move on from Stayton; I applied here in Woodburn, and that's the only place I applied, because I wasn't really interested in any other places."
Altabef follows the footsteps of two other fellow Woodburn Police officers who completed the leadership program, and Chief Jim Ferraris plans for more to come
"IPSLEI is a much sought after leadership course for our supervisors and command staff," Ferraris said. "Currently we have 3 graduates in the department; to date I have sent Lt Jason Millican, Lt. Andy Shadrin and Sgt Colleen Altabef through this comprehensive training course.
"My goal is to see all of our supervisors attend and complete this leadership program. We will be sending more supervisors to future classes."
Gablicks recommended a starting place for anyone interested in law enforcement as a career.
"Those interested in current law enforcement openings in Oregon should go to OregonPoliceJobs.com to see agencies looking for men and women looking to serve their communities," he said. "This was a great class ready to serve their co-workers, agencies, and communities."